Wednesday, July 26, 2017

220 VOLT - Power Games [digitally remastered] (2017)

220 VOLT - Power Games [digitally remastered] (2017) full

One of the leading, pioneering '80s Swedish metal / hard rock bands is without a doubt 220 VOLT. With their second album "Power Games" from 1984 they became one of Europe's most important acts in the genre, but curiously the record never was officially released on CD. Dutch label Music On CD finally made justice few weeks ago with this remastered version of this acclaimed album.

It would be about 1984 by the time it became apparent that 220 Volt deserved much more recognition than they were receiving, because "Power Games" is a pretty great melodic metal record that easily is the equal of any John Norum-era Europe release, even if there's few here like 'that keyboard line'.
The album is both louder and more memorable than the band's first effort in every conceivable way, and it sounds like some Swedish counterpart to the American band Riot around 1983, with a lot of unspoken reverb to the tracks that simply ricochets off into a night sky full of dreams, aircraft, electricity and expectations.

You need listen no further than the opener "Firefall" to hear just how much they've developed in such a short time. Brazen, rocking mayhem with a superb sense for powerful chords that heighten both the verse and chorus, while intense, brief bursts of melodic guitar fills contribute to the momentum.
Then "Airborne Fighter" is like a searing bluesy metal with some nice melodic lines and another killer climax.

"Over the Top" is much more commercial and accessible, using some clean guitars and one of 'those keyboard lines' along with the chorus vocal, but it's still got a sense of rhythmic determination akin to a Europe.
I also really enjoyed the mystical, plodding "Child or Beast" with its Arabesque verse notation, while "Don't Go" and "Night Without End" are both really smooth and melodious.
220 Volt also delivers a melodic metal ballad in "Carry On", with that unique '80s atmosphere helped by classy keyboards and a strong chorus.

220 VOLT - Power Games [digitally remastered] (2017) booklet

"Power Games" was a quite successful LP in the European market and a much sought after by the American fans of the genre. It has a brighter sense of 'hit power' without sacrificing 220 Volt's inbred melodic metal talent.
It's one of their better albums, though on the successor Mind Over Muscle they would take another considerable step up.
This fresh 2017 remaster / first time on CD reissue is fine - I heard better - so if you dwell in that gray area between '80s hard rock and traditional melodic metal fan, this is one you should make haste to hear.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01. Fire Fall
02. Airborne Fighter
03. Over The Top
04. Night Without End
05. Child Or Beast
06. Mistreated Eyes
07. Don't Go
08. Carry On

Joakim Lundholm - Vocals
Mats Karlsson - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals
Mike Larsson - Bass
Peter Hermansson - Drums
Thomas Drevin - Electric & Acoustic Guitars



KJETIL BY (feat. Robin Beck) - Better Days

KJETIL BY (feat. Robin Beck) - Better Days - full

While waiting the new Robin Beck album in few months, you need to check her voice here on KJETIL BY's album "Better Days". When this Norwegian started to write the songs for this CD, the intention was to record a pop/rock album with a melodic sound.
Kjetil wanted the best musicians for the sessions and we have TNT / Stage Dolls / Da Vinci members playing the parts, but the big surprise come when Robin Beck also said yes to join the project.

Not only Robin Beck sings all songs, husband and House Of Lords mastermind James Christian agreed to produce the album and also provide backing / harmony vocals. Robin become so much involved that Kjetil decided to release the album as "Kjetil By feat. Robin Beck".
As such, this really solid collection of songs sounds more like a brand-new solo album from Robin Beck than a solo album from Kjetil By... but with a Scandi touch thanks to the arrangements, specially the keyboard lines.

So, all ingredients are there for a very good Melodic Rock / AOR / rock&pop album: great songs (hats off to Kjetil's pen), fantastic performers (with Beck really putting heart and soul into the material) and a clear production (Christian & Kjetil).

As I like the whole album it's hard to pick favorites, but for the moment I would go for opener and title track “Better Days”, “Everything Has A Price” (recalls Beck's late '80s), “Dancers” and the emotive ballad “Guide You On Your Way”.
Also note that the album ends with alternative versions of the aforementioned tracks “Better Days” and “Dancers”.

KJETIL BY (feat. Robin Beck) - Better Days (2014) back cover

Totally out of the blue came this fourth solo album from Norwegian guitarist Kjetil By, and it's a wonderful, absolutely unexpected one: Robin Beck at the mic, no more no less...
Of course Robin, James Christian's touch and all musicians involved are impeccable here, but you need good songs for the purpose, and Kjetil is armed with excellent tunes (co-written with Norwgian composer Claudia Scott) with 6 years in the making.

I love this kind of surprises, full of quality. “Better Days” is a must for any Melodic Rock / AOR fan, and I hope Kjetil will go on this way in the future.
Highly Recommended.

01 - Better Days
02 - New York Rain
03 - Everything Has A Price
04 - Carry On
05 - Dancers
06 - Only Myself To Blame
07 - White Nights
08 - Superseded
09 - Autumn Winds
10 - Guide You On Your Way
11 - Better Days (Alternate Version)
12 - Dancers (Alternate Version)

Robin Beck - Lead Vocals on all tracks
James Christian - Harmonies
Kjetil By - Guitars
Morten Skaget (TNT) - Bass
Steinar Krokstad (Stage Dolls) - Percussion
Dag Selbosakar (Da Vinci) - Keyboards



Tuesday, July 25, 2017

LIONHEART - Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives [Japan Only] Out Of Print

LIONHEART - Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives [Japan Only] Out Of Print full

After the recent post of LIONHEART's great album remastered and waiting for the band's official second effort in more than 30 years to be released soon, it's fitting to be featured on this blog "Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives", a terrific double CD only appeared in Japan compiling all Lionheart '80s recordings than never made it into disc.

Since their foundation in 1980, Lionheart was the most famous unsigned band in Great Britain.
After several sold-out shows at the legendary The Marquee without a single song released, Lionheart played at The Reading Festival and were booked to support Def Leppard on their 1981 British tour.
Really impressive for a band without a recording contract.
And that's because the quality of the musicians involved.

Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis), Steve Mann (MSG, The Sweet, Eloy) and Rocky Newton (Wild Fire, Def Leppard, MSG) not only were excellent musicians, but together formed one of the most respected European 'harmony vocals' trio from the first half of the '80s.
The trio arranged and recorded backing vocals as session musicians for almost every Rock record that came out in UK at the early '80s, from Def Leppard to UFO, Grand Prix to Uriah Heep, and countless more.

Additionally, and while playing all over Europe, Lionheart recorded tons of demos.
The band experienced several line-up changes in the drum and keyboard slots, but the core of Stratton / Mann / Newton stay intact.
The 1983 composed songs / demos ended on what was Lionheart's album Hot Tonight, but the previous from 1981-82, and the latter (1984-85) remained unreleased.

