Thursday, June 30, 2016

WOLF HOFFMANN (Accept) - Headbangers Symphony (2016)

WOLF HOFFMANN (Accept) - Headbangers Symphony (2016) full

Best known for his lifelong work with Accept, WOLF HOFFMANN is back with his second solo offering "Headbangers Symphony" to be released tomorrow. A brave album by Hoffmann that is a result of his passion for metal and classical music.

Not too long ago, Florian Magnus Maier (Non Euclid, Alkaloid, and the Hungry Gods) pointed out that metal and classical have a lot in common in regard to poly-rhythms, poly-tonality and virtuosity. He added that the difference between genres is a matter of instrumentation and that metal is a lot more flexible than say, pop music for example.
"Headbangers Symphony" is Hoffmann’s newest endeavor into a world where metal and classical sound great as a marriage between the two.

There was a lot to be excited about this album. The guitar goodness of Hoffmann combined with classical sounded like a great deal. Well, it is a great deal!
The record opens up with Beethoven’s 9th symphony 'Scherzo'. This one resembles the opening riff from Accept’s track 'Teutonic Terror'. As a casual listener, you will definitely feel like you’ve heard all of this somewhere and it all comes back to you. You would love this record. You would enjoy the textures in the music. It is definitely a headbanger’s delight all the way.

While listening to 'Night On Bald Mountain' is like seeing images of burning magma upon a high mountain, with a very strong wind. A strong performance by Hoffman. It is an absolutely a great version of Mussorgsky’s composition and Wolf was brilliantly successful to connect it to the next song by an invisible bridge, made not by music but by feelings.
In 'Double Cello Concerto In G Mino' Wolf delivers a headbanging version of Antonio Vivaldi’s masterpiece, with almost the same name. The coordination between Wolf Hoffmann’s guitar and other instruments, especially the orchestral ones, is stunning.

However, not all it's classical tinged. 'Les Pêcheurs de Perles' is one of the most famous and emotional pieces in Western opera by Georges Bizet. Wolf Hoffmann’s adapted version of ‘Act 1’ of this masterpiece, ’Je Crois Entendre Encore’, with a total bluesy perspective. Terrific.
The sixth track in the list, ‘Symphony No. 40’, is my favourite one and after lots of efforts of searching different dictionaries I still cannot find the words to describe it. This masterpiece is ten times more magnificent than magnificent with indescribable elegance. This adaptation of Mozart’s ‘Symphony No.40’ will give a huge amount of joy to both classical music lovers and also metalheads around the world.

Jimi Hendrix was the first one who could sing with his guitar, Ritchie Blackmore was the next one and Wolf Hoffmann belongs to the next generation and to those where not many can do the same.
And that is the most necessary skill for playing tunes like ‘Adagio’. I have always thought that Tomaso Albinoni was a kind of super-human or an alien as I can hardly believe his ‘Adagio in G minor’ is a work of mankind.
Indeed, Wolf Hoffmann was successful to create a new version of this masterpiece with his signature of playing the electric guitar and the instrument arrangement. Absolutely loyal to the main theme, but he manages to bring more emotional feelings into it.

WOLF HOFFMANN (Accept) - Headbangers Symphony (2016) back

"Headbangers Symphony" is a stellar effort that showcases the best in Wolf Hoffmann. Love it or hate it, this album will still give you a kick. Hoffmann’s mastery, passion and prowess are beautifully articulated all over here.
Brilliant production does justice to everything that Hoffmann strives to do. It really does pay to work with a live orchestra for an album of such diverse proportion. One might have issues on the classical side of things but you can never hate this album on the metal side of things. What makes this album essential is that it works as a great introduction into classical music for the ones who found classical boring.
When do listen to what the album has to offer, you would certainly feel like you’ve heard the music somewhere without finding yourself in uncomfortable territory. In addition, it rocks.
Highly Recommended

01 - Scherzo
02 - Night on Bald Mountain
03 - Je Crois Entendre Encore
04 - Double Cello Concerto in G Minor
05 - Adagio
06 - Symphony No. 40
07 - Swan Lake
08 - Madame Butterfly
09 - Pathétique
10 - Meditation
11 - Air on the G String

Wolf Hoffmann - guitar, keyboards, bass
Peter Baltes (Accept) - bass
Melo Mafali - orchestrations
Christopher Williams - drums



VAN ZANT - Red White & Blue (2016)

VAN ZANT - Red White & Blue (2016) full

Loud & Proud Records will release tomorrow "Red White & Blue", a recently unearthed VAN ZANT show recorded on January 28, 2006 at Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, the only concert recording in existence from the only tour by brothers Johnny (Lynyrd Skynyrd) and Donnie (38 Special) Van Zant.

This ‘lost’ album was discovered by Donnie’s 38 Special bandmate Larry Jungstron. It was Larry who had bought recording equipment and recorded the show, with the brothers’ permission. The plan had been to release these tracks shortly after the show was recorded, but it remained on the shelf.
“The plan was always to enjoy ourselves and have fun,” says Donnie, “and this recording captures a moment when we had a great night.”

"Red White & Blue" is a mixture of Van Zant’s rocking roots, as well as their love for American music.
It covers all areas of the Van Zant’s rich musical legacy, opening with with the crowd-pleasing 'Takin’ Up Space' (awesome rocking version) and includes Van Zant’s 2005 hit 'Help Somebody', fan-favorite versions of .38 Special’s 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys' as well as Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 'Call Me the Breeze' and 'Sweet Home Alabama'.

Johnny & Donnie voices blend perfectly in these timeless classic rock tunes helped by a very well oiled cast of musicians. They sometimes rocks, at places go acoustically, you have sweet ballads, and all are performed with passion. Btw, the sound of the recording is awesome.
Really good stuff. Very Recommended.

01 - Takin' Up Space
02 - Ain't Nobody Gonna Tell Me What To Do
03 - Sweet Mama
04 - Wild Eyed Southern Boys
05 - Things I Miss The Most
06 - I Know My History
07 - Help Somebody
08 - Plain Jane
09 - I Can't Help Myself
11 - Red White & Blue
12 - My Kinda Country
13 - Call Me The Breeze
14 - Sweet Home Alabama



Wednesday, June 29, 2016

HELIX - B-Sides [New Tracklist Re-Packaged Edition] (2016)

HELIX - B-Sides [New Tracklist Re-Packaged Edition] (2016) full

Perris Records has just released "B-Sides", a collection of HELIX songs that the band published by themselves years ago under the same title, but this 2016 is a completely different release, including tracks not present previously, new artwork, and on a strictly limited pressing of only 500 CDs.

The title "B-Sides" here is misleading; a B-side is a track that appears on the flipside of a single, and is often not on the album. Most the tracks on this album not appeared on the flipside of any singles, at least not these versions.
However, the misleading title does not mar the excellent music contained within.

"B-Sides" contains songs written for various Helix albums from 1990 onwards, except the fun 'Like Taking Candy From a Baby', previously unreleased and recorded at the early stages of Helix in 1978. It was taped during the sessions from Helix’s excellent first album (Breaking Loose), but never released.
Some tracks have been re-recorded, such as the Quiet Riot meets Spinal Tap 'S-E-X-Rated', which actually appeared as a B-side, but it’s not the same version as on that single. Same with the killer rocker 'Jaws of the Tiger' originally appeared on Over 60 Minutes With... (1989) but this version for "B-Sides" was re-recorded.
On the other hand, 'Everybody Pays The Price' (B-side to the single The Storm from 1990s Back For Another Taste) appears in its original form.

