Sometimes you get that feeling that you are hearing something that could be rather important. Something that could just explode.
After hearing RAGDOLL's "Here Today" I am absolutely convinced that this band from Perth, Western Australia, is destined for great things.
This melodic rock, eighties-influenced hard rock band have a sound which belongs to big arenas. Indeed it's hard to believe this is an independent release.
Every track here is a winner; it's as simple as that.
Title track "Here Today" blasts out of the blocks with some bombastic guitar riffs and a chorus that prompts me to liken it to the band Extreme who have that undefinable 'something' in their sound, song delivery and arrangements.
The canvas is large: the sound is distinctly modern, the musicianship tight as can be, but above all there's that feeling of timelessness: like a marriage of the best modern instrumentation but with reverence and respect for classic rock traditions, and that's both unusual and refreshing in a young band.
The track that really grabs me though is follower "Tell Me". It’s so hard, so immediate and catchy.
And it's here that you realise what great musicians these guys are: Barrett's drumming is solid, dynamic and while not flashy, he's clearly more than just another rock drummer. Todd is simply great, a guitarist who stands out more than someone of his age should: like 40 years of craft have been forced into his twenty-something year old hands.
The real jewel though here is Ry Rafferty, whose impressive vocals get a chance to open up and show you glimpses of what he's capable of. There's a lot of Glenn Hughes in there and he let's a little of it out here on what just may be the best song of the album.
And then we have the ballad "Could It Be Love" which is like one of the best ballads Gotthard never wrote. It's a song like they used to make back in the '80s when a ballad was essential on any rock album except here it's gloriously brought up to date.
"Heaven Above" is a 7 minute opus that puts the bands capabilities as musicians well and truly on show, with a 3 minute outro from guitarist Leon Todd.
"Overnight Sensation" not only shares the title with the famous Firehouse song, structurally reminds them but sonically this is much more harder, a party fun track.
The following tracks were presented last year mostly for promotion, being "Foot To The Floor" exactly what title says: a balls out rocker showing that the band knows how to write a song with instant appeal, and it has a simplicity and a drive that will have you singing along and banging your head in appreciation.
Next, "The Feeling" proves that you can write about the state of the planet within the confines of a sublime melody not a world away from giants like Foreigner, and it's here where singer (and bassist) Rafferty cuts loose in fine Lou Gramm style making you wonder just what his voice can't do.
He does get to show his mellow introspective side on the slower atmospheric tale of regret at a one night stand that is "Ashamed", a track that hints at the real depth of the band.
Last song "In My Mind" is perhaps Ragdoll's most radio friendly tune with an almost insatiable melody that has cross-over appeal written all over it. It's melodic and poppy, but carried along by a strong lead vocal and a bank of backing vocals that layer the chorus before the guitar kicks back in.
Ragdoll delivers a traditional melodic hard rock that draws influence from the classics of the '80s with an updated sound, and wraps it up into what is killer bunch of songs.
Their energy and passion is certainly special, with an authentic style and an unrivalled dedication to the music. It's steeped in tradition, paying homage to the greats and ghosts of the past while forging its own exciting new path through the Rock wilderness.
Like I said, every song here is a winner. And while you may hear that a lot of the time I'll stick my neck out and say that these guys are the real deal.
Ragdoll is sure to be a great success and I can see a very positive future ahead of them.
Well done guys!
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrockz
01 - Here Today
02 - Tell Me
03 - Could It Be Love
04 - Heaven Above
05 - Overnight Sensation
06 - Foot To The Floor
07 - The Feeling
08 - Ashamed
09 - In My Mind
Ryan Dash Rafferty - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass
Le'on Todd - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Cam Barrett - Drums, Backing Vocals
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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
"Perspective" is the debut album from Virginia multi-instrumentalist musician JAKE NIELSEN.
Jake has developed his own unique blend of music that combines the complexity of progressive rock with more melodic singer / songwriter leanings.
Jake Nielsen cites his main influences as Neal Morse, Dream Theater and Billy Joel. This is actually an extremely accurate representation of Nielsen’s music.
Jake did all the vocals and performed all the instruments on "Perspective", except for the cello on the beautiful "A Still Small Voice".
While hardly dismissing his compositional skills, which are exceptional, the piano work within this recording is his greatest strength.
You can hear echoes of the classic rock of a young Billy Joel, yet with a classical music style ramped up by a progressive rock injection; it's a vibrant interpretation.
Nielsen can rock, too. As the album kicks off with "To Be Content" we are immediately met with an epic piano riff that comes to define the overall style of the rest of the record’s eight tracks.
"Let's Live" and "Autumn" are lively numbers with harder, even heavier, moments with Jake's piano leading the way. Here is evident his influences from Neil Morse's textures and Jordan Rudess’s technically demanding parts in Dream Theater’s Images and Words.
While the early majority of Perspective has veiled references, the later "How Can We Know" and the autobiographical "A Still Small Voice" are more obvious professions of Nielsen's Mormon religion.
However, even if you're skeptical about religion in general, Nielsen's music is terrific, even compelling, especially on that latter song. Like the works of Neal Morse, these songs should not be dismissed simply because there are references to faith or religion.
What is particularly impressive about Jake Nielsen’s "Perspective" is that he is the sole creative mastermind behind all of it. And all sounds terrifically cohesive and homogeneous.
The keyboard parts and vocals are of course performed by him, but he is also responsible for every other musical element on the album.
What I love about this music is its musicality and drive, Jake is a skillful composer and arranger. It's a pleasure how his instrumentals simply fly through the progressions.
With "Perspective", Jake Nielsen should be profoundly fulfilled and thrilled with his accomplishment, and the listener captivated by his piano-driven melodic progressive rock.
A vibrant, recommended listen.
01 - To Be Content
02 - Truth
03 - Decisions
04 - Autumn
05 - Let's Live
06 - How Can We Know
07 - Prelude
08 - A Still Small Voice
Jake Nielsen - Vocals, all instruments
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Tuesday, October 30, 2012
New group KHAOS (Khaøs) is a manifestation of a flavor of global love and the collaboration of musicians across continents.
Khaøs represents one of those musical projects made possible with the advent of modern technology these days – four people in four cities come together to make one album, well in this case, the EP "Rising".
If you’re familiar with the talented vocalist from the great melodic hard rockers Outloud - Chandler Mogel - then you know he’s a rising star in the Hard Rock business.
Due to his travels abroad, especially Greece and rest of Europe he had a chance to mark down this particular project with other bandmates such as Mark Rossi (Tribal), Nic Angileri (Jorn) and Trevor Franklin (Elis).
To give fans a taste of what is to come from the band in 2013, we have this interesting sneak peak from this new act blending Hard Rock with modern touches.
Honestly just the thought of Mogel leading vocals give you a reason to check out these tunes and that's why it piqued my interest.
We have five tracks alongside a couple radio edits of the same songs. As described earlier the band’s sound is modern Hard Rock, no bull no frills just straight up Hard Rock with tight production and solid backbone of drums and bass.
Beginning here you notice a more cerebral approach to each song, less commercial stuff which is something Chandler Mogel has been more associated with in Outloud and his previous band Talon, and more straight head rocker tunes that let’s his voice take hold and carry the vocals further.
"Rising" starts up with a well rounded vibe and the first two tunes "Distress Signal" and "Hated" give a good representation of the group's style, sonically modern with their own European blend of Hard Rock with classic influences.
The slower number "Mind Violence" has a tight explosive rhythm section which later gives way to the more straight head groove of "Perfect Future".
Looks like we’re looking at 2013 for a complete full Khaøs album.
As mentioned earlier they have a strong vocalist and with solid musicians like Rossi for instance they are presenting a little deviation from the normal European sound that is typical of Hard Rock bands.
"Rising" is a nice EP from a really interesting band that hopefully will turn into a more complete picture further down the line.
01. Distress Signal
03. Reason To Die
04. Mind Violence
05. Perfect Future
06. Reason To Die (radio edit)
07. Perfect Future (radio edit)
Chandler Mogel (Outloud) - vocals
Mark Rossi - guitars
Nic Angileri - bass
Trevor Franklin - drums
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Italian rockers SILVER HORSES were put together last year by guitar player Gianluca Galli (Time Machine) and drummer Matteo Bonini.
After the band completed the line-up, they needed an anglo vocalist to sing their Classic Hard Rock songs.
Through Dario Mollo they contacted Tony Martin, who immediately accepted, and the combo recorded their self-titled debut.
Tony Martin, who incidentally has Italian forefathers, has been busy lately doing many collablorations, releasing the third Mollo-Martin album, and now with Silver Horses.
Best known for his time fronting British legends Black Sabbath during their most commercial period in the late ‘80s-early ‘90s, Martin’s bluesy tone was the perfect choice for this kind of material.
Silver Horses is Classic, traditional Hard Rock with a foot firmly planted in the seventies in the Led Zeppelin, Free, Bad Co. style.
Indeed "Silver Horses" distills a strong influence from the Page / Plant band on opener "Rub It On Me", "Life And Soul" and the acoustically filled "Diamond Sky", all in the Led Zepp IV vein.
