RED ROSE greatly surprised us with their debut album last year.
"On The Cusp Of Change" is the act number 2 for this Israeli band and this time they took things one step further.
The group combines melodic hard rock, prog and even a touch of pomp throwed in. There's quite much diversity on this album, from melodic parts to more harder atmospheric ones, then a bit proggy, back to mellow & pomp features.
One thing is for sure, you won't get bored while listening to this record.
As the first CD, "On The Cusp Of Change" was once again produced by the skillful Tommy Hansen (Pretty Maids, Helloween, Jorn Lande) at Jailhouse Studios in Denmark, with extraordinary Matan Shmuely - of Orphaned Land fame - sitting behind the drums and the rest of the band laying down an astonishing performance on every possible level.
The band's instrumentation is mainly sustained by complete axeman Elnur Aliev perfectly complemented by massive keyboards infusions on all tracks effectively emphasizing the melodic lines, making the experience more intriguing while also bringing greater definition to the songwriting.
Singer Leve Laitner has a good range and wisely regulates his intensity providing to the calmer moments a distinctive touch. His nice vocal colour is comparable to a younger Scorpions' Klaus Meine and Stryper's Michael Sweet.
Curiously, Red Rose begins the album with their longest song, "When Roses Faded", and you get your first sense of their expansion into melodic rock / prog / hard rock. Later in this vein comes the quite epic "Original Sin" and the strong "This Bitter World" where some prog-metal overtones can be heard.
Alternatively, other songs smack of that past melodic hard rock groove - only with a more hard rockin' tone - like the catchy melodic hard rocker "Chasing Freedom" (which reminds me Germans Domain) and especially "King of the Local Crowd" featuring vintage pompy keys and some Pretty Maids influence.
Red Rose offers two elaborated ballads with the Scorpions influenced "Alone in the Night" and the closing "Seize the Day" with an AOR flavor written all over.
Red Rose has expanded their sonic boundaries with "On The Cusp Of Change", a varied yet homogeneous second offering that will please all audiences.
Certainly, any Melodic Rock / Prog / Hard Rock listener will find here enjoyable sounds plenty of good melodies constructed by strong guitars, tons of keys (vintage and modern) and the insertion of kindly grounded lyrics.
01. When Roses Faded
02. Chasing Freedom
03. King Of The Local Crowd
04. Original Sin
05. Alone In The Night
06. This Bitter World
07. Don’t Believe These Tales
08. Seize The Day
Leve Laiter - Vocals
Elnur Aliev - Guitars
Deion Kristen - Keyboards
Eli Reeve - Bass
Matan Shmuely - Drums
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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Infamous L.A. rockers FASTER PUSSYCAT rose to high fame during the late '80s and early' 90s with three respectable LPs performing Californian Sleazy / Hair Metal of their own branch. Breaking up in 1993, little was known until the band desired to reform with some original members while the rest disputed the name at the court.
Frontman Taime Downe won and returned the past decade with Faster Pussycat moniker for live shows and recently with an album only released in America entitled "The Power & The Glory Hole".
Finally licensed for the European market, Faster Pussycat's fourth studio album appears ahead of select European tour dates later in the year with a bonus track - a live version of the album's opening cut 'Number 1 With A Bullet' - a slightly different artwork and a history that makes it an interesting listen.
First of all, "The Power & The Glory Hole" is not a sleazy rock album.
So if you don't like this genre or FP previous albums, keep reading, you might be interested.
On the other hand, if you love the band's '80s dirty style but never heard this disc, keep reading as well.
Occurs that Downe drastically changed sonically Faster Pussycat upon its return. "The Power & The Glory Hole" fuses the typical US Hard Rock song structures with synthesized distortions, razor guitars and some programming, though the drums are human-played.
What? American Hard Rock blended with Industrial Rock? Yes, and the fun thing is it works for the most part. In fact, many bands have explored this field such as Swedes Zan Clan, second era Shotgun Messiah, some work of John5 / Rob Zombie, Sixx:AM, etc.
In terms of lyrics there’s enough reference to sex and para-sexual themes as in the old times yet darker, and the music has a lot in common with '80s Hard Hock having similar tempos, hooks and some solos, just with a different sonic masque.
So, in essence, "The Power & The Glory Hole" is song-wise American Hard with a new sound approach.
Recorded by the band line-up of Downe, bassist (and horn-throwing uber-legend) Danny Nordahl, drummer Chad Stewart and guitarist Xristian Simon - the lineup that remains to the current day, with the addition of guitarist Ace Von Johnson - "The Power & The Glory Hole" features a cast of supporting players and guest appearances that makes it an essential for your record collection on curiosity value alone.
Dregen of the Backyard Babies (and currently playing alongside Michael Monroe) appears on a song, as does Poison's C.C. DeVille. Monster Magnet's Ed Mundell laid down lead guitar on a trio of tunes, as Marc Diamond (ex- Hollywood Roses) on the title track and the album's two cover versions.
Dwarves frontman Blag Dahlia (credited here as Blag The Ripper) contributes vocals to a couple of songs, as does Roxy Saint (Beautiful Creatures) who some will remember for her role in the 2008 Jenna Jameson flick, 'Zombie Strippers'.
Opener "Number 1 With A Bullet" spat in the face of convention and shows, helped by Downe's own impressive production skills, that this black-hearted industrial-hard works, and works well.
"Gotta Love It" follows and, again, threw timeless rock 'n' roll lead breaks over dark subtlety. "Useless", born of chugging guitar and sampled loops, sounds like epic, electronica-fuelled late '80s hair metal, the album's bravest yet most impressive cut.
"Sex Drugs & Rock-N-Roll" amps up the trash. You just knew it from that title and ejaculates out of the speakers with a 'Hey Ho, Let's Go' refrain and is possibly the finest example of the post-apocalyptic Faster Pussycat sound that Taime envisaged when he got the band back together, albeit with himself now as the only original member.
"Disintegrate" oozes with a The Cult-style spirit, and the bursts of lead guitar over the samples sound weird, but innovative for sure.
The cover of Nancy Sinatra's 'These Boots Were Made For Walking' (!) is unrecognisable at first but, once it settles into its chugging guitar-groove, it works in such a way that any song purists will surely cover their ears and rush out of the room lest they be forever damned by this devil music.
Downe's production, with more layers than some of his former bandmates' hair in the '80s, impresses again.
"Hey You", complete with a Poison's C.C. DeVille guitar solo, ups the sleazy factor with a chorus of female backing vocals, but even that is bound and gagged by the compressed sounds of "Porn Star".
The album's title track is as anthemic as this thing is gonna get; chanted backing vocals wrestle with Roxy Saint's cock teasing mouth work, and the guitar slays. The production, more android than analogue, may not be organic but it borders on orgasmic at times.
The album's final tracks are centred around the loss of Bianca Butthole in a car wreck in 2001, singer of the blasphemous band Betty Blowtorch. The rockin' "Shut Up & Fuck" is a cover of them, while "Bye Bye Bianca" is a collection of audio messages from friends and fans of Bianca saying goodbye over a bass-heavy slab of industrial percussions fevered with a on-acid chorus.
Of course, the bonus live track of "Number 1 With A Bullet" on this Euro release follows, and it's cool how it's delivered.
Late '80s / early '90s Faster Pussycat ceased to exist a long, long time ago and they are never coming back to that.
The sound of "The Power & The Glory Hole" is very modern and especially the guitars differ hugely from what you would expect of this band. The music and songwriting, though, has a lot in common with '80s hard rock having similar tempos, riffs and sexual lyrics.
This CD pound on the heart and senses with a sometimes heavy, dense layered production, accentuated by the synthesized sounds added to the mix.
Some may like this album while others may hate it, but you can't accuse Taime Downe and his 'new' Faster Pussycat for recording the 'same old sh#t again', instead he is broaden musical horizons with bravado. So kudos to him.
Different and really interesting.
01 - Number 1 With A Bullet
02 - Gotta Love It
03 - Useless
04 - Sex, Drugs & Rock-N-Roll
05 - Disintegrate
06 - These Boots Are Made For Walking
07 - Hey You
08 - Porn Star
09 - The Power & The Glory Hole
10 - Shut Up & Fuck
11 - Bye Bye Bianca
12 - Number 1 With A Bullet - Live (Bonus Track)
Taime Downe - lead vocals, guitar, programming
Xristian Simon - guitar, vocals
Ace Von Johnson - guitar
Danny Nordahl (ex L.A. GUNS) - bass, vocals
Chad Stewart (ex L.A. GUNS) - drums, percussion
C.C. DeVille (Poison) – lead guitar on 7
Marc Diamond (Hollywood Roses) – lead guitar on 6, 9, 10
Ed Mundell (Monster Magnet) – lead guitar on 1, 4, 5
Dregen (Backyard Babies) – guitar on 5
Charlie Paulson (Goldfinger) – guitar on 2
Todd Miller (Ear Candy) – guitar on 8
Blag the Ripper (Dwarves) – vocals on 8, 10
Roxy Saint (Beautiful Creatures) – vocals on 8, 9
Angela Bruyere (The Deserters) – vocals on 11
Tommy Nordahl (Love Tribe) – vocals on 5, 6
... and more
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British musician PAUL RAYMOND was part of the most glorious era of Hard Rock legends UFO supplying the melodic keyboard flourishes (but also as rhythm guitarist and songwriter) appearing on 11 albums including the classic 'Lights Out' and the incendiary double live 'Strangers In the Night'.
Raymond also has been a key member in Waysted, Michael Schenker Group and Savoy Brown to name some, yet in parallel he developed his own band; the Paul Raymond Project, now releasing their brand new album "Terms & Conditions Apply".