LIONHEART - Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives [Japan Only] booklet

Over the years since originally appeared, Lionheart album 'Hot Tonight' became very popular in Japan, with lots of fans hungry for more. Ironically, the band never toured in Asia.
That's when Japanese record label Pony Canyon approached Stratton / Mann / Newton for a possible new album, or some previously unreleased material.
All the tapes from the '80s were checked and the songs on this "Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives" carefully selected by the 3 musicians, all remastered by Steve Mann himself.

What you have here are some precious gems from this incredibly talented band that shouda been huge.
On the first CD we find the songs from their early era, more hard rocking and influenced by the NWOBHM.
Of course there's the track that names the band, 'Lionheart', as far I know the only officially released before as part of the 'Heavy Metal Heroes Volume II' LP (HMRecords, 1982).
'Don't You Know What Love Is?' not only has a similar name to Foreigner's song, but it also sounds like the American band hardest moments, while 'Give Me The Light' is a highlight with a midtempo pace in the vein of Grand Prix.

Then CD 2 is a must for mid-Eighties AOR suckers and fans of 'Hot Tonight', as most of these were composed / recorded between 1984-85, plus some tracks that never made it into the album.
As examples there's a catchy melodic rocker in 'Sweet Surrender', lots of synths in 'Don't Make A Fool Out Of Me' (it sounds like a lost Virginia Wolf song), an even I find a little hair metal on the fun 'Every Dog Has His Day'.

LIONHEART - Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives [Japan Only]  back

This 2-CD box packaging is excellent, with a family-tree of all band members, a colorful 24-page booklet with rare photos, lyrics and liner notes from all musicians.
Yeah, Lionheart's "Unearthed; Raiders Of The Lost Archives" is a must have for collectors and fans of '80s Melodic Hard Rock / AOR.
Out Of Print

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01. Lionheart (1981)
02. Car On The Hill (1982)
03. Dealer (1982)
04. Time For Love (1982)
05. Ace In The Hole (1982)
06. Don't You Know What Love Is? (1982)
07. It Matters To Me (1982)
08. Shooting All The Lights Out (1982)
09. The Lions Roar (1982)
10. Last Night (1981)
11. Do You Believe? (1982)
12. Give Me The Light (1983)
13. Prisoner (1983)
14. Don't Hide The Feeling (1983)
15. Keepin' Our Love Alive (1983)
16. Every Boy In Town (1983)

01. Sweet Surrender (1983)
02. Place In Time (1985)
03. Heartbeat Radio (1985)
04. You Can't Buy A Dream (1985)
05. Outrageous (1985)
06. Don't Make A Fool Out Of Me (1985)
07. Angel Of Love (1985)
08. Missing You (1985)
09. You're So Cold (1985)
10. Legend (1985)
11. If You Want To Kill Me (1985)
12. Don't Stop Me Now (1985)
13. Every Dog Has His Day (1985)
14. I Will Love You (1985)

Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden, Praying Mantis): guitar, vocals
Steve Mann (MSG, The Sweet, Eloy): guitar, keyboards, vocals
Rocky Newton (Wild Fire, Def Leppard, MSG): bass, vocals

Chad Brown (The Sweet, Snowblind): lead vocals
Bob Hawthorn: lead vocals (Tracks 12-14 on CD 1)
Clive Edwards Wild Horses, Grand Prix, UFO): drums
Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden, Trust): drums (Track 10 on CD 1)
Bob Jenkins (Alphaville): drums
Andy Beirne (Grand Prix, Dirty Tricks): drums
Bruce Bisland: drums
Phil Lanzon (Grand Prix, John Lawton, Uriah Heep): keyboards
Toby Sadler (Samson, Airrace, If Only, Fastway): keyboards
Kevin Fitzpatrick (Lost Weekend): keyboards



BOW WOW - Charge [Rock Candy remastered]

BOW WOW - Charge [Rock Candy remastered] full

Some time ago Rock Candy Records started a especially numbered 'JPCANDY' series focused on the remastered reissue of Japanese bands / albums. "Charge" is the third record from BOW WOW, a pioneer hard rock / metal Japanese act.
For many Bow Wow's best album ever, this is the first time that "Charge" is released outside Asia.

"Charge" was Bow Wow’s third album and showcased a more solid, and in some ways a much more refined approach to the band’s evolving sound. This new album rather cleverly fused intense hard rock riffing with a sense of mature drama, which suggested Bow Wow were not just a one dimensional beast.
This aptly titled epic features more of the hard-hitting heavy metal that made the first two albums ones to appreciate. While a step down in terms of heaviness, it manages to mold both hard rock and traditional metal together.
The self-titled debut cruised with joy, the sophomore tore fans up, and this one gives the best of both.

Guitarist & vocalist Kyoji Yamamoto is the main songwriter for the band, and has grown considerably here, even though it doesn’t sound like a whole lot has changed.
The songwriting still consists of the usual short rockers, a soft track or two, and a track that conjures some epicness.
Kicking off with 'Jet Jive' this is all about rock 'n roll. Kyoji’s accent makes the parts sung in English to be a bit amusing at first, but at least the man is trying and putting a lot of energy into the performance. With stuff like 'Jet Jive' he's pretty nasal, unlike 'Sister Soul' and 'Rock And Roll Kid' where the vocals are low cleans; most of the album takes this approach, too.

'Fallen Leaves' is the separate ballad, but even then Kyoji has focused, poignant, thick cleans lead vocals. One thing’s for sure, you won’t feel intimidated by his singing… except on 'Must Say Adieu' which is the longest, heaviest, and one of the best songs on the album.
It's the epic number where the riff blasts things off, and Kyoji does grunts, warbles, wails, screams, and shouts with his roughest performance yet. His guitar alongside Mitsuhiro Saito blaze through with dual riffs tearing the place up into a festive fire, and then it breaks into one of the best bridges I’ve ever heard in heavy metal.