The really good 'Danger Zone' features the reunion of surviving members of the "classic" 1980s lineup, as well as 'S.E.X. Rated'.
Other songs were recorded by different Helix members at different times in the band's history, ie. 'Delilah', which had Jeff Fountain on bass, Archie Gamble on drums, and Rainer Weichmann on guitar & producing.
Some songs feature players who were associated with the band in some way or form: the weird 'I Just Wanna Be Stoned' (Tony Paleschi on bass, Bill Gadd on guitar, Archie Gamble on drums) and the pretty Kiss-like 'You Got the Love That I Like' (Danny Broadbeck on guitar & producing).

HELIX - B-Sides [New Tracklist Re-Packaged Edition] (2016) booklet

But the absolute gem on this 2016 release - not present on the original "B-Sides" - is without a doubt the rare remix of 'Good To The Last Drop' one of the finest Helix compositions ever. 'Good To The Last Drop (Tony Bongiovi Radio Re-mix)' is much more AOR than the original, including lots of keyboards, harmony vocals and a true '80s feel.

Helix's "B-Sides" is not just a compilation of left-overs or discarded tracks, not at all. From the midtempos to the hard rocking stuff, this Helix CD has a bit of everything you already liked about the band, with a modern production edge on newly recorded tracks.
Along the way, there are appearances from pretty much every major Helix member from the indie days to the mid-90s. You will even hear songs written and performed by Paul Hackman, the late Helix guitarist who was tragically killed in a 1992 car accident.
Every song kicks, there’s not a weak track in the bunch. Hard Rock and Helix fans absolutely need to hear this music; not B-sides but in fact some of Helix’s best stuff.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Jaws Of The Tiger
02 - Danger Zone
03 - S-E-X Rated
04 - Delilah *
05 - You Got Me Chained
06 - Everybody Pays The Price *
07 - Good To The Last Drop (Tony Bongiovi Radio Re-mix) *
08 - Take It Or Leave It
09 - You've Got The Love That I Like
10 - Like Taking Candy From A Baby
11 - I Just Wanna Be Stoned *

* Not present in the original B-Sides edition



KLEAR - Eyes Wide Open (2016)

KLEAR - Eyes Wide Open (2016) full

New Yorkers KLEAR aren't newcomers into the scene with more than fifteen years of activity, but after some gap time they return with "Eyes Wide Open", their debut on a newly founded melodic hard rock label based in Denmark.

Klear released by themselves some of their material, and even got a first album on Good Charamel Records, which was run and owned by the Goo Goo Doll's bassist Robby Takac.
Delivering what Billboard Magazine declared to be "blistering, bold, guitar driven rock", some Klear's songs found their way to rock radio. Also, Klear got their music used in FX's hit show The Shield, the Miramax film The Station Agent, and The Ultimate Fighting Championship.
These successes afforded Klear the opportunity to share the stage with acts such as Journey, Kid Rock, Govt Mule, Goo Goo Dolls and many more.
Then the band members decided to explore other horizons, however Klear never split.

In early 2011, singer / songwriter Fred Shafer reunited with guitarist Bruce Wojick, bassist Leo McDonald, drummer Denny Pelczynski and keyboardist Dan Delano to embark on the next chapter of their career, and here it is "Eyes Wide Open".
This disc is full of some very cool guitar-driven rock, swirled with a blues sensibility at times and tons of great riffs, vocals, and cadence.
Title track "Eyes Wide Open" opens with a groovy riff and the vocals combine nicely with the rest of the musical components, with the layered background vocals at the chorus adding depth to the song. The guitars and keyboards work together to deliver a smooth classic feel that gets the foot tapping.

'Best Of Me' delivers much more chugging riffs and bluesy vocals that carry the tune (and a lot of the album). The tempo is solid and well supported by the rhythm section, with the drums / bass each taking turns shining in the mix.
'Long Way Down' is a more modern rocker that benefits from added punch at the chorus. The song gets a lift from the organ keyboards, a nice complement to the classic guitar sound.
For the first time, 'Restless' starts with clean electric guitars, and fine vocal verses. The intensity grows and guitars thicken when the rhythm section kicks in. The chorus has a full sound thanks to the vocals, while the guitars ramp up the bridge with a cool solo.

'Don't Know Where I'm Going Yet' starts off with a thumping bottom end thanks to the bass lines, but soon a melodic guitar gets in and joins the fray. Once the smoky vocals kick in, this track takes on an atmospheric, alternative vibe that weaves itself into the song.
'All On Me' opens with a fine acoustic guitar accompanied by drums that have a stripped back sound and a 'live' feel. Once the chorus arrives the song gets a little push but remains in an organic acoustic rock vibe, even when electric guitar solos are thrown onto the bridge.

KLEAR - Eyes Wide Open (2016) back

This physical CD comes in a ep format, but you have as bonus additional digital tracks; a nice cover of Bryan Adams 'Cuts Like A Knife', the angry 'Mr. Cracker', 'Same Old Song', and the live take 'War'. All of these are not in the same quality recording and need some polish, obviously all demo material.

"Eyes Wide Open" worth to be checked as Klear sounds and feels very cohesive as unit; they have good songs, musicianship and production.
Musically they blend classic rock / classic hard elements with a modern approach, and the overall sensation is that Klear has much more to offer, a band with strong potential for sure.
Two thumbs up.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Eyes Wide Open
02 - Best Of Me
03 - Long Way Down
04 - Restless
05 - Don' t Know Where I'm Going Yet
06 - It s All On Me
07 - Cuts Like A Knife
08 - Mr. Cracker
09 - Same Old Song
10 - War

Fred Shafer - Lead Vocals / Guitars
Bruce Wojick - Guitars / Vocals
Leo Mcdonald - Bass
Denny Pelczvnski - Drums / Precussion / Vocals
Dan Delano - Keyboards / Vocals



DEEP PURPLE - Burn [30th Anniversary SHM-CD remastered] (2016)

DEEP PURPLE - Burn [30th Anniversary SHM-CD remastered] (2016) full

Warner Music Japan has just reissued DEEP PURPLE's classic "Burn", the 30th Anniversary Remastered Edition appeared in 2004 with bonus tracks, for the first time on SHM-CD, and at a very affordable price.
Simply put, this is one of the best hard rock albums of all time.

Up until "Burn", Deep Purple had been a wonderfully oiled heavy rock outfit capable of outstanding brilliance and a string of classic albums; In Rock, Machine Head and Made In Japan.
With the loss of Roger Glover and vocalist Ian Gillan (both left the group) most bands would have folded or imported others of superstar status - Paul Rogers and Phil Lynott were on the shopping list.
But instead, Purple recruited two relative unknowns; Glen Hughes from the up n' coming Trapeze, and David Coverdale, a shop assistant in a Yorkshire menswear shop.

The result, a cataclysmic implosion of styles as hard rock met blues and funk to produce one of the finest Rock albums of the mid Seventies.
A template for a more commercial approach to rock that many, including Whitesnake and Rainbow, would later successfully follow.