Though many might not know it, but this is actually Paul Raymond Project's sixth release overall, and it's a damn good one.
As you could expect, "Terms & Conditions Apply" is a Classic (Hard) Rock recording with much of the music recalling early UFO, mixed in with some MSG, The Black Crowes, Quireboys, Mott the Hoople and many classy Brit acts.
Raymond's vocals are actually pretty strong sounding like a raspy Phil Mogg, the songwriting is razor sharp and his band is tight, polished and kicking, especially longtime cohort axe-man Andy Simmons.
The guitarist seamlessly switch his tone and style from Jim Cregan to Paul Chapman, then Michael Schenker to Gram Parsons to ultimately suit the songs varying moods, whilst also turning out some of the finest solos in the genre since many years.
"Born & Raised On Rock and Roll" - you bet he was - and this gritty rockin' opener sounds like the perfect primer for what's on tap.
Follower "End of Life as We Know It" is reminiscent of that MSG most melodic moments, while "C-List Celebrity" could have been a fine addition to any UFO album past or present, delivering a crunchy rhythm with some sizzling guitar work.
"Deeper Shade of Blue" is a mid-tempo chugging riffer that will have you singing along almost immediately, and "Whiskey Mac" is a wonderful, metallic blues-rock instrumental again featuring some killer guitar playing.
The atmospheric piano ballad "We Will Be Strong" has perhaps Raymond's best vocals on the CD, along with some elegant ivory playing and melodic guitar fills.
Title track "Terms & Conditions" comes out of left field with strummed acoustics and a sweet string pad - then Raymond and company kick into a groove as he lays down a tale that is typical for his legacy.
Michael Schenker appears as guest on the remake of "Reach Out (I'll Be There)", an interesting rock take on this R&B classic with Michael's trademark licks front and center.
Reuben Archer (Stampede, Lionheart) stops in for a cameo lead vocal on another lovely piano ballad, "Love Is Blind". He sings the hell out of this number, his voice is as wide as a super highway and his phrasing is superb. This is all voice, piano, some strings and a boatload of tasty harmony guitars: sweet.
Another strong piece here is the smoldering blues-rock of "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody", highlighted by some outstanding Hammond organ from Raymond, and the final cut "Partners In Crime" has a super '80s UFO feel, complete with powerful vocals, a catchy hook, spark guitar riffs, organ and harmonica.
"Terms & Conditions Apply" is a fun Classic Rock album, stronger and arguably more rocking in spots than anything recently appeared from the UFO camp and around.
Certainly if any UFO fan out there pines for the heady days of Schenker, Way, Moog, Raymond and Parker, then this album is where it's at. It's actually like finding the Holy Grail after the band's last albums, that's for sure.
But musically here's as well enough variation to please any Classic Rock / traditional Hard Rock fan, ranging from uptempo hot rockers to sweet intense ballads.
Strong songs, some great instrumentation and 'that' classic feel is the motto here. Production is good but I don't like the drum sound on several tracks. However once you do get past this annoying distraction what you actually find is some pretty damn good Classic Hard Rock music.
And that's something not easy to get these days.
01 - Born & Raised On Rock 'N' Roll
02 - End Of Life As We Know It
03 - Deeper Shade Of Blue
04 - C-List Celebrity
05 - We Will Be Strong
06 - Terms & Conditions
07 - Whiskey Mac
08 - Bright Lights
09 - Reach Out [I'll Be There] (feat. Michael Schenker)
10 - Love Is Blind (feat. Reuben Archer)
11 - If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
12 - Still The Same (Bonus Track)
13 - Drifting Apart (Bonus Track)
14 - Partners In Crime (Bonus Track)
Paul Raymond – lead vocals, guitars, keyboards
Andy Simmons – guitars, keyboards
Mark Coles – bass, backing vocals
Tony Steel – drums, backing vocals
Michael Schenker (ex UFO) – guest guitar
Reuben Archer (Stampede, Lionheart) – guest lead vocals
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Monday, February 25, 2013
New project CODE OF SILENCE was put together three years ago by Scottish bass player James Murray along with Eden’s Curse mastermind Paul Logue who helped to write the songs.
Murray recruited Edinburgh drummer John Clelland and keyboardist Scott McLean, and later enlisted the talents of English young virtuoso guitarist Ben Randall (ex-Power Quest) and even further a field to Brazil for vocalist Gus Monsanto.
The combo's debut "Dark Skies Over Babylon" is one of the finest debuts of the year 'til now.
Code Of Silence is a fresh-sounding take on heavy yet highly melodic hard rock, adding melodic metal and progressive overtones to the mix.
With Logue and Murray providing the wondrous songs, it was over to fellow Eden’s Curser Alessandro Del Vecchio to mix and master the album. The result is something rather special and impactful.
From the opening orchestral widescreen sound of intro "Omerta" through to the final piano motif of "Here To Heaven", this CD is one joyride characterised by strong melodies, quite catchy choruses and wonderful playing.
Special mention of Ben Randall whose inventive guitar figures infuse all songs with a youthfulness and precision, a guitar hero in the making. The vocals throughout are top-notch thanks to Gus Monsanto, at times tender, but mostly powerful as befitting much of the music.
You'll hear these strengths on notable tracks like the soaring "Dark Skies Over Babylon" where Monsanto duets with female singer Joanna Ruiz, the little dark "Black Abyss" and the uptempo "Seventh Seal" finding Randall exchanging chops with McLean’s spicy keyboards to great effect.
There's extremely melodic, catchy and commercial tunes in "Sky Is Falling Down" (my favorite) as well as on the groovy "Witches of November".
Alternatively, the massive "Tame the Tempest" may also have some slight prog metal nuances, "Knights of the Crimson Cross" delivers straight melodic metal whilst the epic "Midnight Cathedral" is an inspired multi-faceted composition.
The album ends in superb style with the enchanting semi-ballad (intense) "Here To Heaven" including pianos, melodious guitars and really nice harmony vocals.
This Japan Edition includes the bonuses "Witches Of November" and "Here To Heaven", both in its original take with slightly different arrangements.
All members in Code Of Silence glued perfectly, one of the strongest Melodic Metal / Hard Rock acts to come out of the UK since many years.
The result is the rather stellar "Dark Skies Over Babylon", an accurate combination of heaviness, melody, hooks and rockin' grooves. Alongside these things there's a very strong song composition artfully merging the arrangement with every instrument.
One hell of debut.
01 - Omerta (Intro)
02 - Bitter Sweet Paradise
03 - Sky Is Falling Down
04 - Tame The Tempest
05 - Dark Skies Over Babylon
06 - Seventh Seal
07 - Witches Of November
08 - Black Abyss
09 - Knights Of The Crimson Cross
10 - Midnight Cathedral (Veritas)
11 - Here To Heaven
12 - Witches Of November [Original take - bonus track]
13 - Here To Heaven [Original take - bonus track]
Gus Monsanto - (Takara, Adagio) - Vocals
Ben Randall (ex-Power Quest) - Guitars
Scott McLean (Falloch / Concept Of Time) - Keyboards
James Murray - Bass
John Clelland (The Crows / Karma) - Drums
Pete Newdeck (Tainted Nation, Eden's Curse) - Vocals on 3
Joanna Ruiz - Vocals on 5
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JUSTIN HAYWARD, singer, guitarist and songwriter with the legendary Moody Blues will be releasing next week his long-awaited new solo album, "Spirits Of The Western Sky".
This is Hayward's first solo album since 1996, and along with his trademark crystal-clear voice and exemplary musicianship, this recording sees Justin veering off into different musical territories.
While Hayward is best known for The Moody Blues, he is one of the most prolific singer-songwriters in the music business, not afraid to contribute to diverse genres and artists.
His solo work - as this "Spirits Of The Western Sky" - showcases his creativity in ways that the Moody’s would never approach, yet basically this new recording is pure, uplifting Classic Rock.
The uptempo opening cut "In Your Blue Eyes" shows that this mature vocalist hasn't lost any of his pipes – and as usual his lyrics have a deep trascendence, each telling a good story not exempt of juicy thoughts and point of views about life.
The midtempo "One Day, Someday" visits the dark places of lost love (also see "Lazy Afternoon" and the country-tinged "It’s Cold Outside of Your Heart"), with the narrator wanting to smoke pot and listen to music to escape his pain. But the ultimate calmative aren't these drugs; it's the dream of being with the lover whom he knows will return to him.
The dream can save, as it does in the quite dramatic yet sweet musically "The Western Sky" and in "In the Beginning", in which the narrator dreams of finding the right words to say to win back a lost love.
One of my favorites tracks is the uptempo American rocker "On the Road to Love", co-written with Kenny Loggins who plays and sings on the track with Justin.
There's relaxed tunes in the acoustic "The Eastern Sky" (which has probably the most poetic lyrics on the record), the bouncy "On the Road to Love" (with its Eastern-influenced lyrics and cool harmonies) and the atmospheric "Captivated By You".
We have a different approach in the triad "What You Resist Persists", "Broken Dream" and the aforementioned "It’s Cold Outside Of Your Heart", all recorded in Nashville with bluegrass musicians (the rest of the disc was done in Italy). The music is not totally authentic bluegrass, as Justin spins it all in his own style.
There's a bizarre remake of Moody's classic 'I Know Your Out There Somewhere' re-entitled "Out There Somewhere" remixed in the 'Ibiza way' (surely a requirement by the recording label) which I don't like at all and it's absolutely out of place in this disc, but this misstep does not tarnish the quality of the album.
Moody Blues and Classic Rock fans will love this album as it is yet another from the heart, honest release from one of the most special songwriters in the world.
