Tuesday, September 27, 2016
0dayrox is proud to present the exclusive world-wide premiere of "Can't Stop The Show: The Return Of KIX", the new two-disc DVD/CD set from platinum-selling Maryland hard rock icons KIX to be released on October 21 via Loud & Proud Records.
The release is an in-depth look into KIX's decision to record their first new album, 2014's 'Rock Your Face Off', in almost 20 years. The DVD also features the making of the album from bassist Mark Schenker's studio, interviews with the band as well as notable rock artists such as Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, Jeff LaBar of Cinderella, Share Ross of Vixen, key music industry veterans such as radio personality Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson of That Metal Show on VH1 Classic as well as Luc Carl and Keith Roth of SiriusXM.
The CD, "Can't Stop The Show (Live)" offers never - before - released live KIX tracks recorded over the last three years. A bonus KIX logo sticker is inside the first manufacturing run, a special treat for KIX fans around the world, and each band member offers his own special contribution to the package's booklet including vocalist Steve Whiteman's rigorous exercise routine, cartoons by guitarist Brian "Damage" Forsythe, an essay by bassist Mark Schenker, a gear rundown by guitarist Ronnie "10/10" Younkins and a favorite recipe from drummer Jimmy Chalfant, a.k.a. "Chef Chocolate."
The album - mixed by guitarist since many years becoming record producer Brad Divens who was part of the very early Kix and recorded in their 'Cool Kids' album and later fronted Wrathchild America - has a vibrant punchy sound, with the band playing various tracks from the last album but also '80s classics such as 'Blow My Fuse', 'Midnite Dynamite' and one of my favorites, 'Cold Shower'.
Great rocking stuff
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - Wheels In Motion (Live)
02 - Rock Your Face Off (Live)
03 - Cold Shower (Live)
04 - Mean Miss Adventure (Live)
05 - You're Gone (Live)
06 - Cold Blood (Live)
07 - Can't Stop The Show (Live)
08 - Girl Money (Live)
09 - Love Me With Your Top Down (Live)
10 - Blow My Fuse (Live)
11 - Love Pollution (Live at Sirius-XM)
12 - Midnite Dynamite (Live at Sirius-XM)
Steve Whiteman: lead vocals
Ronnie Younkins: guitars, backing vocals
Brian Forsythe: guitars
Mark Schenker: bass, backing vocals
Jimmy Chalfant: drums, vocals
Swedish quintet OPETH certainly have changed over the past several albums. Originally starting as a progressive metal group, they’ve dropped the metal aspect and have since turned into a more prog rock group, trading distortion for fuzz and adding a lot more keys. And this is clear more than ever on their new album "Sorceress" to be released soon, also featured in this Limited Edition 2-CD.
"Sorceress" marks a third and definitive Opeth attempt in the metamorphosis of the band’s sound initiated with ‘Heritage’ and further developed with ‘Pale Communion’. The new album comes full circle with their foray into a drastically different musical territory, where straight ahead 1970’s-influenced prog-rock marries analog synth driven soundscapes sprinkled with psychedelic guitars and medieval-folk melodies.
The music is nuanced and unpredictable taking you from classic guitar-tinged passages to dark and melancholy keyboard riffs, traveling through a cathartic range of 70s-prog vibes, folksy acoustic strings and catchy vocal melodies; heavy, twisting and complex prog-metal interludes of guitars and keyboards; Middle Eastern-themed and wonderfully colored instrumentals, and proverbially well-executed shredding adorning the scarce metallic parts.
The record has a conceived flow, where the soft and lovely songs work with the vibes of the ones around them, for a diverse kaleidoscope of moods and mysterious harmonies, oozing a rather mystical nature perfectly portrayed by the visually daring cover.
Among my favorites there's the title track, which opens with a odd-time organ groove before hitting some old-school metal chunk. 'Chrysalis' is one of the heavier tracks displaying more rocking spirit than other more mellow tracks. 'A Fleeting Glance' is perhaps the album’s most diverse track, incorporating harpsichord in the verses and closing with a soaring powerful, melodic ending.
This Limited Edition includes 2 studio bonus tracks bein 'Spring MCMLXXIV' and excellent melodic proggy tune but commercial at the same time. It's one of the best tracks here and should have been included into the regular version.
Additionally, there's 3 live tracks well recorded & performed.