BOW WOW - Charge [Rock Candy remastered] back

For those looking into Bow Wow's career, "Charge" is considered the best starting point, but even then you might as well just start at the beginning. This 3rd album makes the debut sound years away, even though the hard rock / traditional metal style has barely changed at all.
Requested by one of you (place yours!), a not easy to find fine remastered reissue by Rock Candy.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Jet Jive
02 - Must Say "Adieu"
03 - Blue Eyed Lady
04 - The Clown
05 - Rock And Roll Kid
06 - Fallen Leaves
07 - Heavy
08 - Sister Soul
09 - Behind The Mask

Kyoji Yamamoto — lead guitar, lead vocals, percussion
Mitsuhiro Saito — guitar, lead vocals
Kenji Sano — bass, vocals
Toshihiro Nimi — drums, percussion, vocals



BOW WOW - Signal Fire [Rock Candy remastered]

BOW WOW - Signal Fire [Rock Candy remastered] full

Some time ago Rock Candy Records started a especially numbered 'JPCANDY' series focused on the remastered reissue of Japanese bands / albums. "Signal Fire" is the second record from BOW WOW, a pioneer hard rock / metal Japanese act.
Signed by major label Invitation Records / Victor Japan, with "Signal Fire" Bow Wow exploded into the Asian market with the band opening for major acts such as Kiss and Aerosmith during their Japanese tours.

Originally released in 1977 only in Japan, "Signal Fire" is an album of intense hard rock fire-power. A record that combines fast-as-a-shark riffing with blistering lead guitar work and unique multi-layered phasing of a kind that had not previously been applied to hard rock recordings in such an impressive manner.

At this point, guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto was fast establishing himself as a craftsman with supreme technical ability. His playing was taking on a seriously brilliant sheen, combining the techniques and flare of influential Western players such as Ritchie Blackmore and Jimi Hendrix yet leaving room to create a style of his own.

BOW WOW - Signal Fire [Rock Candy remastered] inside

Hard rock tape-traders soon spotlighted Bow Wow as one of the best new discoveries of the era and hugely successful acts such as Metallica and Iron Maiden have subsequently gone on to confirm that this record was unquestionably a major influence.
"Signal Fire" - in fact Bow Wow's first 3 albums - remain as a milestone in Japanese hard rock / metal history.
Requested by one of you (place yours!) a not easy to find fine remastered reissue by Rock Candy.

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Prelude
02 - Get On Our Train
03 - Just One More Night
04 - Silver Lightning
05 - Electric Power Up
06 - Rock 'N' Roll Drive
07 - Rainbow Of Sabbath
08 - Tell Me Tell Me
09 - Signal Fire
10 - Still

Kyoji Yamamoto — lead guitar, lead vocals, percussion
Mitsuhiro Saito — guitar, lead vocals
Kenji Sano — bass, vocals
Toshihiro Nimi — drums, percussion, vocals



DON BARNES - Ride The Storm (2017)

DON BARNES - Ride The Storm (2017) full

Nearly 30 years ago, what would have been an instant classic was relegated to storage thanks to the old story of record label machinations. We are talking about the classic AOR masterpiece DON BARNES solo album "Ride The Storm".
One of the best “lost” albums of all time, with demos circulating among fans for years, finally sees the light of day with a superb sound.

In the late-’80s, the band .38 Special was mainstreaming, getting more synthed-out, and were fairly representative of the AOR sound at the time. Journey, REO Speedwagon, just about any group around this time were shooting for Top 40 pop radio. This was at odds with a shift in rock tastes, be it the harder take Guns ‘N Roses were putting out, the glam-infused side of Poison, or the juggernaut that was Def Leppard’s Hysteria record.

A&M Records, the home of .38 Special, approached lead singer Don Barnes with a promising offer: they would set him up with a solo side project and stock his backing band with a murderer’s row of studio talent. We’re talking about session players like Toto's Porcaro brothers, Dann Huff, Alan Pasqua, and others; people with proven track records and gold on the wall.
The album was recorded around 1988.

The reason you (probably) know nothing about this is because the album was shelved. No direct explanation as to what the problem was has been issued, except to say that this happens more often than you’d expect. A record label spends umpteen thousands of dollars on a recording, but when business alliances change or individuals in upper management switch out or step off, their passion projects get swept into limbo.
Such was the case with Barnes’. A few demonstration mixes were made, but that was it.

The record ultimately found its way into the world — albeit in dribs and drabs — through Internet leaks of those demo mixes.
Cut to 2016. Melodic Rock Records started hinting at his wish list for 2017, and one of those was a long-lost AOR contender. He wouldn’t say what it was, as the “I”s weren’t dotted and the “T”s weren’t crossed yet, but there was real money spent on the effort and up to that point, that money was in some box somewhere, collecting nearly thirty years’ worth of dust.

Finally, in 2017, Don Barnes’ "Ride The Storm" is here.
You'll love this album. It has everything one expects from the '80s, devoid of the angst and vitriol that was about to come. Even when the songs are about bad times, these are good-time songs at the core.
The musicians are guaranteed quantities, so you know what they deliver is as professional as can be, especially Dann Huff and his awesome solos, a Jeff Porcaro / Denny Carmassi great drumming. Add to that load of classic '80s keyboards.
And Barnes’ voice is just solid southern roast beef — not overcooked, not fussy, always on the money and delivering what you hoped for.

Who won’t like this? If you are reading this blog then you need to listen to Don Barnes "Ride The Storm". It's a 'major production' 80s record with bunch of terrific songs and that classic feel-good vibe.
For those who miss the sound of a seasoned pro setting them up and knocking them down with confidence, "Ride The Storm" will certainly put a big grin on your face and an upturned volume knob on your stereo or device.
Mandatory Listen

1. Ride The Storm
Guitars - Don Barnes / Additional Guitar Solos - Dann Huff / Keys - Martin Briley / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Porcaro

2. Looking For You
Guitars - Don Barnes / Keys and Additional Guitar - Martin Briley / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Pocaro

3. I Fall Back
Guitars - Don Barnes / Keys - Martin Briley / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Porcaro

4. Don't Look Down
Guitars - Don Barnes / Keys - Jesse Harms / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Denny Carmassi

5. Maybe You'll Believe Me Now
Guitars - Don Barnes / Keys - Alan Pasqua / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Denny Carmassi

6. I'd Do It All Over Again
Guitars - Don Barnes / Additional Guitar - Dann Huff / Keys - Alan Pasqua / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Porcaro

7. Every Time We Say Goodbye
Guitars - Don Barnes / Additional Rhythm Guitar - Tim Pierce / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Porcaro

8. Feelin' Stronger Every Day
Guitars - Don Barnes / Additional Guitar - Dann Huff / Keys - Alan Pasqua / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Jeff Porcaro

9. After The Way
Guitars - Don Barnes / Keys - Martin Briley / Bass - Mike Porcaro / Drums - Denny Carmassi

10. Johnny Ain't So Cool
Guitars - Don Barnes / Bass Guitar - Mike Porcaro / Keys and Guitar Solo - Martin Briley / Drums - Denny Carmassi



Monday, July 24, 2017

MARILLION - Misplaced Childhood [Deluxe Edition remastered 2017]

MARILLION - Misplaced Childhood [Deluxe Edition remastered 2017] full

MARILLION‘s classic masterwork 1985 studio album "Misplaced Childhood", which features the hits Kayleigh and Lavender, has been reissued in a luxury Deluxe Edition including a five-disc set freshly remastered 2017.