This music challenges you to slow down through its beautiful melodies, while the poetic lyrics invite you to meditate, and think about your place in the universe and - more importantly - the universe's place in you.
01. In Your Blue Eyes
02. One Day, Someday
03. The Western Sky
04. The Eastern Sun
05. On The Road To Love [feat. Kenny Loggins]
06. Lazy Afternoon
07. In The Beginning
08. It's Cold Outside Of Your Heart
09. What You Resist Persists
10. Broken Dream
11. Captivated By You
12. One Day, Someday (Alternative Extended Version)
14. Out There Somewhere
15. Out There Somewhere (Raul Rincon Remix)
The just released "In Crescendo" is the 4th album from Italy's KINGCROW and I must admit this band slipped under my radar.
A shame, because what I heard in this CD is the best Prog / Prog Metal of the year so far.
Kingcrow's choice of progressive music is an engaging fusion of metal and more traditional prog blending the sounds of Queensryche, Riverside, Porcupine Tree, Opeth and many more resulting in an album that while reminiscent of all of those bands, actually couldn't be confused for any of them.
More powerful than Riverside, with a stronger vocal attack than Porcupine, less extreme than Opeth, but with a Queensryche 'Operation Mindcrime' feel on many places, Kingcrow cover ground from heavy-symphonic, arty progressive rock and indeed prog metal.
It is a powerful mix and one hammered home through crafted arrangements, a crystal clear mix and production, stunning musical execution and, most importantly excellent songs that are both technical and extremely memorable.
Even with the majority of the eight songs on "In Crescendo" clocking in at over six minutes, it is an album that simply whizzes past through its varying atmospheres and approaches, remaining remarkably cohesive and connected throughout.
Vocally things often venture into a less emotionally charged Geoff Tate like vein, lending the more restrained passages a welcome early/mid Queesnryche feel, while the full sound packs a punch that somehow still sits just on the right side of progressive and metal, without tumbling into the standard prog-metal abyss.
Opener "Right Before" is in your face immediately after some synths welcome you aboard for the ride. The track masterfully combines bristling guitar riffs, keyboards galore, Queensryche-like vocal harmonies and a drum-led breakdown that alters the focus all the time for good effect. This is simply an awesome song in all aspects. Killer stuff.
Then they slow things down as you ease back in the chair after being thrust forward with motion and emotion. "This Ain't Another Love Song" opens slowly like another love song, with cool keys and guitar chords, but then the speed picks up to keep with the track title. The drum solo… hope there will be an even longer one someday, is simply indescribable. You have to hear it (and loud).
Hard to pick a favorite track on an album like this, where all are almost perfect. But "Morning Rain" might be the one. Complete with epic strings, launching guitar, pumping bass and those ever present magnificent drums.
"The Hatch" finds melodic Dream Theater and Riverside colliding headlong, with a Queensrychian chorus. Add to that the lengthy, but not overlong title track "In Crescendo", where everything from staccato barrages of guitar, acoustic guitar and vocal only passages as well as a stunningly technical prog-metal outro, and "In Crescendo" really has the ability to be all things to all progressive men and women.
Bombastic and atmospheric, reserved yet in your face, technical but restrained and challenging while being memorable, "In Crescendo" finds Kingcrow ready to join the progressive genres elites. Believe me, this combo is superb.
Sometimes it is to a band's detriment to release an album at the start of the new year as there is the fear that some critics and fans will tend to forget about it as the year draws to a close. I don't think Kingcrow will have any problem with this, as "In Crescendo" is that damn good and should easily be stuck in many CD & media players for ages.
Do yourself a favor, climb aboard the bandwagon and buy one of the best albums of 2013 without a doubt: the fascinating "In Crescendo".
01. Right Before
02. This Ain’t Another Love Song
03. The Hatch
04. Morning Rain
05. The Drowning Line
06. The Glass Fortress
07. Summer ‘97
08. In Crescendo
Diego Marchesi – vocals
Diego Cafolla – guitars
Ivan Nastasi – guitars
Francesco D’Errico - bass
Cristian Della Polla – keyboards
Thundra Cafolla – drums
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* Please read comments
VOODOO CIRCLE is the vehicle for guitar player Alex Beyrodt (Primal Fear) to thresh his passion for '80s Classic Hard Rock.
Backed by Pink Cream 69 front man David Readman, “More Than One Way Home” is the third release from Voodoo Circle, a quality collection of songs that mostly sounds like a long lost Whitesnake album from the late eighties.
Just taking a look at some of the song titles here evokes more than a passing resemblance to Whitesnake and that's before we even get to the music. "Tears In The Rain", "Heart Of Babylon", "The Saint and the Sinner", "Victim Of Love"... and the similarity certainly doesn't end there.
Take your pick from any of those above tracks, from the pounding slow blues of "Tears In the Rain" to the heavier riffing of "Heart Of Babylon", as well as the likes of "Cry For Love" and title track "More than One Way Home" and, coupled with the fact that David Readman sounds more like David Coverdale than the man himself can manage these days, you have a pure Whitesnake-like album here.
Opening cut "Graveyard City" and "Bane Of My Existence" both have crunchy hard rockn' riffing that introduces a flavour of Dio into the mix, albeit still with that Whitesnake influence.
Elsewhere, "The Ghost In Your Heart" does have a bit of Blackmore/Purple vibe to it, but once again it's the eighties incarnation circa ‘Perfect Strangers’ that springs to mind, and in fact sections of this sound dangerously close to that album's title track.
Finally, "Open Your Eyes" and one of the bonuses in this Limited Edition called "Castles Burn" rock out properly with the vibe of classic Rainbow, while the other bonus "Shape Of Things To Come" recalls Black Sabbath Tony Martin era.
As you can see, "More Than One Way Home" is absolutely influenced by British '80s Classic Hard Rock, and that's not a bad thing when it's delivered with this outstanding quality.
The album is finely produced and expertly performed by the talented Alex Beyrodt, David Readman and all the musicians involved.
You can't dislike any bit of "More Than One Way Home", an album which does not pretend break any ground, just Rock in the traditional style with class.
01. Graveyard City
02. Tears in the Rain
03. Heart of Babylon
04. Cry for Love
06. The Ghost in your Heart
07. Bane of my Existence
08. More than one Way home
09. The Killer in you
10. The Saint and the Sinner
11. Victim of Love
12. Open your Eyes
13. Shape Of Things To Come (bonus Track)
14. Castles Burn (bonus Track)
Alex Beyrodt (PRIMAL FEAR, SINNER) - Guitar
David Readman (PINK CREAM 69) - Vocals
Mat Sinner (SINNER, PRIMAL FEAR) - Bass
Markus Kullmann (DEZPERADOZ) - Drums
Zlatko Kresic (LIQUID HOME) - Keyboards
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Pioneer Swiss hard rockers KROKUS have been in the music business for almost forty years, playing all over the world and their records sold by the millions. Their 1983 album 'Headhunter' is the best selling Swiss record in history.
With almost the complete classic line-up they are releasing "Dirty Dynamite", the band's 17th studio album where they show no signs of slowing down an inch.
With the return of guitarist Mandy Meyer to the fold after a mere 30 year absence, Marc Storace, Fernando Von Arb and Chris Von Rohr worked for two years in the legendary Abbey Road Studio (with Von Rohr producing) to re-capture Krokus' original roots, and "Dirty Dynamite" could really be a trip back to the first half of the eighties for the band.
As anyone who has followed Krokus throughout their lengthy career knows, they have always been inspired by AC/DC and this kind of classic hard rock. So it should be no surprise that many of the songs here have that down-and-dirty rhythm and blues vibe.
The album kicks off with the appropriately titled "Halleluja Rock n Roll". It's an up-tempo, bluesy rocker that sets the tone for the rest of the album, right from the first sounds of a growling dog whose picture graces the album's cover. He's a tough, dirty bulldog, complete with cigarette and obligatory tattoo.
A perfect metaphor for this enjoyable tough-as-nails release.
"Go Baby Go" goes to the rockin' boogie Bon Scott era, followed by another nice rocker, "Rattlesnake Rumble" where the boys find their inner ZZ Top.
Next up is the title track "Dirty Dynamite", a slower song with a groovier, bluesy vibe with a nice piano accompaniment in the background.
"Let The Good Times Roll" returns to the hard rocking swagger of the earlier tracks, and next up is one of the most interesting tracks on offer, a cover of a true classic, "Help" by the Beatles.
What makes it so interesting is that, aside from the lyrics, you can barely tell it's the same song. They truly put their own spin on it and it comes out great.
Returning to their hard uptempo ways, "Better Than Sex" is another raucous rock 'n roll, the curiously titled "Dög Song" is catchy as hell, and "Bailout Blues" features some blistering guitar work.
The album wraps up with the excellent, high-energy "Live Ma Life" and "Hardrocking Man" which, ironically, is the more melodic hard rock oriented track of the disc.
Swiss rockers Krokus keeps the flame alive on "Dirty Dynamite", which continues in their vein of classic hard rock anthems and powerful riffs, ready made to dominate the listener with the power of RAWK.
It's a completely fun, straight-ahead rocker featuring 12 explosive tracks, all clocking in at a succinct three to four minutes in length.
Production is clear capturing the band's essence, with a well defined guitar attack (3 guitars!), great thundering kick drums by Kosta Zafiriou (Pink Cream 69) and vocal contributions by Tommy Heart (Fair Warning).
Krokus have been around for a long time, and if this album is any indication, they're going to be around for a while longer.