"Secret Service" recalls the Coverdale/Page adventure, while in the marching "Run" Deep Purple outcrops.
The band shows a more contemporary approach in the Eastern flavored "Me", the Badlands-like "You", and the rocking "You're Breaking My Heart" where the Whitesnake / Bernie Marsden era comes to mind.
Title track is moody midtempo bluesy acoustic number, and the band also delivers good ballads in the groovy "Suddenly Lost" and the pure acoustic closer "Who's Holding On To You", a really classy track with a nice melody.
"Silver Horses" offers a very, very classic set of songs well composed and performed.
The sound and style are typically British, served with a precise and polished musicianship finely produced, warm and organic. Tony Martin feels like a fish in the water with this material, in top form as usual enhancing the tunes with his phenomenal throat.
A good dish of Classic Hard Rock is always welcomed, and "Silver Horses" is very, very purist in its delivery.
I like it.
01 - Rub It On Me
02 - Run
03 - Life And Soul
04 - Diamond Sky
05 - Secret Service
06 - Suddenly Lost
07 - Me
08 - Silver Horses
09 - You're Breaking My Heart
10 - You
11 - Who's Holding On To You
Tony Martin - Vocals
Gianluca Galli - Guitars
Andrea Castelli - Bass
Matteo Bonini - Drums
Nicola Costanti - guest Piano on track 6
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Monday, October 29, 2012
With the acrimonious split between GEOFF TATE and Queensryche still being aired in public almost daily like a bad taste comedy, it’s getting harder and harder to focus on the fact that these guys have produced some stellar music over the years due to their insistence on washing their dirty laundry in public.
Well, musically, Tate has made the first shot from the barricades with "Kings & Thieves", his new solo album.
First and foremost if you want to listen to anything harder from Tate or Queenryche then stick to Rage for Order and Operation Mindcrime.
If you want to judge a solo artist by measuring up this piece of work as a sole entity and not anything else, then you shouldn’t be let down too much with "Kings & Thieves".
Remember; this is a Geoff Tate solo album.
However, if you liked Queenryche's work since Q2K (1999), keep in mind that these were mostly Tate's 'solo' albums, as he has conducted the band musically and lyrically.
So it's not a surprise that some of the songs on here have a feel reminscent of Q2K or Tribe, with new more arty rock influences and keyboard atmospheres.
Some of the upbeat tunes in "Kings & Thieves" come via "Take a Bullet" and "In The Dirt" which feature a mix of those mysterious synth keyboards, alongside a touch of saxophones which we know Tate like to throw-in there from time to time. The musicianship on these two songs is halfway decent and actually a little groovy which works as it sets the tone of the record early.
There is some autobiographical songs in "The Way I Roll" with a pretty good vocal job and the orchestrated ballad "Change", a real stand out and one of the best pieces of work Geoff has done in many years.
Not so convincing vocally is "Say U Luv It" with its spoken word lyrics but the music is quite progressive and intriguing, while the dark guitar adds substance to the song.
Kelly Grey is a good guitar player with a particular style, and his contribution benefits the recording with a varied palette of sounds, one minute a little bluesy then next heavy riffing as on "Dark Money".
"Kings & Thieves" is an interesting rock album if you keep Queensryche out of your mind listening to it.
Geoff Tate sounds like he’s enjoying the freedom to experiment with different styles and moods as the muse takes him.
I think it's better that Tate now goes solo under his moniker.
The simple truth of the matter is that Geoff’s moved on from his early days of bombastic progressive metal and, whilst his musical direction is certainly different, this is a skillfully produced and well delivered arty, modern, sometimes extravagant rock album.
"Kings & Thieves" is simply Rock, different and explorative, yes, but quite interesting.
01 - She Slipped Away
02 - Take A Bullet
03 - In The Dirt
04 - Say U Luv It
05 - The Way I Roll
06 - Tomorrow
07 - Evil
08 - Dark Money
09 - These Glory Days
10 - Change
11 - Waiting
Geoff Tate - Vocals, Sax
Kelly Grey - Guitars
Chris Zukas - Bass
Randy Gane - Keyboards
Gregg Gilmore - Drums
Jason Ames, Emily Tate - harmony Vocals
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Legends AEROSMITH will return on November 6th with their first album in eight years, "Music From Another Dimension".
The album opens with "LUV XXX" (pronounced ‘Love Three Times’), starting with producer Jack Douglas' voice doing the spacey introduction that leads into a thick Joe Perry guitar riff. It’s a pretty good jam dominated by the instrumentation, as the vocals of Tyler and backing singer Julian Lennon are quite behind the mix.
Aerosmith have tried hard on this album to revive their classic original sound, and on some tracks they succeeded.
"Out Go the Lights" is one of them. The song centers around a funky drum track married to a blues-funk guitar riff, which definitely sounds old school. Add in some female backing vocalists, horn shots, and lyrics about sex (what else?), and the result is like '70s Aerosmith meets ‘Love in an Elevator.’
Another one is "Street Jesus", a song with a 'Toys in the Attic' kind of energy. It's based on a guitar lick that Brad Whitford wrote many years ago and just recently Tyler found a melody to complete the track. Opens a bit bluesy and after the vocal entrance the rocker takes off — and rarely rests, except for maybe a solo towards the end.
We have already heard "Legendary Child" as advanced single. Opening with a Hendrix feedback melodic guitar refrain, Aerosmith quickly jump right into the mud with a trademark down-and-dirty riff that serves as the song’s backbone.
But this is Aerosmith and they need radio hits (read ballads). And this is not a bad thing as we love their lights in the air anthems.
"What Could Have Been Love" is one of those trademark Aerosmith power ballads, and a good one. The track was produced by longtime friend & collaborator legendary AOR producer Marti Frederiksen, who also co-wrote the song along with Steven Tyler and keyboardist Russ Irwin.
Bassist Tom Hamilton makes his lyric-writing debut for the band with "Tell Me". While he’s offered sporadic song ideas for past recordings, his lyrics never made a finished project.
The track begins with just an acoustic guitar and Tyler’s subdued vocals before quickly soaring into the mode of a classic Aerosmith power-ballad. Thick backing vocals build a roof for the song, but as it reaches a climax the arrangement blows open the emotional heartbreak story. Joe Perry adds a melodic guitar solo before the final chorus.
"Music From Another Dimension" marks the Aerosmith's 15th studio album and their first studio recordings of all-new material in 11 years.
The rock 'n roll veterans are in good form still delivering the goods, this time with a stronger songwriting than in the previous albums - in my opinion - their best since Get a Grip.
As usual production is first rate, mostly handled by Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, with the exception of three tracks, the more commercial, produced by Marti Frederiksen & Tyler.
It's Aerosmith. It's good.
01 - Luv XXX
02 - Oh Yeah
03 - Beautiful
04 - Tell Me
05 - Out Go The Lights
06 - Legendary Child
07 - What Could Have Been Love
08 - Street Jesus
09 - Can't Stop Lovin' You (Duet With Carrie Underwood)
10 - Lover Alot
11 - We All Fall Down
12 - Freedom Fighter
13 - Closer
14 - Something
15 - Another Last Goodbye
Steven Tyler – lead vocals, keyboards, percussion
Joe Perry – guitar, backing vocals
Brad Whitford – guitar
Tom Hamilton – bass, backing vocals
Joey Kramer – drums, percussion
Sunday, October 28, 2012
the Real one, no cuts
VEGA was formed in mid 2009 when former Kick vocalist Nick Workman paired up with songwriters Tom and James Martin (who have written songs for the likes of House of Lords, Ted Poley, Joe Lynn Turner’s Sunstorm, Khymera and others).
After their impressive debut, the band is ready for their 2nd assault with "What The Hell!", their new album to be released in January, 2013.
On "What The Hell!" Vega continues wearing their love for '80s melodic rock music injected with modern sounds.
Every song from the first track to the final cut features powerful vocals, catchy choruses, rhythmic keyboards and driving guitars, complete with impressive guitar solos pulling the songs higher.
The likes of “She Walks Alone”, “White Knuckle Ride”, “You Can't Run” and the anthemic title track are superb songs that should see Workman and the Martin twins finally get some plaudits of there own, and rightly so.
Vega also has developed even more their sonically modern delivery as heard in “Not There For You” or the commercial and radio friendly “Bless My Soul”, but don't be afraid, all are firmly planted in classic melodic rock.
A prove that they didn't sold their souls to mainstream is the absence of ballads, all tracks are uptempo foot-tapping tunes. Only on “Fade Into The Flames” they slows down a little, a midtempo with a typical British flavor.
"What The Hell!" will meet all the hype and expectations put on Vega after their great debut.
Regarded as the future of melodic rock, the band has expanded their sound, even much bigger than before, and certainly they are a breath of fresh air for the genre.
The Martin brothers really know how to write a good, catchy song, and there are some really strong numbers on this album.
What The Hell ... this is really good.
