Archive for April 22, 2008

The title track to Judas Priest’s new album, NOSTRADAMUS, is streaming all over the Web. Here’s the song someone was kind enough to post on YouTube with the album artwork.

You can also click the link below to check out the official Epic Records page for Judas Priest – NOSTRADAMUS.

http://www.epicrecords.com/judaspriest/

GOOD TO BE BAD released today…..

From Frontiers Records:

Frontiers Records is presenting the new chapter in the legendary career of multi-platinum US rockers JOURNEY – Neal Schon (guitar), Jonathan Cain (keyboards), Ross Valory (bass), Deen Castronovo (drums) and Arnel Pineda (vocals) – entitled Revelation.

The brand new record will come in a beautifully packaged two CD set which will include 11 new songs and 11 re-recorded classics and will be released in Europe on Frontiers Records on June 6th 2008.

(NOTEThe U.S. release is June 3rd exclusively through Wal-Mart.)

Revelation is the first Journey album to feature the angelic voice of Filipino singer Arnel Pineda. Guitarist Neal Schon says about him “We feel reborn. I think there’s a lot of chemistry between the five of us. The new stuff sounds tremendous. Everyone’s so stoked about it. We feel very fortunate to have found Arnel”.

“Arnel brings a soulful and passionate voice to Journey”, continues keyboardist Jonathan Cain. “His personality is very well-suited to our music. He’s a sincere, authentic person with a great smile and a big heart. I think fans are really going to love him. With Arnel’s soaring tenor, Journey returns to our heritage sound.”

The first album with lead vocalist Arnel Pineda, Revelation is Journey running on no less than twelve cylinders, a fine-tuned offering that sounds every bit like a band hitting their stride. Schon and Cain penned all 11 of the new tracks on “Revelation”. There is no lack of chemistry in Journey, beginning with the songwriting core of Schon and Cain. “I felt strongly about moving forward and writing new material. It was time,” Schon states. Schon then put the call into Cain and started the song writing process which has now become the album, “Revelation”. “There’s an innate trust and respect for what we each do as we weave our way through this music,” says Cain. Schon adds, “In the alphabet, I might be a Z and Jonathan the A, that’s just how opposite we are musically sometimes. I write mostly rock and Jonathan writes most of the ballads, but when you combine the chemistry of us together, you’ll find that it is the nucleus and sound of what is and has been Journey. And now, with the right voice in place, we have all the right ingredients.”

‘Never Walk Away’ kicks Revelation off with the resilient air and upbeat optimism fans have come to expect from Journey, a melody-soaked and guitar-driven anthem sure to ignite the live circuit just as it lights up the new release. The heartwarming sentiment offered by “Like a Sunshower” gives a more poetic and reflective look at relationships. It’s an uncharacteristic ballad from the more hard rock-inclined Schon. There’s even an instrumental, The Journey (Revelation), at the request of producer Kevin Shirley, who returns to the fold after working with the band on Trial By Fire (1996) and Arrival (2000), the band’s first instrumental since Departure (1980) and Evolution (1979). “This is a special song for me”, Schon says of the sprawling track, “it was extremely gratifying to express myself on my instrument in this way”. This is a great performance from everyone in the band and truly a majestic track.

But every member of Journey shines on the whole of Revelation. Lead singer Arnel Pineda does plenty of head turning of his own throughout the new recordings, as well as the 11 classic hits that the band re-recorded. Jonathan Cain’s keyboards elevate ‘After All These Years’ to new emotional heights. ‘What I Needed’ is a power ballad, driven by heavy guitars, reminiscent of the early Journey that so many bands have modeled themselves after. Deen Castronovo drums up a frenzy during the hard-driving rock song, ‘Wildest Dream’. The talented Castronovo also sings most of the high harmonies heard throughout the album, proving that not only is he an amazing drummer, but he’s a dynamic vocalist as well. Schon’s smoking guitars rip through this track with a cool, eastern flavor. Bassist Ross Valory is steady throughout, a stabilizing force through the albums more driven highs and heartfelt lows.

Revelation tracklisting will include the following songs:
CD1: ‘Never Walk Away’, ‘Like A Sunshower’, ‘Change For The Better’, ‘Wildest Dream’, ‘Faith In The Heartland’, ‘After All These Years’, ‘Where Did I Lose Your Love’, ‘What I Needed’, ‘What It Takes To Win’, ‘Turn Down The World Tonight’, ‘The Journey (Revelation)’.

CD2: ‘Only The Young’, ‘Don’t Stop Believin”, ‘Wheel In The Sky’, ‘Faithfully’, ‘Any Way You Want It’, ‘Who’s Crying Now’, ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)’, ‘Lights’, ‘Open Arms’, ‘Be Good To Yourself’, ‘Stone In Love’.

 

StarofAsh – The Thread (2008, Candelight Records)

  1. How To Invent A Heart
  2. Him And Her
  3. The World Spins For You
  4. Drag Them Down
  5. The Snake Pit
  6. An Apology Gone Bad
  7. Blood Bones And A Skull
  8. Crossing Over
  9. Epilogue
  10. Neo Drugismo
  11. Neo Drugismo (video)

Featured Musicians:
Heidi Solberg Tveitan (aka Ihriel)
Markus Reuter (German composer)
Kenji Siratori (Japanese cyber-punk writer)
Kristoffer G. Rygg (Ulver)
Knut Bendlk M. Briestein
Knut Aalefjaer
Halvor Strand
Knut Buen (Hardingrock)

Total Time = 41:55

StarofAsh official website
StarofAsh MySpace page
Candlelight Records USA

THE THREAD is the second solo album for Heidi Solberg Tveitan (Ihriel) from Peccatum/Hardingrock. You might also remember Tveitan because she is the wife of Emperor frontman, Ihsahn. Despite her husband’s heavier direction with Emperor, this Norwegian singer/songwriter has developed her solo career under the moniker, StarofAsh, and has created some beautiful, ambient, experimental music.

THE THREAD is not Heavy Metal of any kind, nor is it Hard Rock. What is found on this album is an encompassing grand composition that leans more toward Classical, Folk and New Age. The songs are sweeping and ethereal while retaining a a haunting, almost creepy, quality without trying to be scary. It’s all very interesting actually. Piano, Mellotron, acoustic guitar, fiddle, horns, keyboards, drums, light bass…..all these instruments are beautifully blended together to create a “quiet” wall of sound. There is not a lot of extra sounds or effects generated from computers like others in this style use, every sound is accomplished on instruments. Most of the songs are instrumentals and about half have lyrics. Tveitan’s vocals are beautifully done and Kristoffer G. Rygg from Ulver guests on ‘Blood Bones And A Skull’. ‘Neo Drugismo’ features spoken word lyrics from Japanese writer Kenji Siratori beneath a drifting piano.

Bottom Line:
As I mentioned, this is not Heavy Metal so I wouldn’t expect it. The songs on this album are experimental, avant-garde, and ambient music. There is a New Age quality to the album but we’re not talking Enigma or Enya. I liken this project as something The Gathering started with MANDYLION (1995) and perfected by the time they released HOW TO MEASURE A PLANET? (1998). When I saw who was behind StarofAsh (Tveitan), and the affiliated bands, I thought I would find an album of Gothic Metal like Epica or After Forever. In a way, I’m a little disappointed that this album doesn’t have any Metal and doesn’t rock out. I’m also a bit surprised because it was something totally different than I’m accustomed to and I enjoyed the musical passages/songs. Best song here: ‘Blood Bones And A Skull’.