The 4CD+Blu-ray package features a newly remastered edition of the album, a concert from Holland across two CDs (including "Misplaced Childhood" performed in its entirety) and a fourth disc of demos and rarities “remastered exclusively for this set”.
The October 1985 concert was recorded Live at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg in the city of Utrecht. It’s all previously unreleased except for the track 'Chelsea Monday' which was the B-side to third single, 'Heart Of Lothian'.

In addition, to the surround sound version of the album handled by producer, musician and surround maestro Steven Wilson (hi-res 96kHz 24 bit on Blu-ray), Kayleigh B-side 'Lady Nina' has also been mixed to 5.1 and there’s also a new stereo remix of that track as well (this also features on CD 4 along with the original mix of 'Lady Nina').
The entire five-disc Deluxe Edition is presented in a case-bound ‘bookset’ that includes a 60-page booklet with sleeve notes written by Dave Everley.

MARILLION - Misplaced Childhood [Deluxe Edition remastered 2017] back

Marillion's "Misplaced Childhood" went on to become the band's greatest commercial triumph, and for many their finest moment.
This 2017 remaster sounds fabulous, lush and punchy, and apart from the very good live concert (including "Misplaced Childhood" performed in its entirety) of special interest there's the extra disc of rarities with a terrific sound as well.

CD1: Misplaced Childhood (2017 Remastered Version)
01 - Pseudo Silk Kimono
02 - Kayleigh
03 - Lavender
04 - Bitter Suite
05 - Heart of Lothian
06 - Waterhole (Expresso Bongo)
07 - Lords of the Backstage
08 - Blind Curve
09 - Childhood's End?
10 - White Feather

CD2: Live in Utrecht 1985 [Part 1]
01 - Emerald Lies (Intro) (Live at Utrecht 1985)
02 - Script for a Jester's Tear (Live at Utrecht 1985)
03 - Incubus (Live at Utrecht 1985)
04 - Chelsea Monday (Live at Utrecht 1985)
05 - The Web (Live at Utrecht 1985)

CD3: Live in Utrecht 1985 [Part 2: full Misplaced Childhood +]
01 - Pseudo Silk Kimono (Live at Utrecht 1985)
02 - Kayleigh (Live at Utrecht 1985)
03 - Lavender (Live at Utrecht 1985)
04 - Bitter Suite (Live at Utrecht 1985)
05 - Heart of Lothian (Live at Utrecht 1985)
06 - Waterhole (Express Bongo) (Live at Utrecht 1985)
07 - Lords of the Backstage (Utrecht 1985)
08 - Blind Curve (Live at Utrecht 1985)
09 - Childhood's End? (Live at Utrecht 1985)
10 - White Feather (Live at Utrecht 1985)
11 - Fugazi (Live at Utrecht 1985)
12 - Garden Party (Live at Utrecht 1985)
13 - Market Square Heroes (Live at Utrecht 1985)

CD4: B-Sides & Demos (2017 Remastered Version)
01 - Lady Nina
02 - Freaks
03 - Kayleigh (Alternative Mix)
04 - Lavender Blue
05 - Heart of Lothian (Extended Mix)
06 - Lady Nina (Steven Wilson Stereo Remix)
07 - Pseudo Silk Kimono (Demo)
08 - Kayleigh (Demo)
09 - Lavender (Demo)
10 - Bitter Suite (Demo)
11 - Lords of the Backstage (Demo)
12 - Blue Angel (Demo)
13 - Misplaced Rendezvous (Demo)
14 - Heart Of Lothian (Demo)
15 - Waterhole (Expresso Bongo) (Demo)
16 - Passing Strangers (Demo)
17 - Childhood's End? (Demo)

Fish – vocals
Steve Rothery – guitars
Mark Kelly – keyboards
Pete Trewavas – bass
Ian Mosley – drums, percussion



TOJA - V (2017)

TOJA - V (2017) full

TOJA is a German melodic hard rock band with AOR touches who are celebrating their 20th Anniversary with their fifth album, fittingly named ‘V’ and released by Pure Rock Records.
Taking its name from the band founders (from vocalist Tommy Rinn “TO” and guitarist Jan Thielking “JA”) ‘V’ appears to be a hard rock album straight from the '80s, presenting to the listener melodic riff-oriented rockers and delicate ballads.

This '80s feeling meets the listener since opener ‘Tears of Fire’, a pristine sounding melodic hard rock track with fine instrumentation and Tommy Rinn's tenor smooth lead vocals.
‘Forever Rock’ and 'Where's My Home' makes you wonder which good results and success this album would have had if it was released 30 years ago, both with catchy rhythms and the latter with an AOR pinch.
Then there's 'Love Is Like A Sin' which has this brooding and heavy feeling in its pacing, chunky riffs, and thick bottom end. One of the strongest songs here.

But ToJa also delivers variation as well with ‘She's A Rebel’, adding some electronics and synths to the guitar riffs both working fine for the overall nice drive of the song.
Two ballads come with 'Ballad Of A Friend' and 'Don't Let Me Go', both developed with acoustic guitar in the mix. Also, there's the good, short hard rock instrumental 'Senza Cantata' showcasing Thielking's slick guitar work.
The album closes with ToJa getting their bluesy hard rock groove going with 'Ashes To Ashes'.

TOJA - V (2017) inside

All in all, "V" is a solid and consistent effort from ToJa, an enjoyable album of guitar driven melodic hard rock in the German style. There's a strong '80s feeling all over, but the band manages to add their own touch and a fresh production sound.
Two thumbs up.

01 - Tears of Fire
02 - She's a Rebel
03 - Forever Rock
04 - Love Is Like a Sin
05 - Modern Times
06 - Ballad for a Friend
07 - Where’s My Home
08 - Run for Cover
09 - Don't Let Me Go
10 - Senza Cantata
11 - Ashes to Ashes

lead vocals, percussion - Tommy Rinn
guitars, keyboards, backing vocals - Jan Thielking
bass - Oliver “Ole” Dietz
drums - Max Rudolph



JAKE E. LEE - Runnin' With The Devil [Japan LTD mini-LP remastered]

JAKE E. LEE - Runnin' With The Devil [Japanese remaster VSCD-4269] full

A true guitar hero and one of the best electric six-string emerged from the '80s, JAKE E. LEE took a sabbatical decade away from the stages during the 2000's. Anyway, Jake recorded this very good record of classic rock songs with the help of famous singers entitled "Runnin' With The Devil".
Never published in the Asian market, recently has been remastered and released in Japan.