DEEP PURPLE - Burn [30th Anniversary SHM-CD remastered] (2016) booklet

And this remastered release doesn't disappoint. From the opening bars of 'Burn' the sound virtually rips your speaker cones apart - it's an assault on the senses - the vibrancy of Blackmore's guitar, the urgency of Lord's keyboards, the sublime vocals of Coverdale and Hughes.
As you reel from the opening blow, Lord's Hammond drifts in, reminiscent of Woman From Tokyo, but 'Might Just Take Your Life' is more typical of this album's more soulful approach.
"Burn" is a subtle bending of styles; the sheer pace of 'Burn', 'You Fool No One' and 'A 200'. The bar room heavy blues of 'Lay Down, Stay Down' and 'What's Going On Here'. The slow burning funk of 'Sail Away' and every one of the wonderful 7 minutes 27 seconds of the incredible 'Mistreated'.

By all accounts, there wasn't much 'extra' studio footage around, so the bonus tracks here are restricted to 5 remixes, including 'Coronarias Redig' (an instrumental single b-side).
Of the others ('Burn', 'Mistreated', 'You Fool No One' and 'Sail Away') you'd be hard pushed to spot the difference, although the remixing does freshen up the sound and add a little extra sharpness.

DEEP PURPLE - Burn [30th Anniversary SHM-CD remastered] (2016) back

But for me, the stars of the show are the vocals - this remastering / SHM-CD really make you appreciate the extent to which Coverdale and Hughes share vocals and they're both outstanding.
Let's face it, we all knew what Paice, Blackmore and Lord could deliver. But Coverdale / Hughes had to prove they had what it takes. And how.
To sum it up, this "Burn 30th Anniversary Remastered SHM-CD" is a bit like meeting an old teen girlfriend many years down the line, to discover that she's had a face lift, is hotter than hell, and can still get your rocks off.
Awesome sound.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Warner Music Japan ~ WPCR-17192
【B U R N  30th アニバーサリー:SHM-CD】

01 - Burn
02 - Might Just Take Your Life
03 - Lay Down, Stay Down
04 - Sail Away
05 - You Fool No One
06 - What's Going On Here
07 - Mistreated
08 - 'A' 200
09 - Coronarias Redig [B-side] (2004 Remix)
10 - Burn (2004 Remix)
11 - Mistreated (2004 Remix)
12 - You Fool No One (2004 Remix)
13 - Sail Away (2004 Remix)

Ritchie Blackmore – guitar
Jon Lord – keyboards, synthesizers
Ian Paice – drums, percussion
David Coverdale – lead vocals
Glenn Hughes – bass guitar, lead vocals



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

DRIVE SHE SAID - Drive She Said [AOR Heaven Classix remastered +2]

DRIVE SHE SAID - ST [AOR Heaven Classix remastered +2] full

Here you have another album countless times requested on this blog: DRIVE, SHE SAID self-titled debut remastered by AOR Heaven Records plus 2 previously unreleased bonus tracks.
As part of their ongoing 'AOR Heaven Classix', the label reissued the much sought after first two albums from DRIVE, SHE SAID remastered by expert Chris Lyne and with juicy liner notes by Dave Reynolds (you can get the band's second album HERE).
The demand for both CD were so huge that despite of being released at the end of past year, "DRIVE SHE SAID - Drive, She Said AOR Heaven Classix" is already out of print, with used copies being sold for over € 100.

"Drive, She Said", the self-titled debut of the project consisting of Mark Mangold (ex Touch, legendary Pomp-AORsters) and multi-instrumentalist / vocalist Al Fritsch is undoubtedly considered a true classic from the AOR / Melodic Rock genre.
This album is what a I call 'mid-tempo AOR genius'.
All songs are marvelous, strong, beautifully crafted with superb arrangements, hooky choruses, lots of keyboards and crowned by the velvety voice of Fritsch, a man born to sing American AOR in its more classy definition.

DRIVE SHE SAID - ST [AOR Heaven Classix remastered +2] booklet

Just listen the magical '80s choruses on such pearls as 'Hold On (Hands Around Your Heart)', 'I Close My Eyes' or the terrific 'As She Touches Me (Why Can't I Believe)', co-written by Canadian master Aldo Nova.

Opener 'If This Is Love' is pure AOR of the highest order, if you need more melodic rock muscle then check 'Hard Way Home' (co-written by Fiona). Additionally, songwriting legend Mark Mangold revisits his monster-song 'Don't You Know What Love Is' taken from the 1980 debut of Touch.

DRIVE SHE SAID - ST [AOR Heaven Classix remastered +2] back

This "Drive, She Said AOR Heaven Classix" reissue sounds awesome with its fresh remastering treatment. But wait, there's more.
The two previously unreleased tracks are pure gold: 'Crossed My Heart' is, yes, a midtempo, and what a killer one plenty on pumping melodies and a tremendous chorus. The other, 'It Must Be Love' is more Pompy bringing to mind the first House Of Lords album. Another gem!
Yes folks; A MUST HAVE

As always, 0dayrox brings to you the best, exclusive material

01 - If This Is Love
02 - Hard Way Home
03 - Don't You Know
04 - But For You
05 - Love Has No Pride
06 - Maybe It's Love
07 - Hold On (Hands Around Your Heart)
08 - If I Told You
09 - I Close My Eyes
10 - As She Touches Me (Why Can't I Believe)
11 - Crossed My Heart
12 - It Must Be Love

Al Fritsch: vocals, guitar, keyboards
Mark Mangold: keyboards, drums, backing vocals

Try Here:


GLEN BURTNICK - Talking In Code [YesterRock remaster]

GLEN BURTNICK - Talking In Code [YesterRock remaster] full

Another request in one comment (place yours!) was the incredibly melodic, perfectly written AOR music from "Talking In Code", the delicious solo debut by GLEN BURTNICK remastered some time ago and released by YesterRock / NL Distribution.

Glen Burtnick’s name is quite known in the AOR universe since the '80s, probably as a former member of Styx. This "Talking In Code", his solo debut, it's a terrific piece of classy mid-Eighties AOR that unfortunately somehow got lost in the incredible musical year that was 1986 when appeared.
Recorded with the help of such famous session musicians as awesome guitarists Dan Huff & Bobby Messano, drummer David Prater (later exquisite producer), keyboard genius Alan Pasqua - to name but a few, and produced by Richard Landis (Nielsen/Pearson, Van Stephenson) "Talking In Code" is one of my all-time favourite albums.

With absolutely radio friendly sound, all songs have a distinctive touch.
The hard driving rocker 'Crank It Up' open the record driven by a killer melody, featuring an explosive chorus and the unmistakable guitar of Dann Huff, followed by the title track 'Talking In Code' tending much more toward to AC Rock but with a great harmony line worth to be checked.

GLEN BURTNICK - Talking In Code [YesterRock remaster] booklet

Now with 'Little Red House' you have an AOR gem, where the melody is built on the bottom line type-slam, and punctuated by guitars and keyboards that lead to the exciting chorus you definitely wanna hear again and again.
Then comes 'Perfect World' a mid pacer killer ballad in style of Alias with an incredibly catchy melody a power chorus. Another highlight of the album, for sure.
'Hole In My Pocket' is one of those great radio friendly AOR where bass and guitar are always in the foreground, being accompanied by incessant drum beats and tinkling keyboards.

I also always loved 'Brave Hearts', a thrilling rocker with great melody and an blasting chorus to die for. The recipe for such a song is simple: maximum volume an car windows wide open. 'Hold Back The Night' starts with a great intro ending to a wonderful chorus, while 'Talk That Talk' is simple yet effective class rock&pop.
'Heart On The Line' is the second album ballad, a mid-pacer beautiful song that deserve your attention. The melody is engaging and the interpretation of Mr. Burtnick top notch.
Listen out loud, please, and hold to 'We’re Alright', a rocker that features first rate guitar riffs, perfectly mixed with keys.