01 - Halleluja Rock n' Roll
02 - Go Baby Go
03 - Rattlesnake Rumble
04 - Dirty Dynamite
05 - Let The Good Times Roll
06 - Help
07 - Better Than Sex
08 - Dog Song
09 - Yellow Mary
10 - Bailout Blues
11 - Live Ma Life
12 - Hardrocking Man
Marc Storace – Lead and Backing Vocals
Chris Von Rohr – Bass, Vocals, Producer
Fernando Von Arb – Guitar, Lead and Backing Vocals
Mark Kohler – Guitar
Mandy Meyer – Guitar
Kosta Zafiriou – Drums
Mark Fox, Tommy Heart – Vocals
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The Swedish music scene has a new cool band making some waves in Scandinavian adult radio (and charts): BAD RADIATOR, with their debut album "Hypnotize".
However, this quartet isn't a group of newcomers; all these talented musicians have been in the business for more than 25 years, formerly known as Grace.
Many AOR collector's surely treasure in their vaults Grace's single 'Ingen Kan Alska Som Vi' (No One Can Love As Do) used in the Swedish movie of the same name from 1988, which also featured another great track from the band entitled 'The Deal'.
Well, Bad Radiator are the same guys, that are Klas Bergvall on guitars, drummer Roger Hansson, Janne Persson on bass and conductor & main songwriter, keyboardist Mikael Lundgren who now handles the vocals as well. Former singer Krister Linder isn't on board as he has a performer career in the US now.
But seems that Lundgren has perfected his vocal abilities because the man's singing in this recording is top notch, and his keyboard fills together with his bandmates musicianship have rounded a soaring product here.
We're talking about superb melodies, catchy hooks, breezy harmonies and quite catchy moments. Bad Radiator plays stylized lite AOR / Melodic Rock with class and finesse in the best pristine Scandinavian tradition.
Comparisons an influences abound; put on the table Street Talk, Spin Gallery, Cutting Crew, Richard Marx, Terra Nova, Deacon Street Project, Chris Antblad some Toto and you have Bad Radiator, yet this band has a really, really distinctive style.
The melodies crafted on this disc are truly awesome.
As said, lite AOR with smooth arrangements abound in this recording such as the gem that is "Closer" (plenty of keys), the ethereal "I want to believe", the indeed hypnotic midtempo title track "Hypnotize" (love this one) and the extremely elegant "So cold".
But Radiator has 'other side' as well, and it is pure Melodic Rock with the inclusion of sometimes crunchy guitars and meaty solos. "Want you out of my life" is simply irresistible, with a superb catchy chorus - which reminds the great and quite unknown Dutch act Aquila.
"Does anybody know" has a pulsating melodic rock vibe in the Germans Casanova vein, while "Do you still think of me" recalls Terra Nova in the really melodious line and the swirling keyboard solo.
More WestCoast sounds impregnate the Richard Marx-like "Don't walk away", the te-rri-fic piano ballad "Missing you badly", the uptempo "Alexandra" and the smooth "I know what I want", all with a strong AOR feeling.
"Hypnotize" is a little gem to my AORish ears.
I am a sucker for this kind of classy material, arranged until the minimum detail an performed with extreme wisdom. At times is light as the thin air and then is balanced by catchy, pulsating melodic rockers.
Production is excellent: crisp, glossy, surgical in detail but vibrant and earthy.
I can't believe Bad Radiator is selling "Hypnotize" on physical CD only in Scandinavia. You can get it digital via major retailers, but it isn't the same listening experience.
For me, "Hypnotize" is already occupying a slot in my best album of the year list.
01 - Want you out of my life
02 - Do you still think of me
03 - Closer
04 - Does anybody know
05 - I want to believe
06 - Don't walk away
07 - Alexandra
08 - Hypnotize
09 - Think twice
10 - So cold
11 - When she smiles
12 - Nothing's like the first kiss
13 - I know what I want
14 - Missing you badly
Mikael Lundgren: Vocals, Keyboards
Klas Bergvall: Guitars
Roger Hansson: Drums
Janne Persson Bass
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American Melodic Rockers WALTHAM born in the late '90s in the town of the same name located in Massachusetts.
After some indie recordings, the group fronted by Frank Pino Jr. got the opportunity to record their full length debut on a major label, a high praised CD amongst fans of the genre.
Now Waltham is giving the last touches to the sophomore album for this year's summer (entitled 'Wicked Waltham'), and as advance are presenting "You're Everything That I Want".
Waltham's style leans to modern Melodic Rock based on intense riffs spiced with catchy rock&pop harmonies. Although their sound is updated to present time, there's an undeniable '80s influence in the songcraft. Just check the video-song below
Their classic structures makes you think Rick Springfield meets Cheap Trick, and in the overall sonic approach very close to the underrated 7th Heaven. On places they remind me Swedes Bad Habit and Blanc Faces.
The good thing about Waltham's is the catchiness, fist-pumping anthem mould delivered in a 3-minute format song.
"You're Everything That I Want" comes straight from the Springfield song writing book, "The Fix" has an energetic punch, "Holiday" is a foot tapping melodic rocker and it's in the guitar licks where Waltham recalls Steelhouse Lane.
"Where I Wanna Be" is the most melodic tune here with a catchy chorus and a slow-down halfway the track, then it ends in an intense way. Waltham are inspired in the eighties, just check the bass pumped "Love N' Stuff" and its harmonized vocals.
"You're Everything That I Want" is a catchy, hooky, fun melodic rockin' advance from Waltham, very well produced with a crisp sound.
Can't wait the full CD!
01 - You're Everything That I Want
02 - The Fix
03 - Holiday
04 - Where I Wanna Be
05 - Love N' Stuff
Frank Pino Jr. - Vocals
Tony Monaco - Guitar
Craig Small - Guitar
Peet Golan - Bass
Mikey Rorick - Drums
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SHOTGUN HARBOUR hails from Yulee, Florida, and since its inception in 2009 seems the band has grabbed a strong fan base throughout the U.S. Southeast.
The shotgun guys debuted with an EP two years ago and last December the quintet presented their new material "Down Here", a collection of really well rounded rocking songs.
Despite their name, Shotgun Harbour aren't another sleazy or Sunset Strip-like act, they are a modern hard rock outfit with an updated style and a sound propelled by strong guitar riffs.
The five piece includes Blaine Dickinson (Lead Guitar), Brock Dickinson (Vocals), Jordan Lloyd (Bass), Justin Monds (Rhythm Guitar) and Matt Braddock (Drums), all young musicians playing with energy and fire.
Although modern in approach, these rocking songs are firmly rooted in American classic acts. Shotgun Harbour has the ability to take on heavy subject matter, yet still make the songs ridiculously contagious and enjoyable.
"Daisy Duke" opens with great catchiness, followed by the groovy title track "Down Here". In the lyrics you are able to appreciate Shotgun Harbour's intentions: "... listen to our music loud and turn it on, this is how we do it, Down Here... ". And they rock good!
We have next the hard rockin', slightly southern "Yesterday", followed by the clean guitar driven ballad "Trust Me" crafted with obvious radio approach, and then "Time To Run" rocks hard again yet with sustained melody.
"Liar Too" is one of the highlights to me. This track has much more detailed arrangements going from slow vocals and instrumentation to a swelling cascade of guitars full of intensity.
"The Cover-Up" is an uptempo rocker which reminds me in the chorus Collective Soul yet the song skeleton is bluesy hard rock inspired. "Open Road" bleeds more groove again, while the ballad "Day Late Friend" recalls Nickelback but in a good way.
"Too Far Gone" is a quite furious track featuring breaks in the middle and razor riffs - the heaviest piece on the album - which ends with the modern semi-ballad "I Am Here", another radio oriented tune not good as the previous.
Shotgun Harbour is a more than interesting rockin' band with a modern approach without sounding colourless or bland, on the contrary, there's a lot of energy and freshness in "Down Here".
Solid catchy songs, good sharp vocals, thick twin guitar walls and a fat rhythm section (especially loved the drums) is the motto of this recording sporting an excellent production & mix for an indie.
Really good stuff.
01 - Daisy Duke
02 - Down Here
03 - Yesterday
04 - Trust Me
05 - Time To Run
06 - Liar Too
07 - The Cover-Up
08 - Open Road
09 - Day Late Friend
10 - Public Enemy
11 - Too Far Gone
12 - I Am Here
Brock Dickinson - Lead and Backing Vocals
Blaine Dickinson - Lead Guitar
Justin Monds - Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jordan Lloyd - Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Braddock - Drums
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Guitarist, singer & composer Pete Morten is - as many of you are aware, one of the new members of UK wonders Threshold, and his musical skills can be heard prominently featured on the band's great album from last year.
Pete's been in many projects over the years including his own band MY SOLILOQUY since 2002, playing all over Europe and sharing stages with big names of the prog metal field.
Now, after all these years and surviving multiple line-up changes they've finally put out their stunning debut full-length album "The Interpreter".
This recording is sure to spark the interest of Threshold, Circus Maximus and Fates Warning fans and they won't be disappointed once they hear My Soliloquy's excellent modern Progressive Metal.
But it also will appeal listeners from other genres, as apart of symphonic keyboards and shredding guitar leads, the melodies and riffs leans many times into elaborated Neo-Prog and even Hard Rock, all packed in a powerful delivery, of course.
Morten is so much more than a skilled guitarist and he really shows what a versatile talent he is taking care of lead vocals, guitars, bass and keyboards, in fact the only instrument he doesn't play on The Interpreter are the drums. Getting back to those vocals and Pete has quite a range and diversity that works good here, although his singing is an acquired taste.
