Saturday, November 30, 2013

ZZ TOP - Eliminator [original mix] (2013)

ZZ TOP - Eliminator [original mix] (2013) full The Complete Studio Albums 1970 1990


Legends ZZ TOP finally have all have all their 1970-1990 albums remastered as it should be: in its original mix. On this just released box from Rhino Records, "ZZ Top - The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990 (Warner Bros. 8122-79664-2)", is exactly what you're getting at.

Back in 1987, at the dawn of the CD era, ZZ Top's label released a three-disc box set called ‘Six Pack’ that included the band’s first five albums plus their seventh. But someone decided to take the original recordings and remix them with added percussions and multi-track shifts. It wasn’t long before every ZZ Top CD for sale came like that.
This 10-disc ZZ Top: The Complete Studio Albums (1970-1990) rights these quarter-century wrongs by reissuing the LPs in their original mixes. And if that means some of them – like 1971’s ‘ZZ Top’s First Album’ – sound a bit sludgy, and others — like 1975’s part-live ‘Fandango!’ – aren’t as crisp or as clear as you once thought, at least the heavily processed mixes that have plagued the records for years are no longer around.

ZZ TOP - Eliminator [original mix] (2013) full The Complete Studio Albums 1970 1990 back cover

However - and despite its 'already '80s overproduced style - we have chosen "Eliminator" to present the box here: not only because it's a personal favorite, but also to show you how different this album sounded originally.
Most of you must have heard "Eliminator" on CD only, and it features the aforementioned 'remix'. If you have the vinyl LP you can tell the difference.

Revisiting "Eliminator" it’s amazing to hear how comparatively natural the record really sounds in its original mix. The synth pads and splashy drums don’t undermine the band’s songcraft or ability as players; Beard’s drums, to note just a third of ZZ Top, were already that precise.
This "ZZ Top - The Complete Studio Albums 1970-1990" box is a must have. The sound is awesome, there's a slick packaging with nicely-crafted mini jackets and replicated label art on each disc.
Highly Recommended.

ZZ TOP The Complete Studio Albums 1970 1990 full box cover

01 - Gimme All Your Lovin'
02 - Got Me Under Pressure
03 - Sharp Dressed Man
04 - I Need You Tonight
05 - I Got The Six
06 - Legs
07 - Thug
08 - TV Dinners
09 - Dirty Dog
10 - If I Could Only Flag Her Down
11 - Bad Girl

Billy Gibbons – guitar, vocals
Dusty Hill – bass, keyboards, vocals
Frank Beard – drums, percussion



SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens [2 CD] (2013-14)

SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens [2 CD] (2013-2014) full

* the real German release

On September this year, German hard rock legends SCORPIONS played three concerts in Athens, Greece under the banner "MTV Unplugged - Scorpions Live In Athens" at the Lycabettus Theatre over the roofs of the ancient city. For the first time in the history of the MTV Unplugged series, a concert in Greece under the open sky took place.
Only two and a half months after the shows, all will be released "SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens" on various formats.

Originally scheduled for November 29th, Sony has announced that the world release has been pushed-back to January 21, 2014.
However, the date is confirmed for the Japanese and German markets, where an exclusive deluxe collectors box including all formats, posters, a flag and more will be available today.

SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens [2 CD] (2013-2014) photo

Explain "MTV Unplugged - Scorpions Live In Athens" is really simple; Scorpions performed their biggest hits, album classics as well as some exclusive new songs in the typical sound and arrangement of "MTV Unplugged".
These versions are a lot more fun than other previous acoustic recordings by Klaus Meine & Co., featuring some unexpected guests such as Morten Harket (A-Ha), Johannes Strate (Revolverheld) and female singers Cäthe and Ina Muller.
If you like Scorpions (who does not) and the 'true unplugged' format, you will enjoy "MTV Unplugged - Scorpions Live In Athens" immensely.

SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens [2 CD] (2013-2014) back cover

CD 1:
01 - Sting In The Tail
02 - Can't Live Without You
03 - Pictured Life
04 - Speedy’s Coming
05 - Born To Touch Your Feelings
06 - The Best Is Yet To Come
07 - Dancing With The Moonlight
08 - In Trance (feat. Cäthe)
09 - When You Came Into My Live
10 - Delicate Dance (Matthias Solo)
11 - Love Is The Answer (Rudolf Solo)
12 - Follow Your Heart (Klaus Solo)

CD 2:
01 - Send Me An Angel
02 - Where The River Flows
03 - Passion Rules The Game
04 - Rock You Like A Hurricane (feat. Johannes Strate)
05 - Hit Between The Eyes
06 - Rock 'N' Roll Band
07 - Blackout
08 - Still Loving You
09 - Big City Nights
10 - Wind Of Change (feat. Morten Harket)
11 - No One Like You
12 - When The Smoke Is Going Down
13 - Where The River Flows (feat. Ina Muller) [bonus]

Rudolf Schenker — guitars, backing vocals, lead vocals
Klaus Meine — lead vocals, guitars
Matthias Jabs — guitars, backing vocals
James Kottak — percussion, drums, backing vocals
Paweł Maciwoda — bass, backing vocals

SCORPIONS - MTV Unplugged Live In Athens [2 CD] (2013-2014) inside

BUY IT ! (Germany only)


CAMEL - The Snow Goose [Re-Recorded] (2013)

CAMEL - The Snow Goose [Re-Recorded] (2013) full


CAMEL, one of the progressive rock’s most influential and loved bands has completely & lovingly Re-Recorded "The Snow Goose", their classic third opus.
Inspired by a short story written by Paul Gallico, this beautiful album was one of the band’s most popular releases, and it has been re-recorded and re-arranged by the 2013 line-up to coincide with their autumn European comeback tour.

The concept is not only a timeless story of love and war, it is a tale of dignity and kindness lifted to the heart on the wings of an injured Snow Goose through her unique relationship with two humans.
Dedicated to the memory of the co-writer and keyboard player on the original 1975 Vinyl LP Peter Bardens (1945 – 2002), and acknowledging the input from Doug Ferguson and Andy Ward for their contributions to the concept, development and recording of the original album, I can tell you that this brand new version of the classic "The Snow Goose" by everybody’s favourite symphonic prog band is superb.