GLEN BURTNICK - Talking In Code [YesterRock remaster] back

Glen Burtinick's "Talking In Code" is classy '80s AOR in sound, but songwriting is more 'meaty' than your typical record from the genre.
With no fillers in sight, this cult classic gives you almost forty minutes of pure pleasure, including many numbers that should have been alongside mega-rock hits of that era.
Impeccable digital remastering by YesterRock associate Toni Übler who always delivers a pristine and punchy sound without distortion.
A Cult Classic

01 - Crank It Up
02 - Talking In Code
03 - Little Red House
04 - Perfect World
05 - Hole In My Pocket
06 - Brave Hearts
07 - Hold Back The Night
08 - Talk That Talk
09 - Heart On The Line
10 - We're Alright

Glen Burtnick - vocals, guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion
Dan Huff, Bobby Messano - guitars
Dave La Rue, Neil Stubenhaus - bass
David Prater, Steve Smith - drums
Reed Nielsen, Jon Vigran, Savron Hudson - programming
Anthony Galante, Richard Landis - percussion
Jerry Hey - horn arrangement
Alan Pasqua - Jim Lang, Reed Nielsen keyboards



Monday, June 27, 2016

JORN - Heavy Rock Radio [Japanese Edition +1] (2016)

JORN - Heavy Rock Radio [Japanese Edition +1] (2016) full

"Heavy Rock Radio", the new great JORN album featuring covers od '80s songs has just appeared in Asia few days ago, strangely, after its European release. This Japanese Edition includes a terrific take on Ozzy Osbourne's classic 'I Don't Know'.

JORN Lande is undeniably one of the best vocalists in hard rock and heavy metal. Jorn could probably sing the headlines off the newspaper and it would sound powerful and heavy, still it would not be surprising to find some skeptics out there wondering if Lande really needs to do an album of covers, '80s songs.
Fair question: No he doesn’t. But one listen to "Heavy Rock Radio" and you will be pleased that he did.

Jorn (the man and the band) did not play it safe with the choices on Heavy Rock Radio. Sure he tunes up dynamic performances of somewhat obvious songs like Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark”, Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer”, Black Sabbath’s “Die Young”, and Iron Maiden’s “The Final Frontier”, but he also takes aim at several classic rock tunes from band’s like Queen, Journey, the Eagles, and Foreigner, as well as more intriguing choices like Paul Stanley’s “Live To Win” and John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice”.
Yet even those are not the biggest surprises…

The album opens up with a cover of ABBA member '80s one-hit wonder Frida’s “I Know There’s Something Going On”. Just listening to the song reminds me of how I used to play pop songs over and over in my head as a teenager, but I would rock them up with heavy guitars and thunderous rhythms. That is exactly what Lande has done here, turning this quirky pop track into a muscular rocker.
Next he gives the heavy treatment to Kate Bush’s brooding “Running Up That Hill”, building it up with thick winding riffs and a wall of heavy keyboards from Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline, Voodoo Circle, Ted Poley). The overall effect is to make the song less somber and more of a gut-punch.

Foreigner’s “Rev on the Red Line” remains true to the original, and it’s hard to challenge Lou Gramm vocally, but Jorn does the song justice, punching it up a bit, and bringing back fond memories in the process. Conversely, it is difficult to take on an iconic classic like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” without putting yourself in the cross hairs, but his gruff vocal delivery gives the song an edgier and moodier vibe. Francesco Jovino’s (Primal Fear, U.D.O.) powerful drumming adds some heft as well.
Jorn absolutely bullies John Farnham’s “You’re the Voice” into a 90 lb. weakling, giving it an epic feel and making the song more impactful by far than the original. Likewise, his dominating voice reinforces the positive message of perseverance of Paul Stanley’s “Live to Win”.

JORN - Heavy Rock Radio [Japanese Edition +1] (2016) inside

Perhaps my first moment of doubt comes with Jorn’s cover of Queen’s “Killer Queen”. Musically the track is a triumph, but how does one attempt to equal or best the mighty Freddie Mercury? It cannot be done, but Jorn does not attempt to, he simply Jorn-ize’s it, being dutiful to the original while being creative with his delivery.

One of the tracks that held the most intrigue is Jorn’s take on The Eagles’ “Hotel California”, which is another iconic piece of rock history, and after a truly faithful intro, a wall of beefy riffs turn the song into a monster. While guitarist Trond Holter does a fantastic job throughout the record, this is probably his masterpiece moment. The fills and nuances are so melodic and tasteful, they add incredible depth.

The back end of the record is weighted with the aforementioned tracks one expects from Jorn, starting with a faithful and beastly rendition of Dio’s “Rainbow in the Dark”.
While his choice to cover Iron Maiden is not surprising his pick of tracks, “The Final Frontier”, is interesting. Jorn does a brilliant job here, as one might expect, as he does with the album closers; Deep Purple’s “Stormbringer” and a monolithic performance of Black Sabbath’s “Die Young”.

JORN - Heavy Rock Radio [Japanese Edition +1] (2016) back

It’s difficult to ever imagine Jorn doing an album of covers that were not done with notable care and ample power, and this record proves that out. "Heavy Rock Radio" is a perfect gauge for those who have yet to discover Jorn’s massive talent, for here he display’s his vocal prowess across a dozen of music’s most recognizable songs.
Jorn had a list of nearly 50 songs chosen for this record, so here’s to hoping volumes 2-4 are in the offing.
"Heavy Rock Radio" may not fully soothe fans chomping at the bit for new Jorn material (It’s coming next year), but for the rest of us it is an absolute slab of raucous and melodic ear candy!

01 - I Know There's Something Going On (Frida cover)
02 - Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush cover)
03 - Rev on the Red Line (Foreigner cover)
04 - You're the Voice (John Farnham cover)
05 - Live to Win (Paul Stanley cover)
06 - Don't Stop Believin' (Journey cover)
07 - Killer Queen (Queen cover)
08 - Hotel California (Eagles cover)
09 - Rainbow in the Dark (Dio cover)
10 - The Final Frontier (Iron Maiden cover)
11 - Stormbringer (Deep Purple cover)
12 - Die Young (Black Sabbath cover)
13 - I Don't Know (Ozzy cover) [Japan Bonus Track]

Jorn Lande: Vocals
Trond Holter: Guitars
Francesco Iovino: Drums
Thomas Bekkevold: Bass
Alessandro Del Vecchio: Keyboards



Sunday, June 26, 2016

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2016

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases July 2016

Some really interesting albums are coming next July 2016, let's tease the fresh advanced singles.
Biggest Melodic Hard Label, Frontiers Music, obviously gets all the attention. We already presented here the first cuts of cult American hard rockers Q5, and the fun international combo TRICK OR TREAT, both to be released next month. We have new cuts from both, and they rock.