The word that just keeps coming to my mind after listening to "The Interpreter" is 'craft'. The craft of great songwriting, the craft of finding just the right notes and textures to fit the mood of the song and most of all, the craft of one of the most expressive voices in metal, progressive or otherwise. All of the songs on "The Interpreter" are in the five-seven minute range which allows the musicians to put in enough great ideas to augment the basis of each piece.
The CD begins with "Ascension Pending", a track that introduces the sound of the band, has a requisite amount of heaviness and a few softer parts that allow Pete to show his full, dramatic vocal range.
"Flash Point" starts right up with a killer heavy riff punctuated by Morten’s trademark punchy guitar accents, has a driving intense vocal melody, a wonderful softer acoustic mid-section followed by a beautiful guitar solo and a heavy and highly epic finish.
After that intensity, we get the beautiful and slightly complex "Corrosive De-Emphasis" which begins in a Neo-Prog style but then about halfway through, changes gears completely into a soft pensivity before resolving the piece in an almost middle-eastern sounding motif and restating the beginning theme. A highlight.
"Fractured" is one of the heaviest and moving pieces on the album and has a very cool short theme that is played and varied throughout the song (by both keys and guitars) to provide a lot of effect.
Next we get the beautiful and somewhat melancholy power ballad "Six Seconds Grace" and the jumping yet atmospheric of "Dream In Extremis". Follower "Inner Circles" is a quirky, melodic piece that juxtaposes some of Pete’s most expressive vocals as well as his great guitar tone.
The CD then closes with the stunning "Star", an incredibly beautiful and dramatic ending to the album that reminds me of some of the best work that I.Q.’s done over the years. To close out the album, this Neo-Prog song has the band pulling out all of the emotional stops, with a slow, languorous guitar over several different vocal parts before finishing so improbably and so beautifully with just piano and strings.
"The Interpreter" is an awe-inspiring piece of art quite difficult to classify into any particular genre, but that's a good thing in my book. Like Threshold, My Soliloquy is a band that wants to make you feel rather than bowl you over with chops.
What's so nice is that while this is definitely a Prog Metal album in many aspects, the roots of the sound are very much influenced by the melodic inventiveness and accessibility of the Neo-Progressive movement of the '80s primarily exemplified by the U.K. bands Marillion and IQ. It's not at all surprising as the album was co-produced, mixed, mastered by Rob Aubrey who's also worked with Marillion in the past.
Everyone should check "The Interpreter" no matter which musical genre you like most, this a superbly crafted piece of music.
01 - Ascension Pending
02 - Flash Point
03 - Corrosive De-Emphasis
04 - Fractured
05 - Six Seconds Grace
06 - Dream In Extremis
07 - Inner Circles
08 - Star
Pete Morten - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards
Damon Roots - drums, percussion
Mike Gilpin - add. guitars, vocals
Andy Berry - add. keyboards
Chris Sharp - add. bass
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After his successful eighties / nineties musical journey fronting the global sensation and multi-selling outfit The Dan Reed Network, singer & songwriter DAN REED moved to India for a somehow spiritual retreat.
Reed returned to the musical business a couple years ago with a very good album under his own name, and now on Feb. 25 his second solo effort "Signal Fire" will hit the stores.
Dan's catchy melodic rock of the past is now fused with softly sung sweet melodies and vocal harmonies, accompanied by reflexive lyrics.
Title track "Signal Fire" has a truly brilliant song structure and what a grand way to open up this release with this uptempo hooky tune - the catchiness is all over.
There's a unique vocal performance on the the bouncy follower "All I Need Is You", an then track three "Only Love" is another song filled with happiness and obvious enjoyment in the way of an acoustic ballad.
More classic rock feel and sound crops up throughout the collection on such numbers as "Sing To Me" and the countrified "Soul Warrior", with a great acoustic groove and another slice of perfection on the chorus.
This is Dan Reed, and the man knows how to write superb songs. But there's more.
"End Of The World" offers up a perfect musical balance of mellowness and songwriting finesse and those dreamy vocal tones that most vocalists would die for.
All of Dan Reed's life experiences and refined musical knowledge have helped mould this beautiful collection of songs beyond the point of just music; there's definitely a spiritual vibe all over this album which makes it even more enthralling.
And that spiritual feel is evident on the super commercial Melodic Rock of "Last Leaf" and the chanty, infectious grooves of "Avalanche".
We have certain retro feel at places, especially on "Slow Down", but it's the slower paced tunes such as "Beloved" and "All Night" that shine magnificently, stand out here and ooze out intelligent musicianship and a wonderful studio production of note courtesy of Dan and Steve Daiker.
Then there's "Indestructible", a mood-filled piano piece that flows so creatively amidst the soft vocal harmonies and instrumental harmonies, whilst the album closes with "Drive On" and more beautifully crafted song arrangements.
Dan Reed is a musician who, unlike many folks who've made comebacks in recent years, is far from trading on past glories but rather he is continuing to grow as an artist.
Still producing music that is timeless, inventive and engaging, Dan Reed's fire is certainly burning brightly, and his new album "Signal Fire" proves this via its memorable crafting and exuberant melodies.
"Signal Fire" is an impressive, soulful, uplifting and melodius piece of work plenty of class and finesse.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrockz
01 - Signal Fire
02 - All I Need Is You
03 - Only Love
04 - Sing To Me
05 - End Of The World
06 - Last Leaf
07 - Avalanche
08 - Slow Down
09 - Beloved
10 - All Night
11 - Indestructible
12 - Soul Warrior
13 - Drive On
Lead Vocals, Bass, Guitar, Keyboards - Dan Reed
Guitar, Keyboards - Rob Daiker
Keyboards - Dan Reed, Kfir Shtivi, Rob Daiker
Piano, Synthesizer - Brooke Lizotte
Bass - Bengan Jonasson
Percussion - Mike Collins, Joe Mengis
Drums - Robert Ikiz, Joe Mengis, Henka Johansson
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German Melodic Hard Rockers WILD FRONTIER returned last year with a new album after a 5-year hiatus.
Now the band are releasing a retrospective compilation of their career 'wisely' entitled "1994-2012", a limited edition of 1000 CD's.
This 18-track album gives you an overview about the Teutonic MHR sound developed by the band, in the same vein of Bonfire, Scorpions, Khymera, Human Zoo and some Def Leppard - mainly in the layered harmonies.
A good idea, particularly because their first two recordings (One Way To Heaven '95, and Thousand Miles Away '98) were quite ignored at the moment and both CD are out-of-print since a long time.
It also contain one brand new song; "One Of These Days" which was recorded by the band in summer 2012 and it's exclusive to this release.
Very Good '80s-styled anthems with a crisp sound.
01 - Another lonely Day Without You
02 - Wild Wind Blows
03 - I Can't Believe
04 - There For You
05 - Favorite
06 - The End Of The Road
07 - Alive
08 - One Of These Days (exclusive NEW SONG)
09 - Anything You Want
10 - It's All Up To You
11 - Shake Your Body
12 - Thousand Miles Away
13 - Surrounded
14 - Let the Sun
15 - To The End of The World
16 - Save Yourself
17 - Why Don't You Save Me (digi bonus)
Jens Walkenhorst - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Mario Erdmann - Bass, BackingVocals
Thomas Ellenberger - Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Sascha Fahrenbach - Guitar
Nico Fahrenbach - Drums
Detlef Honig - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Thomas Witt - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Alfons Steier - Bass, Backing Vocals
Markus Linne - Drums
Rudiger Uhe - Drums
Jorg Schmeck - Drums
Sebastian Groning - Drums
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As mentioned on the previous post, Aussie Melodic Rockers SAFIRE returned after a 18 year break with a new CD.
To coincide with the release, Safire has reissued in limited quantities their first self-titled EP with enhanced packaging and additional photos.
The Melodic Rock in this very first release by the band is dominated by melodious guitar riffs, lots keyboards and really accomplished vocals.
Opener "Now You've Gone" offers a catchy refrain and a chorus akin Safire's fellow countryman Juno Roxas from Roxus. The melody is infectious and so the chorus.
Next arrives the excellent midtempo AOR anthem "Love Conquers All" (very Warrant-like) immersed into a great atmosphere by electric pianos and subtle guitars, followed by the more guitar oriented yet extremely melodic "After The Rain" featuring quality harmony vocals.
Safire goes pure mid-half '80s AOR in the superb keyboard driven "In Your Eyes" with seasoned vocals and where again the terrific refrain is brighter than the sun.
Electric and acoustic guitar mix dominates in the Tyketto-esque "Set You Free" for good measure, a solid melodic rock tune with a catchy rhythm and nice breaks. "White At Night" rounds the recording in a groovy rocking way where the guitar has more weight and the song structure pays homage to various classic English acts.
Considering the year this 6-track EP was created (1995) when the musical climate was not the best for this kind of music and the scarce rock circuit at the moment around the Melbourne area, "Safire EP" is a very good Melodic Rock / AOR indie recording in all aspects including mix and production. The songwriting is truly classic and the guys show an effervescent musicianship all over.
A collector's item for many years, get it now before it's too late again.
A little Gem.
01 - Now You've Gone
02 - Love Conquers All
03 - After The Rain
04 - In Your Eyes
05 - Set You Free
06 - White At Night
Jase Old: lead and backing vocals
Steve Martret: guitars, backing vocals
Aaron Suter: keyboards, backing vocals
Mozz Walters: bass, backing vocals
Bill Georgio: drums, backing vocals
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Australia has produced lately excellent Melodic Hard Rock acts, but the land of Oz never was precisely the mecca for the genre.
One of the bands keeping the flame alive during the nineties around the Melbourne circuit was SAFIRE, whom released a very nice self-titled EP in 1995 that have acquired quite reputation amongst collectors.