Quite underrated during the Eighties - but highly praised later - Jake E. Lee is mostly known by the two albums he recorded with Ozzy Osbourne, "Bark At The Moon" and the slick "Ultimate Sin" (not to mention his three excellent Badlands albums), all chock full of fantastic playing by this man.

On "Runnin' With The Devil" you get an album's worth of reworkings of songs made famous by Van Halen, Ted Nugent, AC/DC, etc, with Lee's guitar doing battle with a variety of singers such as Glenn Hughes, Ratt's Stephen Pearcy, Stevie Rachelle from Tuff, Testament's Chuck Billy, Warrant's  Jani Lane and more.

All covers are hot 'n rockin', like Ted Nugent & the Amboy Dukes' "Journey to the Center of the Mind", which features some tasty licks and a crazy solo.
Other highlights include tracks where it's the singer who makes the music memorable, including Lemmy on AC/DC's "It's a Long Way to the Top", Glenn Hughes on Queen's "Get Down, Make Love", and the late Jani Lane of Warrant doing "Free For All".

JAKE E. LEE - Runnin' With The Devil [Japanese remaster VSCD-4269] inside

It's always a treat to spot some largely unheard Jake E. Lee guitar work, and "Runnin' With The Devil" is a great example of his mastery on the electric guitar.
Great Japanese remastered reissue.

01. Runnin' With The Devil
- feat. Stephen Pearcy (Ratt)
02. Seek & Destroy
- feat. Chuck Billy (Testament)
03. Wango Tango
- feat. Stevie Rachelle (Tuff)
04. Just What The Doctor Ordered
- feat. Kory Clarke (Warrior Soul)
05. Journey To The Center Of The Mind
- feat. Phil Lewis (L.A. Guns)
06. Get Down Make Love
- feat. Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple)
07. Wang, Dang Sweet Poontang
- feat. Alex Mitchell (Circus Of Power)
08. Free For All
- feat. Jani Lane (Warrant)
09. Dog Eat Dog
- feat. Jizzy Pearl (Love/Hate)
10. It s A Long Way To The Top
- feat. Lemmy (Motorhead)
11. Cry In Time
- feat. Stephen Pearcy (Ratt)



Sunday, July 23, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.2

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.2 full

Very close to a new month here we are with some fresh Advanced Singles, many from releases scheduled for the next Autumn. Most news come from the ever fruitful Frontiers Music camp.
One of the more awaited releases is the debut of KEE OF HEARTS, a new band built around two true melodic rock superstars: Tommy Heart (singer of Fair Warning) and Kee Marcello, former Europe guitarist, with a line-up rounded out by Ken Sandin (ex-Alien) on bass.
We already featured the awesome first single, here's the second 'A New Dimension', another top class Melodic Rock / AOR tune.

REVOLUTION SAINTS, the band featuring Deen Castronovo (Journey, Bad English), Doug Aldrich (Dead Daises, Whitesnake), and Jack Blades (Night Ranger), will release its second album, "Light In The Dark", on October 13 via Frontiers. Title track is the first single, and what a great one mixing equal parts of Journey / Night Ranger.

Also in October super-group PHANTOM 5 will release their second album Play II Win. The band includes former Bonfire singer Claus Lessmann, producer and guitar player Michael Voss (Michael Schenker), Robby Boebel (Fontline) and Axel Kruse (Jaded Heart). First single 'The Change In You' is just another fist pumping melodic rock anthem.

We have as well a new cut (the 4th) 'Hold On' from the much anticipated debut of THE NIGHTS. The band includes Finnish singer Sami Hyde (Tony Mills Band) who has written songs for many artists like The Magnificent, and Ilkka Wirtanen, known for his work as a producer and co-writer for Reckless Love.

Finally, after the re-recordings with new vocalist, QUIET RIOT has their new album ready. A new single has surfaced: the rocking 'Wasted'.
DIRTY THRILLS will release their first CD with Frontiers soon. This unique outfit are bringing back old school rock ‘n’ roll, while all the while applying their oh-so-appealing filthy edge to it. Here's the slow burning second advance 'Drunk Words'.

Frontiers have finally signed HELL IN THE CLUB, a killer hard rock / metal band that has staked a serious claim in the European scene based on a lot of hard work and the resumes of the members. We have another single in the form of the metallic and funny 'I Wanna Swing Like Peter Parker'.

The label has also released the second single titled 'Alive' from one of their newest acts: WAYWARD SONS. This new band is made up of Toby Jepson (vocals, guitar), Sam Wood (guitar), Nic Wastell (bass), Dave Kemp (keys) and Phil Martini (drums). They have an impressive resume of groups they have previously worked with: Little Angels, Gun, Spear Of Destiny, Treason Kings and Chrome Molly to name a few.

After many years, STEELHEART are back with a new album via Frontiers Music. Always fronted by talented Miljenko Matijevic, the band keeps faithful to their original sound as heard on first single 'Got Me Runnin'.

Then we have another cut from melodic progressive act SOUL SECRET from their new album Babel to be released soon, a surprisingly 'melodic & catchy' advance from NOCTURNAL RITES upcoming album, 'Every Wild Heart' the first single from THE NEW ROSES (great band) next album set to be released on August 25th, and another track from Swedes RIAN's Melodic Rock / AOR oriented debut CD.

01 - Kee Of Hearts - A New Dimension
02 - Revolution Saints - Light In The Dark
03 - The Nights - Hold On
04 - Phantom V - The Change In You
05 - Rian - In A Dream
06 - Quiet Riot - Wasted
07 - Steelheart - Got Me Runnin'
08 - The New Roses - Every Wild Heart
09 - Dirty Thrills - Drunk Words
10 - Wayward Sons - Alive
11 - Hell In The Club - I Wanna Swing Like Peter Parker
12 - Nocturnal Rites - Before We Waste Away
13 - Soul Secret - Awakened By The Light

Only at 0dayrox


RATT - Out Of The Cellar [Rock Candy remastered] AccurateRip

RATT - Out Of The Cellar [Rock Candy remastered] AccurateRip - full

One of the most awaited remasters by Rock Candy specialists was RATT's classic "Out Of The Cellar". At this point, you don't need a description about this multi-platinum record that rocketed Stephen Pearcy & Co. to stardom, but for the new generations, here we go:

Nobody was prepared for the Los Angeles hard rock explosion of the early '80s except, funnily enough, the bands themselves. Activity in the clubs on Sunset Strip had reached tipping point by the time Mötley Crüe and Quiet Riot were packing out these venues and, just like an explosion in a circus, literally hundreds of bands came tumbling out of the hills ready and willing to claim a slice of the action.
Looking good and talking the talk might have worked for some but if you really wanted to hit the big time then you had to be loaded with talent and songs.