But there's 4 new albums / bands we are waiting with open arms on Frontiers for August: one of them are CRUZH, the Swedish AOR young act which indie EP we featured on the blog. Now they have ready their debut with Frontiers, and first single 'First Cruzh' is awesome, with a FM / Winger feel.
PALACE is a Swedish melodic hard rock band founded by lead singer / guitarist Michael Palace, who began working with Frontiers as a songwriter and guitar player for First Signal (featuring Harry Hess), Cry of Dawn (with Goran Edman), Kryptonite (featuring Jakob Samuel) and Toby Hitchcock. The successful collaborations led to a worldwide record deal with Frontiers. The band is heavily influenced by '80s imagery and sounds, just check the terrific title track 'Master Of The Universe', a massive arena rock killer tune.

The other 2 new band on the Frontiers roster are Finland's KING COMPANY, whom operated with a different name and changed name for their debut album with the label. First cut 'In Wheels Of No Return' is primo Scandianvian Melodic Hard Rock of the highest order.
And there's DGM eighth studio album and the first with Frontiers. It's the culmination of almost 20 years of hard work that started back in 1997 with the release of their self-produced mini-album, the band went through several incarnations and lineup changes during the years, but since singer Mark Basile entered the group in 2007, DGM evolved and developed their sound to a more melodic hard sound. Advance 'Animal' sounds terrific.

And we have more:
Swedish glam / AOR legends EASY ACTION are back with a new single titled 'Drop The Bomb', and a possible album in the making. I hope so, as the song is really good.
Boston-born, Vegas-based CRASH MIDNIGHT have been pushing forward for the past few years, proving the hard rock game isn’t a senior citizen cash-grab. They take a brief look back at one of Boson’s most notorious neighborhoods in 'Roxy', their own whiskey-fueled ode to the long-lost area known as Combat Zone. Kick ass track.

Super-group THE DEAD DAISIES featuring ex members of Motley Crue / Whitesnake / Foreigner got ready their 2nd studio album to be released on August 5 via SPV. First single 'Long Way To Go' is packed with huge hooks, giant, intense guitar riffs and glorious, distinctive vocals. Love it.
We presented on the blog two years ago the excellent debut of Swedish melodic rockers BLUE COW KENT, and while preparing their new disc, advance single surfaced called 'Diplomatica', a very melodic number with busy instrumentation. Great band.

Also German hard rockers KISSIN' DYNAMITE have their new album ready for next month on AFM Records. 'Hashtag Your Life' is the first rocking advance, and besides all the entertainment value, it also deals with a serious and omnipresent topic: the shocking evolution of "generation smartphone", losing touch to the "real" life.
VA ROCKS is a new promising Swedish band who are working in new material and talking with record labels. Their single 'Bluesman', despite its title, rocks with lots of power, featuring Pontus Snibb (Bonafide singer) on guest vocals.

IAN PARRY ROCK EMPORIUM released their new album this year few months ago (featured on the blog of course) but now the band are releasing a brand new song / single titled "Fall", a powerful commercial melodic hard rocker that won't be included in a any future release.
Also a 'single exclusive' is the new song from Swedish AOR lovely band ART NATION. The band was selected to write the official Gothia Cup song 2016, the world’s largest and most international youth football tournament. The song is called "Art Nation - We Are Better Together" and it's a delicious Melodic Rock anthem.

01 - King Company - In Wheels Of No Return
02 - Cruzh - First Cruzh
03 - Palace - Master Of The Universe
04 - Art Nation - We Are Better Together (Gothia Cup Song 2016)
05 - DGM - Animal
06 - Trick Or Treat - Cloudrider
07 - Crash Midnight - Roxy
08 - Easy Action - Drop The Bomb
09 - Q5 - Halfway To Hell
10 - VA Rocks - Bluesman (feat.Pontus Snibb)
11 - Blue Cow Kent - Diplomatica
12 - The Dead Daisies - Long Way To Go
13 - Kissin' Dynamite - Hashtag Your Life
14 - Ian Parry's Rock Emporium - Fall

Only at 0dayrox


A.C.T - Trifles And Pandemonium [Japanese Edition] (2016)

A.C.T - Trifles And Pandemonium [Japanese Edition] (2016) full

Swedes A.C.T just released by themselves (distributed in Japan by Marquee / Avalon) "Trifles And Pandemonium" a double CD-set new album. This works a 'best of', as features 18 songs chosen by the fans and in a democratic way.

"Trifles And Pandemonium" was recorded live, but this is NOT a live album.
A.C.T rented an empty warehouse, rigged a stage and played 18 songs from all their 5 albums, so there's no audience, noises, etc.

The idea was to release a "best of" album but not just compile the studio tracks... instead record them live playing all together to showcase how the band sounds today.
The results are fantastic: A.C.T feels punchy, energetic and very melodic at the same time.
All songs were chosen by the fans, including 3 songs are taken from each of the band's first 4 albums plus as much as 5 songs from their latest studio album Circus Pandemonium.

A.C.T - Trifles And Pandemonium [Japanese Edition] (2016) back

A.C.T is a great band, they're definitely in the top division of melodic prog bands from Sweden that should be selling more records than they are.
Their performance in "Trifles And Pandemonium" is flawless and the songs are truly awesome, their best without a doubt.
So remember; this is not a live album, it's recorded with all the band playing together.
And man, they are fantastic.
Highly Recommended

Marquee / Avalon Japan ~ MICP-90092
【2-CD】 A. C. T

Disc 1
01. The End
02. Everythings Falling
03. Abandoned World
04. The Wandering
05. Waltz With Mother Nature
06. Take it Easy
07. A Supposed Tour
08. Svetlana
09. Wailings From a Building

Disc 2
01. Mr. Landlord
02. Dance of Mr. Gumble
03. Manipulator
04. Joanna
05. Call in Dead
06. A Wound That Wont Heal
07. A Mothers Love
08. Managers Wish
09. A Truly Gifted Man

Herman Saming - Vocals
Jerry Sahlin - Keyboards, Vocals
Ola Andersson - Guitars, Vocals
Peter Asp - Bass, Keyboards
Thomas Lejon - Drums



Saturday, June 25, 2016

BAD COMPANY - Holy Water [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015)

BAD COMPANY - Holy Water [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015) full

This one was requested in one comment (place yours!) and it's a true pleasure to be featured here: BAD COMPANY's more AOR albums remastered by prestigious label Friday Music released at the end of last year. Packed in a 2-CD set, Bad Company’s 'Dangerous Age & Holy Water - The Deluxe Edition" are impeccably mastered from the original Atlantic Records tapes by Joe “Heavy Metal Kid” Reagoso (Deep Purple / Alice Cooper / Paul Rodgers).
This exclusive first time limited release also includes a new commentary track by track from Bad Company’s singer Brian Howe as well as several out of print and rare bonus tracks.

After the Dangerous Age album sold nearly a million copies and put Bad Company on the map again, the success gave the band's revamped lineup (including fantastic vocalist Brian Howe) a mandate for another album.
With most of the songs witten by Howe in partnership with talented Terry Thomas (ex Charlie) and an even more slick, bombastic & polished production than its predecessor, "Holy Water", released in 1990 is simply awesome.

Awesome for all American AOR / Melodic Rock fans, as "Holy Water" packs all the ingredients which made this genre what it is by definition: class, hooks, elegance, catchiness, top notch production and superb songs!
But also proved to be appealing to mainstream audiences: it went platinum selling over 1,000,000 units, and climbed to #35 on the general Billboard Top Albums Chart.
The first single "Holy Water", was a #1 Billboard Album Rock Track for two weeks during the Summer of '90 as the band toured the U.S. with Damn Yankees.
The single "If You Needed Somebody" became a major hit in early 1991, while "Boys Cry Tough", "Stranger, Stranger" and "Walk Through Fire" also charted really well worldwide and received substantial airplay.