The new Opeth opus "Sorceress" is not one of those albums you fall in love with at the first spin, and it’s even less if you are familiar with the band’s former sound, however, some perseverance turns it into a poignant listening experience.
It's not quite any other album I’ve listened to recently, it bears the imprint of a band broadening its influences rather than transcending them, while inviting the listener to follow them throughout a truly defiant and bold musical journey.
01 - Persephone
02 - Sorceress
03 - The Wilde Flowers
04 - Will O The Wisp
05 - Chrysalis
06 - Sorceress 2
07 - The Seventh Sojourn
08 - Strange Brew
09 - A Fleeting Glance
10 - Era
11 - Persephone (Slight Return)
01 - The Ward
02 - Spring MCMLXXIV
03 - Cusp Of Eternity (Live)
04 - The Drapery Falls (Live)
05 - Voice Of Treason (Live)
Mikael Åkerfeldt – guitars, vocals
Martín Méndez – bass guitar, upright bass
Martin “Axe” Axenrot – drums, percussion
Fredrik Åkesson – guitars, backing vocals
Joakim Svalberg – keyboards, synths, mellotron, backing vocals
As overused as the term is, there’s no denying that GIRAFFE TONGUE ORCHESTRA are a supergroup, counting members of Alice In Chains, Mastodon, The Mars Volta and The Dillinger Escape Plan among their ranks, and the band which started as a side-project now have a touring schedule plus their first album in the market titled "Broken Lines".
All member's bands are not exactly my cup of tea, but I give it a try to the album and let me tell you that musically this has very few points in common with these, and it's a very interesting creation.
"Broken Lines" is a clever hybrid of progressive rock, hard rock and even a disco-soul touch; there’s even a full-blown pop ballad that’s part The Tubes, part Kate Bush atmospherics.
While the album opener “Adapt Or Die” is a peppy, groovy hard-rock anthem, the follow up track “All We Have Is Now” is the aforementioned soulful poppy ballad. Alice In Chains' singer William DuVall is very impressive throughout the record tackling the edgy raw parts and belting out the softer, melodic clean vocal sections with equal ease.
The first indication of the supergroup coming together sonically is evident on the third track of the album “Back To The Light”. This is when one can hear the progressive origins of these musicians, and while I do not dig much their own bands, the mash-up here works.
The band mixes the compositions really well on the album alternating between the simpler, groove-laden rock anthems with epic progressive compositions. For example, soon after “Back To The Light”, you are hit with the uptempo rocker “Blood Moon” before being propelled again towards the maze of the title track “Broken Lines”.
Similarly, after being awestruck by the epicness of “Crucifixion”, the band hits you with the groovy disco/dance-rock beats of “Everyone Gets Everything They Want”. Such change in the direction on the album often left a smile on my face and also made me check whether I was indeed listening to the same album or not.
Things get a bit serious at the end with the last three tracks trading away the simplistic and straightforward character in the compositions for a more technical and progressive contrast, yet firmly holding on the groove thanks to the amazing Thomas Pridgen behind the drum kit.
Pridgen’s performance is one of the key factors throughout the album bringing the dynamics to the fore-front especially on the odd-time signature parts. I particularly loved his performance on the penultimate track of the album “No-One Is Innocent”. It is also one of my favourites.
"Broken Lines" leans heavily towards the Progressive Rock spectrum and barely has any Metal character to it. Listeners who were expecting a modern Heavy Metal record especially with Brent Hinds (Mastodon), Dethklok's bassist Pete Griffin and The Dillinger Escape Plan's Ben Weinman (which is a confessed White Lion fan, btw) in the band, may feel let down.
This is an album for open minds, forget the musicians' origins and enjoy the music, which by the way, it's very easy to the ears.
The production is really good successfully capturing all the elements of the compositions, which is not an easy task considering the myriad textures it possesses. The album is precise with 10 songs in total extending a little over 40 minutes.
True to the quirky band-name, the compositions are eccentric, fun and full of groove. This supergroup has a unique identity of their own which will only get strengthened further in the future, promising us exciting times ahead.
01 - Adapt Or Die
02 - Crucifixion
03 - No-One Is Innocent
04 - Blood Moon
05 - Fragments & Ashes
06 - Back To The Light
07 - All We Have Is Now
08 - Everyone Gets Everything They Really Want
09 - Thieves And Whores
10 - Broken Lines
William DuVall - vocals
Brent Hinds - guitar
Ben Weinman - guitar
Pete Griffin - bass
Thomas Prigden - drums
BUY IT !