Step forward Ratt. With a successful independent EP eliciting a tsunami wave of major label interest, Ratt signed with industry heavyweights Atlantic Records and were put in the studio with rising production star Beau Hill (later to work with Winger, Warrant, Gary Moore) and record their debut album "Out Of The Cellar".


Issued in 1984, the results were spectacular; a record that became a three million seller and produced two hit singles in "Wanted Man" and "Round And Round", elevating the band to headline status almost immediately.

The secret to Ratt's success was a unique sound, killer songs and great performances especially from guitarist Warren DeMartini and vocalist Stephen Pearcy. Full of energy, unabashed enthusiasm, musical dexterity and hooks that were instantly embedded in the nation's conscience; this was a band that took no prisoners in their rise to success.

RATT - Out Of The Cellar [Rock Candy remastered] AccurateRip - back

I do love this Rock Candy remastering shaped from 24 Bit digital technology; stronger bass frequencies, rich in harmonics and really well balanced overall. Forget that flat sounding original CD editions, this is the real deal.
A Must Have Classic

01 - Wanted Man
02 - You're In Trouble
03 - Round And Round
04 - In Your Direction
05 - She Wants Money
06 - Lack Of Communication
07 - Back For More
08 - The Morning After
09 - I'm Insane
10 - Scene Of The Crime

Stephen Pearcy - lead vocals
Warren DeMartini - lead & rhythm guitars
Robbin Crosby - lead & rhythm guitars
Juan Croucier - bass
Bobby Blotzer - drums, percussion



Saturday, July 22, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.1

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.1 full

Very close to August here we are with some fresh Advanced Singles, many from releases scheduled for the Autumn. Many news come from the ever fruitful Frontiers Music camp.
One of the most awesome upcoming releases is the debut of KEE OF HEARTS, a new band built around two true melodic rock superstars: Tommy Heart (singer of Fair Warning) and Kee Marcello, former Europe guitarist, with a line-up rounded out by Ken Sandin (ex-Alien) on bass. The first single 'The Storm' is top class Melodic / Rock AOR.

Oh my! There is a new ROBIN BECK album in the making. Entitled Love Is Coming, will be released on October 13th. The new recording sees her partnering with Clif Magness (Steve Perry, Avril Lavigne) who mixed and produced. Beck’s husband James Christian (House Of Lords) co-produced with Tommy Denander giving a hand. The first single “On The Bright Side” is simply delicious.
We have another single from the terrific KRYPTONITE debut, and the title track 'Unify' from Billy Sherwood (Asia), Guy Allison & Bruce Gowdy (the core of Unruly Child) WORLD TRADE upcoming album.

Frontiers have finally signed HELL IN THE CLUB, a killer hard rock / metal band that has staked a serious claim in the European scene based on a lot of hard work and the resumes of the members. There's a hot first advance in 'We Are On Fire'.
The label also announced the release of the self-titled debut of one of their latest UK signings: BIGFOOT. This is traditional killer hard rock combo with a punchy sound. The album will be released October 13, 2017.
Also from Britain, DIRTY THRILLS will release their first CD with Frontiers soon. This unique outfit are bringing back old school rock ‘n’ roll, while all the while applying their oh-so-appealing filthy edge to it.

THE POODLES are back with the brand new single "Love is Gone", the first release from the coming album Prisma which is due to be released in January 2018.
This band never stops to surprise me... this is a cover of electronic artist David Guetta. "We took on the challenge to do our version of a song from a different genre, one that is very different from our own", says lead singer Jakob Samuel.
And The Poodle's version rocks!

We have another strong single from DEGREED's upcoming album, the anthemic 'Burn! Witches Burn!' from SERIOUS BLACK new record Magic (August 25th via AFM Records), and MASTERPLAN first single from the new album.
Melodic progressive solid act SOUL SECRET will release their new album Babel soon, and listening to the first single 'What We're All About' it promises a lot.

Also UK super group CATS IN SPACE are ready for the release of their awaited new CD, first advance 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' is just another showcase for this band's talent.
We have another track - the keyboard driven 'Time Of Your Life' - from Swedes RIAN debut CD to be appeared this week, and for the last, Melodic Hard wonders ECLIPSE have just put out the single 'The Downfall Of Eden', and as B-side there's the 'instrumental version' of the song exclusive to this release.
More to come...

01 - Kee Of Hearts - The Storm
02 - Rian - Time Of Your Life
03 - Robin Beck - On The Bright Side
04 - The Poodles - Love Is Gone
05 - Degreed - Save Me
06 - Kryptonite - Across The Water
07 - World Trade - Unify
08 - Soul Secret - What We're All About
09 - Bigfoot - The Fear
10 - Cats In Space - Mad Hatter's Tea Party
11 - Dirty Thrills - Law Man
12 - Hell In The Club - We Are On Fire
13 - Serious Black - Burn! Witches Burn!
14 - Masterplan - Escalation 666
15 - Eclipse - The Downfall Of Eden (instrumental version)

only at 0dayrox


LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered]

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] full

"Hot Tonight" is the only official LIONHEART album... until few weeks when the band will return after more than 30 years with a new, second CD. Meanwhile, let's enjoy their superb 1984's debut Remastered & Reloaded by Rock Candy Records.
A super-group of sorts founded by ex Iron Maiden Dennis Stratton, the band slowly made a name in the NWOBHM movement, but at the time of the recording of "Hot Tonight" they embraced a Melodic Rock / AOR sound & style.

Part of the legendary line-up featured on the ground-breaking Iron Maiden debut, within a year of its release guitarist Dennis Stratton found himself out in the cold.
Joining forces with one-time Liar guitarist Steve Mann (later of course to join the MSG ranks), bassist Rocky Newton (McAuley Schenker Group ) and original Tygers Of Pan Tang vocalist Jess Cox – we’ll gloss over the constantly changing drum seat for now – this new band of budding hopefuls (by then already christened Lionheart) set about writing a batch of songs that would attract the interest of promoters and labels alike.

It didn’t take too long to figure out that the rasping growl of Cox wasn’t suitable for the commercially slanted songs they were coming up with, and after auditioning a number of different singers (including Lautrec’s Reuben Archer) they eventually settled on session man Chad Brown. Possessed of a soulful, passion drenched melodic ard rock voice, Chad’s classic vibrato fitted the mood perfectly.

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] booklet

Thanks to Nigel Thomas (former manager of Joe Cocker and Spooky Tooth) the band scored themselves a US deal with CBS, and in the spring of ‘84 decamped to Los Angeles to record their debut album "Hot Tonight" under the guidance of producer Kevin Beamish.
A household name thanks to recent mega platinum successes with REO Speedwagon, Beamish was the perfect choice to help Lionheart mould their friendly Melodic hard rock / AOR sound, and when "Hot Tonight" duly emerged several months later they made no apologies for the distinctly American sheen it conveyed.