BAD COMPANY - Dangerous Age / Holy Water [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015) back

I can't recommend Bad Company's "Holy Water" enough... it's one of my favorite albums from 1990 (and what a year it was) and easily among the greatest 100 AOR albums of all time. Just listen "If You Needed Somebody"... American AOR perfection.
This Friday Music remastering is fabulous, including the rare 'vault find' remix of "Walk Through Fire", a really wonderful new version of this already wonderful tune.
Awesome album, awesome remaster.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Holy Water
02 - Walk Through Fire
03 - Stranger Stranger
04 - If You Needed Somebody
05 - Fearless
06 - Lay Your Love On Me
07 - Boys Cry Tough
08 - With You In A Heartbeat
09 - I Don't Care
10 - Never Too Late
11 - Dead Of The Night
12 - I Can't Live Without You
13 - 100 Miles
14 - Walk Through Fire [Rare Remix Version]

Brian Howe – lead vocals
Mick Ralphs – lead guitar
Felix Krish – bass
Simon Kirke – drums, backing and lead (13) vocals
Terry Thomas - guitar, keyboards, background vocals



BAD COMPANY - Dangerous Age [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015)

BAD COMPANY - Dangerous Age [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015) full

This one was requested in one comment (place yours!) and it's a true pleasure to be featured here: BAD COMPANY's more AOR albums remastered by prestigious label Friday Music released at the end of last year. Packed in a 2-CD set, Bad Company’s 'Dangerous Age & Holy Water - The Deluxe Edition" are impeccably mastered from the original Atlantic Records tapes by Joe “Heavy Metal Kid” Reagoso (Deep Purple / Alice Cooper / Paul Rodgers).
This exclusive first time limited release also includes a new commentary track by track from Bad Company’s singer Brian Howe as well as several out of print and rare bonus tracks like the long lost 12'' inch version of 'No Smoke Without A Fire', the CD only release of 'Excited' and a rare vault find remix of 'Walk Through Fire'.

Bad Company spent much of the ’70s as one of Rock’s most reliable and popular bands. When vocalsit Paul Rodgers left the band 1982 most people figured the band was finished.
But their label, Atlantic Records, had different ideas. They wanted a new vocalist and a revamp of the band's sound according to the '80s.
Guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Simon Kirke recruited new singer Brian Howe for what ended up serving as the band’s seventh LP, Fame and Fortune, in 1986. But even though fans failed to respond to an overall change in direction that included a poppier sound as well as an unfamiliar voice, they returned to the studio two years later for a new try.

Produced by expert Terry Thomas, this "Dangerous Age" originally appeared in 1988, helped to bring Bad Company back into the spotlight, with major radio airplay for the tracks 'No Smoke Without A Fire' (#4), 'One Night'(#9) and 'Shake It Up'(#9) all reaching the top 10 on Billboard Album Rock Tracks chart.

It was the perfect time for this 'new' Bad Company and their glossy AOR sound in the US: 1988. With killer hooks, polished arrangements and lots of keyboards, "Dangerous Age" is a real gem from the genre.
The album sold nearly a million copies and the band toured all over the world.

Apart from the above mentioned successful singles the awesome ''No Smoke Without A Fire', the great melodic rocker 'One Night' and the groovy 'Shake It Up', there's plenty of great tracks on this album.
'Rock Of America' is an arena-ready melodic anthem, the pumping 'Bad Man' rocks with class, while title track 'Dangerous Age' bring to mind Tommy Shaw and the upcoming Damn Yankees.
'That's The Way That It Goes' is another highlight, the only album ballad with superb bluesy vocals, clean guitars and great atmosphere.

BAD COMPANY - Dangerous Age / Holy Water [The Deluxe Edition / Remastered + Bonus] (2015) back

Unheard by many '80s AOR Melodic Hard Rock fans, Bad Company's "Dangerous Age" is a little gem from the genre.
I always found this album similar in style to the terrific Journey's Neal Schon band Hardline appeared four years later, also in many places comparable to Tommy Shaw's Ambition and Damn Yankees.
This Friday Music remastering is fabulous, including the long lost 12'' inch version of 'No Smoke Without A Fire' (love it), and the excellent rocker 'Excited' a B-side previously unreleased on CD and nearly impossible to find.
Awesome album, awesome remaster.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - One Night
02 - Shake It Up
03 - No Smoke Without A Fire
04 - Bad Man
05 - Dangerous Age
06 - Dirty Boy
07 - Rock Of America
08 - Something About You
09 - The Way That It Goes
10 - Love Attack
11 - Excited [B-Side]
12 - No Smoke Without A Fire [Rare 12" Version]

Brian Howe – vocals
Mick Ralphs – guitar
Simon Kirke – drums
Steve Price – bass
Terry Thomas - guitar, keyboards, background vocals



THE AMORETTES - White Hot Heat (2016)

THE AMORETTES - White Hot Heat (2016) full

Seeing that "White Hot Heat", the new album by Scottish trio THE AMORETTES has been produced by Luke Morley, songwriter / lead guitarist of UK hard rock giants Thunder, piqued my interest.
“The Amorettes make a great noise,” says Morley, “so I was delighted to be involved in the new album. They opened for my side band The Union some time ago, and I’ve been watching their development with interest ever since. We’ve captured something really special with the album, and I think it will surprise a lot of people.”

Additionally, many songs have been co-written by Morley and Ricky Warwick of Black Star Riders, so seem The Amorettes must have something interesting to offer. They play British rock n' roll with a late Seventies / Eighties influences and a sleaze / punkish attitude plus some glam flavor. Throw-in some The Runaways for good effect.
The opening track entitled 'Batter Up' reminded me of CBGB and the sort of artistic endeavor best associated with working class and beer throwing riffs.

It's the sheer and utter attitude of 'turn your amps up to ten and never turn it down again' while trying to sound as cool as possible, but, in reality you're probably too pissed to notice what the hell is going on.
Nothing too fancy, neat or complicated, and definitely no more than four chords. I'm not going to lie to you. You've heard if all before and you're probably going to pick up yet another record the following next week that fall somewhere between the rebellious and sleazy rock as played by The Amorettes.
But it's darn fun!

"White Hot Heat", the sophomore release by this female power-trio promenade or rather stroll up and down the street outside the original CBGB and it's merely a shame it's been closed for ages now. They'd be at full swing at the club, screaming at the top of their lungs to "Come n Get It" and "Let The Neighbours Call The Cops", since they don't give a damn about society rules or laws.
It's nonetheless the very competent and professionally crafted record and 10 tracks that oozes of lipstick and leather? Black and red?

THE AMORETTES - White Hot Heat (2016) back

Beer, sweat and smoke, the more correct description as the walk it like they talk it. It's the fun, up all night, sleep all day, sort of record with more balls than all of the footballers at the current Euro Cup.
In many ways, this easily could be your favorite Summer album to enjoy with your friends with a beer at hand and a delicious BBQ.