CAMEL - The Snow Goose [Re-Recorded] (2013) booklet

From the line-up of Andy Latimer (guitars / flute / keyboards), Guy LeBlanc (keyboards), Colin Bass (bass) and Denis Clement (keyboards / drums / percussion), this new version basically remains faithful to the original, with some tracks revised slightly.
The tasty arrangements and enhancements made to the original for the recent stage presentation of "The Snow Goose" are perfect; with none of the charm of the original lost in translation.
This 2013 edition of the "The Snow Goose" features new artwork as well, and it's a must for Classic Prog fans.

CAMEL - The Snow Goose [Re-Recorded] (2013) photo

01. The Great Marsh (2:04)
02. Rhayadar (3:02)
03. Rhayadar Goes To Town (5:20)
04. Sanctuary [revised edition] (1:06)
05. Fritha (1:19)
06. Snow Goose (3:12)
07. Friendship (1:44)
08. Migration [revised edition] (2:02)
09. Rhayadar Alone [revised edition] (1:50)
10. Flight Of The Snow Goose (2:01)
11. Preparation (3:53)
12. Dunkirk (5:25)
13. Epitaph [revised edition] (2:07)
14. Fritha Alone (1:39)
15. Princesse Perdue (4:46)
16. The Great Marsh (1:34)

Andrew Latimer - Guitar, Vocals, Flute, Keyboards, Percussion
Colin Bass - Bass
Guy LeBlanc - Keyboards, Vocals
Denis Clement - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards



Thursday, November 28, 2013

ROYAL HUNT - A Life To Die For (2013)

ROYAL HUNT - A Life To Die For (2013) full


Danish / American rockers ROYAL HUNT has never done anything small or halfway, it's not in founder and keyboard player Andre Andersen's nature. For their twelfth album, "A Life To Die For" to be released by Frontiers Records, they've made things even big and better by recording with an orchestra and choir.

Most times this kind of addition is prominent and immense, offering the bombastic color required for Royal Hunt's melodic hard / metal, notably at the start with "Hell Comes Down From Heaven", later with "One Minute Left To Live" and "Won't Trust, Won't Fear, Won't Beg" (dig those booming kettle drums). Sometimes the orchestration is more subtle, more than a mere accent, but definitely not overwhelming as within "Sign Of Yesterday".
Royal Hunt / Andersen have produced a massive, overblown yet accessible album typified by the hugely enjoyable "A Bullet's Tale", then "Running Out Of Tears" has a more rock groove and catchy sing-a-long chorus.

ROYAL HUNT - A Life To Die For (2013) inside artwork

On "A Life To Die For" you have all the traditional Royal Hunt elements like Andersen's grand arrangements, DC Cooper's strong, focused vocals, a dynamic rhythm section and sharp guitar lines from Jonas Larsen.
Ramping up their game with an orchestra and choir makes this new record pure melodic, symphonic, hard / metal gluttony.
It's pure Royal Hunt, and it's all good.

01 - Hell Comes Down From Heaven
02 - A Ballet's Tale
03 - Running Out Of Tears
04 - One Minute Left To Live
05 - Sign Of Yesterday
06 - Won't Trust, Won't Fear, Won't Beg
07 - A Life To Die For

Andre Andersen - Keyboards
DC Cooper – Lead Vocals
Allan Sorensen – Drums
Andreas Passmark – Bass
Jonas Larsen – Lead Guitars
Guest musicians:
Kenny Lubcke, Alexandra Popova - backing vocals
Jacob Kjaer - guitar solo on “Running Out Of Tears”
Soma Allpass, Christina Lund, P. Skovgaard, C. Larsen - strings
Erik Rosenqvist, Mads Kofoed - brass, woodwinds
CV Company - choir
thanks to Craig Hartranft

ROYAL HUNT - A Life To Die For (2013) back cover



BLOODGOOD - Dangerously Close (2013)

BLOODGOOD - Dangerously Close (2013) full


American White Metal pioneers BLOODGOOD returns with "Dangerously Close", their first studio album in 22 years!
Commanded by founder Michael Bloodgood and original singer Les Carlsen, the band includes Paul Jackson on guitar, Kevin Whistler on drums and Stryper's guitarist Oz Fox as guest, who in fact recorded most the solos.

The music of "Dangerously Close" is focused on mid to latter Bloodgood period, leaning heavier melodic hard rock (one of the band's albums was already featured on this blog, look in 'Labels').
You'll note the '80s hard rockin' inspired melodies on tunes like "Lamb of God", the bouncy "Pray" or the darker "Man in the Middle". Things more akin to white metal come with "Run the Race", the groovy "In The Trenches" and "Child on Earth". Some of these might remind longtime fans of earlier material.
Then, with "Bread Alone" there's something more heavier with melting solos and modernized harmony vocals that work very well. You get one solid, bluesy ballad with "Father Father", however, more so with "Crush Me", a lighter acoustically layered short number.

BLOODGOOD - Dangerously Close (2013) inside cover

After 22 years, Bloodgood returned in great form with "Dangerously Close". Throughout there's sharp guitar riffs from Jackson and hot solos by Fox, while Les Carlsen sounds as strong as ever, even no different than 30 years ago.
Finally, as it were with most every album, you can't miss the obvious Christian message in some Bloodgood's lyrics. This was one aspect that Michael Bloodgood never compromised and that's a good thing because is one of the band's pillar identities.
Yet, for those who have some disdain for the 'white metal' bands and their message, I tell you that this album ROCKS; it's full of very strong classic American Melodic Hard Rock in the traditional (late '80s) vein of the genre.
Easily Recommended.

01. Lamb of God
02. Run Away
03. Child On Earth
04. I Will
05. Bread Alone
06. Pray
07. I Can Hold On
08. Run the Race
09. Father Father
10. Man in the Middle
11. Crush Me
12. In the Trenches

Michael Bloodgood - Bass, Backing Vocals
Les Carlsen - Lead Vocals
Paul Jackson - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Kevin Whisler - Drums
Oz Fox (Stryper) - guest Guitar



CRYSTAL BALL - Dawnbreaker (2013)

CRYSTAL BALL - Dawnbreaker (2013) full


One of my favorite acts ever out from Switzerland always have been the underrated CRYSTAL BALL, their first two albums are really fine staples of polished Melodic Hard Rock.
After a 6-year creative break original members Scott Leach and Marcel Sardella reformed the band with fresh blood and a great new frontman; Steven Mageney from Germany, and "Dawnbreaker" is the resulting CD to be released next week on December 2nd.