01. Carnival Of Lost Souls (intro)
02. White Knuckle Ride
03. What The Hell
04. Not There For You
06. Raise Ya Game
07. Fade Into The Flames
08. You Can't Run
09. Bless My Soul
10. She Walks Alone
11. Turn It On
13. It's Gonna Be Alright
14. Hand In The Air
Nick Workman - Vocals
Tom Martin - Guitars
Daniel Chantrey - Drums
James Martin - Keyboards
Pre-Order still unavailable
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The seeds of GREASE HELMET were planted in Helsinki, Finland, around 2009 by ex Amorphis bass player Niclas Etelavuori and singer Jere Garcia.
5K Studios was adopted as Helmet Headquarters and would provide the haven where the strategy to produce traditional Finnish hard rock was to be conducted.
Soon word spread out and Jan Rechberger (drums) and Ben Varon (rhythm guitar) where recruited to the Grease Helmet army.
But what really made some noise in rock community was the inclusion of former Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy as main axe-man.
Undoubtedly, Grease Helmet has earned attention because Andy McCoy. He is not only a national icon in his native Finland, the man has inspired a generation of platinum-selling bands such as Motley Crue or Guns 'N Roses to name some.
According to a press release, "Grease Helmet" travels from present time to the history of rock with flavors of classic hard rock, funk, blues and psychedelic colors.
And that's true for the most part, as this recording resembles - with a modern sound - those classic styles with a '70s flavor.
"Sold Our Soul" kicks things off in a good way with a vintage riff and retro keyboards, and then explodes into an uptempo and pretty in your face track with McCoy's guitar rocking all over. The bridge is melodic and easy to the ears. I don't know you, but I love Andy McCoy soloing.
"Keep Your Helmet Greasy" is a more balls to the wall rocker where singer Jere Garcia does an AC/DC tongue-in-cheek delivery over fine guitar breaks courtesy of Mr. McCoy. It's a song quite reminiscent of Hanoi Rocks.
This is the prevailing style on most the tracks, being the dirty "Shotgun" and "Bigger Than Rock'n Roll" the best of the bunch.
Grease Helmet adds some variation in the dynamic and funky "Nobody Rides For Free" with full-on bass slapping and horns, while "Second Try" is more moody and melodic with a good arrangement.
'Mustang Bebe' is a little left of centre with some cotton picking guitar licks and a change of style on a very schizophrenic song as it skirts from rockabilly to some horns and a psychedelic middle section.
"Grease Helmet" is a good retro album with strong riffage and nice songs if you like late seventies rock in the vein of New York Dolls and Hanoi Rocks, spiced with some AC/DC.
There's good performances, specially from McCoy who states clear that he's not trying at all to keep up with trends. In the songwriting department we find some agreeable and cool retro vibes, although some tracks are not completely convincing.
"Grease Helmet" is basic rock from days of old with a spaced-out feel to it, well played and recorded, nothing more, nothing less.
Hard copies are only available in Japan and Finland, but you can find the digital version (without the bonuses) on all major retailers right now.
01 - Sold Our Soul
02 - Kepp Your Helmet Greasy
03 - Antisocial
04 - Nobody Rides For Free
05 - Second Try
06 - Mustang Bebe
07 - Shotgun
08 - Restlezz
09 - No Rocket In My Pocket
10 - Bigger Than Rock'n Roll
11 - Speed King (Deep Purple cover) [Japan bonus]
12 - The Rocker (Thin Lizzy cover) [Japan bonus]
Jere Garcia (vocals)
Andy McCoy (guitars)
Niclas Etelävuori (bass)
Jan Rechberger (drums)
Ben Varon (rhythm guitar)
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Friday, October 26, 2012
In 2009 FULLFORCE was founded by Mike Andersson (Cloudscape, Vocals), Stefan Elmgren (ex Hammerfall, Guitars) and Anders Johansson (ex Yngwie J. Malmsteen). The Swedish five-piece started to write songs in order to complete the debut album 'One', which was really well received.
With new second guitarist Stefan Rosqvist (Cloudscape), Fullforce got ready their sophomore album "Next Level", to be released tomorrow.
This 'supergroup' delivers extremely melodic, catchy metal that borders on traditional slick hard rock.
"Next Level" is plenty of hooky, addictive numbers, sometimes pretty hard hitting yet always melodic. It’s not far from the material on the Allen/Lande albums or Jorn solo works, but also many '80s acts as the 'American' Whitesnake.
Fans of hard rock inflected metal will likely eat up the more aggressive, ballsy tracks, like lead off "Broken Dreams" which incorporates enough melody and rock sensibility to make things memorable, while keeping it heavy and aggressive enough.
That style continues to pay dividends on numbers like "Break It, Crack It, Destroy It" which has a contagious chorus and some tasty guitar work.
Likewise, the sheer anthemic might of rockers like "Back to Life", "Whispers”, "Course of Life" and "Visions" are benefited by big, stadium-rock choruses and enthusiastic performances.
"Awesomeness" makes justice to its title, driven by a killer razor riff and a pretty damn catchy rhythm, crowned by a very good chorus with harmonized vocals. They can be quite heavy and assertive, adding some power twists to their arrangements, as on "Karma" or "Mysterious Way".
Then combining a solid hard rock groove with arena accessibility, Fullforce is able to offer anthemic power ballads as well.
"A Night to Remember" is a great eighties midtempo close to balladry where '87-'89 Whitesnake comes to mind, while "Smile at the World" is a 'lighters out' power ballad adorned with acoustics and orchestrations.
Album closer is another strong ballad, more in the classic mould like '80s Black Sabbath, with a great finale increscendo, ending with a melodic guitar solo.
This CD has proven to be a "Next Level" for this very good band.
Since Fullforce is a 'supergroup', the performances are all high level and as a band they sound tight and solid as a rock, but also they have a steady hand at writing smooth and slick melodic tunes.
Michael Andersson is a tremendous singer, a mix of Jorn Lande, David Coverdale and Rob Rock, making good vocal choices and uses his tools to maximum effect (he even dabbles in harsh vox on a few songs to shake things up).
The riffs by Stefan Elmgren and Stefan Rosqvist are dependable and in-your-face, but often have enough flair to rise above the simple style of metal/rock they traffic in. Rhythm section is really ballsy, commanded by the always effective Anders Johansson.
"Next Level" is a killer hooky metal album with an ear toward radio-ready choruses and fist pumping, stadium-rock. Traditional hard rock and even melodic hard rock fans will find plenty quality material here to enjoy.
01 - Broken Dreams
02 - Break It, Crack It, Destroy It
03 - Back To Life
04 - A Night To Remember
05 - Karma
06 - Whispers
07 - Smile At The World
08 - Hate...Love...Drop It!
09 - Visions
10 - Course Of Life
11 - Awesomeness
12 - Mysterious Ways
13 - Strongest Thing Of All
Mike Andersson – Vocals
Stefan Elmgren – Guitars
Stefan Rosqvist – Guitars
Tommy Larsson – Bass
Anders Johansson – Drums
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B.I.T.E is a Hard Rock / Hair Metal band hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, founded in 2011 by guitarist Lizzy Louiz.
Their sound comes from a mix of influences, mostly from '80s American acts that made it big in the second half of the golden decade.
The aptly titled "Rock Into The Night" is the band's debut album, and what a cracker it is.
After the first soundbyte, what really impresses in "Rock Into The Night" is the terrific producion, courtesy of Tito Falaschi (Angra).
Second, the excellent musicianship of all B.I.T.E members. It will surprise you, trust me.
And then, the killer bunch of songs of pure, vibrant '80s Melodic Hard Rock.
Right out of the gate the title track quickly proves that B.I.T.E have talent beyond their years. It may not be an original approach as reminds you many famous bands, but the guitar riff supplied by Lizzy Louiz makes one immediately take notice -- and when working in tandem with vocalist Elvis B. creates a killer opening punch.
Lizzy and second axe-slinger Danny Danger provide a truly sharp delivering in this recording, full of a monster guitar sound, while singer Elvis B. is incredibly clean and right on pitch.
Precisely the vocals really stand out on the following track "Take Me Higher", as they perfectly mix melody with just the right amount of grit during the chorus of "poison overload, takes me higher".
No '80s hair metal album would be complete without the obligatory ballad, and B.I.T.E supply it on the Firehouse influenced "I Still Love You".
After the melodious Skid Row-esque "Dirty Sick Vice" and the anthemic hard rocker "Burning My Heart", B.I.T.E expand their horizons ever so slightly during "Rock Pride". The track's opening stuttering guitar lead offers something a little different before evolving into a straight rockin' song.
The album get back to balladry during the short acoustic effort "Rainbow In The Sky", but quickly return to rock you when "Dreaming Of Love" - arguably the album's stand out - comes roaring out of the speakers.
Closing the CD is the oddly titled "See You Wild", a song that ends the album nicely and simply reinforces that B.I.T.E should be taken seriously, especially the guitar duo.
"Rock Into The Night" is more than a pleasant surprise.
If someone ever wrote a manual on how to perfect the hard rock / hair metal sounds of the '80s, Brazil's B.I.T.E have obviously found it and studied it diligently.