01 - Batter Up
02 - Let The Neighbours Call The Cops
03 - Come 'n' Get It
04 - Roll
05 - Crusader
06 - Eyes on the Prize
07 - Pervert Alert
08 - White Russian Roulette
09 - Man Meat
10 - Stealing Thunder

Gill - vocals, guitar
Hannah - drums, backing vocals
Heather - bass, backing vocals



BUN E. CARLOS (Cheap Trick) - Greetings From Bunezuela! (2016)

BUN E. CARLOS (Cheap Trick) - Greetings From Bunezuela! (2016) full

Cheap Trick drummer and 2016 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductee BUN E. CARLOS has released his new solo album, “Greetings From Bunezuela!” via SPV Recordings in Europe.
Bun E. Carlos' drumming introduced some of Cheap Trick's biggest hits; his sticks were the first sound audiences heard on I Want You to Want Me and Ain't That a Shame among others. Now Carlos (born Brad Carlson) has finally recorded his long-threatened album of obscure covers that helped form his musical persona.
The album includes 13 tracks in a classic rock mold, 11 of which are covers, and mostly with a true Cheap Trick feel, featuring a varied cast of solid lead vocalists.

The first two tracks, "Do Something Real" by Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices and The Who's "Armenia City In the Sky," are drenched in a Cheap Trick marinade; the bass and guitar in particular sound like Trick's Tom Petersson and Rick Nielsen.
"Him or Me" features the Hanson brothers on a cover of Paul Revere and the Raiders, and this version also has the power pop sheen Cheap Trick are known for.

Turning the proceedings more rocking, Alejandro Escovedo sings lead on "Tell Me," one of the Rolling Stones' more obscure tracks, and Carlos reaches way back to enlist Randy "Xeno" Hogan (who was Cheap Trick's original lead singer before Robin Zander) for "Let the Mystery Be" and the really melodic "Count On Me."
Carlos does not sing or perform a drum solo on "Greetings from Bunezuela!"; what he does is anchor each track with the perfect Bun E. beat, particularly on Bob Dylan's "It Takes A Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry," which sounds like a lost Cheap Trick cut.

BUN E. CARLOS (Cheap Trick) - Greetings From Bunezuela! (2016) back

Bun E. Carlos' “Greetings From Bunezuela!” is a pure American Classic Rock record with some melodic power-pop moments in the vein of Cheap Trick.
All the musicians here play with plenty of fire and inspiration, especially guitarists Rick Rizzo and Nicholas Tremulis, bassist John Stirratt, and of course Carlos, whose drumming is as rock-solid and confident as ever.
And the guest singers also do great work, especially Robert Pollard of Guided by Voices, Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum, early Cheap Trick vocalist Randall "Xeno" Hogan, and Alejandro Escovedo (who does an excellent ballad in "Slow Down").

“Greetings From Bunezuela!” is a cheerful collection of tunes with a true classic spirit inspired by the classic era (take a look at the album's back cover and that big cassette!). Certainly it plays like Carlos and his buddies rolling through some songs they really like.
And they play really well and choose well enough that this ends up being plenty of spirited fun.
It's all good, enjoyable stuff.

01 - Do Something Real (feat. Robert Pollard)
02 - Armenia City in the Sky (feat. John Stirratt)
03 - Him or Me (feat. Hanson)
04 - I Love You No More (feat. Alex Dezen)
05 - Tell Me (feat. Alejandro Escovedo)
06 - It Takes a Lot to Laugh (feat. Dave Pirner)
07 - Let the Mystery Be (feat. Xeno)
08 - Idea (feat. Robert Pollard)
09 - Les Cactus (feat. Nicholas Tremulis)
10 - I Can Only Give You Everything (feat. Rick Rizzo)
11 - Slow Down (feat. Alejandro Escovedo)
12 - Count on Me (feat. Xeno)
13 - I Don't Mind (feat. Alex Dezen)

Bun E. Carlos - drums, percussion
Rick Rizzo - guitars
Nicholas Tremulis - guitars
John Stirratt, Tom Burgermeister - bass
Mark Greenberg, Joe Hite - keyboards



FAITHSEDGE - Restoration (2016)

FAITHSEDGE - Restoration (2016) full
HERE Fixed

We already praised the Californian Melodic Hard Rock band FAITHSEDGE, fronted by mastermind singer / songwriter Giancarlo Floridia. The band's 3rd album "Restoration" released today June 24, not only it's their more melodic oriented ever, but also features an impressive line-up including members of Stryper, Ace Frehley Band, Dokken, Hardline and more.

Faithsedge is the project of Giancarlo Floridia, he writes all the songs and call friends / session musicians for the recordings.
"Restoration" includes Stryper bass player Tim Gaines, Ace Frehley / Mr .Big drummer Matt Starr, and former Dokken guitarist Alex De Rosso. Both Keys and production have been handled by... guess who: Alessandro Del Vecchio (Hardline / Revolution Saints). So expect a bright rocking sound all over.

There's lot to be said for having top-notch people in your camp, especially when you're creating classic melodic hard rock. And that leads to the consistency.
Floridia writes and creates classic melodic hard rock with, at places, some edge. The latter was bumped up on the last album and, I would contend, it's even more prominent now.
There's some really hard charging barn burning songs here like 'Taking Our Lives', 'This War', 'Regret It All', and 'Her Way Back', all really good cuts of pure arena hard rock with big hooks & choruses, strong arrangements and powerful performances.

In "Jennifer" we have a clear winner; an '80s melodic hard rock gem that could be a major hit back then and a daily airplay in MTV.
"Faith And Chris" is something of an emotional power ballad anthem that shows the great vocal abilities of Giancarlo Floridia but also is yet another highlight out of "Restoration". This tune includes an amazing guitar work by Alex De Rosso that leaves you breathless.

FAITHSEDGE - Restoration (2016) inside

The approach for Faithsedge's third effort "Restoration" is very melodic with a classic sound: '80s style hooks, big drums, slamming bass, flurry keys and bright production. But at the same time they gained - courtesy of Del Vecchio - more muscle to the proceedings. The album keeps a current up to date feel with lyric content of today’s world, some of them quite interesting.
Floridia, as a vocalist, sounds stronger than ever, and the guitar work, the riffs and solos are monstrous and appealing. Also, having Del Vecchio behind the knobs makes this entire recording sound both larger and more polished.

Without a doubt, "Restoration" is Faithsedge best and strongest album to date. It definitely rocks with melody and very well crafted songs.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Never A Day
02 - Jennifer
03 - You Cannot Give Up
04 - Faith And Chris
05 - Her Way Back
06 - Regret At All
07 - This War
08 - Taking Our Lives
09 - Let You Breath
10 - This Is Everything

Giancarlo Floridia - vocals
Tim Gaines - bass
Matt Starr - drums
Alex De Rosso - guitars
Alessandro Del Vecchio - keyboards



Friday, June 24, 2016

FEATHERSTONE - Northern Rumble (2016)

FEATHERSTONE - Northern Rumble (2016) full

Signed by AOR Heaven Records, FEATHERSTONE are releasing today their debut "Northern Rumble" via the prestigious label.
This Swedish melodic rock outfit born in 2012 when songwriter / multi-instrumentalist / producer Rikard Quist decided that he had enough of writing & playing for bands such as Gypsy Rose, Don Patrol, Last Autumn’s Dream, White Wolf and Bangalore Choir and wanted to plough his own furrow.

Four years later, thanks to his collaboration with singer Lars Boden (Appearance) and drummer Niklas Osterlund (Headplate), the project now offers up the first products of its labour, in the form of this extremely effective and hugely impressive debut album.
Right from the off, the emphasis is placed on the richness of Boden’s vocal, with opener ‘I Need Myself The Most’ very firmly putting him front and centre, with his solo intro over a gentle guitar harmonic, before the main thrust of the song evolves it into a classic melodic rock tune, with a soaring hook and a huge singalong bridge section which reminds of Dare and Ten in its timbre.