Now, after a 18 year break, all Safire original members have finally reunited to record a new album entitled "All Because Of You".
Safire's Melodic Rock sound is strongly infused by AOR elements, especially keyboard stabs and elaborated harmony vocals; all members contribute backings for good measure.
Stylistically, the quintet recalls eighties European bands of the genre, particularly from UK. I hear similarities with Change of Heart, Shy, Steve Overland, first Dare and obviously comparisons with pioneer Aussie bands could be made, being Roxus and Juno Roxas the first coming to mind.
Solid melodies crafted by melodic guitars garnish rockers like "Say You Love Me", "In Your Arms", the extremely catchy "Memories Live Again" and the
soaring "Crying". All really good and performed with good pulse.
The sound turns more sharp close to Melodic Hard on the punchy, Shy-like "Let You Go" and the groovy "Only Forever".
As said, Safire plays AOR too, and the ballads are impregnated with classy melodies: the beautiful acoustically filled "Why" and the American sounding, piano-driven "Could've Been Beautiful"
For the end Safire has reserved one of the highlights of the CD; "Making Me Feel", perhaps the track which best represents their sound: AOR overtones at the beginning and then explodes into a catchy Melodic Rock song with a winner chorus.
"All Because Of You" has been managed entirely by Safire, and curiously the band has decided to sell the album by themselves as well.
No Amazon, no iTunes nor even a website... it's only available on physical CD at the drummer's eBay store. By the way, the EP debut long time out of print can be found there too in limited quantities.
Despite its indie pedigree, "All Because Of You" is very well recorded, mixed and produced, but most important of all; this is real Melodic Rock / AOR with an '80s heart.
01 - Say You Love Me
02 - I'll Be There
03 - All Because Of You
04 - Crying
05 - In Your Arms
06 - Why
07 - 1995
08 - Memories Live Again
09 - Let You Go
10 - I'd Just Like To Say
11 - Could've Been Beautiful
12 - Only Forever
13 - Making Me Feel
Jase Old: lead and backing vocals
Steve Martret: guitars, backing vocals
Aaron Suter: keyboards, backing vocals
Mozz Walters: bass, backing vocals
Bill Georgio: drums, backing vocals
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Spanish melodic hard rockers AIRLESS were formed in 2002, recorded three albums and toured with the likes of Vega, Serpentine, Houston and Reckless Love.
Five years have passed since their last album, the time Airless took to refine their sound and style, hence the CD title "Changes".
I can hear some 'changes' in this Airless' new offering, sharper than before and with more keyboard presence now played by a dedicated keyboardist in guest musician Diego Rois, and this has provided a stronger delivering.
What remains untouched is the solid lush vocal melodies, the hard working rhythm section and the flawlessly six-string work of Robert Rodrigo, one of Spain’s best known rock guitarists and endorser of Ibanez Guitars, Orange amps and DiMarzio pickups.
The band's style, whilst based on the classic American melodic hard rock sound features modern European hallmarks in certain chord progressions and melodies. So you have the best of both worlds here.
Whilst sticking to a well-trodden radio rock formula, the new edge heard in "Changes" definitely gives the album a unique sound that never gets boring at all.
Inaki Lazkano boasts a very impressive set of pipes, shown off in full on "Upstream", his soaring vocals (and excellent command of the English language) really shines plenty of range.
He even proves to be on par of legendary vocalist Danny Vaughn (Tyketto / Waysted / Vaughn) performing a duet on the title track "Changes" with amazing results.
As said, much of this new material feels edgier than before, merging the band's traditional melodic hard with robust AOR melodies and catchy hooks bold enough for Eighties arena play. Songs like "Latest Prophecy", the aforementioned "Upstream" and "Start Again" burn it up.
Even the quasi-ballads "Reach For You" (featuring very good harmony vocals) and "Come Back Home" weigh in on the rockin' side of things.
The band even go political on "Gone Too Far", the track preceded by news broadcasts about genocide and mass murder that is substantially heavier than any of the other songs.
Lovable keyboard fills are present stronger than ever for Airless in the jumpin' "Rescue Me" and the groovy "I Don't Care", the latter with a classic American atmosphere.
Robert Rodrigo showcases a huge talent all over the recording, being perhaps his best complete job on the great "Till The End of Time", a terrific melodic hard rocker and one of the best tracks in the disc.
"Changes" should be the definitive recording for Airless to get the international recognition they largely deserve.
Consistent songwriting, top notch musicianship and very good production makes this disc second to none.
Very, Very Good.
01. Start Again
02. I Don't Care
04. Dead Inside
05. Changes (feat. Danny Vaughn)
06. Till The End Of Time
07. Rescue Me
08. Gone Too Far
09. Reach For You
10. Come Back Home
11. Latest Prophecy
Inaki Lazcano: Vocals
Robert Rodrigo: Guitars
Miguel Manjon: Bass
Pako Marinez de Musitu: Drums
Diego Rois: Keyboards
Danny Vaughn: Vocals on track 5
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MITCH MALLOY officially debuted as solo artist with his stunning self-titled album on a major label in 1992. But there was another story before, far from an overnight success.
Mitch actually put together a band in 1986, and they had all worked hard at trying to snare that elusive record deal, without luck.
These original recordings entitled "Malloy 88" surfaced some years ago thanks to an European label, but now Mitch is re-releasing the album on his own label, plus a new song.
Mitch talks about these old days: "We had a band with friends of all life. We were very close, like brothers in a way, and to this day I still miss them a great record deal – some of the best people I’ve ever known. Talented too, and the women loved us!
We used to practice in bassist Tim Wheeler’s basement. Tim and I have been buds since we were 5 years old and started playing music together at the age of 12 – he’s still my best friend."
However, despite hooking major interest, it seemed all label eyes were really only on the exceptionally good-looking and talented frontman, owner of a
powerful yet melodic voice and penchant for writing ridiculously catchy melodic rock anthems.
Mitch explains: "RCA wanted a different sound, and for me to just be ‘Mitch Malloy’ for marketing reasons. The producer the label hired wanted different guys to play on the record, and over the last few months the label had been putting me with outside writers and that was splitting up the band vibe as well.
I’m sorry I did it on one hand, as it was a fun band and I loved the guys like brothers, but then on the other hand, the Mitch Malloy record that people seem to love so much would never have happened if I hadn’t let them break up the band.
It’s bitter sweet, isn’t it?"
Although the original "Malloy" tapes got lost along the way, there were still the original mixes left and I must say that the result on this album is fabulous. This is truly 1988!
A couple of tracks, such as the fantastic layered AOR track "Forever" plenty of classic harmony vocals overload and the smashing hot-on-the-wheels rocker "Problem Child" were also part of his debut solo album in a slightly or completely different version.
"Malloy 88" is more visceral than Mitch's first solo CD, with a sound that is the definition of pure Melodic Rock from the second half of the eighties.
Just check the killer hook laden melodic hard rock opener "On My Way", the melodies on "Rodeo Girl" and "She's Young, She's Wild" or the awesome ballad "Still In Love".
The vocal/acoustic guitar intro in "Angeline" builds the song into almost epic proportions, while this original take of "Problem Child" signs the album off in a flurry of guitars, a nice touch of Van Halen-styled rock.
New track 2013 "What A Day" is more in the present Mitch vibe with a strong melodic foundation and a sweet chorus including some strings.
"Malloy 88" is obviously a recording very much of the time delivering twelve very catchy melodic (hard) rock tunes full of magic.
Despite the album wasn't released as the label rejected Malloy 'as a band', these are not demos. Production is very good with a crisp sound and mix.
Actually I prefer this to the debut (which is great by the way) because "Malloy 88" is crafted from the heart and bleeds Melodic Rock.
Perfect Melodic Rock I'd say.
01 - On My Way
02 - Rodeo Girl
03 - She's Young, She's Wild
04 - If You Were Mine
05 - Still In Love
06 - Forever
07 - Feel Like Falling In Love
08 - Angeline
09 - Ready For Love
10 - Money Can't Buy Love
11 - Without You
12 - Problem Child
13 - What A Day (new track 2013)
Mitch Malloy: Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion
Mike McConnville: Guitars, Backing Vocals
Tim Wheeler: Bass, Backing Vocals
Phil Richford: Drums
Tistan, Michael Himmel: add. Guitar
Tony Reyes: add. Bass, Guitar
Robert Gorden: add. Drums
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Thursday, February 14, 2013
There's a young Hard Rock band from (again) Sweden making noise in underground circles since some time now.
Hailing from Helsingborg, BULLETRAIN is comprised by five young guys whose ages range from 20-22, proving that new ears can have old hearts.
After the obligatory line-up changes to find cohesiveness, they are releasing "Even With My Eyes Closed".
Formed in 2006, these five childhood friends have rehearsed and perfected their sound to a point that they could easily compete with any band of the Swedish new wave of Hard Rock.
Assisted in the production duties of Chris Laney (FM, Grand Design, Fate) Bulletrain prove wise in the studio beyond their young years.
I don't know if "Take Me To The Sun" will take you to our solar system star, but I assure you it easily can transport your body to the late eighties Sunset Strip. A hot melting melodious hard rocker blending Britny Fox and early Def Leppard on the chorus.
"Even With My Eyes Closed" is a clear example of Bulletrain's melodic abilities. This is a hot power ballad akin Skid Row driven by intense guitars with a monster sing-along chorus.
"My Way" is party hard rock plenty of huge gang vocals and in total '80s style this song is made for the arenas. The guitar solo is excessive and fun which is what this style of music is all about. It has a serious Keel kind of flavor to it.