Monday, September 26, 2016
The new SEVEN release "Shattered" is without a doubt one of the Albums Of The Year, and this Japanese Edition really worth the investment for the exclusive bonus track "World Of Make Believe", a fantastic keyboard driven / harmony galore midtempo AOR song which is shame that not has been included into the global release.
The previous, comeback Seven album had a fair few keys, this time around the keyboards / synths are set to max and there are two keyboardists – Frederik Bergh (Street Talk) and Kay Buckland – to cope with the ivory overload!
And here comes the best part; the songs on "Shattered" are far superior co-written by the likes of Jeff Paris and Andy Loos (ex Swedish AORsters Glory) who also play bass here.
There are many musical treats on here for those hankering after an '80s flavored melodic rock / AOR fix, be it the fast paced ‘Live This Life’ or the simply awesome opening song ‘Light Of 1,000 Eyes’, one of the best tunes I have heard this year.
The Journey-esque ‘High Hopes’ shows of more of the pomp-tastic keys wrapped around a catchy tune, whilst ‘Taking Over’ is one of those classic positive message melodic rock tunes and has a damn fine guitar riff in the Foreigner vein.
Ahh, and there's the pure AOR of 'Broken Dream' and 'I Needed Time' ... both sound amazing with a terrific, glossy production.
I am very glad this comeback by Seven was not just a one-off album as they have plenty still to offer, and if you enjoyed their last album, this "Shattered" will blow your mind.
Simply put; one of the greatest AOR / true Melodic Rock albums you'll hear this year.
If you can afford this Japanese version, this is a MANDATORY Purchase.
01 - Light Of 1000 Eyes
02 - A Better Life
03 - Fight
04 - Shattered
05 - Live This Life
06 - Pieces of You
07 - Broken Dream
08 - High Hopes
09 - I Needed Time
10 - Taking Over
11 - Last Illusion
12 - World Of Make Believe (Japanese bonus track)
Lead Vocals – Mick Devine
Guitar, Vocals - Keith MacFarlane
Bass – Andy Loos
Guest Vocals – Lin Devine, Nigel Bailey
Keyboards – Fredrik Bergh, Kay Backlund
Guitar, Drums, Producer, Mix – Lars Chriss
Songwriters – Lars Chriss, Fredrik Bergh, Andy Loos, Kay Backlund and Jeff Paris
BUY IT !
The great, new KAI HANSEN album "XXX Three Decades In Metal" (posted here) features some impressive guest vocalists doing duets with him, but there's also a Deluxe 2-CD version featuring only Hansen vocals on all tracks, something that at places work better and we are able to truly appreciate his incredible pipes.
This Japanese limited release of "XXX Three Decades In Metal" includes as well a couple of exclusive bonus tracks, two songs from the album in its instrumental versions (but with the vocal choruses into the mix) which are also really good, showcasing how finely these songs have been composed / arranged.
Kai Hansen first made his name with the ground-breaking band Hellowen (of which he is one of the founding members) and later with Gamma Ray, one of the bands that contributed to define the genre melodic power metal, bringing it to generation of devoted fans worldwide since its first album.
"XXX" is, in pure Hansen tongue-in-cheek style, a reference to over 30 years of involvement in the world of heavy rock, as explained with the album's sub-title, "Three Decades In Metal".
"XXX - Three Decades In Metal" is a magical journey. It is the story of how powerful dreams can be. Dreams and passions big enough to bring a teenager from Hamburg who is in love with rock music, glam rock and the first heavy metal sounds from the practicing space in his bedroom and rehearsal rooms to the biggest stages in the world practicing, and ending up influencing and sharing the stage with the very same bands he admired in the first place.
Not strictly autobiographical, "XXX - Three Decades In Metal" is without doubt the story of Kai Hansen but it could very well represent the story of anybody who is not afraid to believe in dreams, with passion and dedication. It is the story of the ups and downs that everybody faces at some point during the journey of life: the lost-and-found-again friends, the glory, the tragedies and the joys.
The result is a unique portfolio of metal tracks that are all 100% Hansen, but all with a slightly different touch. "Born Free" is a dirty metallic hard rocker, followed by a Judas Priest inspired "Contract Sun", here solely performed by Hansen and gaining a more dynamic vocal flow than the original duet.
But also modern metal sounds aren't a 'no go' for this album. "Fire and Ice" starts with a dark riff before it turns into a more traditional direction.
"Left Behind" sound more 'light' in the original version featuring Clementine Delauney female vocals. Here, with Hansen only at the mic the track turns more punchy, powerful. It's impressive how guitarist Eike Freese combines the progressive expression of the song with a Hansen-typical chorus that is highly melodic.
You'll find many styles mixed in "XXX - Three Decades in Metal" ranging from classic melodic metal to hard rock, all of which have influenced Kai Hansen all over the years. And despite the variety it sound cohesive, dynamic and entertaining.
This bonus disc version only with Kai on vocals feels more like true "Kai Hansen record", something that many will prefer over the original duets release.
It's a great collection of songs to drift away in memories for the older ones of you and it's a well-done starters package for youngsters.
01 - Born Free
02 - Enemies Of Fun
03 - Contract Song
04 - Making Headlines
05 - Stranger In Time
06 - Fire And Ice
07 - Left Behind
08 - All Or Nothing
09 - Burning Bridges
10 - Follow The Sun
JAPAN BONUS TRACKS:
11 - Born Free (Karaoke Version)
12 - Burning Bridges (Karaoke Version)
Kai Hansen - vocals, guitar
Alex Dietz - bass
Eike Freese - guitar
Daniel Wilding - drums
BUY IT !
Sunday, September 25, 2016
From time to time we feature here some of the most interesting new releases from the flourishing Synthwave scene. "Endless Summer" is the second album by THE MIDNIGHT, a L.A. based duo comprising the talents of a songwriter from the Deep South and a producer from Denmark whom have created one of the most fascinating '80s inspired albums in this genre that I've heard recently.
The Midnight born four years ago created by producer Tim McEwan (of Danish origins) and singer/songwriter Tyler Lyle.
While the Synthwave stuff we prefer to present here are the kind of AORish oriented, The Midnight style is more poppy but they craft such wonderful melodies with so awesome production (above the average for this genre) that everyone need to check this album if you are a serious '80s fan.
Dreamy atmospheres but pumped full of perfectly executed rhythms, catchy choruses and clean melodious vocals are the core of The Midnight style.
"Endless Summer" is plenty of classy Eighties, yet with a contemporary feel. I mean, most of the new Synthwave movement is based in a retro 'tape / VHS sound', while these guys go for a polished, glossy production. And I love it.
In addition to the standard variance of synthesizers native to the genre, this album also features a backbone of highly compressed saxophone (which sound like a guitar at places), real drums / percussion and some punchy electric guitar licks as well, lending to an overall analog '80s feel.
You can't go wrong with this band; their name 'The Midnight', the album title "Endless Summer", the cover artwork, the song titles like 'Daytona', 'Jason' (Friday The 13th movies reference) 'The Equaliser', or 'Crockett's Revenge' (Miami Vice reference), all puts clear what this stuff is all about; Eighties music & feel.
Lots of artists these days are doing an excellent job of bringing back the feel of the '80s. The Midnight went a step further with "Endless Summer" and crafted an album that maintains the forward momentum of modern electronic, while at the same time evoking the zeitgeist of a time that lives only in our yearning for it.
Eighties suckers, don't miss this one.
01 - Endless Summer
02 - Sunset
03 - Daytona
04 - Jason (feat. Nikki Flores)
05 - Synthetic
06 - The Equaliser (Not Alone)
07 - The Comeback Kid
08 - Vampires
09 - Crockett's Revenge
10 - Nighthawks
11 - Lonely City
12 - Memories
All instruments, production: Tim McEwan
All instruments: Tyler Lyle
Saxophone: Thomas Edinger
Guitar on "Sunset": Johannes Jørgensen
Synth solo on "Daytona": Mads Storm
Vocals on "Jason": Nikki Flores
BUY IT !
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Now this is pleasure of a request to fulfill; "Taking A Cold Look", the one and only album by the wonder boys Billy Steinberg & Tom Kelly under the moniker i-TEN, remastered in all its glory by Rock Candy Records.
Let's put it simple; "Taking A Cold Look" it's an AOR masterpiece.
The Kelly/Steinberg songwriting team were involved into the greatest albums from the genre recorded during the '80s in one way or another; writing hits for others, arranging or providing terrific backing vocals, but it was not until the 1990's when they got Top 10 hits charting at Billboard.
Anyway, they got the chance to record their own album, this "Taking A Cold Look", in the first half of the '80s. The LP may not have made much of an impact when first released but its arrival signalled a seismic shift in the Rock&pop world.
A record that came and went in the blink of an eye but containing some of the most impressive songs and musical arrangements of all time.
Produced to pin-point perfection by Keith Olsen (Foreigner) together with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather, the tracks display a healthy appetite for the kind of super glossy sound employed by Toto, Steely Dan and Journey; high grade AOR of the finest variety.
The personnel, of course, is top notch; most of the Toto band members like David Paich, Steve Porcaro and Steve Lukather itself, plus all the best studio performers of L.A. at the time such as Alan Pasqua (Van Stephenson, Giant, Eddie Money, Sammy Hagar, Starship), Mike Baird (Stan Bush, Tim Feehan, Rick Springfield) and more.
However, it’s Steinberg and Kelly’s songs that provide the bulk of the cake - songs later covered by the likes of REO Speedwagon ('I Don't Want To Lose You') , Honeymoon Suite (title track 'Taking A Cold Look') and Heart (‘Alone’ was a #1 hit US single).
But all are true gems; 'The Easy Way Out' akin Stan Bush & Barrage, 'Pressing My Luck' with its superb chorus and midtempo AOR greatness, the velvety ballad 'Lonely In Each Other's Arms' or the fantastic 'Quicksand' featuring a marvelous guitar / keyboard interplay and magnificent harmony vocals, which, by the way, are stupendous all over the record and set the style to follow in the upcoming best AOR albums from the rest of the '80s.
As said, Tom and Billy would go on from the i-Ten project to pen hits for a huge array of artists, including Madonna ('Like A Virgin'), Cyndi Lauper ('True Colours') and The Pretenders ('I'll Stand By You') but "Taking A Cold Look", the starting point, is recognised by those in the know as one of the most complete works of the era and one deserving full reappraisal.
i-Ten's "Taking A Cold Look" is a milestone in the American AOR genre, and although it was originally released on CD (1983) it went out of print soon becoming one of the most sought-after, rarest CD releases from the era.
This Rock Candy Special Collector's Edition it's the definitive version of this gem, perfectly remastered from the master tapes with the sound digitally shaped via POW-r technology and comes with a 12 page full color booklet including original and enhanced artwork with new photos and full involvement from the band. There is also a 4,000 Word essay on the making of the album by Dave Reynolds.
A MUST HAVE CLASSIC
You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 - Taking A Cold Look
02 - Quicksand
03 - Alone
04 - Workin' For A Lovin'
05 - Lonely In Each Other's Arms
06 - I Don't Want To Lose You
07 - Time To Say Goodbye
08 - The Easy Way Out
09 - I've Been Crying
10 - Pressing My Luck
Vocals, Guitar – Billy Steinberg
Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards – Tom Kelly
Guitars – Steve Lukather
Rhythm Guitar – Chas Sandford
Keyboards – Alan Pasqua, David Paich, Steve Porcaro
Bass – Dennis Belfield
Drums – Mike Baird
Percussion – Lenny Castro
Backing Vocals – Richard Page
Produced by Keith Olsen & Steve Lukather
BUY IT !
Friday, September 23, 2016
One of my favorite Melodic Rock bands - TYKETTO - will release their new album "Reach" next October 14 via Frontiers Music. Nothing they could do will come close to their awesome debut in the early '90s, but this new album comes pretty close.
After five years of relentless touring that included a great comeback album (Dig In Deep, 2012) and playing in some of the most prestigious stages on the planet, Tyketto took their revitalized energy with a new line-up into the studio in the spring of 2016.
Always fronted by the unique Danny Vaughn, now the band includes two young guitarists plus excellent keyboard player Ged Rylands (X-TEN, Rage Of Angels) - the group recorded this new album at the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales (Queen, Rush), and the result is this "Reach", one of the best albums of their career.
"Reach" captures all the catchiness from Tyketto's debut with a modern, updated sound.
There's some true Melodic Rock gems here and I have to salute Danny Vaughn not only for keeping his voice in top form, but also for writing the type of songs that we, the fans, want from Tyketto.
He's still got power and pitch perfect delivery, and with a subtle natural grit Vaughn is one of the stars on this release. And the songs, of course.
All are strong, melodic and with some degree of catchiness Standout cuts for me are the title track, the adrenaline induced mover "Big Money", the very ealy '90s "Kick Like A Mule", and the wonderful "Tearing Down The Sky" that echoes the 'Forever Young' era of the band.
"Letting Go" is a more laid-back song in a typical Tyketto midtempo mastery with a beautiful melody and Vaughn's superb vocal lines.
"Remember My Name", "Sparks Will Fly" and the tune that closes the new record, "The Run", are all three superb pieces of Tyketto 2016 showcasing their current musicians skills.
But among these terrific numbers, if I have to pick one it should be the AOR waves of the Survivor-ish "I Need It Now". It's yet another killer tune with a huge chorus, flavored with a strong late '80s vibe and a main melody to die for.
Yes, with "Reach" Tyketto brings back their classic sound / songwriting but also a refreshed punch thanks to the new blood accompanying Danny Vaughn now. The band sound fantastic and production is bright, vibrant.
This is an album that will please both old and new fans, but essentially, to any true, serious Melodic Rock aficionado out there. One of the Albums Of The Year for me.
01 - Reach
02 - Big Money
03 - Kick Like A Mule
04 - Circle The Wagons
05 - I Need It Now
06 - Tearing Down The Sky
07 - Letting Go
08 - The Fastest Man Alive
09 - Remember My Name
10 - Sparks Will Fly
11 - Scream
12 - The Run
Danny Vaughn – lead vocals
Chris Green - guitar, vocals
Ged Rylands - keyboards, vocals
Chris Childs - bass, vocals
Michael Clayton - drums, percussion, vocals
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Swedish melodic hard rockers BULLETRAIN are releasing tomorrow their second album "What You Fear The Most", their first via AOR Heaven Records.
And I can see why the prestigious label has signed Bulletrain: the band have grown giant steps since their formation ten years ago, and now are ready to compete with the best in the genre.
It is truly unbelievable how many fantastic melodic hard rock bands emerge from lovely Sweden. Bulletrain is one of today's biggest hopes for this particular scene. Among bands such as Eclipse, Crazy Lixx, Dynazty, H.E.A.T and others, Bulletrain comes back again to prove that the future belongs to them.
Their Skid Row-esque meets Crazy Lixx rockin' music is filled in with big & heavy guitars, high-pitched vocals and choruses to sing-a-long for days.
The band's new lead singer Sebastian Sundberg has an incredible vocal range and takes the final result to a higher level. The guitars are, as mentioned above, huge and pretty heavy at places but still melodic, while the rhythm section is a blast (brings to mind Eclipse's sound).
Much of the success to Bulletrain's second album should be credited to the mix and overall guidance of Grammy Award winning producer Tobias Lindell, the brain behind the music from bands like Hardcore Superstar, Europe and H.E.A.T to name a few.
Opener 'Memory Lane' kick-off things in an '80s fashion and brings back the golden era of US Hair Metal but with a modern, punchy production. 'Love Lies', that reminds me a bit of Guns N' Roses, is yet another 'ballsy' rocker that takes no prisoners, then the fast-paced 'Fight With Me' is even more aggressive with a thunderous rhythm section and a Skid Row attitude.
The band delivers the more melodic hard rock tune from the album with the commercial 'We Salute You', an anthemic tune fueled by a superb catchy hook and a memorable chorus line.
The AOR-ish 'Wet, Tired And Lonely' is a personal favorite, a Scandi hymn in the typical mold of the genre but updated 2016, and the moody / modern 'Far Away' is another highlight out of this new record.
"What You Fear The Most" is one of these kind of albums that you fall in love at once and leaves you hungry for more. Bulletrain are ready for the A-team with an assassin performance, stronger songs and the right attitude.
A solid candidate for the 'next big thing' in this scene.
01 - Memory Lane
02 - Love Lies
03 - Can't Get Away
04 - Fight with Me
05 - We Salute You
06 - Feed the Fire
07 - Wet, Tired & Lonely
08 - Old Lighthouse
09 - Fear
10 - Far Away
Sebastian Sundberg (Vocals, Keyboards)
Robin Bengtsson (Guitar)
Mattias Persson (Guitar)
Niklas Månsson (Bass)
Jonas Tillheden (Drums)
It’s almost 30 years since the last GRIM REAPER outing, but the band returns with force and a new album to be released tomorrow titled "Walking In The Shadows". As the band moniker makes abundantly clear - Steve Grimmett's GRIM REAPER - the vocalist is the only original member present, but the legacy and the band's signature sound is still in good form.
Yes, this new Grim Reaper is Steve Grimmett’s circus, so it’s no surprise everything revolves around his singing. And it’s pretty impressive how little his voice has changed since I first heard him way back in 1983 and he can still deliver the classic NWoBHM / Hard Rock sound.
For newcomers and young generations, a little history:
Grim Reaper is one of the most legendary acts of the and metal movement in general. Founded in 1979 by guitarist and main songwriter Nick Bowcott, the band released three albums during the '80s that are considered staples in the genre.
It was not until after the group disbanded in 1988, though – when video clips for “See You in Hell” and “Fear no Evil” (their most well known songs) were featured in MTV with a certain frequency - that Grim Reaper gained some sort of notoriety.
So, with just three albums released, Steve Grimmett and company became stalwarts for the cult underground metal scene and are, until today, highly praised and respected.
When Grimmett announced the return of the band in 2006 revamped in the form of Steve Grimett’s Grim Reaper to play in some gigs across the world, a legion of fans were eagerly excited to see if that was going to be just a reunion or if we would be graced with another full length album to continue the band’s legacy.
Finally, 10 years after Grim Reaper’s resurrection, the highly anticipated "Walking in the Shadows" it's a reality.
Yeah, Grimett is the only remaining member, but the guys now around him in the band are truly skilled capturing Grim Reaper's essence.
Their style & sound on "Walking In The Shadows" is essentially the same – simple NWoBHM inspired metal with roots in Hard Rock and designed to be accessible, catchy and anthemic.
Rapidly exterminating any second thoughts we could have about this return being a bad choice, comes “Wings of Angels”, a perfect opener plenty of groovy hard rocking riffs, powerful drumming and strong lead vocals. Despite the simplistic chorus, the song manages to catch your attention and doesn’t lose steam.
Immediately after that come the title track “Walking in the Shadows” with a certain darker feel, then “Reach Out” is most like their glory days with a nifty old-school charm and energy. It could have been on their debut and I like the stripped down, memorable chorus which Steve puts over with his trademark metal caterwauling. “I’m Coming For You” has the same simplistic charm and adds some amusing cowbell all over.
“Temptation” benefits from some effective vocal patterning and a fine chorus, and the epic stadium anthem “Thunder” is big, dumb and sorta fun, like Ozzy‘s Shot In The Dark but way less gooder and 2 minutes too long.
Other really good cuts include “Call Me in the Morning” and “Rock Will Never Die”, both the closest to the classic Grim Reaper as you can get with catchy choruses, great turns and cool solos that combine perfectly with each tune.
In fact, “Rock Will Never Die” is sort of a mix between Grimmett’s other band (which was his main for a long time) Lionsheart, with more hard rock oriented verses and bridge, and old Grim Reaper in the chorus.
It’s been 29 years of wait, but finally "Walking In The Shadows" is among us and it’s a very good new Grim Reaper album, making justice to the band's history.
Honestly, I was expecting a disaster, mostly due to Grimmett's age. But the man prove me wrong, he continued trained over the years and deliver the goods in great form. His band sounds fabulous and overall the material is more consistent than any previous Grim Reaper album which featured 2-3 gems but some fillers as well.
This is simple, traditional Hard Rock / Classic Metal with a NWoBHM feel but truly effective, pretty catchy and very well crafted.
Let’s hope Grimmett continues to make good music, as with this "Walking In The Shadows" we are able to say with confidence that Grim Reaper has returned in top form.
01 - Wings of Angels
02 - Walking in the Shadows
03 - Reach Out
04 - I'm Coming for You
05 - From Hell
06 - Call Me in the Morning
07 - Rock Will Never Die
08 - Temptation
09 - Thunder
10 - Now You See Me
11 - Blue Murder
12 - Come Hell or High Water
Steve Grimmett – Vocals
Ian Nash – Guitars
Martin Trail – Bass
Paul White – Drums