Whether it is scorching hard rock numbers, mellow ballads, roaring guitar riffs, soaring vocals, large harmonies or great production, B.I.T.E check off all the ingredients that made this genre so memorable -- right down to the cliched zebra print artwork and Jack Daniels t-shirt worn in the album's liner notes.
With a singer who has a voice tailor-made for hard rock, and a guitar tandem that rivals most within the genre, B.I.T.E are a band that will satisfy music lovers who long for the days of old.
01 - Rock Into The Night
02 - Take Me Higher
03 - I Still Love You
04 - Dirty Sick Vice
05 - Burning My Heart
06 - Rock Pride
07 - Rainbow In The Sky
08 - Dreaming Of Love
09 - See You Wild
Elvis B. - vocals
Lizzy Louiz - lead guitar
Danny Danger - guitar
Lance Lynxx - bass
Vikki Sparkz - drums
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Thursday, October 25, 2012
When burst into the scene at the very first nineties, WARRIOR SOUL was like a kick in the face for many.
Founded by corrosive frontman Kory Clarke, their first politically charged album 1990's Last Decade Dead Century was a critical sensation, especially in the UK, where listeners readily embraced the band's insurrectionist rantings as the next big thing.
But the metallic hard rock sound Clarke chosen as his vehicle for scream about justice ultimately lost out to the grunge advent. After a solo adventure, in 2007 Clarke revived Warrior Soul with a new batch of musicians, set out an Euro tour and released a limited edition album.
Now Warrior Soul is returning with the new album "Stiff Middle Finger", backed by a solid label and plans to tour the world extensively.
It's been a whole lot of water under the bridge for everyone in the last twenty odd years, and there are different musicians making up Warrior Soul these days.
But one thing that has never changed and never faltered is the undying passion, the magnetism and undoubtable charisma of Kory Clarke, a creatively charged one man revolution with an unquenchable thirst for life and a perennial 'fuck off' to the corrupt system.
Kory Clarke cares; and on this new album, 'Stiff Middle Finger', his frustration and anger at the injustices in our so called 'democracies' is laid bare for all to witness.
Perhaps the track "2012" is the best way to describe Kory's manifesto on this recording, an apocalyptic tale listing his and our common enemies, from 'bullshit prime ministers, Wall Street slime, pharmaceutical wankers' right down to 'airport security douchebag cunts'... you get the picture?
But musically that song is dark and almost minimalistic, while the rest of the album is founded on melting riffs and - sometimes - a really smashing, hard hitting rhythm section.
"A Drink To All My Friends" sports the trademark Warrior Soul sound, the spaced out, fuzz encrusted harmonic riffs that saw his band originally labelled as 'acid punks' is still as exciting and fresh as it was all those years ago.
A classic early Warrior Soul sound is again all over "Rubikon" where Kory lyrically describes his vision of the New Republic he once told of, and that we should really all be dreaming about.
"Sparkle Baby" continues the rock 'n' roll party in more anthemic style, before "Tear" crashes out of the speakers ferociously, both holding some very impressive guitar breaks within their perimeters.
The most 'angry', heavily politically charged and call-to-arms tracks are the brooding, lumbering seven minute monster "Light Your Bonfires" and the uprising "Planetary Revolution" with Kory declaring 'we're gonna find you, we're gonna burn you', all delivered in his typical, meaningful, throaty rasp that's maturing all the while like whiskey in an oak barrel.
Opener "Occupy" also carries the theme along on a much more sonic level, intoxicating and thought provoking, it also houses the first of some really impressive guitar work to be found throughout the album.
"Junky Stripper" keeps the record rocking along in fine fashion with a song as throwaway as you'll find in Clarke's locker, but that's not to say it doesn't happily bump and grind away on a riff that's dirtier and tighter than its subject matter.
In "Stiff Middle Finger" Kory Clarke endeavours to create, when he could be forgiven for resting on former glories the way a lot of his peers have, but that was never the point of this particular and charismatic artist.
Creativity burns at the very core of Clarke's gut as ferociously as it ever has done; it is, and always has been, the very basis of his appeal, and as music fans in the sub-culture of rock 'n' roll we should join together and celebrate that.
These songs are lyrically sharp and mordant, sonically agressive, furious, but never resigning their rock 'n roll essence.
As usual, "Stiff Middle Finger" is a rockin', provocative and challenging album by Warrior Soul.
01 - Occupy
02 - Planetary Revolution
03 - Wall Street
04 - Junky Stripper
05 - A Drink To All My Friends
06 - 2012
07 - Tear
08 - Sparkle Baby
09 - Rubicon
10 - Light Your Bonfires
Kory Clarke - Vocals
Johnny H - Guitar
Rille Lundell - Guitar
Freddie Cocker Kvarnebrink - Drums
Danny Engström - Bass
John Ricco (ex- Warrior Soul) - Guitar
Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission) - Guitar
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REED-RITCHOTTE is a collaboration between long-time San Diego frontman Rick Reed and L.A. session guitarist and tour hired gun Rocket Ritchotte (Stan Bush, David Lee Roth, Rick Springfield, Gregg Rolie).
Recorded over a two-year period, the album "Finally…" is a strong 11-song collection of classic bluesy hard rock.
Very melodic and classy, the music in "Finally…" is driven by the great chops of Rocket Ritchotte, an excellent guitar player owner of a clean sweep-picking style.
Ritchotte (pronounced Ri-shot) is French-Canadian Indian, descendants of the Cree Indians. His hard-hitting, tasty guitar playing gave him the reputation of one of the best guitarists in L.A. It came as no surprise that when David Lee Roth needed someone for his 'A Little Ain't Enough' tour (as Jason Becker was already ill at that time), Rocket was the man to get.
Ritchotte also is the guitar player in Stan Bush's 'In This Life' album, so expect quality from his side.
Singer Rick Reed has the perfect style for this genre, with a warm vocal tone, while the rest of the band are seasoned musicians, with Brett Tuggle on keyboards and backing vocals (Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Page), Max Whipple on bass (Deux Sons) and Rocket’s son Kane drumming. There's some stellar guests such as Tony Franklin (Don Dokken, Jimmy Page) playing as well.
The music in "Finally…" is organic, really classic in its conception and sound.
We have rockers as "Ain't Got Nothin`", the Fastway-like "Take Me Away" and the very good "Tear It Up" (which has a terrific guitar solo by Richotte), while the slower numbers "Broken Heart" and "Night Queen" are more whisky-soaked sounding.
But the majority of the songs are classic earlier '80 hard blues oriented where Whitesnake, David Coverdale solo work, Bad Company and alikes come to mind.
Just listen the uptempo catchy structures in "Five by Five" or "Bye Bye", these are pure bluesy hard riffs, recalling Jimmy Page's solo stuff as well.
"Finally…" is a fine classic rock album with good rockin' songs really well penned and played, from the heart.
A really pleasant listen.
01 - Ain't Got Nothin'
02 - Five by Five
03 - Broken Heart
04 - Tear It Up
05 - Give (Your Love to Me)
06 - Night Queen
07 - Bye Bye
08 - Never Loved a Woman
09 - Take Me Away
10 - Woke Up Dead
11 - When a Man Loves a Woman
Rick Reed – lead vocals
Rocket Ritchotte – guitars
Randy Troast – guitar, bass
Brett Tuggle – keyboards, backing vocals
Max Whipple – bass
Kane Ritchotte – drums
Tony Franklin - bass
Charlie McGimsey - drumsSteve Trovato - guitar
Glen Doll - harp
Anna Montgomery - vocals
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Back in '80s, Danish singer / songwriter TORBEN SCHMIDT was the vocalist, principal writer and frontman of the successful Melodic Rock AOR band Skagarack.
One of the pillars of the genre in Europe, the band enjoyed a healthy career including several awards and an appearance at the prestigious Reading Rock festival, but as the nineties rolled around Torben Schmidt put the band on hold to release his critically acclaimed solo debut A Bit On The Side.
It took almost 20 years to have another Torben Schmidt solo album, "Long Story Short", but well worth the wait.
After his solo debut in 1991, Skagarack recorded another album before the band split. Torben then concentrated on his production company and record label and worked behind the scenes.
But his fans have never forgotten him as performer artist.
States Torben; "Fans and friends have asked me many times over the years, if and when I would release a new solo album, and I always answered next year, next year...
Well, I have said 'next year' so many times that it became embarrassing… So, about three years ago I actually started to record a bunch of my song ideas, and before I knew it I had the eleven songs that are featured on *Long Story Short*.”
In "Long Story Short" there's a definite European Westcoast feel on a lot of the songs, but basically it's a Classic Rock album plenty of delicate melodies and vocal harmonies.
First and foremost, Torben is a great singer, reminding me a bit of Alien’s Jim Jidhed with a very pleasant toneful voice color.
He manages to keep things interesting intercalating uptempo tracks with softer ones, but the rock attitude is ever present.
This CD sounds alive and nicely dynamic in its sound and approach. There's no programming here, all are played by seasoned session musicians and recorded in the traditional old fashion.