Also with a new bassist in Cris Stone, Crystal Ball is returning stronger than ever on "Dawnbreaker" as the creative break the band took should give the fans of the genre some of their strongest songwriting to date. Adding to their characteristic melodic sound a touch of heavier riffs, this new record is varied and really entertaining.
New singer Steven Mageney seems to be an experienced cat from the underground German scene as his large register is quite impactful and the power of his lungs perfectly match Crystal Ball's sound.
After the instrumental opener "Zarathustra" - their metal take on the 2001: Space Odyssey theme, "Break of Dawn" takes over with guitar squeals from Leach & Flury and a steady hard rock groove with loads of melodic qualities in line with bands like Bonfire or Pretty Maids.

CRYSTAL BALL - Dawnbreaker (2013) booklet

As said, we have varied materiel on offer here; there's a catchy sense on first single "Anyone Can Be Hero" (a highlight), "Power Pack" adds a bluesy touch to its hard rockin' pump, then "Walls Fall Down" and Back For Good" gets heavier and razor, something that has always been one of Crystal Ball's great strengths.
An interesting lyrical topic regarding the early air flight days takes place with "The Brothers Were Wright" - I love the play on words in the title alone, and fortunate for the listeners the main riff and chorus are as top notch to make this one of the best tracks on the album, along with a lead break that isn't merely breakneck note frenzy but thoughtful in construction.
Other songs that should gain hearty applause include the compelling ballad "Eternal Flame", while the bouncy mid-tempos "Skin To Skin" and the more steady "Stranded" finds Mageney stretching out his personality in the verses to give the band a different approach.

CRYSTAL BALL - Dawnbreaker (2013) band logo

Crystal Ball is a fantastic band with a brilliant sound, if you never heard of them you're missing something really good. They've lost nothing in their brief absence and return with solid and entertaining album of pure Euro Melodic Hard Rock in "Dawnbreaker".
This is one of these bands / albums that I enjoy with a plus because everything sounds clear and crisp, melodic but with an edge, rich on dynamics in terms of tempos.
It's great to have Crystal Ball back. And with a new terrific MHR album under their belt.

01 - Zarathustra
02 - Break Of Dawn
03 - Anyone Can Be A Hero
04 - The Brothers Were Wright
05 - Eternal Flame
06 - Skin To Skin
07 - Walls Fall Down
08 - Back For Good
09 - Power Pack
10 - Stranded
11 - Sun Came Out

Steven Mageney - Vocals
Markus Flury - Lead, Rhythm Guitar
Scott Leach - Lead, Rhythm Guitar
Cris Stone - Bass
Marcel Sardella - Drums

Pre Order:


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

John Lees' BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - North (2013)

John Lees' BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - North (2013) full


After a break from recording for almost fifteen years veteran English rock band BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST have returned with a fine collection of songs, the CD entitled "North", which band leader John Lees hinted might be their final album.
Since Barclay James Harvest began working in the late 1960s, they have moved through several creative periods, drawing in different stages of their careers on orchestral work, prog and pop in the '70s, before re-launching themselves as European stadium rock / AOR band in the '80s, while the '90s were dominated by creative tensions between the different songwriters and their favoured styles - culminating in the dissolution of the original band in 1997.
This is John Lees' (founder of BJH) version of the band which have sought to continue the classic rock & prog sound of the band earlier, most creatively fertile period.

"North" is a distinctively Barclay James Harvest album with all the trademarks of that name; great melodies, interesting arrangements, lyrical intrigue, lush vocal harmonies, solid rhythms, moody keyboards and soaring guitar lines constructed with an extreme delicacy.
There are however a few surprises in store as there are new departures to be found on "North" as well as the band explore new territories in several of the songs.
John Lees has always been a superb guitar player and he still has a fantastic voice, complemented by bassist Craig Fletcher who also takes the lead vocal role on some tracks, the effective Jez Smith on keyboards and drummer Kev Whitehead.

John Lees' BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - North (2013) booklet

Things get off to a lukewarm start with the poppy prog of "If You Were Here Now" sung by Fletcher and with some fine musicianship especially from the keyboards which support and enhance the song magnificently. It's always nice to hear a classic Hammond in the mix, and there's a brief but elegant guitar break that slowly builds before the chorus returns, but then John Lees is usually a very fluid and elegiac player.
Next up is the tranquil "Ancient Waves" a classic John Lees' song invoking their great anti-war anthems of the '70s. Opening with just guitar, keyboards and cymbals and sounding like the aural equivalent of the tide coming in and then receding once more, before an acoustic guitar is gently strummed leading into the verse. A wonderfully piano line and guitar solo that follow each other in moments that are simply sublime make this one of my favourite tracks on the CD.
More surprises arrive with "In Wonderland", a breezy AORish mid-tempo song that could have easily come from the other side of the Atlantic in the hands of Steely Dan. Imbedded in heavy keyboard layers it proves that this band is capable of playing very different styles of music.

"On Leave" is one of the more ambitious offerings, sounding like a collaborative effort from several band members. BJH goes back to their roots and do so very convincingly on a stunning long piece that grows and grows with every listen. A haunting melody, great symphonic middle section with outbursts of guitar, Mellotron, bass and organ ending with a return of the leading theme.
"The Real Deal" shows the rocky side of Lees' Barclay James Harvest where Craig Fletcher's bass and Whitehead on drums take the lead here and make it a rather straightforward rockin' song. Fletcher remains at the microphone for one of the albums strongest offerings, the bittersweet ballad "On Top Of The World" including really original wind instruments from North England. An absolutely beautiful, haunting and tasteful song.
Title track "North" is again classic BJH, a very strong and attractive melody that immediately appeals and stays in your memory for many days. It is sung in turn by Fletcher / Lees and contains a very nice long and typical Lees' guitar solo. The song pays tribute to the region they all come from and does so in a really respectful way. The bass playing in the coda is very good too, leading fluently into "At the End of the Day" clocking in at a little over two and a half minutes, a Mellotron/piano backed traditional poem read by Lees. It is reminiscent of the Moody Blues in their heyday.

John Lees' BARCLAY JAMES HARVEST - North (2013) back cover

There is only one conclusion to draw: "North" is a very convincing, very tasteful and beautiful album for John Lees' Barclay James Harvest. It's taken 14 years but it has been worth the wait as this is one of the best albums by any version of BJH since their seventies classics.
If you never heard about Barclay James Harvest's art, think Crossover Prog; there's classic progressive elements but it goes much, much far beyond that, adding to their musical recipe some commercial rock, elegant pop, British classic rock and more.
"North" is a very varied record and a fine addition to the body of work that Barclay James Harvest has previously given us, both looking back to the past but also giving a nod towards the future.
I recommend it highly with no hesitation, this is a hugely enjoyable album, one that will delight any fan of well crafted classic rock music.