Follower "Turn It Up" is quintessential European hard rock recalling 220 Volt with its razor guitars and uptempo thrill. Bulletrain exposes their US influences in this disc, yet this track shows they have not missed the veteran bands from their homeland.
Then the guys go directly Melodic Hard Rock with the Danger Danger / Ted Poley sounding "Fly Away". Good harmonies, cowbell and that classic eighties sound that drew me to the band. The guitar work by Mattias Persson jumps out at ya this time around and moves it up a notch with melodic punch.
Last track is a long version (and mix to my ears) of "Even With My Eyes Closed", one of the highlights for sure.
Bulletrain sent me back to the '80s in the best of ways. These Swedish rockers are not trying to reinvent the hard rock genre, they are playing it forward with heart & soul.
Pounding drums, solid hooks, impressive guitar solos and all the things we loved about the eighties right down to the 'gang style' choruses.
They need to work on their production values while touching up the lyrics a little, but the songwriting style and listening to the guitars and drums I felt like a kid again. Seems the singer has left the band, so a new one will improve the results even more.
It's also hard to believe that all members are so young, so the sky is their limit. If this lot doesn't have a deal by the end of the year then there truly is no justice in this world.
Don't miss Bulletrain, they ROCK.
01 - Take Me To The Sun
02 - Even With My Eyes Closed
03 - My Way
04 - Turn It Up
05 - Fly Away
06 - Even With My Eyes Closed (long version)
Robert Lindell - vocals
Mattias Persson - lead guitar
Robin Bengtsson - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Tim Svalo - bass, backing vocals
Jonas Tillheden - drums
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HEARTBREAK RADIO is a Swedish / Scandinavian AOR project started in 2004 with the participation of Tommy Denander, Mikael Erlandsson and others, releasing an enjoyable self-titled debut the next year.
Organise the next effort took several years but now, entitled "On Air", the second CD is ready to be released on February 22, although the Japanese version featuring 4 bonus tracks is now available.
Heartbreak Radio is conducted by songwriters, musicians and producers Claes Andreasson (Last Autumn's Dream) and Johan Axelsson, who also plays the keyboards & synths and contribute backing vocals.
The project line-up of today consists of Mats Johanson (soloist guitar on Asia's Aqua album), Berra Holmgren (of Ace Of Base, on bass), Peter Strandberg on drums (Jeff Scott Soto band) alongside Axelsson himself on keys and a selected horn section.
Erlandsson was asked to provide vocals once again but this time the cream on the Swedish scene performs leads on different tracks: Jim Jidhed (Alien), Pierre Weinsberg (Elevener, Denander's Radioactive) and two other Swedish super-vocal talents, Henrik Baath (Dark Water) and solo artist Martin Gabriel.
Heartbreak Radio is focused on '80s L.A. AOR with the typical FM rock approach of these golden years, complete with soaring melodies, catchy rhythms and breezy sounds akin TOTO, Ambrosia, Kenny Loggins or Airplay to name some.
As examples; "You Are Love" is a mid tempo AOR monster with a killer bridge that instantly brings to mind aural images of Airplay or David Roberts, with a velveteen hook to boot.
Songs like "Angeline" featuring Erlandsson on vocals recall Toto circa their Joseph Williams era, whilst "My Heart’s Just Missing You" is prime L.A. West Coast AOR that will delight fans of this musical style.
But the band also rocks in the early eighties Journey vein with ripping cuts like "Love On Fire" and "Live Out Of Love": these two numbers alone could have sold out arenas once upon a time, with the latter revolving around a nifty guitar motif that would make Neal Schon proud.
One of the highlights though, is the ballad that closes out the regular release: "You Don’t Love Me Anymore". It features the surprisingly rich and fully measured vocal work by Henrik Baath of Swedish prog metal band Dark Water. Certainly not a name you’d expect on an album like this and he shines here, one of the most elaborated tracks of the entire disc.
As said, "On Air" will be released next Feb. 22 in Europe, but if you are anxious you can get the Japanese version right now featuring 4 bonuses: the jumpin' and breezy AOR tune "MLI", plus three remixed versions of Heartbreak Radio's debut.
Fans of old school, classic '80s AOR with a touch of L.A. Westcoast in the slower numbers rejoice: "On Air" is a delicious piece of work with excellent songwriting, smooth instrumentation, great vocal performances and superb polished production.
A mandatory listen for any fan of these genres.
01. Love On Fire
03. You Are Love
04. Turn On Love
05. I Will Love You
06. Live Out Of Love
07. All Over The World
08. My Heart's Just Missing You
09. Keep Kickin' It Back Again
10. You Don't Love Me Anymore
11. MLI (Japanese bonus track)
12. Hard Rock City (Japanese bonus track)
13. Let Me Have Your Heart Again (Japanese bonus track)
14. Knockin' On Hells Door (Japanese bonus track)
Jim Jidhed (ALIEN)
Mikael Erlandsson (LAST AUTUMN’S DREAM)
Pierre Weinsberg (ELEVENER, RADIOACTIVE)
Henrik Baath (DARK WATER)
Martin Gabriel (solo)
Drums: Peter Strandberg (Jeff Scott Soto band)
Bass: Berra Holmgren
Guitars: Mats Johanson (Asia)
Keyboards: Johan Axelsson
Horns: Albin Grahn, Arvid Ingberg, Martin Svanström
Backing Vocals: Emelie Axelsson, Ulrik Arturén, Mikael Erlandsson, Claes Andreasson, Johan Axelsson, Per Wockatz, Pierre Wensberg
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In the business for more than 30 years, Luke Morley has been producing quality rock music since his ol' days with Terraplane, then with at this point legends Thunder, and lately with ex Winterville singer Peter Shoulder under the name THE UNION.
"The World Is Yours" is the third release from the duo, and they show no signs of the quality dropping.
More accessible than either of the band’s previous two CD's and yet, paradoxically, a much more comprehensive body of work, it brings the pantheon of bluesy (hard) rock full circle.
Perhaps reflecting the veteran status of Morley and the relative youth of frontman Pete Shoulder, this is an album that fuses the genre’s proud heritage with a refreshingly modern spin.
The CD opens subtly enough with the short acoustic guitar piece "Sawtooth Mountain Ride" before firing into the hard blues driven "You’re My Jesus". The lyrics are like poetry and Shoulder’s soulful voice is in top form as per usual, while Morley feels free to express his six-string passion and class proving he has not lost the 'mojo'.
This track perfectly encapsulates everything that The Union are about and sets up the album in perfect fashion.
"Tonight I’m Alive" is an upbeat, radio friendly summer song with a really feel-good vibe, followed up nicely by "Fading Out Of Love" which is one of my favourite tracks from the album. It’s a soulful blues ballad which is delivered with such ease it’s hard not to take a moment and just listen to Shoulder’s voice. What a vocal performance, a real spine tingler. Not many can do this type of tunes better than these guys can.
Title track "The World Is Yours" picks things up a bit and we get a rockin' number where Morley’s guitar skills are on full display with groove laden riffs reminiscent of early Zeppelin. It’s a mighty track with terrific drums patterns from the always effective Dave McClusky.
This album never gets tired because there's enough variation and grip to keep you rocking (fast or slowly).
After the kickin' title track the gentle acoustic classic rock of "To Say Goodbye" it's charming, and then the band rock your socks again with the groovy, upbeat "The Perfect Crime", a modern hard rocker with a mammoth rhythm section.
"What Doesn't Kill You" rocks again in classic seventies way and then "Marie Celeste" draws another curve ball with a banjo, percussions and belted out by superb singing.
But Morley has hard rock fluid in his veins and next "Wreck My Scene" rocks
fast, furious, mean, frantic and short, as in only 2:14 min they leave you without breath.
And there's more: the melodic yet rockin' "This Is A London Song", the lovely "You Can Share My Dreams", and as bonus a fantastic acoustic version of "Let The River Rise" live from Luke's studio. This one among other acoustics will be included in the Deluxe Version of the album featuring a bonus CD.
"The World Is Yours" follows the same philosophy as the band's first two albums: diversity and class.
Listening to the guitar playing of Luke Morley (you can see why David Coverdale tried to tap him up for Whitesnake) perfectly complemented by the vital and soulful vocals of Peter Shoulder they are ready to blow the opposition out of the water, if there is some.
01. Sawtooth Mountain Ride Pt. 1
02. You're My Jesus
03. Tonight I'm Alive
04. Fading Out Of Love
05. The World Is Yours
06. To Say Goodbye
07. The Perfect Crime
08. Tangled Up In You
09. Lost To The Wind
10. What Doesn't Kill You
11. Marie Celeste
12. Wreck My Scene
13. This Is A London Song
14. You Can Share My Dreams
15. Sawtooth Mountain Ride Pt. 2
16. Let The River Rise (Acoustic) [bonus track]
Pete Shoulder – Lead vocals, Guitar
Luke Morley – Guitar, Vocals, Percussion
Chris Childs – Bass
Dave McCluskey – Drums
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HEAVEN'S BASEMENT, one of the most promising UK Hard Rock acts finally release their debut tomorrow.
The band's first EP was amongst the favorites of this site in 2011 with its blend of Thunder, Pink Cream 69, Skid Row, an equal amount of Motley Crue, Crazy Lixx and a dash of the very early Guns 'N Roses.
Now the guys, who have been endlessly touring North America, aims to follow that up with the 12-song scorcher that is "Filthy Empire", the new CD.
"Filthy Empire" was produced by John Feldmann, whose production credits include him working with bands such as Papa Roach and Black Veil Brides. It's Heaven’s Basement turning modern alt metal? Fortunately, not at all.