Torben also has used musicians not immediately intimately associated to this genre, including two Freak Kitchen members; incredible guitar player Mattias IA Eklund and drummer Björn Fryklund, virtuoso Swedish guitarist Christian Alsing and many others.
From the soaring mid-tempo "Run Away" to the sweet "Looking For A Friendly Face", this lovable album delivers quality in all departments.
We have melodious rockers in "All Is Said" and "Too Damn Cute", damn fine ballads in "You" and "Gently Back To Life", and a good country tingled tune in "Tone It Down" recalling Mark Spiro.
Perhaps my favorite is the catchy & contagious melodic rock of "Take It Like A Man", but the rocking "It's The Fire" is another highlight adorned with a killer guitar solo performed by another guest, guitarist Simon Rabenhöj.
01 - Run Away
02 - All Is Said
03 - Funny
04 - You
05 - Take It Like A Man
06 - Gently Back To Life
07 - Too Damn Cute
08 - Tone It Down
09 - It's The Fire
10 - The Coffee Song
11 - Looking For A Friendly Face
Torben Schmidt - vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards
Mattias IA Eklund - guitar
Björn Fryklund - drums
Christian Alsing - guitar
Lars Danielsson - bass
and many more
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Mr. Mister's mastermind RICHARD PAGE has released another solo album. Or more accurate, a collection of songs mostly written for other artists, which for some reason never were recorded by the intended artist.
"Songs From The Sketchbook" thankfully rescues a bunch of hidden gems, and coming from Richard Page, as usual, are a pure delight for the ears.
First of all, let me tell you that "Songs From The Sketchbook" isn't a collection of 'sketches', these are all full fledged masterpieces from Page's magical pen.
Written for quite a diverse bunch of artists, it will come as no surprise the material on here is diverse as well. Yet, as all is played and sung by him, it still sounds coherent.
The cool thing is he explains extensively in the booklet how this all came about. Like he also discusses the circumstances under which these versions were recorded, with whom and when.
The first track "Falling Into Place" is a Mr. Mister leftover and is one of the most rocking tracks. An addicting AOR song with all that Mr. Mister aura all over.
Another outstanding track is the wonderful "Love Rescue Me", another uptempo tune co-written in 1993 with no other than Billy Sherwood, destined for Richard's solo album. Why this great track never ended in the CD is beyond me.
One listen to "I Wouldn't Change a Thing" and you will embraced by tons of emotions. Just Page's vocals, his guitar and subtle keyboards in the background, this song is a shot straight to the fibers of your heart.
"I Think It's Gonna Rain" is another old track penned in 1994, based on harmony vocals, same with the melodic "Every Day's A New Day" where the vocals are bright and warm.
"Don't Let Me Down" is one of those trademark Richard Page ballads, while the poppy "Long, Long Road" was written few years ago and has a more modern approach.
"Songs From The Sketchbook" comprises a diverse collection of songs written and performed by Richard Page during the last twenty years, balancing uptempo tracks with the smooth stuff his recent solo work is known for.
A flawless, pure Page album. Pure class.
And I love it.
01 - Falling Into Place
02 - I Think It's Gonna Rain
03 - Every Day's A New Day
04 - I Wouldn't Change A Thing
05 - Don't Let Me Down
06 - Just Keep Lovin'
07 - Long Long Road
08 - I'm With You
09 - Love Rescue Me
10 - What Is A Friend
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Iconic rockers THE CULT are nothing if not enterprising and unconventional with their music and how they release it. The band is issuing a "prequel" to accompany their latest album, Choice of Weapon.
The prequel is cleverly called "Weapon of Choice" and reveals songs that were a 'work in progress' while the band were working dutifully on the last CD.
"Weapon of Choice" is a document of a work in progress and offers a unique opportunity to hear The Cult's process in the studio.
The dynamic ten tracks on this release were recorded when The Cult returned to the studio in 2011 with producer Chris Goss and serve as a looking glass into the creative process and foundation behind Choice of Weapon.
Call it 'recording sessions' or whatever you like it, but these are finished songs and professionally recorded, produced and mixed.
So "Weapon of Choice" is a new The Cult album in all aspects, it is just released - digital only - by themselves without a label fanfare.
And be fast, as it will be available exclusively on iTunes for two months only. The album will no longer be available anywhere starting on December 21, 2012.
For more info go here;
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrockz
01 - Aurora
02 - Blackie
03 - The Bones
04 - Decado
05 - Elemental
06 - Gibraltar
07 - Twisted and Bleeding
08 - Militant
09 - Supreme
10 - Lucifer
Ian Astbury - Vocals
Billy Duffy - Guitars
Chris Wyse - Bass
John Tempesta - Drums
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UK melodic rockers VEGA are releasing today the single and video "White Knuckle Ride" from their highly anticipated 2nd album scheduled for January 2013.
After their great debut album, Vega decided to go in search of a record company that shared their passion for trying to inject something new in to the rock genre, whilst still maintaining the '80s / '90s roots that influenced them in the first place.
After a long search finally secured a worldwide deal with Spinefarm who will release their 2nd album in January 2013. Singer Nick Workman says “We wanted to write an album where every song could have been a single, so we have been spending a lot of time fine tuning the songs. We pretty much demoed each song twice before we were satisfied”.
The new album will feature 13 tracks of hook laden stadium rock songs that deserve to be play loud enough to piss off your neighbours...”
We loved Vegas' debut, and this first single "White Knuckle Ride" follows that style, a highly addictive tune with a clear and crisp production.
The guys filmed a very professional video in a true rock fashion, shot at Elvington Airfield which was the scene of the infamous accident of Top Gear's Richard Hammond.
Can't wait for the full album.
White Knuckle Ride (3:38)
White Knuckle Ride *HD video* (4:38)
Nick Workman - Vocals
Tom Martin - Guitars
Daniel Chantrey - Drums
James Martin - Keyboards
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Just like buses, you wait years for a hard rocking MITCH MALLOY album, then you get two in quick succession.
After 2011’s well received ‘Mitch Malloy II’ opus, Mitch has gone back into the studio and totally re-recorded his 2001’s ‘Shine’, this time around adding keyboards and three completely new songs.
To avoid confusion with the original release, this brand new album is going under the title of "Shine On".
Malloy says: "I was never happy with the original album, recorded with low budget and with pressures by the label for a more 'plain' style."
Then, now Malloy decided to re-record the songs, discard a few, and add 3 completely new tracks.
"So it started to become this whole different CD and that is why it's got a new name.
It's not an old album at all, it's a new album, with a brand new cover and art work".
"Shine On" is real Mitch Malloy: Melodic Rock with pulsating guitars, keyboard fills and his unmistakable vocals.
Release date is still uncertain.
The CD was on sale exclusively past weekend at Firefest Festival during Mitch Malloy's show.
As usual, You've seen it first here, at 0dayrockz.
01 - Shine
02 - You Lift Me
03 - It's About Love
04 - Draw The Line
05 - Love's Own Hand
06 - Places Only Love Can Go
07 - Love Made A Liar Out Of Me
08 - What I'm Livin' For
09 - Nothin' New (duet with Holly Malloy)
10 - Never Enough
Mitch Malloy - vocals, guitar, keyboards, percussion
Victor Broden - bass
Greg Morrow (John Waite) - drums
Derek Mixon - drums
Mike Brignerdello (Giant) - bass
Tony Harrell - keyboards
Jerry McPherson - lead guitar
Holly Malloy - duet vocals in 9
There was a lot of great bands that just fell through the cracks in the late ‘80s and especially the early ‘90s due to the musical climate change. BLIND DATE was one of those bands that should have had a big impact in the melodic hard rock scene.
Blind Date finally released their self-titled debut in 2004, but since it become out of print pretty soon, leader & guitarist JB Slimp in conjuction with indie US company Bridgewater Records are re-releasing Blind Date's debut re-entitled "Can You Feel It".
Blind Date formed in Texas in about 1988, were voted best metal/progressive band in San Antonio in 1989, and their short-lived career saw them tour with the likes of Vixen, Lynch Mob, Dangerous Toys and Helix.
The entire tale of why they never 'made it' is probably out there somewhere, but Perris Records picked up the band in 2004 and released these wonderful collection of songs, seven of them freshly recorded and 3 tracks taped in 1991.
Now guitarist JB Slimp thought that was time to make Blind Date material justice, remastering the songs and make them available to the whole rock community.
"Can You Feel It" is a pure, heavenly Melodic Rock album, much in the vein of say, Danger Danger, XYZ, White Lion or Dokken.
This is one album that simply oozes with big harmonies, tasty licks, blazing solos and melodies more infectious than the latest instalment of the flue.
The CD begins with "Don’t Wait Up", a contagious melodic rocker where the vocal melodies, both lead and backup, are stellar. This is obviously their greatest strength; singing - just check the personnel - all members performs backing vocals. The guitar solo is fast and crisp, and after that, they do a cappella line. This song should have been a major hit back in a day.
What follows is a succession of absolute Melodic Rock crackers with some AOR touches, to name a few; the immense summertime feel good vibe of "Can You Feel It", the keyboard infused Dokken-esque "Broken Promises" or the smouldering mid paced "Dreaming".