01 - If You Were Here Now
02 - Ancient Waves
03 - In Wonderland
04 - On Leave
05 - The Real Deal
06 - On Top of the World
07 - Unreservedly Yours
08 - North
09 - The End of the Day

John Lees - Guitar, Vocals
Craig Fletcher - Bass, Backing Vocals
Kevin Whitehead - Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Jez Smith - Keyboards



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

NIGHT RANGER - Big In Japan [2 CD] (2013)

NIGHT RANGER - Big In Japan [2 CD] (2013) full


American Melodic Hard Rock kings NIGHT RANGER are releasing "Big In Japan", a phenomenal live show recorded at Akasaka Blitz, Tokyo, Japan in 1997 at the peak of the band’s career, available as 2-CD Digipak with a bonus interview part.

As Melodic Hard Rock fan, if you were a teen in the '80s, you had a Night Ranger cassette, it was religion you had to have one. And I am not talking about "Sister Christian" - which it is an awesome song, but "Goodbye", "Secret of my Success", "Sing me Away", "Don’t Tell Me You Love Me", these are those that hit the radio and you are immediately taken back to that time when you first discovered them.
Founder members Jack Blades and Brad Gillis had other successful projects as well, but they always seem to be faithful to the Night Ranger. And Night Ranger 2013, while some pieces may have changed, they still have the core and that being those two and Kelly Keagy.

NIGHT RANGER - Big In Japan [2 CD] (2013) booklet

Question is; we need another Night Ranger live album? Oh yes, you never have enough Night Ranger.
These awesome musicians always deliver the goods, and you can't resist to listen their songs again and again.
This live record is not hard to love, what it is hard to believe is that it is really all live. The sound is so slick and polished that you know they must have added some touches in the studio... so, it is pointless? Not at all. I love my Night Ranger glossy as ever.
You have the classics into some kind of extended versions, and I love it. The plus factor are the solos; Gillis & Jeff Watson are simply out of this world, and the rest of the guys were at the top of their game that night in Tokio.

NIGHT RANGER - Big In Japan [2 CD] (2013) back cover

Oh yes, I never have enough Night Ranger.
"Big In Japan" = Huge

CD 1:
01 - Neverland
02 - Touch Of Madness
03 - My Elusive Mind
04 - Sing Me Away
05 - Someday I Will
06 - Brad Gillis Solo
07 - Rumors In The Air
08 - Jeff Watson Solo
09 - Eddie's Coming Out Tonight
10 - Sentimental Street
11 - Goodbye

CD 2:
01 - Forever All Over Again
02 - Slap Like Being Born
03 - When You Close Your Eyes
04 - New York Time
05 - Don't Tell Me You Love Me
06 - Sister Christian
07 - (You Can Still) Rock America
08 - Interview With Brad Gillis and Kelly Keagy

Jack Blades - bass, lead & backing vocals
Kelly Keagy - drums, percussion, lead & backing vocals
Brad Gillis - guitar, backing vocals
Jeff Watson - guitar, backing vocals
Alan Fitzgerald - keyboards

NIGHT RANGER - Big In Japan [2 CD] (2013) cd photo



CAROUSEL VERTIGO - Mighty (2013)

CAROUSEL VERTIGO - Mighty (2013) full


There's been some interesting things happening in the world of Classic Rock over the last couple of years with a batch of new bands coming to the fore carrying on the traditional rock & roll approach for the next generation whilst at the same time putting their own slant on things.
In addition to the likes of Rival Sons and The Answer, one such act are American / French act CAROUSEL VERTIGO and their truly good debut CD "Mighty".

Carousel Vertigo is the brainchild of two individuals brought together by a love of guitars and classic rock sounds. Jansen Press and Vincent Martinez, both endorsed by Gibson Guitars, found themselves sharing a stage during a jam session at a music trade fair in Paris back in 2009 and the seeds were sown for what was to become Carousel Vertigo.
At a later fair in Birmingham the pair were spotted jamming again this time by a business partner of Rick Parfitt from Status Quo and the band subsequently supported Quo in 2010 and again in 2012.
After listening "Mighty" you can't believe this is a debut record: Carousel Vertigo are masters in classic, bluesy infused hard rock drawing together elements of big names in the genre, with an extremely polished and melodious sound. With two virtuoso guitarists in the band the album could have turned into an ego massaging exercise, but the guys have resisted that temptation and have instead focused on writing solid rockin' songs.

CAROUSEL VERTIGO - Mighty (2013) inside

Opener "Mighty Good Woman" is a powerful introduction to this 10-track slice of classic rockers, their version of Leon Russell's "Help Me Through the Day" offers a bluesier element, and Quo's bassman John Rhino Edwards helped with the hot stomper "3rd Degree", a real rocking number complete with some honky tonk piano for good measure.
There is a quality and polish to tracks such as "Long Highway", "Last Call for Love" or "Dog For A Bone" and Martinez’ vocals are suitably earthy and passionate as, indeed, they are for most of the album, while lead single "I’m A Comin’ World" is a solid mid-paced rocker which showcases all the band’s different aspects and influences to good effect.
The standout track, however, is the magnificent and drunkenly sordid "I’m Your Man", which very much not only mirrors the classic Aerosmith ballads but also invites you to the bar for a swig of a damn fine bourbon.

"Mighty" oozes melody and downright organic songwriting talent through these vital, dual Gibson lead guitar-driven songs, all delivered in an extremely polished way.
Carousel Vertigo combine the most thrilling elements of the seventies and early eighties and rework these influences to create stunning, classy and original rock n’ roll that grips the listener from the very first hearing.
This is a great debut album from the guys and one that hints at a good future ahead. One for any discerning Classic Rock lover.
Very Recommended.

01 - Mighty Good Woman
02 - I'm A Comin' World
03 - Long Highway
04 - I'm Your Man
05 - 3rd Degree
06 - Dog For A Bone
07 - Help Me Through the Day
08 - Better Be Wanting Me
09 - Howl At the Moon
10 - Last Call for Love

Vincent Martinez - Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Drums
Jansen Press - Guitars, Bass, Backing Vocals, Percussion
Jimmy Montout - Drums, Percussion
Jolynn Daniel - Acoustic Guitar, Backing Vocals, Percussion
John Deaderick - Hammond B3, Piano
Julien Audigier - Drums on "Last Call For Love"
Thomas D'Arbigny - Backing Vocals on "Last Call For Love"



DAVID LEE ROTH - Greatest Hits The Deluxe Edition (2013)

DAVID LEE ROTH - Greatest Hits The Deluxe Edition (2013) full


Van Halen frontman DAVID LEE ROTH has released a new CD+DVD package, "Greatest Hits/The Deluxe Edition" featuring classic songs and videos from his multi-platinum releases 'Crazy From The Heat', 'Eat 'Em And Smile' and 'Skyscraper', as well as and chart-topping rock radio tracks from his albums 'A Lil' Ain’t Enough' and 'Your Filthy Little Mouth'.