‘Freedom Call’ sees some grit introduced to the proceedings, especially in the main riff, but without sacrificing Quist’s supreme ear for a catchy melody / harmony, especially in way he intertwines Boden’s vocal around the keyboards rather than the main guitar line.
First ‘Leave Me Be’ and then ‘Look Into My Eyes’ pick up the pace still further. The former is a defiant statement about moving on with your life, with multiple messages buried within its clever lyrics, and delivered with a confident swagger, while the latter continues this theme with its glossy coating of bravura covering its underlying darker theme.

‘Hole In My Heart’ is a classic, bluesy ballad which picks up on the Whitesnake vibe expounded at the end of the previous track, and showcases the lower end of Boden’s magnificent voice to tremendous effect, as you feel the singer wrench the lyric from the darkest depths of his range.

‘Silhouettes On The Shade’ is plenty of keyboard effects, with the synth-led stab of the opening bars quickly evolving into a dense and massive melodic main section which immediately gets your feet tapping and head nodding, while Boden’s vocals once again soar and sweep around and between the instrumental harmonies with superb effect.

‘Hold On To Love’ is another romper-stomper, very much in the feel of the style of glam-tinged melodic rock that the Swedes seem to be very much making their own at the moment, with another insanely catchy and danceable hook, this time built around a remarkably understated guitar line.
‘Fear Me, Save Me’ hurtles the album towards its conclusion with the intent of Lewis Hamilton pulling into the final corner at Monte Carlo, it’s fiercesome blues tinge combined with a crunching guitar drive and another impassioned performance from Boden.

Closer ‘Part Of Me’ rounds the album off in typically Scandi-AOR style, with another catchy melody and great use of vocal harmonics.
With "Northern Rumble" Featherstone have brought the vision of the band’s creator to glorious, energetic life in an album that ticks all the right boxes in terms of how to deliver classy melodic rock.
HIGHLY Recommended.

01 - I Need Myself The Most
02 - Freedom Call
03 - Leave Me Be
04 - Look Into My Eyes
05 - Hole In My Heart
06 - Silhouettes On The Shade
07 - Hold On To Love
08 - Scandinavian Rose
09 - Fear Me, Save Me
10 - Part Of Me

Lars Boden (lead vocals, backing vocals)
Nik Osterlund (drums)
Rikard Quist (guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals)
Paulo Mendonca: Guitars
Christian Svensson: Guitars
Peter Hallin: Guitars
Anders Borjesson: Guitars
Annica Svensson: Vocals



STEVE VAI - Passion And Warfare [Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition] (2016)

STEVE VAI - Passion And Warfare [Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition] (2016) full

Alongside the first-ever release of Modern Primitive STEVE VAI is releasing today June 24 a remastered & expanded version of his ground-breaking album "Passion And Warfare" celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Both are being released as a 2CD physical collection while each disc will be available as a separate title as well.

In 2016, Steve Vai's "Passion And Warfare" remains one of the most lasting documents of the guitar virtuoso genre. The chicken-pickin’, Van Halen-esque riff of 'The Audience is Listening' and the ‘80s radio rock of 'I Would Love To' clearly place this album in the era of bright spandex and grandiose, hairspray-coated locks.
A good half of Passion And Warfare's songs have since become Vai classics, if not calling cards ('For the Love of God', 'The Animal') and all the music packed inside hasn't lost its staying power.

In the years between his first solo record and "Passion And Warfare", Vai was a prolific studio and live musician, performing with artists like Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. By the time 1990 rolled around, Vai had refined his guitar craft to a degree that demanded a solo career.
Written based on a series of dream sequences that Vai had when he was younger, "Passion And Warfare" was all recorded in The Mothership studio at his home in the Hollywood Hills, in which his guitar parts for Whitesnake's 1989 album Slip of the Tongue were also recorded. As such, Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale has small spoken parts on Passion And Warfare.

With a sonic approach and bombastic, glossy production typical from late '80s US hard rock "Passion And Warfare" made waves and received a RIAA Gold certification. The melodic, rock-solid tunes caused great impact not only bettween electric guitar aficionados, but also rockers in general.
The influence of ‘80s rock and metal has since diminished in Vai’s work (especially in favor of more orchestral compositions), but the legato clean guitar on 'For the Love of God' and 'The Riddle' are still staples of Vai’s sound.

"Passion And Warfare is a case where the hits continue to justify their status as such. 'For the Love of God' is every bit the virtuoso staple that it deserves to be. Intensely spiritual (Vai went on a 10-day fast during the writing of the song) and musically astonishing for sure.
The funky swagger of 'The Animal' is still a thing to behold in a live setting, while the sketch comedy idea behind 'The Audience is Listening', wherein a young Vai raises hell with a rip-roaring guitar solo during his class show-and-tell, is as cloying as it was in 1990, but in its unabashed joy at the thrill of making one’s way up and down the guitar neck, it remains an essential track about the appeal of shredding.

The lesser-known cuts from th album hold up just as well as their famous counterparts.
'Ballerina 12/24', with its glassy Eventide effects, is the shredder’s equivalent of a Bach prelude; both in its demands of dexterity and its refracted guitar effects, it is a brief but compelling case study for the compositional depth of the guitar virtuoso style.
At some point, all guitar shredders fall prey to the problem of technicality for technicality’s sake - but "Passion And Warfare" embraces technicality for the sonic enjoyment it provides, not for the ego fires that it stokes.
The same can be said of the unusual and appealing chord progressions on 'Sisters', whose sparkling guitar tone Vai would bring back to memorable effect on Alien Love Secrets‘s Jimi Hendrix tribute The Boy from Seattle.

The 14 original album tunes on "Passion And Warfare" are joined on the 25th Anniversary Edition by four bonus tracks.
The best of these, the sitar-accented 'Lovely Elixir' is anchored by powerful chord strums atop which Vai lays down some appealing guitar lines. The remaining three - 'And We Are One', 'As Above', and 'So Below (Niels Bye Nielsen Orchestration)' - are interesting curiosities. All showcase Vai exploring his guitar technique, and those looking to pull apart the nuances of what Vai does with the guitar would do well to give them a spin.

STEVE VAI - Passion And Warfare [Remastered 25th Anniversary Edition] (2016) back

It should come as little surprise that "Passion And Warfare" holds up as well as it does over 25 years later (actually 26 years; the album was released in 1990). The precedent Vai set with the record is one that many virtuoso guitarists, even those responsible for laying the groundwork for the genre, regularly far short of: namely, the importance of the instrumental guitar song as a vocal-independent form.
Essential album.

01 - Liberty
02 - Erotic Nightmares
03 - The Animal
04 - Answers
05 - The Riddle
06 - Ballerina 12/24
07 - For the Love of God
08 - The Audience Is Listening
09 - I Would Love To
10 - Blue Powder
11 - Greasy Kid's Stuff (Mixed Twelve)
12 - Alien Water Kiss
13 - Sisters
14 - Love Secrets
15 - Lovely Elixir
16 - And We Are One (Alternate Solo No. 2)
17 - As Above (SV Demo)
18 - So Below (Niels Bye Nielsen Orchestration)



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