Bands of this ilk excel at something bereft of today’s music -- the power ballad. "She’s Walking" is perfect and will leave you singing for days after a single listen.
"We Keep Falling In Love" is a song White Lion should have recorded. The singer sounds like Mike Tramp in parts here, and the chorus is once again catchy and the background vocals shine again.
Blind Date has delivered here a dreamy CD for any late '80s Melodic Hard Rock lover.
Ten tracks of pure bliss sporting all the elements that made the genre exciting, colourful and fun during the golden days - "Can You Feel It" is an awesome album from start to finish.
Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.
01 - Don't Wait Up
02 - Can You Feel It
03 - She's Walking
04 - Daddy's Little Girl
05 - Broken Promises
06 - Everybody's Baby
07 - We Keep Falling In Love
08 - Dreaming
09 - Without Your Love
10 - When I'm Alone
Buster Grant - Lead & Backing Vocals
JB Slimp - Guitar, Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Mark Ellis - Guitar, Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Darren Keeling - Bass & Backing Vocals
Chris Didear - Drums & Backing Vocals
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"MR. BIG - Raw Like Sushi 100th Anniversary" celebrates Mr. Big's 100th concert in Japan held at Osaka-jo Hall on April 7, 2011.
This is a completely new recording, featuring live takes on songs from the band's stupendous last album 'What If'.
So we can hear for the first time hot versions of "Undertow" or "American Beauty" and an emotional vibrant version of "Stranger in my Life", alongside Mr. Big classics "Green-Tinted Sixteens Mind", "Just Take My Heart" or "Daddy, Brother, Lover, Little Boy" sung by all members of the band.
The 2nd CD include some excellent acoustic versions, but my favorite is the long, loose, hard rockin' electric take on "Addicted To That Rush".
"MR. BIG - Raw Like Sushi 100th Anniversary" is not just another live double CD.
Mixed by Pat Regan and featuring a K2HD mastering + the high-fidelity HQCD format (compatible with standard CD players), the sound dynamics are incredible.
Includes an awesome 96-page B4-size hard cover book, tour memorabilia, a tour pass replica, and more.
Killer recording. Japan only.
Eric Martin – lead vocals
Billy Sheehan – bass guitar, backing vocals
Paul Gilbert – guitar, backing vocals
Pat Torpey – drums, percussion, backing vocals
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Founded in UK at the end of the seventies by lyricist/vocalist Dave Hill and guitarist Mal Spooner, DEMON is one of the most musically interesting and socially aware hard rock bands of their age.
Following the remastered re-issue of their catalog (the great 'Heart Of Our Time' was already presented here weeks ago), Demon is releasing “Unbroken”, the band's fresh CD featuring new material since 2005, and it sees them back to a classic hard rock sound.
Demon are enjoying somewhat of a resurgence, heading the inaugural British Steel Festival in 2006, as well as gaining slots at Firefest, Germany’s Bang Your Head festival and the prestigious Hard Rock Hell event to name but a few. They have also been recently announced to return to Sweden Rock in 2013.
Oh, and they have also finally released a brand new studio album after seven years.
“Unbroken” impresses you straight off the bat with its presentation and its attention to detail, being available in book form as standard in a time when most albums scrimp on details such as booklets or charge you extra to buy them as limited editions.
The book itself is a well thought out mixture of the lyrics to all the songs on the album and rare live shots of the band in action.
The music, that this very nice package carries – which is the important bit – is probably amongst the best they ever released.
They have returned to classic, lovable hard rock here, slightly bombastic, artistic, with elaborated mid-tempos but on occasion slower or faster, depending on the mood of each one song.
Dave Hill's vocals are intact, strong and instantly likable, accompanied as usual by some very intelligent and socially conscious lyrics.
"Prey" preceded by a 1 minute intro that bears the same name too, is a rather uptempo and energetic opener with an euphoric and uplifting chorus. Hill sounds as good now as they did back when Demon started off all those years ago, if anything age has matured his vocals and led to a greater control over them as well as aiding the songwriting process.
"Shine A Light" continues the powerful dynamic feel as the album starts to form and take a hold of you. The vocals are raucous and the solo is on fire.
Title track "Unbroken" is pretty much a reference to the band's longevity and unbroken spirit. A bit different animal than the previous, more melodic and harmonic.
"Wings of Steel" is a keyboard laden tune which shouldn't come as much of a surprise as Hill wrote it with the keyboard player. It simply has one of the most breathtaking choruses on the entire album, epic and almost AOR infused. Oh, and also sports a helluva melodious guitar solo.
"Fill Your Head With Rock" is an anthem about Sweden Rock Festival that the band has played on a number of occasions. It really rocks.
"Take Me To Your Leader" is spacey but rocking too, with a big thick, multi-tracked vocal in the chorus that sticks out.
"Private Lives" is another track that Dave has written with keyboard player Paul Farrington, musically pretty melodic rock oriented and clever lyrics about the whole instant celebrity cult and paparazzi thing.
The very melodious and rhythmical midtempo "We Can Make It, (If We All Try)" tells another beautiful story, followed by "What About The Night" drenched in luscious keys, a classy 'theatrical' Demon tune deliciously devilish fun.
Finally "I Still Believe" is a lighters and a hands in the air anthem written in the trademark Demon way, a ballad yes, but ardent and powerful.
“Unbroken” is easily Demon's best work since the '80s, and one of the best in the entire and long career of this great band.
Just 10 tracks avoiding fillers, intense, classic hard rock sounding, rockin' your ears and heart from all angles: musicianship, lyric content, production...
This CD represents what is arguably the best Demon and makes you wonder if they will finally get the full recognition that they deserve as the momentum continues to build behind this veteran act.
So long life to Dave Hill and his company of rocking men and may they continue to rock us, for a long, long time to come.
01 - Prey (Intro)
02 - Prey
03 - Shine A Light
04 - Unbroken
05 - Wings Of Steel
06 - Fill Your Head With Rock
07 - Take Me To Your Leader
08 - Private Lives
09 - We Can Make It
10 - What About The Night
11 - I Still Believe
Dave Hill - Vocals
Paul Farrington - Keyboards
Paul Hume - Guitar
David Cotterill - Guitar
Ray Walmsley - Bass
Neil Ogden - Drums
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Monday, October 22, 2012
Hard Rock aficionados are well aware of Swedes SISTER SIN, the female fronted band from Gothenburg.
They are releasing today a brand new CD titled “Now and Forever”. It is the band's fourth full length release, but it surely won't be the last.
Sister Sin's catchy, lively '80s metal-style music sits well with fans of bands such as Motley Crue, The Scorpions, Warlock and alikes. However, the band has expanded their boundaries with “Now and Forever”. The album has so many different elements of rockin' music that it can't be categorized in any single genre or sub-genre.
The disc starts off with "MMXII" - which means 2012 in Roman numerals - and it's an eerie, dark instrumental comprised of keys and drums and then jumps right into a flurry of greatness with the title track.
"End Of The Line" is a really metalized track with a phenomenal chorus, catchy guitar riffs and solos, solid rhythm section, power-packed vocals and an upbeat tempo - a quintessential '80s metal tune. This song itself is better than anything Sister Sin wrote previously to this, and sets up the new album nicely.
"Fight Song" is reminiscent of Motley's 'Knock 'Em Dead Kid' and the energy is on high power. Great riffs from Jimmy Hiltula that will have some necks snapping. The song is all metal but has some amazing directional changes that add that melodic overtones.
"In It For Life" is fast-paced and raw in sound but the excitement is pure gold. "Hearts Of Cold" highlights the six-string work of Hiltula and Dave Sundberg, who smashes the skins like a demon. The song is powerful and aggressive, which should draw in fans of harder-edged metal.
The background vocals and harmonies on "I'm Not You" are exceptional. The song is a bit different than others on the record but the chorus will bring chants from the live crowds and make it one of their favorites.
"Running Low" runs over a killer beat and comparisons here will be drawn to more recent acts coming out from Sweden, but with Sister Sin's own touch.
The band hit and hit hard with "Shades Of Black" and once again they show to be fans of primal Motley Crue as they have those basic essentials that made the Crue's 'Shout At The Devil' release a holy grail in the genre.
Coming to a close, singer Liv spreads her talented vocals over the ballad called "Morning After", a noticeable directional change from the rest of the record, but works like a charm adding variation to this kick-ass CD. The soaring guitar of Hitula is exceptional, melodious and sustained.
“Now and Forever” rocks with an intensity rarely seen lately.
Once upon a time, hard rock music was about having fun and rocking out, but for most 'new metal' bands that's no longer a premise anymore, specially the ones fronted by female singers. Saving some honorable exceptions, all are trying to be the next Evanescence.
Thankfully we have Sister Sin to treat us with an enjoyable throwback to the glory days, and “Now And Forever” presents the band at their best.
Hair metal, glam metal, '80s metal, or whatever you might want to call it, this CD rocks as these genres used to do. It doesn't matter where your tastes in metal reside, in this album there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Sister Sin is sure to continue their climb through the legions of hard rock bands to become a name synonymous with female fronted metal.