Roth personally selected and sequenced the newly remastered songs and the videos for this collection which includes new artwork and photos and printed lyrics to all songs. The DVD contains 9 classic MTV videos, including the entire 'Dave TV' Warner Home Video release for the very first time on DVD format.
To be honest, the video quality is not the best you can find around, but what matters here is the main audio disc.

You have the entire 'Crazy From The Heat' EP and the best songs from his solo years together with guitar wizards Steve Vai and Jason Becker like "Goin' Crazy", "Yankee Rose", "Just Like Paradise" and the underrated gem "Sensible Shoes" just to name some, all in one CD and with an excellent 2013 remastered sound.
It's Diamond Dave's classic era, and it's good.

Remaster 2013

01. California Girls
02. Just A Gigolo
03. Easy Street
04. Coconut Grove
05. Just Like Paradise
06. A Little Luck
07. I'm Easy
08. Tobacco Road
09. Goin' Crazy
10. Yankee Rose
11. A Lil' Ain't Enough
12. Sensible Shoes
13. Hey, You Never Know
14. Hot Dog And A Shake
15. Land's Edge
16. No Big 'Ting

David Lee Roth - vocals
Steve Vai, Jason Becker - guitar
Billy Sheehan, Matt Bissonette - bass
Gregg Bissonette - drums



PHASE II PHASE - Origin (2013)

PHASE II PHASE - Origin (2013) full


A new Melodic Rock / AOR combo arrives from a lately fertile ground for the genre: Spain. They are PHASE II PHASE with their debut CD "Origin" strongly influenced by the '80s European sound, particularly Scandinavian.

The original germ of Phase to Phase born in 2010 when Jose L. Gallera (Bass, Backing Vocals) and Jorge Gomez (Keyboards) quit the rock band Arianne to give shape to an own project inspired by the Swedish & Norwegian AOR bands which were part of their musical background during their teens.
Guitarist & singer Zalo Lopez, born and grew up in Stockholm but with Spanish origins was the missing piece to complete Phase to Phase's shape, and together started to write songs and track down some demos.

Recorded in Madrid by Toni Sánchez Gil (Manakel, Offtopic), produced by themselves and mastered in Sweden by Peter In De Betou (Arch Enemy, Firewind, Opeth), "Origin" features the guest appearances of Ignacio Prieto (Eden Lost) and Alberto García from cult Spanish hard rockers Beethoven R.

You can note here that Jorge Gomez is the musical director in Phase II Phase as all the tunes are profusely keyboard-driven full of swirls and cand-floss synths straight from the Scandinavian book.

The Classic Scandi AOR / MR sound of Da Vinci, Return or Skagarack are embedded on catchy numbers like "Yesterday's Lie", "Walking Away", "Face To Face", "Wild Horses" and "Living It Up", the latter a bit harder recalling Swedes Roulette.
Some American influences arise on the mid-tempo tracks "Destiny" and "Under Pressure" akin Night Ranger, while the semi-ballad "Here Comes the Rain" is a gentle melodic rocker a with a little bluesy touch.
Although keyboard dominated "Origin" features quite strong riffs and solos by Zalo Lopez which provides an extra strength to the sound, and while his lead vocals result an acquired taste (there's a noticeable accent on many tracks), the band's output is solid as whole.

PHASE II PHASE - Origin (2013) inside

Rescuing the true Scandi sound & style from the second half of the eighties, Phase II Phase showcases their profound love for the genre on "Origin". These guys still need to improve on various departments but they're for sure a promising band to keep an eye on their next steps.
If keyboard-driven AOR / Melodic Rock in the vein of the aforementioned acts or recent outfits like Wild Rose, Osukaru and Diamond Dawn are your thing, you should give to "Origin" a proper spin.

01 - Yesterday's Lie
02 - Panic in the Street
03 - Living It Up
04 - Walking Away
05 - Destiny
06 - Right Between the Eyes
07 - Under Pressure
08 - Face to Face
09 - Here Comes the Rain
10 - Wild Horses

Zalo Lopez - Vocals, Guitar
Alfredo Clemente - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jose L. Gallera - Bass, Backing Vocals
Stelian Cotet - Drums
Jorge Gomez - Keyboards



Sunday, November 24, 2013

ANGELICA - Thrive [Japanese Edition] (2013)

ANGELICA - Thrive [Japanese Edition] (2013) full


Swedish singer Angelica Rylin fronts Metal band The Murder Of My Sweet, often compared with Nightwish and Delain, but now she is debuting as solo artist for Frontiers Records with "Thrive", a pure modern AOR / Melodic Rock CD to be released next month but just appeared (as usually, first) in Japan.

Skilfully produced and conducted by talented Daniel Flores (who recently released another AOR gem with Find Me), "Thrive" packs all the necessary elements to please fans of the genre; Angelica designates Robin Beck, Ann Wilson (Heart) and Leigh Matty (Romeo's Daughter) as her heroes and main influences on this record and yes, she succeeds very well to transport this '80s mood in each song on the CD.
Tons of swirling keyboards, vocal harmonies and polished guitars provide the right feeling. As in any AOR project that respects itself nowadays, Angelica enlists almost all the elite of contemporary Melodic Rock scene such as Harry Hess, Robert Sall (Work Of Art), Anders Wigelius (who also did backing vocals) and Alessandro Del Vecchio contributing in the songwriting, while Jesper Stromblad (In Flames), Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear), Per Berquist (Smash Into Pieces) and keyboardist Matt Guillory (James LaBrie) guest playing on some tracks.

You get some real rockers with "Breaking My Heart", "I Am Strong", "You Will Never Win" and "Riding Out The Storm", all of which move with a deep toe-tapping groove.
Several songs blur the line between anthem and power ballad like the Robin Beck reminiscent of "Can't Stop Love" with a beautiful piano-led intro and a build into a crescendo of a chorus, the FM-tastic "Nothing Else You Can Break" and the stunning "Losers In Paradise" both examples of how Rylin can go from subtle to soaring in her voice with effortless ease.
One the best songs that showcases her voice but also strength of lyrics, arrangements and musicianship is the rhythmic "This Kiss Is Just For You", a true, bright, quite catchy AOR rocker.