Indeed, despite its British origin, Lionheart's debut is built on the songwriting and production standards of American melodic hard rock.
Boasting a surfeit of strong hooks, multi-layered harmonies and impetuous keyboards, tracks like the hugely infectious ‘Towers Of Silver’, the audacious ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ (resplendent with its pompous keys), the fizzing ‘Wait For The Night’, brooding ‘Nightmare’ and spirited title track ‘Hot Tonight’ all showcased a band that would surely go all the way.

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] back

Lionheart's "Hot Tonight" is a cult classic, for years out of print and never officially released on CD until this Rock Candy Records remaster.
Most songs on this album open on staccato keyboards (and I love this) in a pure mid-80s AOR fashion, followed by a pumping rhythm section, sharp guitars, and the melodic, clean vocals plenty of harmonies.
There's a colorful booklet in this Rock Candy reissue including never seen photos provided by Steve Mann himself, and a complete essay about the band / recording plus previously unknown details.

01 - Wait For The Night
02 - Hot Tonight
03 - Die For Love
04 - Tower Of Silver
05 - Don't Look Back In Anger
06 - Nightmare
07 - Living In A Dream
08 - Another Crazy Dream
09 - Dangerous Dream

Chad Brown - lead vocals
Dennis Stratton - guitars, backing vocals
Steve Mann - guitars, backing vocals, keyboards
Rocky Newton - bass, backing vocals
Bob Jenkins - drums



Friday, July 21, 2017

EUROPE - The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse] (2017)

EUROPE - The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse] (2017)  full

Today July 21 Swedish hard rock institution EUROPE are releasing on various formats their unique 30th Anniversary performance of The Final Countdown from London's legendary Roundhouse. "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show - Live At The Roundhouse" celebrates the multi-platinum album's triple-decade success.

The band played the album in its sequential entirety at a series of selected cities in 2016, with London's most historically venerated venue playing host to an exceptionally special night on November 12, 2016.

Curiously, this concert not only celebrates "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary" (played entirely) but first, Europe played their newest album War Of Kings, also complete. This what you got on disc 1.
Europe work their way through the album flawlessly, track by track. It is a good opportunity to hear and watch the band perform effortlessly - showing everyone the reason that they have had so much success for more than 30 years.

Then on disc 2 we have the famous record... there is no other song in the world that has catchier synth sounds than title track ‘The Final Countdown’. It continues and we are taken through a Europe timeline from 2015 to 1986.
Europe play through the album that brought them their true fame and fortune in track order. It’s so pleasing to see the crowd singing along, hands in the air and smiles on their faces. Crowd participation with the older age group is often very hit and miss - however, this crowd are generally doing Europe proud.
Then again, how can you not sing along to songs like ‘Carrie’ and ‘Cherokee’?

The sound quality / picture is top notch. Legendary guitarist John Norum delivers a guitar tone which has such clarity and punch. This is accompanied perfectly by the heart-melting vocals of Joey Tempest. It doesn’t matter so much that he can’t quite hit all of the high notes that he used to. Regardless, he has still got it, inside and out.
Ensuring that I can keep my air keyboard up to scratch is Mic Michaeli. He’s supplying that universal 1986 keyboard sound that the album just would not be the same without. To complete the original The Final Countdown line up is drummer Ian Haugland and bassist John Leven.

More than nostalgia, "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse]" in fact display the quality of this band that after more than 3 decades still rocks among the best.
Europe rocks, and this concert Rocks.

Disc 1:
01. Hole in My Pocket
02. The Second Day
03. Praise You
04. Nothi' to Ya
05. California 405
06. Angels (With Broken Hearts)
07. Days of Rock ‘N’ Roll
08. Children of the Mind
09. Rainbow Bridge
10. Vasastan
11. Light it Up
12. War of Kings

Disc 2:
01. The Final Countdown
02. Rock the Night
03. Carrie
04. Danger on the Track
05. Ninja
06. Cherokee
07. Time Has Come
08. Heart of Stone
09. On the Loose
10. Love Chaser
11. The Final Countdown (Reprise)

Joey Tempest - lead vocals
John Norum - guitars, backing vocals
John Levén - bass, backing vocals
Mic Michaeli - keyboards, backing vocals
Ian Haugland - drums



PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017)

PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017) full

British progressive metal group PROSPEKT have a shiny, textured album on their hands with new album "The Illuminated Sky" released today. We were already impressed with the advanced track featured in one of our Advanced Releases compilations, but now after listening to the entire record it's safe to say this is one of the 'albums of the year' in this genre.

And Prospekt's genre or musical style straddles the fine line between classic melodic metal and prog, which should satisfy any desire for powerful vocals, virtuosic guitar soloing and pristine production sound.
The '90s ushered in a new age of prog metal when bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X expanded on what acts like Fates Warning and Queensrÿche had started in the '80s.

This new brand of prog metal was more deeply rooted in technicality while still writing good hooks. This led to many bands springing up in the '90s who essentially sounded a lot like Dream Theater.
UK’s Prospekt would have fit right in during the '90s, and while there's DT, Tesseract and alike influences, they sound pretty much their own.

“The Illuminated Sky” not only marks the return of Prospekt (this is their 2nd effort) but it also sees a change in the line-up. New singer Michael Morris has the range needed for the type of music that Prospekt play. A what a set of pipes!
There's also a new keyboardist in Rox Capriotti who as well works as 'orchestrator' alongside founder, guitarist extraordinaire Lee Luland.
The results are impressive.

Among my favorites is the title track which showcases the band’s incredible playing while still being catchy, and the busy 'Beneath Enriya' which sounds like a lost Symphony X track with that big sound along with piano parts I associate with Michael Piniella.

PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017) inside

'Titan' is another highlight with some Tesseract perfection to it, driven by meaty riff and relentless attack with very good rhythm section arrangements and keys. 'Alien Makers Of Discord' is winner too with several time signature changes and a great Greg Howe guest solo.