The full length debut from the guys is a bold, hard-hitting album full of anthem-style choruses, mixing the best of the ‘80s and ‘90s hard rock scene with today’s modern metal sounds. Production is more updated and thick than on their awesome EP, but Heaven’s Basement essence is still here, furious than ever.
The riffs are heavy enough right out of the gate to warrant your immediate attention while Aaron Buchanan’s vocals ice the cake early and often. His vocals are slightly gravelly than before given to the songs a more aggressive punch.
"Welcome Home" comes barking out of the speakers with all the rabid intent of a possessed dog with ambitions to kill. A big track that immediately will put your views of them just going through the motions firmly into place.
"Fire, Fire" rolls up and takes its place immediately in your head - these boys are not here to gently slide into your affections, they're going for a sledgehammer to your heart. Big sound, big crunching riffs, big vocals and, quite simply, a great song.
Follower "Nothing Left To Lose" is somehow of a let down for my 'classic' ears: less Skid Row and more Fall Out Boy. Don't get me wrong, it's a really well crafted track with a terrific impact, but as it will be the single to sell the album through American radio, this is a modern sounding rock song. Completely justified if you ask me, as they needed a cut like this one.
But things get back to the real Heaven's Basement with the catchy chorus of "Lights Out In London" and never lose the grip through the rest of the disc.
"I Am Electric" brings the frantic pace right back up and if you don't get moved to get out your bored life and see this band live, I'd be amazed - The Cult with anger issues could sum this little ditty up; brilliant. This song is more in your face than the rest of the tracks on here. It grabs you around the neck to wrestle you to the ground with ferocity that you wouldn't expect from a band of this ilk.
"Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch" is a blistering barn burner, while "Can't Let Go" is another Skid Row-styled basic rocker that keeps the flow of the album ticking along nicely indeed.
"The Price We Pay" is the one track where they strip everything back and go acoustic to reveal a side that stands out as equally as their bombast; classic ballad without trying to be anything else makes a nice refreshing change.
Then "Jump Back" has an almost Rolling Stones vibe running throughout - not easy to pull off for anybody and the soulful vibe is a welcome addition.
"Executioners Day" rounds off the album and one of my favorites. It's an old track from their earlier EP, now revitalized by the bigger, meaty production.
"Filthy Empire" shows Heaven’s Basement can 'rawk' with the best them. The tracks on this disc are finely crafted excursions into the realm of rock.
If you want lightweight feelings or relaxing rock don't bother listening this scorcher. This is pure energy, a blistering attack to your ears.
Some may find the riffs too abrasive or the vocals as too loud... I can't remember Sebastian Bach restraining himself from a big note, can you? Heaven’s Basement kicks you with no remorse.
If you want a band trying to prove their worth, trying to grab you by the scruff of the neck and simply trying to rock hard then you'd be foolish not to try and enter their "Filthy Empire".
01 - Welcome Home
02 - Fire, Fire
03 - Nothing Left To Lose
04 - Lights Out In London
05 - I Am Electric
06 - The Long Goodbye
07 - Heartbreaking Son Of A Bitch
08 - Be Somebody
09 - Can't Let Go
10 - The Price We Pay
11 - Jump Back
12 - Executioner's Day
Aaron Buchanan - Vocals
Sid Glover - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Rob Ellershaw - Bass, Backing Vocals
Chris Rivers - Drums
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Sometimes you come across some music that usually slips under your radar on purpose, because it supposedly doesn't fits your tastes.
Well, I found PURE LOVE's debut "Anthems" as an Amazon suggestion while looking for an upcoming album from other band. The CD title picked my interest and the music resulted more than intersting.
The British / American combo Pure Love was founded last year by ex-London hardcore punk stalwarts Gallows frontman Frank Carter and guitarist Jim Carroll of The Hope Conspiracy from Boston, US; the two had met when Gallows supported The Hope Conspiracy in 2006.
I never heard both bands before so I investigate a little and their aggresive hardcore cocktail is not my cup of tea at all.
But occurs that Carter was tired by the angry and protest of his previous band, and wanted to create more melodic, positive music.
Perhaps the best way to describe his new intentions it's in the lyrics
on the lead single from ‘Anthems’ called "Bury My Bones": “I’m so sick of singing about hate / It’s never gonna make a change”. (check the video below).
So "Anthems" is the aptly-titled debut for Pure Love, because is exactly what this new band serves up in spades on this recording.
This is a collection of strut-worthy, good time rockin' songs with an arena, stadium rock craft plenty of nice hooks and harmonized ‘woah-ohs’ galore. Sure, this is basically melodic riff-driven rock&pop but the one that is a really pleasure to listen as it's 'anthemic' indeed.
Apart from the catchy and contagious "Bury My Bones", there's enjoyable rockers in "She (Makes The Devil Run Through Me), "The Hits", "Scared To Death" and the poppy "Handsome Devils Club".
"Beach Of Diamonds" or "Burning Love" lends more into melodic territories, while title track "Anthem" is indeed a lights-in-the-air bluesy anthem ballad which at some point reminds me The Cult.
Although Pure Love were never going to re-invent the wheel this isn't their purpose at all, just deliver fresh-sounding rock songs with positive feel and vibe.
Frank Carter sings really good with an unmistakable British tone while Jim Carroll's riffs are effective and ear-friendly. Production is pristine and well defined for all instruments, especially achieving a clear drum sound.
"Anthems" is a genuinely nice album to de-intoxicate yourself from your usual Hard / Metal oriented musical recipe.
I like it alot.
01 - She (Makes The Devil Run Through Me)
02 - Bury My Bones
03 - The Hits
04 - Anthem
05 - Beach Of Diamonds
06 - Handsome Devils Club
07 - Heavy Kind Of Chain
08 - Burning Love
09 - Scared To Death
10 - Riot Song
11 - March Of The Pilgrims
Frank Carter - lead and backing vocals
Jim Carroll - guitars, backing vocals, keyboards
Jol Mulholland - bass
Jared Shavelson - drums, percussion
Oliver Edsforth - Hammond, piano, keyboards
Kate Orgias - strings on Heavy Kind of Chain
Sarah Carter - additional vocals
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Written of paper, it looks not short of impressive read that SAXON, one of the pioneer metal acts in history is releasing their 20th studio album and in their 37 year as band.
And even more incredible is the fact that these veterans still can produce music with more character and class than their young competitors and with more fire and vitality than their contemporary peers.
"Sacrifice", the CD in question, is a terrific, appealing and solid recording in all aspects.
Produced by vocalist Biff Byford with Andy Sneap mixing it and Jacky Lehmann engineering, "Sacrifice" sounds million bucks.
The album includes all Saxon trademarks; it's heavy, it's melodic and it's powerful, but if you have followed the band in the last 25 years, you should know the NWOBHM style is gone since a long time.
Saxon is now, and particularly in this new kickin' album, a modern sounding Hard Rock act not afraid to include several Melodic Hard Rock touches.
Scarratt and Quinn make a mighty partnership ripping out muscle rippling riffs, firing out catchy motifs that have you hooked from the off, while Carter and Glockler really have the bass and drums locked into place with an assured and deserved confidence.
However, unlike most of the vocalists of his vintage, Biff really is still this band's strongest asset with his instantly likeable bellow still possessing an unrivalled story telling ability, while having lost none of its power, range or warmth.
After the short intro, "Sacrifice" finds Saxon hammering out a rush of guitars perfectly illustrated by the album's title track where a gang-shouted chorus backs up a darting riff, while crashing cymbals and clattering drums punctuate the vocals.
This is how albums are meant to begin, but then the full-pelt rampage of "Warriors Of The Road" where the sound of Formula 1 engines reminds of the band's classic 'Motorcycle Man', or the gut busting burst of "Stand Up And Fight", could easily have introduced this album in the same inimitable style.
Irish instruments add a different twist to the catchy as hell "Made In Belfast". Whilst the overall production of the song is modern with compressed synths padding out the verses and the vocal arrangement is truly melodic, the lyrics and chorus manage to offer that classic Saxon intensity and sound.
While in "Guardians Of The Tomb" the band slightly goes to a more Melodic Hard territory with great feeling, the aforementioned "Stand Up And Fight" will whisk listeners back to the muddy and piss-ridden days of Donnington.
"Walking The Steel" is what it is – Saxon at their best singing about alloy metal with profundity and bouncing riffs.
In truth though, for the full ten songs on show here, Saxon never put a foot wrong. Although a further special mention also needs to go to the spiralling riff of "Night Of The Wolf" and the strutting, preening "Standing In A Queue", the latter of which closes this album in fine, fine style.
"Sacrifice" is a superb rockin' album from a band that whilst still tapped into their own roots, keeps staying fresh and remaining relevant to new audiences.
There's something for everyone in "Sacrifice"; traditional melodic metal, modern hard rock and catchy melodic hard rock moments, all played with intense accomplished musicianship and deliverd with a first class production.
A deluxe 2CD version also will be available when the album gets officially released (February 22nd) featuring re-workings of tracks from the Saxon catalogue, some of them in orchestrated versions.
Saxon continue to release some of the best hard rocking stuff you could hope to hear. "Sacrifice" really is that good and should be recognised as such.
01 - Procession
02 - Sacrifice
03 - Made in Belfast
04 - Warriors of The Road
05 - Guardians of The Tomb
06 - Stand Up and Fight
07 - Walking the Steel
08 - Night of the Wolf
09 - Wheels of Terror
10 - Standing in a Queue
Biff Byford - Vocals
Paul Quinn - Guitars
Nigel Glockler - Drums
Nibbs Carter - Bass
Doug Scarratt - Guitars