Taken under the wings of Mr. Daniel Flores, Angelica heads out to the world with an album full of classic melodic hard rock and AOR tunes which instantly nest between the ears.
Soaring melodies and choruses, toneful arranged and composed songs with a smell of '80s grandeur are brought together with a pompous and powerful sound by Flores over which Angelica Rylin shines covering a lot of ground in range.
File "Thrive" next to your favorite Robin Beck, Issa and Romeo's Daughter records.
Highly Recommended.

1. Breaking My Heart
2. I Am Strong
3. To Your Rescue
4. Can't Stop Love
5. Nothing Else You Can Break
6. Riding Out The Storm
7. Rain On My Parade
8. Losers In Paradise
9. You Will Never Win
10. This Kiss Is Just For You
11. I'm Not Waiting
12. Take Me To Your Heart
13. Can't Stop Love (Alternative Mix) [Japanese bonus]

Angelica Rylin - lead and backing vocals
Per Bergquist - guitars
Daniel Flores -drums, keyboards, producer, backing vocals
Johan Niemann - bass
Matt Guillory - keyboard solo on track 12
Jesper Stromblad - guitar solo on track 2
Magnus Karlsson - guitar solo on track 1
Mats Lindfors - guitar solo on tracks 4 and 5
Anders Wigelius - backing vocals



Friday, November 22, 2013

SAXON - Unplugged And Strung Up (2013)

SAXON - Unplugged And Strung Up (2013) the real one full

*  the real one

There is always feral beauty in a raging beast... and with "Unplugged and Strung Up", SAXON's selection of unique, fresh and adventurous interpretations of material previously heard only with raw heavy metal thunder, the point is triumphantly underscored.
"Unplugged and Strung Up" reveals layers and pieces previously dormant in many of the 14 classic Saxon songs chosen for this awesome makeover, thanks to some ear-catching new arrangements and mixes.
Recorded, mixed and mastered with Andy Sneap in Derbyshire, UK earlier this year, Biff Byford and Co. re-evaluated, re-worked and re-energized the towering likes of "The Eagle Has Landed" and "Crusader" by introducing orchestral dynamics to offer added dimension.

Saxon are showing here three distinct new dimensions to their music, the first of which is re-records and remixes. The disc opens with a remix of "Stallions of the Highway", first seen on their 1979 debut album. This extended version is full of energy, with more forceful heavy guitars and powerful vocals than the original, but retains that classic metal sound.
Similarly with re-records "Forever Free" and "Just Let Me Rock", a more clean-cut sound is the only notable difference. However, it should be said that the latter is up there with the likes of Twisted Sister’s ‘I Wanna Rock’ as rock ‘n’ roll anthems go.

SAXON - Unplugged And Strung Up (2013) booklet

The second aspect of "Unplugged and Strung Up" are the orchestral tracks, which gives a whole new vibe to the record. "Crusader", at a first listen, is almost overwhelming. The orchestral element really comes through, and this delicate yet impressive touch makes it even more epic than the original.
With songs like "The Eagles Has Landed", "Red Star Falling" and "Call to Arms", the orchestral versions show a more stripped back side, sense of grandeur to Saxon. It even gives a modern feel to track "Broken Heroes", which is the first 'contemporary' track heard on the album.

The final element of this CD is definitely great: the acoustic tracks are gentle, almost elegant - words we would never usually associate with Saxon. We’ve heard Saxon blast out huge riffs and mighty vocals for over thirty years now, but the acoustic version of "Frozen Rainbow" is something totally new, which transports it into a power ballad to be proud of. And captivating for sure.
It’s like they’re taking a breath of fresh air and exhaling something pure, wholesome and organic in the form of acoustic tracks. Their riffs are still as compelling on a nylon guitar, their vocals are still as powerful when stripped back.
It’s different, but that’s exactly what we want from this album. On "Requiem", layers of folksy acoustic riffs are blended with metalized vocals. An unusual combination that simply works stupendous.

"Unplugged and Strung Up" finishes with its stand-out track; "Coming Home" has a country-style intro, enhanced when the tambourine kicks in. There’s a real hillbilly feel to this track, and that’s what’s so great about it - it takes the misconception that bands like Saxon only sound one way and throws it right back in your face. Of course, the defining vocals arestill there but, that aside, "Coming Home" sounds nothing like a classic metal track. It encapsulates the point of the album perfectly.

SAXON - Unplugged And Strung Up (2013) back cover

What Saxon have done on "Unplugged and Strung Up" is to re-imagine a set of tracks that spans from the 1979 debut right up to more recent releases. When Hollywood re-imagines old movies they ruin; when Saxon re-imagine their songs they produce new and excellent versions.
This album really is not what it first appears, well not if you judge it solely on its title anyway. You see only the last four tracks of this fourteen track album are actually acoustic. A further five tunes (‘Crusader’, ‘The Eagle Has Landed’, ‘Red Star Falling’, ‘Broken Heroes’, and ‘Call To Arms’) get the orchestral makeover that warrants the Strung Up element of the album title, with the remaining five songs either remixed or recorded slabs of classic Saxon metal.
So it’s hardly what I would call an acoustic album, not by a long shot. And all the three elements work great as a whole.

There will be two versions of the album available; the standard single CD of "Unplugged And Strung Up" comes in a jewel case and a double-vinyl gatefold sleeve. The digipak will be a two-disc version featuring the 2002’s re-recorded greatest hits package ‘Heavy Metal Thunder’ as bonus disc.
But what you really need is "Unplugged And Strung Up", a highly recommended addition to your music collection.

01. Stallions Of The Highway (Remix)
02. Crusader (Orchestrated Version)
03. Battle Cry
04. The Eagle Has Landed (Orchestrated Version)
05. Red Star Falling (Orchestrated Version)
06. Broken Heroes (Orchestrated Version)
07. Call To Arms (Orchestrated Version)
08. Militia Guard
09. Forever Free (Re-recorded Version)
10. Just Let Me Rock (Re-recorded Version)
11. Frozen Rainbow (Acoustic Version)
12. Iron Wheels (Live Acoustic Version)
13. Requiem (Acoustic Version)
14. Coming Home (Acoustic Version)

Biff Byford - Vocals
Paul Quinn - Guitars
Doug Scarratt - Guitars
Nibbs Carter - Bass
Nigel Glockler - Drums



MICHAEL SCHENKER's Temple Of Rock - Bridge The Gap (2013)

MICHAEL SCHENKER's Temple Of Rock - Bridge The Gap (2013) full


Legendary German guitarist MICHAEL SCHENKER is back with a new album, "Bridge The Gap", that will do just what it says - it's the record that will find Schenker returning to the major leagues in the very near future. It's filled with great riffs, compelling melodies, the best set of songs on a Schenker project in ages, and it finally sounds like Mr. Schenker is back in a band: his Temple Of Rock.

The last five years have seen Michael steadily climbing and gaining confidence along the way - once hindered by the anxieties of stage fright, and all-to-many incidents of infamy, it would appear that the guitar master has settled into a place in which he finds peace, and full command of his considerable creativity. I don't know of a hard rock guitarist who doesn't hold the man in high esteem, and now they'll be back to chasing his lead.
"Bridge The Gap" continues Schenker’s fine run of form. It is a coherent and consistent album delivering 13 full-on tracks of hard, fast, melodic heavy rock, plus a trademark opening instrumental effortlessly delivered by a highly competent band which, in addition to songwriting partner and vocalist Doogie White, consists of Wayne Findlay (keyboards and 7-string guitar), and the former Scorpions rhythm section of Herman Rarebell (drums) and Francis Buchholz (bass).
Scotsman White is likeable and enthusiastic, and that energy has transferred well to the album. Rarebell and Buchholz are rock steady and admirably efficient. And Findlay, as always, provides understated and selfless support.

MICHAEL SCHENKER's Temple Of Rock - Bridge The Gap (2013) booklet

While there are particular tracks on the record that shine, and everyone will have their favourites, it’s Schenker’s all-round performance that lifts the album comfortably above the also-rans. Indeed, he sounds truly unfettered as he solos majestically throughout, and it’s a joy to hear.
“I had the same drive making this album as I had when I was 16,” says Schenker. “It felt like bridging the gap from my teenage and Lovedrive years to what I am doing now.”

Given this desire to blend the old and the new, Doogie White has proved to be an astute choice of singer. He often performs under the influence of the great Ronnie James Dio, and both his vocal style and experience make it easy for the band to reference and celebrate the rock tradition of which Schenker is part, but from which he has sometimes seemed disconnected.
"To Live For The King", for example, invites comparisons with White’s former band Rainbow, while there’s a touch of Heaven and Hell-era Sabs about "Shine On" and "Bridges We Have Burned". On a similar theme, there’s just a hint of Kashmir in the riff and keyboard lines on "Temple of the Holy", a track that also features Schenker at his absolute best with some trademark guitar work through the chorus and a great solo to fade.
The celebratory vibe is even more apparent on "Rock 'n' Roll Symphony" with White tying a number of classic rock song titles together in an entertaining lyric.

MICHAEL SCHENKER's Temple Of Rock - Bridge The Gap (2013) digipak

There are other stand outs; "Where the Wild Winds Blow" builds ominously before breaking into a catchy and melodic chorus which complements Schenker’s playing perfectly. It also features an unexpected classical guitar interlude mid-track against a warm choral backdrop.
"Lord of the Lost and Lonely", with its vaguely Celtic vibe, is also a melodic winner and strikes me as a not-too-distant cousin of Victim Of Illusion from the very first MSG album. "Because You Lied" is perhaps the most unusual track on the album featuring a jabbing riff from Schenker, some insistent tub thumping from Rarebell, and a different kind of vocal from Doogie.
But the pick of the bunch is possibly the slightly quirky "Dance for the Pipe", the kind of track – blending complementary vocal and guitar melodies – that is part of Schenker’s distinctive contribution to hard rock.

"Bridge The Gap" brings Michael Schenker at the top of his game riding higher in the saddle than he has in decades, rifling off riffs that make you ask 'How does he do that?' soloing with smoldering intensity and his trademark melodicism, and writing tunes you want to hear again and again.
Whist the mad axeman's guitar playing is why we attend, this record finds him partnered with veteran shouter Doogie White: the singing Scotsman has written the best melodies and lyrics to be heard on a Schenker project in a great many years, and there is something magical that happens when Michael is matched up with his Scorpions brothers, Herman Rarebell and Francis Buccholz.
Everyone on "Bridge The Gap" is playing at their apex, and they're reaching deeper and mining pure gold.
Highly Recommended.

01. Neptune Rising
02. Where The Wild Winds Blow
03. Horizons
04. Lord Of The Lost And Lonely
05. Rock'n'roll Symphony
06. To Live For The King
07. Land Of Thunder
08. Temple Of The Holy
09. Shine On
10. Bridges We Have Burned
11. Because You Lied
12. Black Moon Rising
13. Dance For The Piper

Michael Schenker (guitar)
Doogie White (vocals)
Herman Rarebell (drums)
Francis Buchholz (bass)
Wayne Findlay (guitar, keyboards)
Produced by Michael Schenker and Michael Voss

MICHAEL SCHENKER's Temple Of Rock - Bridge The Gap (2013) disc



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013)

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013) full


There's great news for YES fans; a brand-new limited edition box set entitled "High Vibration" has been released in Japan, newly mastering the prog heroes’ Atlantic/ATCO albums on hybrid SACD.
High Vibration packs 16 discs of Yes material from 1969 to 1987, featuring all of the band’s studio albums from that time period including the double 1973′s live Yessongs all in replica paper-sleeve packaging, plus an awesome Bonus Disc of rarities, bonus tracks and remixes.

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013)box photo

The mastering on these discs (newly created 2013 SACD Masters at 96khz/24bit) were handled by Isao Kikuchi, who has performed high-quality mastering for a great number of international artists, while Japanese producer Shin Katayama was chosen by Warner Music Japan as this project's supervisor.
Needless to say, the sound quality is superb, and the glossy box includes a 200-page book.

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013) booklet

Apart from the complete studio albums, "High Vibration" includes a great Bonus Disc full of must-haves.
You have the 1991 Move Yourself Mix of megahit "Owner of a Lonely Heart" commissioned to promote the Yesyears box set, the slick and more commercial remix of "Big Generator", the rare B-sides "Abilene", "Dear Father" and the holiday single "Run With The Fox" amongst other rarities.
Great stuff.

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013) cd photo


1. Something’s Coming (single version 1969)
from YES (single A-side)
2. Dear Father (1970)
from TIME AND A WORD (single B-side)
3. Roundabout (single version)
from the single ‘Roundabout’ (1972)
4. America (1972)
from The New Age of Atlantic compilation U.K. (1972)
5. Total Mass Retain (single B-side 1972)
6. Soon (single version) (1975)
from RELAYER (single A-side)
7. Abilene (1978)
from TORMATO (B-side to 'Don’t Kill the Whale')
8. Run Through the Light (Single Version) (1980)
from DRAMA (single A-side)
9. Run with the Fox (1981)
from YESYEARS (C. Squire & A. White single A-side)
10. Owner of a Lonely Heart (Move Yourself Mix)
from 12″ single 1991
11. Leave It (remix) (1983)
from 90125 (single A-side)
12. Big Generator (remix)
from ‘Ultimate YES:The 35th Anniversary’ 2003

YES - High Vibration SACD Box Japan [Bonus Disc WPCR-14678] (2013) back cover



YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013)

YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013) full


There's great news for YES fans; a brand-new limited edition box set entitled "High Vibration" has been released in Japan, newly mastering the prog heroes’ Atlantic/ATCO albums on hybrid SACD.
High Vibration packs 16 discs of Yes material from 1969 to 1987, featuring all of the band’s studio albums from that time period including the double 1973′s live Yessongs all in replica paper-sleeve packaging, plus an awesome Bonus Disc of rarities, bonus tracks and remixes.

YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013) box photo

The mastering on these discs (newly created 2013 SACD Masters at 96khz/24bit) were handled by Isao Kikuchi, who has performed high-quality mastering for a great number of international artists, while Japanese producer Shin Katayama was chosen by Warner Music Japan as this project's supervisor.
Needless to say, the sound quality is superb, and the glossy box includes a 200-page book.

YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013) booklet

From the bunch, we have chosen "Big Generator", the more 'eighties' sounding YES album ever, co-produced by talented guitarist Trevor Rabin. The record was successful commercially, with two songs reaching the US Top 40: "Love Will Find a Way" (also a No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock chart) and "Rhythm Of Love" (their last US Top 40 hit).
The pristine, polished sound production of "Big Generator" never sounded better than on this fresh 2013 remaster.

YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013) cd photo


01 - Rhythm Of Love
02 - Big Generator
03 - Shoot High Aim Low
04 - Almost Like Love
05 - Love Will Find A Way
06 - Final Eyes
07 - I'm Running
08 - Holy Lamb (Song For Harmonic Convergence)

Jon Anderson – lead and backing vocals
Trevor Rabin – lead and backing vocals, guitars, keyboards
Tony Kaye – keyboards, organ, piano, synthesizers
Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
Alan White – drums, percussion
String Arrangements by Trevor Rabin
Produced by Trevor Rabin, Trevor Horn & Paul De Villiers

YES - Big Generator [High Vibration SACD Box Japan] (2013) back cover



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LION TWIN - Nashville (2013)

LION TWIN - Nashville (2013) full


LION TWIN is a new German band founded in the early summer of 2011 by Liane Vollmer-Sturm (vocals) and Jan Koemmet (guitar), being "Nashville" their debut CD to be released by Fastball / Soul Food Records in a few days.
Don't be fooled by the album's title as has nothing in common with the music emerging from that city, Lion Twin plays Euro Melodic Hard Rock with more than interesting twists in its conception.

The name "Nashville" it's a homage by Jan and Liane to the city which is also known as 'Music City USA' and, like no other city, has had such a decisive influence on contemporary music. The title was also chosen because the album was mixed & mastered in the US by the legendary Michael Wagener who lives and works in Nashville.
As said, Lion Twin's musical style is build around the '80s patterns of Euro Melodic Hard Rock but weaves in today’s musical taste in the genre. You can hear that Wagener really has helped the shape the sound of the record as everything results polished, crisp and clear.
Liane’s elaborated and multi-layered vocals – deep, expressive and very broad – are the hallmark of Lion Twin. Each piece is different and contains surprises that never interrupt the flow of the song and yet make you curious to listen for more.
You have the typical riffs of the genre, strong melodies and a bouncy rhythm section, but these guys are trying something different here. And it's really refreshing for Melodic Hard Rock fans.

LION TWIN - Nashville (2013) inside cover

Lion Twin delivers traditional melodious hard rockers such as "Ready To Rock", the stomper "Eco Warrior" (great guitar work) or the razor "Day Of Anger" featuring Accept's Udo Dirkschneider on a duet, but there's also unconventional tracks for the genre, especially regarding the songwriting mould and arrangements.
Classical motifs – especially from Richard Wagner – as well as musical quotations from church music are woven into some songs blended with thick rockin' riffs. Take as example "Behold The Man" which begins in great form with a Pipe organ line, but then develops into a marching rocker.
"Tristan & Isolde" also mix epic emotions and vintage keyboards with a hard rock vibe, the chorus is catchy and contagious, while "Notung" explores a broken rhythm escaping from the clichés of the genre.

On the more melodious side, "When The Lights Go On" is a superb moody midtempo adorned with vasty and unusual harmony vocals, "Far Away" has a strong new wave of Swedish MHR feel and "Wings Of Love" is a beautifully crafted ballad with acoustics, strings and distinctive lead vocals.

LION TWIN - Nashville (2013) back cover

Lion Twin is a rare beast in the present overcrowded Melodic Hard Rock scene, an act to take seriously as true innovators of the genre. "Nashville" is refreshing, different, and not only on the songwriting department.
They own an ace of spades in the terrific Liane Vollmer-Sturm, a dexterous female singer able to perfectly set the mood for each song with a huge range, lots of power and empathy. Jan Koemmet is also a revelation, both his rhythm & lead guitar work is intense and effective, with a really modern sound set-up.
Add to this a top notch production and we have one of the best, original and creative debuts appeared recently in the genre.
Very Recommended.

01 - Ready To Rock
02 - Day Of Anger (feat. Udo Dirkschneider)
03 - When The Lights Go On
04 - Tristan & Isolde
05 - Eco Warrior
06 - Far Away
07 - Behold The Man
08 - Occupy!
09 - Notung
10 - Wings Of Love

Liane Vollmer-Sturm: Vocals
Jan Koemmet: Guitars, Keyboards
Armin Alic: Bass
Johannes Glashagen: Drums
Ralf Kappmeier: Keyboards
Udo Dirkschneider: guest Vocals on “Day Of Anger”
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Dorfmüller: Pipe Organ on “Behold The Man”
Marcus Bielenberg, Paul Dahlmann, Holger vom Scheidt: Backing Vocals



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