Prospekt aren’t reinventing the wheel here but they make it roll quite awesomely. All guy's musicianship is top notch, and the power but at the same time melodic vocals easily sell the songs.
“The Illuminated Sky” is a sharp tech prog metal album in the way Circus Maximus, Dream Theater and alike USED to sound in '90s. Prospekt are very classy regarding this particular sub-genre / era.
And very good at it.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Ex Nihilo
02 - The Illuminated Sky
03 - Titan
04 - Distant Anamnesis
05 - Beneath Enriya
06 - In The Shadows Of The Earth
07 - Alien Makers Of Discord (featuring Greg Howe)
08 - Cosmic Emissary
09 - Akaibara
10 - Where Masters Fall (featuring Marc Hudson)

Lee Luland - Guitars and Orchestration
Rox Capriotti - Keyboards and Orchestration
Michael Morris - Vocals
Phil Wicker - Bass Guitar
Blake Richardson - Drums and Percussion
Special Guests:
Greg Howe - guitar solo on Alien Makers Of Discord
Marc Hudson - vocals on Where Masters Fall



UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017)

UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017) full

Not only that the summer period is the time of the year that’s filled with festivals and open airs, it also feels like quite some bands releasing live albums as we speak: UNISONIC are releasing today "Live In Wacken".
It’s a busy year for Kai Hansen – his Thank You Wacken live solo album appeared fw weeks ago, and then a month later one of his bands, Unisonic, release their live album, also recorded at Wacken, and of course he’ll be busy preparing for the Helloween Pumpkins united tour.

If you haven’t listened to Unisonic before I’d urge you to check 'em out as it reunites two Helloween legends, Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske. The band's studio albums are excellent and this live one is nothing short of spectacular.
Unsurprisingly it’s been recorded and filmed at Wacken – not only have the band members played there in the past with Kai Hansen being a regular performer since the start of the festival, but the setup Wacken have in audio facility is second to none.

UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017) back

Unisonic's "Live In Wacken" is a killer release – the CD is great to listen to (and I’ve listened to it a lot already), and when you’ve got a bit of time to spare then sitting and watching the DVD is great.
Hearing how good Michael Kiske’s voice is even after all these years and that combined with the playing of Kai Hansen and Dennis Ward's skills, it's a pleasure to listen to here.
Unisonic is a beast of a band, one of the best you can get out there.
A fantastic live release.

01 - Venite 2.0
02 - For the Kingdom
03 - Exceptional
04 - My Sanctuary
05 - King for a Day
06 - A Little Time
07 - Your Time Has Come
08 - When the Deed Is Done
09 - Star Rider
10 - Throne of the Dawn
11 - March of Time
12 - Unisonic

Michael Kiske - lead vocals
Kai Hansen - lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Mandy Meyer - lead & rhythm guitars
Dennis Ward - bass, backing vocals, producer, engineer, mixing
Kosta Zafiriou - drums, percussion



Thursday, July 20, 2017

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017)

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) full

We have the pleasure to listen today the advanced press copy of ALICE COOPER's new album "Paranormal" to be released next July 28. This Digipak 2-CD Edition includes a bonus disc with 2 new songs written & performed by The Original Alice Cooper Band plus carefully selected live recordings of Alice's classics.

Cooper worked with longtime producer Bob Ezrin on "Paranormal", and as previously reported, rounded up an assortment of famous friends to chip in, including U2’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr., ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.
Reflecting on the album’s title, Cooper said, “This is not a normal Alice record. Bob and I decided, no theme this time — we’re gonna make a record of things that just get us off, things that we like. And it might go in a lot of directions.”

"Paranormal" opens with its title track and a continuous drum roll of an introduction with bursts of guitar pave way to the introduction of Cooper’s familiar vocal, albeit slightly more subdued and tame than some of his past musical output. Some criticism has been aimed at the man himself for the quality of his voice in recent years: circumstances that cannot be escaped due to naturally aging.
Here, however, Cooper’s voice sounds as good as it ever has, despite adopting a softer approach of course in comparison to what has come before it.
'Dead Flies' immediately follows as the second of the album’s tracks, and again is able to utilize cleverly morbid lyricism and incorporate it into melodic hard rock, which could be interpreted as Alice Cooper’s biggest talent as a musician and a songwriter.

'Fireball' leads the listener even further down into the album’s musical output, and again this song manages to retain the band’s famous style while still discovering new avenues in order to stand on its own and have its creative prowess be viewed clearly.
'Paranoiac Personality' start out quite psychedelic in its immediate moments, it soon bursts into the familiar classic rock mood that Copper has become known for.
'Fallen in Love' mark the record’s halfway mark, possibly deceiving you into thinking that it is a ballad, but the track is just another great song on an album full of great songs so far.

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) discs

'Dynamite Road' races from its opening moments all the way to its conclusion with words of excess, debauchery, violence, criminality and everything else that you would expect from the heavy metal scene of the 1970s and 1980s. With blistering musicianship and one of Cooper’s best vocal performances perhaps on the entire album, this is a highlight and a song you should definitely enjoy.

'Holy Water' accurately presents the showmanship of Alice Cooper as one of the greatest and most influential entertainers in the history of the music business, and this song is an obvious statement of intent that he desires to retain that position for years to come.
The inclusion of instruments that are not typical of this kind of music and the ability to make them work alongside the traditional guitar/bass/drum set-up again is evidence of the talent of the Alice Cooper band. This song just reeks of the sort of atmosphere that makes classic rock brilliant, making it one of the album’s best.

'Rats' and 'The Sound of A' bring ‘Paranormal’ to an end, featuring the same sort of old-school rock-driven style (under a number of different guises, be that fast-paced or more melodic and softer) that has made the songs before them on this album so musically entertaining.
It’s safe to say that if you’ve enjoyed everything up to this point, then these last two songs will definitely satisfy your appetite for well-produced classic rock music.

The extra disc delivers two delicious surprises; 'Genuine American Girl' and 'You and All of Your Friends', 2 new songs written & performed by The Original Alice Cooper Band: Cooper, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce.
And you have here very well recorded live versions of 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', 'Billion Dollar Babies', 'School's Out' and more.

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) back

The legend of Alice Cooper as a musical force especially when it comes to rock music cannot be overstated, and this album genuinely succeeds in showing why still to this day he and his band is one of the best to have ever done it.
While not as instantly classic as the records he produced in his golden era decades back, ‘Paranormal’ should in years to come be recognized as one of Alice’s greatest efforts, and is an album that demands your attention.
Highly Recommended

CD 1 : Paranormal
01 - Paranormal (feat. Roger Glover)
02 - Dead Flies
03 - Fireball
04 - Paranoiac Personality
05 - Fallen In Love (feat. Billy Gibbons)
06 - Dynamite Road
07 - Private Public Breakdown
08 - Holy Water
09 - Rats
10 - The Sound of A

CD 2 : Bonus Disc
New songs written & performed by
The Original Alice Cooper Band:
01 - Genuine American Girl
02 - You and All of Your Friends
Live In Columbus:
03 - No More Mr. Nice Guy
04 - Under My Wheels
05 - Billion Dollar Babies
06 - Feed My Frankenstein
07 - Only Women Bleed
08 - School's Out



Unique Visitors
View My Stats

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP