Friday, November 17, 2017

ROBERT HART - Cries And Whispers / Robert Hart [remastered + bonus]

ROBERT HART - Cries And Whispers / Robert Hart [remastered + bonus] full
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British vocalist & songwriter ROBERT HART career has seen him as member of Bad Company, The Distance and Company Of Snakes, as well as the Jones Gang and more recently Manfred Mann's Earth Band. But HART also released a couple of stupendous solo albums, two well treasured discs by AOR collectors - out of print little gems. Fortunately both have been packaged into a superb 2-CD digipak set; "Cries And Whispers / Robert Hart", all freshly remastered and including three bonus tracks.

In 1989 Robert recorded his first solo album "Cries And Whispers" which can be described as prime time AOR and has been a highly sought after recording ever since. The album was originally released on Atlantic Records with Stewart Levine at the production desk, and monsters like Michael Landau and Nathan East playing.

Mixing stylized AOR with some smooth Westcoast sounds, this debut features such highlights as opener “White Lies And Promises”, “This Has Got To Be Love”, “Mankind” and “One To One”.

ROBERT HART - Cries And Whispers / Robert Hart [remastered + bonus] discs

Three years later ROBERT HART was the first recording artist to be signed by Hollywood Records and had the pleasure of working with the great Russ Ballard. The resulting, self-titled album "Robert Hart" charted in more than 18 countries and its mix of AOR, AC and Classic Rock got him noticed by Bad Company's Mick Ralphs who then asked Hart to front his band following the departures of Paul Rodgers and Brian Howe.
In 1995 Hart sung and co-wrote the album 'Company of Strangers' and he has since become a household name in rock circles.

“Cries And Whispers” comes with the bonus track “You Hurt As Much As You Love Someone”, while CD 2 “Robert Hart” features an unplugged version of “Boys On The Corner” and a power mix of “Running Man” as extra, bonus tracks.

ROBERT HART - Cries And Whispers / Robert Hart [remastered + bonus] back

The remastered job by Tim Duncan is really superb, pristine and crystal clear, and the digipak quality is top notch including a deluxe booklet complete with lyrics.
These ROBERT HART (until now hard to find) albums in one package are a dream come true for all fans of elegant AOR and Westcoast sounds, plenty of exquisite melodies and classy musicianship.

CD 1 : "Cries And Whispers"
01 - White Lies And Promises
02 - Heart
03 - Dear Mary
04 - Such An Easy Revolution
05 - Cries And Whispers
06 - This Has Got To Be Love
07 - A Little Love Is Overdue
08 - Mankind
09 - High On Love
10 - One To One
11 - She's On The List
12 - Heart-Arty (Olive Mix)
13 - You Hurt As Much As You Love Someone [bonus track]

Lead and Backing Vocals: Robert Hart
Bass: Nathan East, Chris Childs, Pino Palladino
Drums: John Robinson, Dave West, Gary Stevenson, David Palmer
Guitar: Michael Landau, Richard Drummie, Alan Murphy, Robert Hart
Keyboards: Jeff Bova, Dave West, Stephen Darrel Smith
Programming: Chris Winter, Greg Havers
Piano, Sax: Chris Winter
Percussion: Lenny Castro, Dave West, Carole Steele
Backing Vocals: Peter Cox, Richard Drummie, Annette Trigg, Maggie O'Neil

CD 2 : "Robert Hart"
01 - Heart And Soul
02 - Angel
03 - Ridin' On The Wind
04 - I Don't Want To Be Here When You're Gone
05 - Boys On The Corner
06 - Fooled Around And Fell In Love
07 - Someone To Watch Over Me
08 - Better Than The Rest
09 - Running Man
10 - A Little Love Is Overdue
11 - Faster Than The Speed Of Love (bonus track)
12 - Boys On The Corner [Unplugged] (bonus track)
13 - Running Man [Power Mix] (bonus track)

Vocals: Robert Hart
Drums: Jimmy Copley, Zak Starkey
Bass: Chris Childs
Guitars: Russ Ballard, Robert Hart, Dave Colwell, Hywell Maggs, Paul Stacy
Keyboards: Russ Ballard, Steve D. Smith, Chris Winter (Doro)
Organ: Russ Ballard, Steve D. Smith
Horns: Ray Beavis, Chris Gower, Dick Hanson, John 'Irish' Earl
Backing Vocals: Robert Hart, Russ Ballard, Colin Campsie, Chris Winter
Produced by Russ Ballard


SKAM - The Amazing Memoirs Of Geoffrey Goddard (2017)

SKAM - The Amazing Memoirs Of Geoffrey Goddard (2017) full

Leicester hard rockers SKAM are not strangers to this blog, with their 2 previous albums already receiving positive reviews here. It’s been 3 years since the band’s last studio record, but it’s definitely been worth the wait. "The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard" is the 3rd album from the trio released today, arguably their best album to date.

"The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard" can be seen as a fairly ambitious record with a concept, featuring a story-arc of Squadron Leader Geoffrey Goddard, a test pilot from 1935, who is a victim of strange forces that jolt him through time.
Now, we are sure that the boys in the band have sweated blood to make sure it all makes sense, but you have a simple test when it comes to a concept album: if you don’t buy into the narrative – or don’t care less about – can you still enjoy it?
The answer here is a resounding hell and indeed yes.

'Prologue' starts the album complete with rain and plane sound effects with Squadron Leader Goddard giving us some background to his tale, setting the scene for how his strange experiences began.
'Between The Eyes' builds itself up in a way that you know something ace is coming. A strident drum beat from Neal Hill, a swaggering bass rumble from Matt Gilmore and its all topped off with a dirty little riff from Steve Hill – appropriately they have lift off.
The lead work here is different to most of those on the hard rock path. There is a real type fuzz about it, and allied to their obvious gift for writing hooks and choruses you can hum, this is something of a career high.

SKAM - The Amazing Memoirs Of Geoffrey Goddard (2017) inside

'The Iron Cross' picks up the tempo with Steve in full on guitar hero mode here; his shredding solo is just superb. Fast paced crunchy rhythms with a dark vibe combining to make an impactful rock song that sticks with you.
With its thick riff backed by a monstrous rhythm section, 'Otherside' is yet another fine slab of heavy rock that grabs you by the balls and refuses to release its grip.
Recorded old school, with the band all in the same room, there is a real warmth about the music here. Nothing sounds forced, instead it is all natural.

Another mammoth riff bursts the speakers with 'Bring The Rain', a beast of a track that truly shows off the power that SKAM possess. Slightly distorted vocals with a bit of venom, a driving rhythm section, gorgeous harmonies, bags of melody and topped off with yet another awesome guitar solo.
'Fading Before The Sun' is a very British slice of rock n roll and sounds just about perfect, while 'Two Worlds' really lets its hair down and reaches for the horizon at breakneck speed.

As the record hurtles to a close – and the story reaches its third act – there are no let ups. 'Believe In Me' is a rapid fire thing worthy of the first Velvet Revolver album and with the same stadium bothering attitude (on, no doubt, a millionth of the budget).
'Aching Hearts' is a bluesy ballad, and 'New Dawn' brings the journey to a close (Geoffrey Goddard lands) with one last groove that suckers you in.

SKAM - The Amazing Memoirs Of Geoffrey Goddard (2017) disc

No doubt there were moments en route when this undertaking seemed like the fictional four years of the central character. But for both SKAM and Geoffrey Goddard, the hard work paid off – and yeah, this is pretty amazing.
"The Amazing Memoirs of Geoffrey Goddard" is an outstanding piece of work, expertly crafted with songs honed to perfection. If you like huge guitars, big choruses, plenty of hooks, groovy bass and powerful drum work then look no further.
A solid, mature, muscular heavy hard rock concept album.

01 - Prologue
02 - Between the Eyes
03 - The Iron Cross
04 - Otherside
05 - Take It or Leave It
06 - Peace of Mind
07 - Bring The Rain
08 - Fading Before the Sun
09 - Two Worlds
10 - Believe
11 - Aching Hearts
12 - New Dawn

Steve Hill - Guitars, Vocals
Matt Gilmore - Bass, Backing Vocals
Neal Hill - Drums, Backing Vocals


ERIC JOHNSON - Collage (2017)

ERIC JOHNSON - Collage (2017) full

Exquisite Texan guitarist ERIC JOHNSON is releasing today a new CD titled “Collage”. This 10-song album - a mix of originals and covers - tops a sudden whirlwind of activity for the longtime Austin guitar virtuoso.

The interpretations on “Collage” are enlightening, from a gorgeous acoustic rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s 'One Rainy Wish' to an uplifting update of Stevie Wonder’s 'Up Tight (Everything’s Alright)' re-done in a classic Johnson's late '80s style.
The latter is a pure delight for fans of Johnson's more melodic side, that one which made him world-wide known via his awesome album Ah... Via Musicom.

That 'sound' is what most old fans have been waiting for after various recent Eric works more bluesy oriented.
And you can taste it in the newly written Johnson's originals 'Morning Sun' (killer guitar tone), 'Stratagem' and the pearl 'One Rainy Wish'.
You fall in love as well with the romantic eight-minute epic 'To Love You' and 'To Whom It May Concern', an exquisite album-closing instrumental.

ERIC JOHNSON - Collage (2017) inside

Other covers shine too, like the turbo-charged take on the Ventures’ surf-rock classic 'Pipeline' shaped by Eric into a sweet poppy tune, a superb take on The Beatles’ 'We Can Work It Out', and the B.B. King hit 'Rock Me Baby', the bluesy track on the album.

“Collage” is, for the most part, ERIC JOHNSON returning to his melodious side, those perfectly crafted tunes full of magic with a crystal clear production. His vocals are ethereal as ever, and his playing, getting better and better with age.

01 - Up Tight (Everything's Alright)
02 - Morning Sun
03 - To Love You
04 - Stratagem
05 - One Rainy Wish
06 - We Can Work It Out
07 - Rock Me Baby
08 - Pipeline
09 - The Fade
10 - To Whom It May Concern


DEEP PURPLE - The Infinite Live Recordings, Vol. 1 (2017)

DEEP PURPLE - The Infinite Live Recordings, Vol. 1 (2017)  full

As part of DEEP PURPLE's roll of releases, this "The Infinite Live Recordings Vol. 1" released today on 3 LP features a brand new, previously unreleased 80 min. live show at the biggest metal festival in France, Hellfest 2017.

Recorded & produced by legend Bob Ezrin, "The Infinite Live Recordings Vol. 1" features tracks form the last studio album and of course, Deep Purple classics.
As Deep Purple put it clear in the booklet liner notes, there's 'No Overdubs' on this previously unreleased recording, and it sounds as if you would be there, at the show.

DEEP PURPLE - The Infinite Live Recordings, Vol. 1 (2017) back

Sure, "The Infinite Live Recordings Vol. 1" is destined for rabid Deep Purple fans, but this is a very, very good concert recording with the band performing full of fire, and it's highly enjoyable to all classic hard rock fans.

01 - Time For Bedlam (Live At Hellfest 2017)
02 - Fireball (Live At Hellfest 2017)
03 - Bloodsucker (Live At Hellfest 2017)
04 - Strange Kind Of Woman (Live At Hellfest 2017)
05 - Uncommon Man (Live At Hellfest 2017)
06 - The Surprising (Live At Hellfest 2017)
07 - Lazy (Live At Hellfest 2017)
08 - Birds Of Prey (Live At Hellfest 2017)
09 - Hell To Pay (Live At Hellfest 2017)
10 - Key Solo (Live At Hellfest 2017)
11 - Perfect Strangers (Live At Hellfest 2017)
12 - Space Truckin' (Live At Hellfest 2017)
13 - Smoke On The Water (Live At Hellfest 2017)
14 - Peter Gunn Hush (Live At Hellfest 2017)
15 - Black Night (Live At Hellfest 2017)

Ian Gillan – lead vocals
Roger Glover – bass
Steve Morse – guitar, vocals
Don Airey – keyboards
Ian Paice – drums


Thursday, November 16, 2017

IRON MAIDEN - The Book Of Souls [Live Chapter] (2017)

RON MAIDEN - The Book Of Souls [Live Chapter] (2017) full

IRON MAIDEN will release "The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter" on November 17th, a live recording comprising 15 songs captured during ‘The Book Of Souls World Tour’, which covered 39 countries across six continents during 2016 and 2017, and was seen by over two million fans. ‘The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter’ will be released physically in CD, deluxe CD & vinyl.

Produced by Tony Newton and Iron Maiden founder member and bass player Steve Harris, the album is based on this year’s set list and is a faithful record of the epic show, including six songs from ‘The Book Of Souls’, the band's most recent studio album, along with many other classics and fan favourites.

'The Book Of Souls World Tour' was a huge undertaking, not least for Bruce Dickinson who started the tour singing in public for the very first time since recovering from throat cancer.
He also piloted Ed Force One, upgraded last year from a Boeing 757 to a 747 so the band could go further and faster to visit some new cities and fans all round the world.

"The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter", is true 'world wide tour album', as almost every track was recorded in different countries.
This meant listening to literally hours upon hours of tapes from every show, to select material and construct a sound that would run consistently across the whole album and capture the excitement of a new country ever visited by IRON MAIDEN like El Salvador, alongside such regular favourites as Donington (England) or Wacken (Germany).

While it’s admirable that Maiden continue to showcase large swathes of new material in concert rather than simply ‘playing the hits’ like so many of their peers, the two 'Book Of Souls' tracks that kick off "Live Chapter" don’t have quite the same potency as the group’s time-tested classics. In person, that’s not as problematic, as the excitement of seeing the band in the flesh initially outweighs their song selection – but while 'If Eternity Should Fail' might be a serviceable opener in concert, it’s a bit of a drag on Live Chapter, with awkward vocal reverb in the beginning verses and a tempo that’s too deliberately out of the box.

IRON MAIDEN - The Book Of Souls [Live Chapter] (2017) inside

Similarly, though there’s a certain charm to the dirt-under-the-fingernails highway rock of 'Speed Of Light', it’s ultimately too perfunctory for a band this ambitious.
When the familiar, bouncy groove of 'Wrathchild' kicks in, however, you want to echo the Irish crowd’s cheers.

From there, Live Chapter travels to Montreal, where Bruce introduces 'Children Of The Damned' en français. Interestingly, despite the Book Of Souls tour beginning and ending in North America, Children… marks the continent’s lone inclusion on Live Chapter.
Another Book Of Souls double-shot follows, but this time with better results.
The infectious 'Death Or Glory', in which Bruce hilariously orders Polish fans to “climb like a monkey,” makes a compelling case to remain in the band’s set on their next tour, while the enthusiastic crowd participation on the 13-minute 'The Red And The Black' dispels the misconception that Japanese audiences are reserved.

The second disc kicks off with another Book Of Souls two-fer: 'The Great Unknown', recorded in Newcastle and described by Bruce as “a song about spatial awareness,” and the lumbering title track, the Donington performance of which radiates a doomier vibe than its studio counterpart.
We then journey to Brazil, where a predictably rabid crowd threatens to drown out the band during 'Fear Of The Dark'; then Argentina for 'Iron Maiden', to Germany’s Wacken festival for 'The Number Of The Beast'; and back to Donington for 'Blood Brothers'.

IRON MAIDEN - The Book Of Souls [Live Chapter] (2017) disc

You are probably thinking, how many times do you need to hear the same IRON MAIDEN songs recorded live, again? Well, put aside that jaded outlook and open your mind to realize that this is a really great chronicle of a special period of IRON MAIDEN’s career.
At this point, they have seen so much, so naturally the setlist is going to be as diverse as possible, right? Yes! That in mind, "The Book Of Souls: Live Chapter" sounds just like being at an Iron Maiden show without actually being there.
It is incredibly crisp, clear, wonderfully mixed, and most importantly, captures the live experience perfectly!
Highly Recommended

CD 1:
1 - If Eternity Should Fail (Live in Australia)
2 - Speed of Light (Live in South Africa)
3 - Wrathchild (Live in Ireland)
4 - Children of the Damned (Live in Canada)
5 - Death or Glory (Live in Poland)
6 - The Red and the Black (Live in Japan)
7 - The Trooper (Live in El Salvador)
8 - Powerslave (Live in Italy)

CD 2:
1 - The Great Unknown (Live in Newcastle, England)
2 - The Book of Souls (Live at Download Festival, England)
3 - Fear of the Dark (Live in Fortaleza, Brazil)
4 - Iron Maiden (Live in Argentina)
5 - The Number of the Beast (Live in Germany)
6 - Blood Brothers (Live at Download Festival, England)
7 - Wasted Years (Live in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Bruce Dickinson – vocals
Dave Murray – guitar
Adrian Smith – guitar
Janick Gers – guitar
Steve Harris – bass, keyboards
Nicko McBrain – drums


BLACK SABBATH - The End [Live In Birmingham] (2017)

BLACK SABBATH - The End [Live In Birmingham] (2017) full

"The End" is a celebration of BLACK SABBATH's final hometown concert at Birmingham's Genting Arena on February 4, 2017. This unforgettable farewell show from one of the biggest bands in the world will be released by Eagle Music on November 17, 2017.
BLACK SABBATH stormed the stage in their hometown of Birmingham to play the 81st and final triumphant gig of "The End Of The End" tour. This monumental show brought down the curtain on a career that spanned almost half a century.

Black Sabbath’s tumultuous, triumphant 50-year journey finally reached its end earlier this year with a bittersweet hometown show at the old Birmingham NEC. There's a video release, vinyl LP, double CD, etc.
The recording captures the tangible levels of emotion swirling around the band and the audience - anyone who thinks they never need to hear 'War Pigs' again should clock the titanic version here.
All the band's hits are present, including 'Iron Man', 'Paranoid', 'Children Of The Grave', etc.

The band feels in very good form. Bassist Geezer Butler has the nimble fingers of a much younger man. Guitarist Tony Iommi’s barrage of detuned, ominous riffs defy his lymphoma diagnosis. Ozzy's regular touring drummer Tommy Clufetos does a fine job as well.
After a year on the road, Ozzy Osbourne’s occasionally erratic voice is remarkably pure and strong.

The frontman may need a teleprompter for his lyrics these days and is mostly rigid at the microphone, but he is in imperious form. At one point, he begins hooting like an owl, prompting the audience to follow suit.
One fears the worst when he introduces 'War Pigs' – the classic anthem about capitalism’s reliance on conflicts – as “something to sing along with”. However, with the darkly clad band rocking furiously and the crowd chanting about generals gathering “like witches at black masses”, the song becomes such an unholy celebration that the building may require exorcism.

BLACK SABBATH - The End [Live In Birmingham] (2017) inside

Although 2013’s album "13" gave them their first No 1 since 1970, the setlist comes almost exclusively from their first four albums, which defined heavy metal.
Back then, they were losers from dead-end jobs in the West Midlands, which the hippy dream didn’t reach. More nihilistic music and lyrics brought success and escape from the members’ own private highways to hell.
It’s one thing to address doom and death when you’re young and feeling immortal, quite another to sing, “When you think about death do you lose your breath or do you keep your cool?” – as Osbourne does in 'After Forever' – when mortality edges closer and friends are dying around you.
Perhaps this is why Sabbath sound reconnected to their songs’ desperate, dark heart.

A strange, uncanny atmosphere descends as "The End [Live In Birmingham]" reaches the end, but 'Children Of The Grave' becomes a giant wake and signature anthem 'Paranoid' triggers joyous headbanging in the aisles.
It’s been a bumpy ride for 49 years, but legends BLACK SABBATH can walk away with their ears ringing and their legacy intact.
"The End [Live In Birmingham]" captures a once-in-a-career performance, an essential snapshot of musical history, and a fitting farewell to true innovators and original heavy metal icons, BLACK SABBATH.

CD 1:
01 - Black Sabbath (Live)
02 - Fairies Wear Boots (Live)
03 - Under The Sun - Every Day Comes And Goes (Live)
04 - After Forever (Live)
05 - Into The Void (Live)
06 - Snowblind (Live)
07 - Band Introductions (Live)
08 - War Pigs (Live)
09 - Behind The Wall Of Sleep (Live)
10 - Bassically - N.I.B. (Live)

CD 2:
01 - Hand Of Doom (Live)
02 - Supernaut - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath - Megalomania (Live)
03 - Rat Salad - Drum Solo (Live)
04 - Iron Man (Live)
05 - Dirty Women (Live)
06 - Children Of The Grave (Live)
07 - Paranoid (Live)

Ozzy Osbourne - vocals
Tony Iommi - guitar
Geezer Butler - bass
Tommy Clufetos - drums

Pre Order:

VICE - Veni Vidi Vice (2017)

VICE - Veni Vidi Vice (2017) full

After almost 30 years, German melodic hard rockers VICE are back for more… their new album “Veni Vidi Vice” was produced, recorded and mixed by founder guitarist Chris Limburg in Munich, and will be released on November, 17th.
VICE was founded in Munich in the late '80s and got signed by major label BMG Ariola back in 1988, releasing two albums that brought the band charts positions and several tours all over Europe. (check their first album, remastered, HERE)
With more than 100,000 sold copies, VICE had a huge presence on TV and radio in central Europe with their easy, feel-good melodic tunes.

Musically, VICE still retains the late '80s flavor with a modern, punchy production, and song-wise, the songs are simple, instant party tunes with catchy choruses.
Just take a look at the first track title: 'Hot Summer Night Party’... you got it right? Pumping bass lines, a sharp riff and the singer shouting a high pitched ‘All riiight!’... from the opening track you'll know what VICE is all about.
And they are very good, effective at it.

Next, ‘Dirty Mind’ introduces the listener to a heavier side of the band with a crunching overdriven guitar taking the lead with staccato stabs and pinched harmonics. The drums complement the heavy mix with aggressive snare punches and the vocals have more of a growl to them than the album opener. There’s a call and response vibe to the lyrics that combined with a wash of reverb over the whole mix creates an anthemic feel towards the end of the track.

The album progresses along at a fair pace containing all the elements that would be expected of a late 80s hard rock band.
Layered acoustic guitars and cowbell are the order of the day for ‘Where Do I Belong’, well placed use of panning and phasing keeps the sonic interest in a track that could have the potential to lose the listeners attention.
‘Turn It Up’ has a clear Sunset Strip inspiration with its sleazy guitar riff, bass groove and synth stabs, then the excellent groove laden 'Open Eyes' has a slightly Bonfire feel in its cadence and vocal phrasing.

‘Only Love Can Heal the World’ offers exactly what you’d predict with this sort of title, massive stadium sounding mix with the lighter in the air lyrics telling of all nations coming together with peace and harmony winning the day. Cheesy but musically a very nice midtempo ballad.

VICE - Veni Vidi Vice (2017) inside

A hyped up, distorted version of the Steve Miller Band cover ‘Joker’ provides an unexpected addition to the album. It offers a great twist to the sound that has been showcased thus far, cementing that this is a talented group of musicians who are willing to take a chance.
I think last track wasn't necessary: a Jungle Mix ¿? of ‘Where Do I Belong’. Clearly the band is having a laugh and joke, complete with stripped down guitars, bongo drum percussion and wildlife noises. Yet the listener is left wondering about its inclusion on the track listing.

Overall, VICE have delivered an effective comeback album with "Veni Vidi Vice". There’s definite talent within the band and much of the track list is good party rock music.
Perhaps there's a sensation that these musicians are capable of more, but this is VICE's spirit: instant, catchy melodic hard rockers to have a good time. And works pretty well.
Easily Recommended

01. Hot Summer Night Party
02. Dirty Mind
03. Where Do I Belong (Album Mix)
04. You Bother
05. Only Love Can Heal The World
06. Open Eyes
07. The Joker
08. Turn It Up
09. Not What It Seems
10. My Way
11. Where Do I Belong (Jungle Mix)

Mario "Mitch" Michel - vocals
Chris "Yps" Limburg - guitars
Martin "El Bajo" Dreher - bass
Pete "Pepsi" Lautenschlager - drums


TARJA - From Spirits And Ghosts [Score For A Dark Christmas] (2017)

TARJA - From Spirits And Ghosts [Score For A Dark Christmas] (2017) full

If there was any selection of tunes in need of a major kick in the azz it is Christmas music. It is a good thing for this beleaguered sub-genre that renowned Finnish vocalist TARJA Turunen is here to provide the necessary jolt. Seeing the light of day on November 17th, 2017 through earMusicC, "From Spirits and Ghosts (Score For A Dark Christmas)" shows the versatile vocalist continue to shape her solo career into new horizons, this time channeling some well-known holiday standards through her own creative lens.

Possessing a sublime classical trained voice that can effortlessly switch between moods, and a predisposition towards gothic grandeur, guessing how these cover versions will be slanted is a simple task.
Critically, though, the arrangements have been a labor of love, as each song is sublimely layered, with the orchestral backdrop providing a suitable match for Turunen’s vocals.

There’s also a darkness that permeates, and Turunen has declared that the songs are for those “lonely people that do not find joy in the blinking lights and the jingle bells”.
It’s laudable that she’s achieved that aim, as transferring the inherent, upbeat merriment of 'Feliz Navidad' into a brooding, introspective lament isn’t something every artist could achieve.

At times, there’s a claustrophobia that surrounds the songs, with 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel' possessing the aura of a drama movie soundtrack.
Indeed, that lack of festive cheer could be off-putting to some, but that’s exactly the point. Quite whether the “lonely people” Tarja targets will quite grasp the nuances of the album, rather than calling the Samaritans’ Christmas Helpline, remains to be seen.

'Deck The Halls' resonates with a creepy beauty, and the sole original track, 'Together', sits faultlessly alongside such traditional standards and proves her ability as a shrewd songwriter.

TARJA - From Spirits And Ghosts [Score For A Dark Christmas] (2017) back

Seeing TARJA doing a Xmas album truly surprised me. But in a good way. She has made these traditional songs her own, and with an incredible twist: happy songs turned darker.
As festive albums go, this is a beguiling and often intriguing collection. Different for sure, and very, very well done.
Highly Recommended

01 - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
02 - Together
03 - We Three Kings
04 - Deck the Halls
05 - Pie Jesu
06 - Amazing Grace
07 - O Tannenbaum
08 - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
09 - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
10 - Feliz Navidad
11 - What Child Is This
12 - We Wish You a Merry Christmas


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

BLACK STONE CHERRY - Black To Blues (2017)

BLACK STONE CHERRY - Black To Blues (2017) full

It may be a little bit before we get a full new BLACK STONE CHERRY album of original material, but the band has something to tide fans over that might have an influence on what we get next. The group is releasing "Black To Blues", offering up their take on a handful of songs from some of the greats of blues music.

Before releasing five critically acclaimed albums, playing 12,000-capacity arena shows, topping U.K. charts and sharing the stage with bands like DEF LEPPARD, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, BAD COMPANY, ALTER BRIDGE and SHINEDOWN, the guys in the Kentucky-based active rock powerhouse were just teenagers finding their way jamming on the blues.
"Black To Blues" is a collection of blues classics and obscurities re-imagined with the meaty moxie of classic BLACK STONE CHERRY.

"A defining moment for me was realizing all the rock 'n' roll that I loved came from the blues," says vocalist and guitarist Chris Robertson. "I know it's crazy for 4 hard rock dudes to make a blues EP, but it's us sharing with everyone the music that's been our DNA from day one".

With "Black To Blues", the band offers a fresh take on classics not by just any Blues artists, but the true pioneers of the genre. Bluesmen who really took the genre to another level.
For example, “Built For Comfort,” the EP’s first track, was originally done by a man who sang the Blues like no one before or after him, Howlin’ Wolf. BLACK STONE CHERRY take this classic and turn it into a groovy, funky, powerful Rock song that will explode out of the listeners’ speakers from the first note. Done right, the song ends with Robertson’s screaming vocal tribute to the legendary shouting of Wolf.

BLACK STONE CHERRY - Black To Blues (2017) disc

Muddy Waters, known as one of the greatest Blues Guitarists in history, is honored not with one cover song, but three. And here's the album more interesting part. For listeners that have dual appreciation for BLACK STONE CHERRY’s hard-edged, full-bodied sound and Muddy Waters’ sultry, swaying style, this EP will be an exciting addition to their music library.
“Champagne & Reefer” is one of the standout tracks, starting with a steady march before welcoming Robertson’s lead vocals. His wide vocal range is of great use to the EP: he delivers swagger on Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” and brings a gruff edge to “Hoochie Coochie Man” that recalls the deep tone of Waters’ original.

The biggest change on a song like “Hoochie Coochie Man” is the expanded sound in BLACK STONE CHERRY’s version; in addition to introducing a horn section, they also incorporate metal-styled bass riffs to build upon a deeper, darker rhythm section.

BLACK STONE CHERRY - Black To Blues (2017) back

"Black To Blues" is for anyone who wants to hear a modern take on blues hits of old. The hard rock style updates the blues standards, proving that the stories and sentiments expressed in the originals are just as representative of the human experience now as they were when they were new.
For those that are fans of BLACK STONE CHERRY's modern hard rock sound and those that are simply interested in fresh interpretations of songs snuggled deep within the blues cannon, this is an EP worth checking out. As bonus, you have a bunch of rarities, B-sides, non album tracks, etc.
Great classic stuff with an edge.

01 - Built For Comfort
02 - Champagne & Reefer
03 - Palace Of The King
04 - Hoochie Coochie Man
05 - Born Under A Bad Sign
06 - I Want To Be Loved
BONUS TRACKS: (Taken from EPs and rare recordings)
07 - Hell And High Water
08 - Big City Lights
09 - We Are The Kings
10 - Rain Wizard
11 - Drinkin' Champagne
12 - Stop Runnin'
13 - In My Blood (Gold Mix)
14 - Won't Let Go (Pop Mix)
15 - Get Up, Stand Up
16 - Fire And Water (Accoustic)
17 - White Trash Millionaire (Live Acoustic)

Chris Robertson - vocals / guitar
Ben Wells - guitar / vocals
Jon Lawhon - bass / vocals
John Fred Young - drums


METALITE - Heroes In Time (2017)

METALITE - Heroes In Time (2017) full

"Heroes In Time" is the debut album by METALITE, a new Swedish female fronted combo which as their name suggest, musically is melodic metal oriented but with a 'lite' approach, commercial and catchy.
The album was produced by experienced Jacob Hansen [Volbeat, Evergrey, Amaranthe] and guest appearances on the album includes Fraser Edwards [Ascension] and Jakob Svensson [Wigelius].

METALITE follows the trend of many current acts: taking metal in a much more accessible direction, very melodic and with infectious choruses while still maintaining enough heaviness to avoid having their music fall too far into Rock& pop territory.
METALITE was founded by guitarist Edwin Premberg, and his six-string work is very impressive at times, with some hard-hitting riffs and some truly fantastic melodic guitar solos.
At the same time, though, despite not having a keyboardist listed in their lineup, this album has plenty of very modern sounding keys, and in fact these keys often dominate many of the songs giving the music a very catchy feeling.

There’s certainly a ton of digital effects used here as well, and it all sounds very good. Compared to similar bands, I’d say the music on this album maintains the catchiness you’d expect from Amaranthe, while also having strong metal elements at times like Dynazty on their last couple of albums.
Songwriting is quite consistent across the board, with every song being solid with a decent amount of variety, though most songs are very upbeat, very melodic, simple and extremely catchy.

If you’re going to be making an album as centered around catchy vocal lines as this album is, you need to have a capable vocalist, and thankfully Emma Bensing proves herself to be very good on this matter.
She has a very light voice that’s very much suited to this style of music, often staying in midrange and singing very calmly in a way that allows the melodies to shine through well, but when needed she starts pushing for higher notes and singing with more power and emotion, and those points are the highlights of the album.
Overall, Bensing sounds amazing.

Opener “Afterlife” is a perfect choice for the lead single, as it’s a very fast-paced, accessible track which has just a bit of heaviness to it, while also being very melodic and having an insanely catchy and memorable chorus. Next is “Nightmare”, another very radio-friendly track, where the keys again lead the way, though it moves a very fast pace like the opening track, and is the first song where I think Emma really shines, as she pushes for higher notes during the chorus.

“The Hunter” has some power metal elements but also has some very pop influenced vocal lines at times. Another speedier track is “Power of Metal”, which definitely could have the “of” in its name removed and still be an accurate name, though it’s a very modernized form of the genre, of course, and is another very fun and catchy track, with some great vocals.
“Over and Done” is yet another very fun and catchy track, with an absolutely beautiful guitar solo that stands as easily the best on the album. “The Light of Orion” has an amazing guitar solo as well as excellent chorus, with Emma really shining especially near the end.

METALITE - Heroes In Time (2017) inside

Title track "Heroes In Time" is the most poppy, commercial song on the CD with the band really going into overdrive with all the keyboard effects, especially during the intro and the instrumental section in the middle. It’s a fairly slow paced, but ridiculously catchy track where Emma shows off her higher register quite nicely and does a great job during the chorus.
“Black Horse Rider” is driven by excellent melodic guitar leads as well as some heavier riffs, and is another very melodic metal influenced track, with an extremely fast and powerful chorus where Emma sounds very fiery, and lastly we have “The Great Force”, which again has some familiar sounding keys and a nice main melody.

Lastly, we have “In the Middle of the Night”, the lone ballad on the album, which is again very keyboard drove and it serves an excellent showcase for the lead vocals, quite emotional as the track progresses, with the final run through the chorus being absolutely stunning. There’s also an amazing, very emotional sounding guitar solo in the middle, and overall it’s an excellent track which serves as a nice change of pace during the mostly very speedy second half of the album.

Mixing classic melodic metal with poppy elements, pristine vocals and modern keyboards / effects, METALITE debut is a solid, entertaining product.
An album which continues the trend of modern melodic metal that strikes a balance between being very accessible and catchy, with a heavy use of keyboards and some very nice vocals, while still having enough of an edge to appeal to old school metal fans.
"Heroes In Time" is 'metal for the masses'. Yeah, Even my ol' aunt liked it.
Strongly Recommended

01 - Afterlife
02 - Purpose of Life
03 - Nightmare
04 - The Hunter
05 - Heroes in Time
06 - Power of Metal
07 - Over and Done
08 - The Light of Orion
09 - In the Middle of the Night
10 - Black Horse Rider
11 - The Great Force Within Us

Emma Bensing - Vocals
Edwin Premberg - Guitar
Robert Örnesved - Guitar
Robert Majd - Bass
Lea Larsson - Drums
Fraser Edwards [Ascension] - Guitar solo
Jake Svensson [Wigelius] - Guitar solo


JARED JAMES NICHOLS - Highwayman [tour EP] (2015)

JARED JAMES NICHOLS - Highwayman [tour EP] (2015) full

After the terrific JARED JAMES NICHOLS new album appeared few days ago posted here one of you asked for his quite hard to find EP "Highwayman", a scintillating heavy blues-rock 5-track hottie.

The EP "Highwayman" was released a couple years ago dovetailing with JARED JAMES NICHOLS' guest appearance on the Glenn Hughes UK tour. We are treated to five tracks that are perfectly composed and executed, a fine snapshot of a Highwayman with attitude approach to vocals and guitar that energetically sums up the force that is JARED JAMES NICHOLS.

Opening with a version of Grand Funk Railroad’s hit 'We’re An American Band', this is a thumping blues rock cover with stylish backing vocals courtesy of Jessica Childress. It's a kick ass version, plenty of fire.
The first of three originals takes the pace down a notch, 'Old Glory' allowing the guitar to scorch and bounce off the rhythm section of Denis Holms and Erik Sandin this is the perfect foundation for a Highwayman of blues rock that stands and delivers so that he can travel through and explore the licks & riffs of his guitar hooks where his vocals can dominate for a while.

The inspiration for the EP is life on the road, something NICHOLS experienced during his 70-day run in Europe and the UK earlier in 2015. The second of the carefully crafted covers is Humble Pie’s '30 Days in The Hole' with additional power to the drumming added by special guest Ben Tileston.

JARED JAMES NICHOLS - Highwayman [tour EP] (2015) back

Then the EP closes with two more new tracks; one is 'Fallin’ Down', a rocker that develops with a driving riff that pours itself around Jared’s vocals that purr, growl and when needed spit out the lyrics.
Closing with 'Gone', a prophetic title as this is a bluesy ballad that develops land eaves you wanting more to hear from this young rocking blues man who takes his musical inspiration from both sides of the Atlantic.

JARED JAMES NICHOLS never disappoints, and "Highwayman" is just another killer collection of rockin' tunes delivered with passion by this talented guy and his musicians.
20 minutes of of hot-red blues-rock that leaves you wanting for more.
Highly Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

1 - We’re an American Band
2 - Old Glory
3 - 30 Days in the Hole
4 - Fallin’ Down
5 - Gone

Jared James Nichols (vocals, guitar)
Dennis Holm (drums)
Erik Sandin (bass, vocals)
Ben Tileston (guest drums on 3)
Jessica Childress (backing vocals)


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

TRIUMPH - Diamond Collection [Ltd. Edition 10-CD Box Set remastered]

TRIUMPH - Diamond Collection [Ltd. Edition 10-CD Box Set remastered] full

TRIUMPH is one of Canada's greatest hard rock bands in history. With 10 classic albums released between 1976 and 1987, they have left an indelible mark on the history of hard / melodic rock and nowadays are considered as well among the forefathers of progressive metal. Some time ago Frontiers Records released this luxury "Diamond Collection", a Limited Edition 10-CD Box Set featuring TRIUMPH's iconic 10 first album completely remastered and packed in a vinyl-LP replica with original artwork, sleeves, extensive booklet including lyrics, etc.

The classic Toronto power trio of Rik Emmett (guitar/vocals), Gil Moore (drums/vocals) and Mike Levine (bass/keyboards) recorded nine studio albums and a live album together between 1976 and 1987, most of which have been put out on CD by MCA at least twice, then twice again by Levine and Moore when they regained ownership of the recordings.
But the only remasters available were the Japanese reissues from some time ago, both separately and in two very expensive box sets.

"Diamond Collection" marks the first time all these 10 TRIUMPH albums are available in remastered form / cardboard sleeved outside Asia, and all together in this awesome Box Set.
Whether you’re a fan wanting better sounding discs than the ones you already have, or just a casual listener who wants everything recorded by the classic line-up, this is a must have release.

Most of Triumph’s albums were pretty well recorded, with extra emphasis on the drums on the remaster of their workmanlike 1976 debut (now called ‘In The Beginning’ rather than ‘Triumph’) on which the band mix typical Gil Moore sung rock and rollers like ’24 Hours A Day’ and ‘What’s Another Day Of Rock And Roll’ with Rik Emmett’s slightly proggy overtones on the two-part ‘Street Fighter’ and the epic ‘Blinding Light Show / Moonchild’; a multi-textured piece from Emmett’s previous band Act III, complete with the classically-influenced acoustic guitar solo that would become a feature of subsequent Triumph albums.

‘Rock And Roll Machine’ (1977) is a stronger release that saw Emmett deliver the strongest tunes with ‘Bringing It On Home’, ‘New York City Streets’ and the crowd favourite title track, whilst the deeper voiced Moore would chip in with ‘Takes Time’ and a version of the Joe Walsh track ‘Rocky Mountain Way’.

TRIUMPH - Diamond Collection [Ltd. Edition 10-CD Box Set remastered] discs

After being picked up by RCA for both USA and Europe, a compilation of their first two records was followed by ‘Just A Game’ (1979), a deeper and more melodic affair that further emphasized the difference between Moore and Emmett’s songs. All Moore’s three straight rockers, including opener ‘Movin’ On’ and the catchy ‘American Girls’, were on side one, whilst Emmett’s efforts were more diverse and expansive (‘Lay It On The Line’ on side one, and the whole of side two including the amazing title track, the hit single ‘Hold On’ and the autobiographical ‘Suitcase Blues’).

‘Progressions Of Power; (1980) was more of a treading water exercise, heavier than it’s predecessor and a little more of a straight rocker, high energy songs like ‘I Live For The Weekend’, ‘Nature’s Child’, ‘Hard Road’ and ‘Tear The Roof Off’ had plenty of Emmett’s awesome fretwork but the album suffers from a lack of variety.
Not so ‘Allied Forces’ (1981), which was the one that broke the band big style in North America, with Emmett taking the lead on all the albums big hitters like the single ‘Magic Power’, the awesome ‘Fight The Good Fight’ and jaw-dropping ‘Ordinary Man’, whilst Moore’s hard rocking title track was no slouch either.
‘Allied Forces’ is felt by many to be their strongest album and I can’t really disagree with that. A must have.

‘Never Surrender’ (1983) is another strong effort but it seemed to get bogged down in too many instrumentals and attempts to follow Allied Forces; ‘A World Of Fantasy’ for instance was a none too subtle attempt by Emmett at writing another ‘Magic Power’, whilst elsewhere there was great music with the title track, ‘Too Much Thinking’, ‘When The Lights Go Down’ and ‘Writing On The Wall’.

By bringing in master producer Bob Ezrin for ‘Thunder Seven’ (1984) TRIUMPH recorded their best sounding and most underrated record featuring the rocking hit singles ‘Spellbound’ and ‘Follow Your Heart’, as well as some of Emmett’s more delicate and inspired moments in ‘Time Goes By’, ‘Killing Time’ and ‘Stranger In A Strange Land’ and perhaps his best acoustic showcase, ‘Midsummer Daydream’.
‘Thunder Seven’ is an essential album into any '80s hard rock collection, a little masterpiece for the genre, and as said, criminally underrated.

‘Stages' (1985) is TRIUMPH's first live album, recorded with a classic 'stadium album' feel from the late '70s, plenty of solos. The release also includes two studio bonus cuts, ‘Mind Games’ and the prog-ish ‘Empty Inside’, which are two of the most interesting things they’ve ever recorded.

‘Sport Of Kings’ (1986) saw Triumph go in a more commercial direction with radio friendly songs like ‘Somebody’s Out There’, ‘If Only’, ‘Take A Stand’ and an impeccable Gil Moore vocal on Eric Martin’s ‘Just One Night’.
If you love your Foreigner / Survivor stuff from the mid-Eighties, you should check ‘Sport Of Kings’ immediately.

Another one that has some terrific songs is their final album with this line-up, ‘Surveillance’ (1987), which is actually the straw that broke the camel’s back. By this time the band were falling apart due to record company pressure to be more commercial, but despite that and the silly image makeover to compete with the likes of Bon Jovi and Whitesnake, there’s no arguing with songs like ‘Never Say Never’, ‘Headed For Nowhere’ and the truly dynamic ‘All The Kings Horses / Carry On The Flame’.
Here TRIUMPH flirts with '80s AOR, and I love it.

TRIUMPH - Diamond Collection [Ltd. Edition 10-CD Box Set remastered] box

The digitally remastering sound of "Diamond Collection" is simply awesome.
As said, all TRIUMPH's albums were pretty well recorded, and this benefits the re-mastering process to modern audio equipment.
The early albums sound incredibly pristine, while the '80s records (‘Thunder Seven’ KILLS!) come out punchy, bright, with a perfect dynamic range, natural and not saturated at all.

'Diamond Collection' is a Limited Edition Box Set virtually out of print now, with remaining copies fetching $1,500 at Amazon. Go figure.

CD01 'Triumph'
01. 24 Hours A Day 04:30
02. Be My Lover 03:19
03. Don’t Take My Life 05:02
04. Street Fighter 03:28
05. Street Fighter Reprise 03:02
06. What’s Another Day Of Rock’n'Roll 04:51
07. Easy Life 03:56
08. Let Me Get Next To You 03:02
09. Blinding Light Show – Moonchild 08:44

CD02 'Rock And Roll Machine'
01. Takes Time 03:50
02. Bringing It On Home 04:36
03. Little Texas Shaker 03:26
04. New York City Streets – Part 1 03:09
05. New York City Streets – Part 2 04:43
06. The City 09:32
07. Rocky Mountain Way 04:07
08. Rock & Roll Machine 06:58

CD03 'Just A Game'
01. Movin’ On 04:08
02. Lay It On The Line 04:05
03. Young Enough To Cry 06:03
04. American Girls 05:03
05. Just A Game 06:13
06. Fantasy Serenade 01:41
07. Hold On 06:07
08. Suitcase Blues 03:04

CD04 'Progressions Of Power'
01. I Live For The Weekend 05:19
02. I Can Survive 03:59
03. In The Night 06:17
04. Natures Child 05:42
05. Woman In Love 04:41
06. Take My Heart 03:29
07. Tear The Roof Off 04:20
08. Fingertalkin’ 01:59
09. Hard Road 05:26

CD05 'Allied Forces'
01. Fool For Your Love 04:33
02. Magic Power 04:56
03. Air Raid 01:20
04. Allied Forces 05:05
05. Hot Time (In This City Tonight) 03:25
06. Fight The Good Fight 06:31
07. Ordinary Man 07:17
08. Petite Etude 01:17
09. Say Goodbye 04:35

CD06 'Never Surrender'
01. Too Much Thinking 05:40
02. A World Of Fantasy 05:02
03. A Minor Prelude 00:42
04. All The Way 03:43
05. Battle Cry 04:59
06. Overture 01:53
07. Never Surrender 06:42
08. When The Lights Go Down 05:07
09. Writing On The Wall 03:39
10. Epilogue 02:46

CD07 'Thunder Seven'
01. Spellbound 05:15
02. Rock Out, Roll On 05:18
03. Cool Down 04:50
04. Follow Your Heart 03:35
05. Time Goes By 06:03
06. Midsummer’s Daydream 01:41
07. Time Canon 01:33
08. Killing Time 04:18
09. Stranger In A Strange Land 05:13
10. Little Boy Blues 03:39

CD08 'Stages'
01. When The Lights Go Down 06:01
02. Never Surrender 06:46
03. Hold On 04:21
04. Magic Power 06:09
05. Rock And Roll Machine 10:26
06. Lay It On The Line 05:04
07. A World Of Fantasy 08:38
08. Midsummer’s Daydream 02:44
09. Spellbound 03:56
10. Follow Your Heart 03:40
11. Fight The Good Fight 07:36
12. Mind Games 04:48
13. Empty Inside 04:03

CD09 'The Sport Of Kings'
01. Tears In The Rain 03:55
02. Somebody’s Out There 04:05
03. What Rules My Heart 03:52
04. If Only 04:01
05. Hooked On You 03:23
06. Take A Stand 04:34
07. Just One Night 03:40
08. Embrujo (Instrumental) 01:29
09. Play With The Fire 05:19
10. Don’t Love Anybody But Me 03:56
11. In The Middle Of The Night 04:34

CD10 'Surveillance'
01. Prologue / Into The Forever 01:01
02. Never Say Never 03:39
03. Headed For Nowhere 06:08
04. All The King’s Horses 01:47
05. Carry On The Flame 05:19
06. Let The Light (Shine On Me) 05:33
07. Long Time Gone 05:15
08. Rock You Down 04:02
09. Prelude- The Waking Dream 01:11
10. On And On 03:47
11. All Over Again 03:58
12. Running In The Night 03:52

Rik Emmett (guitar/vocals)
Gil Moore (drums/vocals)
Mike Levine (bass/keyboards)


PRIMAL FEAR - Best Of Fear +4 (2017)

PRIMAL FEAR - Best Of Fear +4 (2017) full
HERE     the Real one

German melodic metal kings PRIMAL FEAR just released the double CD "Best Of Fear" via Frontiers Music. As it makes clear in the title, this double album culls together the best material from PRIMAL FEAR’s last 10 years of work plus 4 brand new songs recorded specifically for this release including a cover of HEART's '80s classic 'If Looks Could Kill'.

PRIMAL FEAR have been signed to two labels in their career: Nuclear Blast Records from 1998 - 2006 and Frontiers Records since 2006, right up to the present day. Hence, 'Best Of Fear' contains a large amount of studio material from the Frontiers years from the album New Religion right up to their last effort Rulebreaker.
But Alex Beyrodt & Co, apart from 23 songs from the recent catalog - oriented to those listeners 'new' to the band - wanted to offer some fresh material as well; 3 new originals and a cover.

The new recordings are placed at beginning of CD 1.
Starting off with a pretty killer instrumental track 'Area 16' that sounds like the intro to an apocalyptic movie or video game, it leads into the explosive riff attack of 'Predator'. Both this track and 'Thrill Of Speed' share the elements that you would expect from Primal Fear: pummeling riffs and that unmistakable vocals of Ralf Scheepers.
Strong stuff.

The new cover recording is the Heart classic 'If Looks Could Kill'. It's always interesting when a classic melodic hard rock track (better if it's from the Eighties) gets a heavier treatment.
The band has done a successful job putting their spin on this great tune with more crunch in the guitars and a pounding low end.

After the new recordings, you get a solid summary of PRIMAL FEAR from the last 10 years, including a hefty amount of singles and deep cuts.
The first disc contains more of the band's heavier and straightforward material like 'King For A Day', 'Angels Of Mercy', 'The End Is Near', 'Sign Of Fear', and 'Strike', whereas disc 2 packs more of the epic and melodic tunes like 'Where Angels Die', 'We Walk Without Fear' or 'When Death Comes Knocking', plus a remix of 'Born with a Broken Heart (feat. Liv Kristine)' and 'Everytime It Rains (feat. Simone Smons)'.

PRIMAL FEAR - Best Of Fear +4 (2017) back

Best Of releases have the benefit of serving as quick introduction to a large portion of a band's catalog to a new fan. And PRIMAL FEAR's "Best Of Fear" meets all requirements.
On the other hand, if you're a die-hard fan you need the 4 new tracks, all quality material.
This 2CD release may only contain music from PRIMAL FEAR's last decade but much of that music is some of the band's best.
Be aware there's a fake version of this "Best Of Fear" floating the net with all tracks taken from the old albums and not this mastering, and as example not including 'Born with a Broken Heart (feat. Liv Kristine - Remix)'.

CD 1:
01 - Area 16 (New Track)
02 - Predator (New Track)
03 - If Looks Could Kill (New Track)
04 - Thrill Of Speed (New Track)
05 - The End Is Near
06 - Strike
07 - Sign Of Fear
08 - In Metal We Trust
09 - When Death Comes Knocking
10 - Six Times Dead
11 - Angels Of Mercy
12 - Unbreakable
13 - Riding The Eagle
14 - Rulebreaker
15 - King For A Day
16 - Bad Guys Wear Black

CD 2:
01 - Everytime It Rains (feat. Simone Smons)
02 - We Walk Without Fear
03 - Fighting the Darkness (Long Version)
04 - Hands of Time
05 - One Night in December
06 - The Sky Is Burning
07 - Where Angels Die
08 - Black Rain
09 - Born with a Broken Heart (feat. Liv Kristine - Remix)
10 - Born Again
11 - The Man (That I Don't Know)

Ralf Scheepers – Vocals
Tom Naumann – Guitars
Alex Beyrodt – Guitars
Magnus Karlsson – Guitars & Keyboards
Francesco Jovino – Drums
Mat Sinner – Bass & Vocals


Monday, November 13, 2017

VINCE DiCOLA - Angry Birds Transformers [Extended Edition Soundtrack] (2017)

VINCE DiCOLA - Angry Birds Transformers [Extended Edition Soundtrack] (2017) full

Today here's one for '80s movie soundtracks and synth-based music: VINCE DiCOLA's "Angry Birds Transformers [Extended Edition Soundtrack]". Vincent Louis "Vince" DiCola is an American keyboardist and arranger who composed scores for iconic '80s films such as The Transformers: The Movie, Staying Alive and Rocky IV soundtracks.
DiCola pioneered the use of sequencers on his soundtrack recording for Rocky IV, one of the first to exploit the Fairlight CMI and Synclavier II's computer's sequencing capabilities.

Depite of having released solo albums with a prog-rock feel and well known guests. DiCola is most known for his 1986 'The Transformers: The Movie', and 1985 'Rocky IV' score soundtracks, a sound which defined many rock&pop music to come during the rest of the decade.

Recently, with the success of the Angry Birds game on Facebook and various platforms, game company Rovio created 'Angry Birds Transformers', a new funny game. And it boasts one killer soundtrack.
You may notice that the tunes in the game sound similar to those from 'Transformers: The Movie' from 1986. That’s no coincidence!

Rovio teamed up with Vince DiCola, who composed the music from the 1986 animated feature, and music industry vet Kenny Meriedeth, who infused the tracks with the tasty analog synth sounds that defined the '80s!

There's one vocal track that indeed comes to mind Stan Bush's type of songs, however the rest of the music here is instrumental, uptempo keyboard driven tunes with lots of electric guitar riffs / solos, and a pulsating vibe.
The game appeared a couple years ago, but this "Angry Birds Transformers [Extended Edition Soundtrack]" is being released 2017.
Pure '80s stuff!

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

01 - Angry Birds Transformers Main Theme
02 - The Battle for Piggy Island
03 - Autobirds, Roll Out!
04 - Unstoppable Robots
05 - The Desert of the Deceptihogs
06 - Robots Chill Out
07 - Eggbot Activity Detected
08 - Dawn of a New Day
08 - No Risk, No Glory
08 - Through the Pig City
10 - Escape
11 - Battle Scene
12 - Power Plant
13 - Arcade shooter
14 - Legacy

Vince DiCola - keyboards, sequencer, piano, synths
Kenny Meriedeth - guitar, sequencer, synths, vocals


SAXON - Wheels Of Steel [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition]

SAXON - Wheels Of Steel [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition] full

Some classic SAXON albums is its remastered / extra tracks edition have been requested here, so let's go now with "Wheels Of Steel" the second studio album by the English band. "Wheels Of Steel [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition]" features no less than 8 bonus tracks, including some rare tracks, a single B-side, the legendary SAXON performance at the first Castle Donington Festival, and a complete booklet in the Rock Candy fashion with rare photos and liner notes by specialist Jerry Ewing (Metal Hammer Magazine) in cooperation with Biff Byford.

After finding themselves a qualified heavy metal producer in Pete Hinton, the members of SAXON recovered from their disappointing debut (at least, in sales) in fine form with 1980's career-defining "Wheels Of Steel".
As well as effectively setting the template for the band's most successful efforts, the album's songs positively gleamed with a bright, metallic sheen similar to that exhibited by the chrome eagle hoisting a motorcycle wheel on its iconic cover.

Wasting no time with niceties, "Wheels Of Steel" kicked straight into fifth gear with one of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal's signature anthems, "Motorcycle Man."
A proto-speed metal classic, the song also reintroduced the oft-recurring biker themes that would rear up again on the even more frenzied "Freeway Mad" and the album's epic title track (as well as on many future tracks).

SAXON - Wheels Of Steel [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition] booklet

Another song joining "Wheels Of Steel" in SAXON's career roll of honor is the dramatic, lyrically unique "747 (Strangers in the Night)" - which described an airplane's emergency landing - but a slew of additional standouts like "Street Fighting Gang," "See the Light Shining," the furious "Machine Gun," and the contrastingly romantic "Suzie Hold On" (perhaps the band's finest early ballad) rounded out the album in style.

The bonus tracks include the creation stages take of 'Suzie Hold On [1980 Demo Rehearsal]' and
"Wheels Of Steel [1980 Demo Rehearsal]", and the awesome SAXON performance at the first edition of the now legendary Castle Donington Festival - which has built itself a reputation as the 'spiritual home of British hard rock' - alongside Judas Priest, Rainbow and Scorpions.

"Wheels Of Steel" completes the triad heap of essential SAXON albums, pretty much hand in hand with its immediate successors, Strong Arm Of The Law and Denim And Leather.
This Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition series really do justice to these essential SAXON early recordings. The mere term "remaster" is ambiguous when dealing with music made long before the digital age dawned, as it usually involves replacing the original tape with something presumably "cleaner" and more up to date (read: sterile) that all but ruins it.

SAXON - Wheels Of Steel [Remastered, Extra Tracks Edition] back

To me, the best remaster of an album from 1980 is one that attempts to replicate the sound of hearing a brand new copy of the original vinyl. These SAXON remasters do just that, so much so that I've officially retired my worn old Carrere LP pressings of these albums.
If that weren't enough, each reissue contains expanded liner notes with input from frontman Biff Byford himself, along with various clippings from the day and reproductions of the back covers of each LP, making them essential for collectors.
To summarize, mandatory album, and remasters that give these 30 year old recordings a new lease on life.
Highly Recommended

01 - Motorcycle Man
02 - Stand Up And Be Counted
03 - 747 [Strangers In The Night]
04 - Wheels Of Steel
05 - Freeway Mad
06 - See The Light Shining
07 - Street Fighting Gang
08 - Suzie Hold On
09 - Machine Gun
10 - Suzie Hold On [1980 Demo Rehearsal]
11 - Wheels Of Steel [1980 Demo Rehearsal]
12 - Stallions Of The Highway [Live B-Side]
13 - Motorcycle Man [Castle Donington, 16th Aug 1980]
14 - Freeway Mad [Castle Donington, 16th Aug 1980]
15 - Wheels Of Steel [Castle Donington, 16th Aug 1980]
16 - 747 [Strangers In The Night] [Castle Donington, 1980]
17 - Machine Gun [Castle Donington, 16th Aug 1980]

Biff Byford - vocals
Graham Oliver - guitar
Paul Quinn - guitar
Steve Dawson - bass
Pete Gill - drums



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