Fans of '80s female fronted rock should definitely listen “Now And Forever”.
01 - MMXII
02 - End of the Line
03 - Fight Song
04 - In It for Life
05 - Hearts of Cold
06 - The Chosen Few?
07 - Hang 'Em High
08 - I'm Not You
09 - Running Low
10 - Shades of Black
11 - Morning After
Liv Jagrell - Vocals
Jimmy Hiltula - Guitar
Strandh - Bass
Dave Sundberg - Drums, Percussion
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Swiss hard rockers MAXXWELL last studio album 'All In' earned a lot of great reviews as did their shows when they supported international acts touring Europe.
Maxxwell recently wrote the official stadium song for German hockeyclub Freiburg, entitled "Slapshot", so they decided to release it together with 3 new tracks plus some fan favorites recorded live as appetizer of their new album scheduled for 2013.
Maxxwell's sound and style recalls Gotthard and Shakra, that is Euro guitar driven hard rock with a modern sound.
As you expect, title track "Slapshot" is an anthemic hard rock tune, a very good fist in the air hymn (check the official video below).
The other new tracks are impactful as well, being "Don't You Bite" marching and melodic, "The Devil Walks With Her" groovy and commercial, and "Live Fast Die Last" as title says, fast & uptempo.
The remaining tracks were taped live in the band's recent show at the Rock Of Ages Festival. High quality recordings with a polished sound.
Maxxwell perfectly knows how to play riff-oriented hard rock in a modern way: heavy when needed with super fat guitars, but also melodic and catchy.
These guys take care of the production details as well, everything sounds polished and clear, even the live tracks were tweaked a bit in the studio.
"Slapshot" leaves you hungry for more. Is that good.
They are in full form and surely their upcoming new album will be a blast.
01 - Slapshot
02 - Don't You Bite
03 - The Devil Walks With Her
04 - Live Fast Die Last
05 - Boogey Man (Live At Rock of Ages 2012)
06 - Black Widow (Live At Rock of Ages 2012)
07 - Outlaw (Live At Rock of Ages 2012)
08 - Slapshot (Audience Version)
Nobi Suppiger (Vocals)
Hef Häfliger (Lead Guitars)
Cyril Montavon (Rhythm Guitars)
Kusi Durrer (Bass)
Oli Häller (Drums)
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Perhaps this 2007 concert with GARY MOORE playing the music of Jimi Hendrix would not have been oficially released if it wasn't for Gary's abrupt decease in 2011.
"Blues For Jimi " was recorded at the London Hippodrome as part of the launch for the Jimi Hendrix Live At Monterey program and featured Gary Moore and his band performing classic Hendrix songs.
At the end of the night Moore was joined by Mitch Mitchell and Billy Cox of the Jimi Hendrix Experience for 3 tracks.
"Blues For Jimi " it's a pure delight for Gary Moore fans, as well for Jimi Hendrix aficionados, as Moore truly plays these classic tracks with conviction and adventurous spirit.
Gary nails the solo on the set opening "Purple Haze", then finishes with a rapid set of descending pull offs that are classic Moore. Jimi is smiling somewhere in the cosmos. So is Moore. In fact, they're probably having a laugh together.
"Manic Depression" features drummer Darrin Mooney and bassist Dave Bronze doing their finest Experience impression - especially the furious display of fills from the former Primal Scream sticksman. His free flowing frenzy is anchored by Bronze, who stays steady, keeping the path clear for the red hot histrionics of Moore and Mooney. This group takes possession of these songs - they're not just covering them, they are taking ownership for the evening.
Moore's command of his instrument is astounding as he squeezes the shellac off the back of his faithful Strat's neck for the hallowed feedback that introduces "Foxey Lady". The solo sees him adding much of his own style, with drastic string bends, and the otherworldly fury of his right hand makes it a wonderful trip.
Gary Moore was known for his guitar playing, but his singing always carried an equal share of the load - when he slows things down for "The Wind Cries Mary", his tone, phrasing, and vibrato are all as captivating coming from his mouth as his hands. There's a tremendous amount of love, devotion, and respect being applied to these songs.
On "I Don't Live Today" he starts in the blues and ends up in an acid drenched guitar freak out. Moore does his best to recreate the vibe and largely succeeds.
As soon as the first pulsating chords tumble out of his speakers, you can't wait to hear what the Irish wunderkind does with "Angel", and he certainly delivers. Balladry was one of Moore's strong points and he milks this one for all it's worth, then when the band starts modulating up towards the stratosphere you just want them to take it higher and higher, and they do. Mindblowingly beautiful.
Fueling the funkier section of the Hendrix catalog, "Fire" gives the Moore and his crack band the chance to pick up the pac, and boy do they.
Things gets special when Billy Cox and Mitch Mitchell comes to the stage. Moore stokes the fires with the time tested and approved intro that can only announce an arrival at the "Red House". Cox and Moore trade vocal verses, and while the vibe is looser, more relaxed, and casual, this has much more of a bluesy vibe as Billy walks hard on his old Fender bass. Mitchell is as loose as ever, and perhaps only Ginger Baker ever came as close to bringing jazz to the rock as well as Mitch.
The solo section here is amazing - Moore slows down, and shows that he's much more than fire and brimstone, he's also deep.
Cox takes the vocal for "Stone Free", and it's straight back to the psychedelic 60s - what a great trip. Moore plays this one clean and slinky - he's giving Cox and Mitchell the stage and letting them roam free.
"Hey Joe" is transcendent. Cox and Mitchell move this thing from down Mexico way to the Southside of Chicago, down the Mississippi to the Gulf via New Orleans, and Moore chases them every step of the way. They end up together in a state of rock and roll nirvana. This one is worth the price of the record.
They wrap it up with "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)" - Moore playfully attacks his wah pedal and takes this intro uptown with John Shaft. Then Mitchell and Cox join in, and together they ride off into the sunset.
Gary Moore blazed a bright trail - he started off as a Clapton acolyte playing hard rock, moved upwards to become a metal guitar icon before finding out late in his life that he still had the blues.
He never gave less than a thousand percent, and he made some amazing moves by filling the shoes of Clapton playing with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, recreating the music of Cream (as well as an album of their own as BBM) - I'm glad he was also able to show his respect, love, and command of the catalog of Jimi Hendrix.
"Blues For Jimi " is a beautiful way to pay tribute to both Moore and Jimi - a wonderful set of Hendrixian blues and rock, all played with love.
Gary Moore - Darrin Mooney - Dave Bronze
1. Purple Haze
2. Manic Depression
3. Foxy Lady
4. The Wind Cries Mary
5. I Don't Live Today
Gary Moore - Mitch Mitchell - Billy Cox
8. Red House
9. Stone Free
10. Hey Joe
Gary Moore - Darrin Mooney - Dave Bronze
11. Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)
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TILES is a prog / hard rock band from Detroit, which has released five studio albums.
Over the years the band has developed a style that blends the adventure of progressive rock with an aggressive hard rock edge. Notable musicians such as Alex Lifeson (Rush), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) and Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater) have lent their support to Tiles when they opened for them in various gigs.
Something had to be done to commemorate Tiles' approaching 20th anniversary, so the band recorded "Off The Floor" as a career retrospective.
Recorded live in the studio at Sound Escape in suburban Detroit (where the band members reside), "Off The Floor" is everything the group chose to display, and quite a bit more.
The song selection (which hits all five of their studio albums) showcases the very best that the band has to offer with all the musicians together in the same room.
One of the many high points on "Off The Floor" and clear example of Tiles' style is the track "Capture The Flag", which not only takes on but exceeds the original version.
Imagine the first Rush sound with a passion for the hard rock riffs. Indeed this band extends the proceedings over long developed guitar riffs where the melodies change in conjuction with the tempo.
Fan favorites are included here as well, such as a completely re-worked version of "Checkerboards" (from 1997's 'Fence The Clear'), "Token Pledge" (taken from 1994's debut self-titled release), "Modification" (from 1999's 'Presents Of Mind') and the opening track, the standout "Landscrape" from their last album (2008).
Joining the band is special guest Matthew Parmenter (of the band Discipline) who plays violin and sings backing vocals on the sinuous "Changing The Guard".
For the more atmospheric "The Wading Pool", Parmenter plays some mellotron, while another guest Keith Kaminski (Motor City Horns) adds flute giving the song a Jethro Tull vibe.
Considered too progressive to be a hard rock band and too hard to be a progressive band, Tiles has opted for the road less traveled.
With a strong early Rush influence, "Off The Floor" sounds as if you were listening to the band live in your living room.
Noted producer Terry Brown (Rush, Fates Warning) renders the recording with a refreshingly natural sound - serving up the audio equivalent of a Van Gogh where everything interacts and blends into an engaging sonic picture.
Released on the band's own label, Standing Pavement, "Off The Floor" can only be purchased from very limited retailers, but it really worth the hunt.
Where it might be a shame that a band this talented is still unknown to many in the progressive and metal circles, Tiles can hold their heads up high.
01 - Landscrape
02 - Token Pledge
03 - Modification
04 - Capture The Flag
05 - Changing the Guard
06 - Segue / Window Dressing (Part IV)
07 - Dragons, Dreams & Darling Deeds
08 - Dress Rehearsal
09 - Hide in My Shadow
10 - A Minor Interlude
11 - Checkerboards
12 - The Wading Pool
Paul Rarick - lead vocals
Jeff Whittle - bass, keyboards, backing vocals
Chris Herin - guitars, mandolin, keyboards, backing vocals
Mark Evans - drums & percussion
Matthew Parmenter - mellotron, violin & backing vocals
Keith Kaminski - flute on 'The Wading Pool'
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Saturday, October 20, 2012
Greek guitarist ANDY ROCK started to play in rock bands in the early 2000. His main influences are some of the greatest rock acts such as Bon Jovi, '80s Michael Bolton and Richard Marx.
In 2004, Andy formed Wild Rose and together released the sensational Melodic Rock AOR album 'Half Past Midnight' in 2011, highly praised by the fans of the genre.
"Into The Night" is Andy Rock solo debut CD where he plays most of the instruments including singing, except for drums which are provided by Giannis Papavasiliou.
If I had been handed this album and told it was the second album from Wild Rose, I would have believed them. So if you’re an established fan of the aforementioned band you'll know exactly what to expect, and trust me, you'll love it.
Andy unashamedly writes in a very eighties American AOR style, filled with full frontal keyboards, wall to wall melodies and anthemic choruses.
"Love is Not A Game" has a driving riff which is combined with an infectious keyboard line underpining this great opening track. It's a smooth rocker with a chorus that captures you from the first spin. There's some great guitar licks and solo's and the fluttering keyboards make the song have a real impact.
"It's Not Over" would fit perfectly in Wild Rose's debut album. A lovable smooth AOR tune and one of my personal favourite from this debut. "U Belong To Me" has some parping synths and it's a song that builds nicely to a huge chorus.
The atmospheric ballad "Lonely Heart" will definitely hit the spot with west coast AOR fans. It's soft and cheesy, but really nice to the ears.
Perhaps the more solid track on this CD is "Cryin' Every Night (In The Rain)", a driving AOR melody with a sing along chorus. There’s a fabulous guitar riff that powers the song.
"I Wanna Be With You" is a laid back ballad, a bit poppy, with a gripping guitar rhythm and a tranquil chorus, followed by the synth laden mid-tempo rocker "Waiting For Your Love".
"Without You" is really catchy and extremely radio friendly, much in the vein of Wild Rose. Instrumental "Emotions" is an ok atmospheric and laid back piece, and leads into the dance floor filling finale of the album.
"Out In The Streets" is an energetic and infectious melodic rocker with an anthemic chorus and rapid-fire keyboards, whilst title track "Into The Night" rocks with catchiness over a wonderful melodic guitar riff.
As expected, "Into The Night", Andy Rock's solo debut is inspired by the sound of the AOR genre’s heyday, a collection of summertime feel-good tunes performed with passion and affection.
I like the way Andy blends the guitar and keyboard sounds to give the songs maximum impact, putting in mind British band Outside Edge and of course his own group Wild Rose.
But not all are 'roses'. Andy's vocals are a bit weak and struggle to soar, something this style needs primarily. Drums are real, but the arrangements are almost robotic and sucks some of the lifeblood out of the songs.
Anyway, most of the tracks are lovable, unadulterated keyboard driven Melodic Rock AOR numbers (a few could be better written) that '80s die hard AORsters (like me) will enjoy with a big smile on the face.
01. Love Is Not A Game
02. It´s Not Over
03. U Belong To Me
04. Lonely Heart
05. Cryin' Every Night (In The Rain)
06. I Wanna Be With You
07. Waiting For Your Love
08. Without You
09. Emotions (Instrumental)
10. Out On The Streets
11.Into The Night
Andy Rock - Lead Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Keys
Giannis Papavasiliou - Drums
Chris Siloma - Backing Vocals
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YOUNGBLOOD was a band that at the time (around 1989) was offered contract by Sony/Epic Records. The group quickly jumped in the studio and new tunes we’re laid out and 16 tracks we’re decided for a new CD that never was released.
Youngblood's "No Retreat" has finally resurfaced and what a pleasant surprise of gems you have on here.
Founded in 1988 by guitarist and producer Jeff Diehl who has worked with such legends as Gene Simmons, Night Ranger or Eddie Kramer, Youngblood also toured extensively as Epic Records recording artist Henry Lee Summers’ backing band.
The group spent nine months working in the studio recording 45 tracks, then 16 were selected for the debut album. While professionally recorded, mixed and mastered, the songs never saw the light of day... at least until now.
"No Retreat" is quintessential '80s melodic hard rock, pretty much an audio picture of the period. You'll find some appealing familiarity to Youngblood's sound echoing peers like Slaughter, Warrant or Firehouse.
The music is rambunctious and rocking, the lyrics pushing typical Eighties excess with tongue-in-cheek flair. Underneath it all, however, is some real talent and some very good tunes.
This CD belt out some serious rockin' grooves in top cuts like “Love is All Around” and “Get Down To It” with screaming awe aspiring vocals that resonate after long while after.
“Find a Way” belts out a batch of ranging vocal choruses that sets the mood just right, another crisp lick dominate this track.
One of the best numbers here comes via the majestic piano opening of “Coming Home” that baits you with it’s piano mood, until it launches into a scorching melodic solo, later to reprise again by the vocal reach of singer Bobby Sisk.
Some songs are simply unexpected like the swirling keyboards in “Back in My Life” or the bouncy swagger of “You Gotta Go”.
Listening to "No Retreat" is like a greatest hits compilation of what this band had in store for fans of the genre, great tunes well written time after time.
Lead singer Sisk is terrific (where is this guy now?) while musicianship is tight and vigorous, conducted by the melodic, cagey and sharp guitars of Jeff Diehl. The production is priceless and after all these years we have a great treasure chest of hidden gems from another promising band that could of would of.
Listening to "No Retreat" makes me lone the good old days of the prime '80s Hard Rock scene. And it's whole lot of fun.
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrockz
01 - Pump It Up
02 - Love Is All Around
03 - Sock It To Me
04 - Get Down To It
05 - Shot Of You
06 - Heat of the Passion
07 - Save Your Lies
08 - Feel Thang
09 - Find A Way
10 - Taste Of Your Lovin’
11 - Back In My Life
12 - Coming Home
13 - My One and Only
14 - Don't Play With My Head
15 - You've Gotta Go
16 - I Love You
Bobby Sisk – Lead Vocals
Jeff Diehl – Guitars & Vocals
Eric Saylors – Guitars & Vocals
Danny William – Keyboards & Vocals
Kyle Koker – Bass & Vocals
Kevin Kale – Drums
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It's been almost ten years since Shinedown first appeared, ten years and eight million albums sold.
Marketed in the same slot as Nickelback and Alter Bridge, personally I think they're much more than the aforementioned bands, and much more than just 'modern rock'.
Their previous album was pretty good, but I think their new "Amaryllis" is superior in all aspects.
Shinedown has mastered the ability to take on heavy subject matter, yet still make the songs ridiculously contagious and enjoyable.
This album in particular is much more upbeat and 'happy' than the previous three CD's, less dark or alternative, just more straight-ahead rock with elements of rock's poppier side, the heavier side, and even a bit of an orchestral sound on some tracks.
The album starts off with the hard-rocking “Adrenaline” that sets the tone for what is to come and it only gets better.
You could like Shinedown or not, but you can't deny this band has embraced the arena-rock format, and to my ears, although modern, these songs are really good, as it is next track and single "Bully", the heavy "Enemies and the pumpin' "Nowhere Kids".
All have an anthemic, sing-along quality ideal for big houses and more than a decent consistency.
"Miracles" is another goodie and one of the more melodic in the whole CD, with a contagious chorus wrapped by a monster production.
Sure, there's some ballads where the band is not so effective to me, but in example, title track "Amaryllis" works well adding some orchestrations to the mix.
Modern but not 'plastic' at all, "Amaryllis" is easily digestible and very listenable from start to finish, ranging from fiery and energy-filled fist pumpers to big bold radio oriented power ballads.
Shinedown has been critisized by 'formal' traditional rockers for being a band writing prefabricated radio-rock tunes, but they're good enough to rock you with good melodies and effective kicks.
01 - Adrenaline
02 - Bully
03 - Amaryllis
04 - Unity
05 - Enemies
06 - I'm Not Allright
07 - Nowhere Kids
08 - Miracle
09 - I'll Follow You
10 - For My Sake
11 - My Name (Wearing Me Out)
12 - Through The Ghost
13 - Diamond Eyes [bonus track]
14 - Devour (Live from Washington State) [bonus track]
15 - Diamond Eyes (Live from W. State) [bonus track]
Brent Smith – lead vocals
Zach Myers – guitars, backing vocals
Eric Bass – bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Barry Kerch – drums, percussion
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