CD Scavenger Hunt – New Release Tuesday edition

Another week…..more new releases…..another Hunt!

Went to the local record store to grab the new releases from Queensryche and The Answer but a couple of surprises were in store at great prices!

queensryche_americansoldierQueensryche – American Soldier (2009) – $12.88: Always been a Queensryche fan, straight from the days of the first E.P. and RAGE FOR ORDER, so I always support a new album from the band. Another new record that’s another concept album so I’m going into it with a little hesitation but I like the subject matter: U.S. soldiers coming back after tours in the Middle East…..a topic very relevant today. Fingers are crossed that this is a good record, I haven’t read any reviews going in.

the_answer_-_everyday_demons_coverThe Answer – Everyday Demons (2009) – $9.99: I bought this based on the hype and the sale price. I figure if The Answer sucks then I’m only out ten bucks! I’ve read all the reviews on RISE (2006) and the hype surrounding this new record, I also hear the band is performing well opening for AC/DC. I usually tend to stay away from the current media darlings but I find myself interested enough to blow some cash…..fingers crossed on this one too.

halford-resurrection-2009-remasteredHalford – Resurrection (2009 remastered) – $14: Like any good fan of Rob Halford, I went out and bought RESURRECTION when it came out originally back in 2000 and it’s a great album. Of course, Metal-Is (a division of Sanctuary Records I believe) is defunct and Rob owns his catalog so the reissue was unavoidable. So why buy it? Four new songs tacked in the middle of it that were part of the release to iTunes back in 2006. Just a heads up…..LIVE INSURRECTION (2001) was remastered/reissued too but there are no extra tunes on it, I’m waiting to see what Halford does with CRUCIBLE (2002).

grave-digger-liberty-or-deathGrave Digger – Liberty Or Death (2007) – $9 used: I’m starting to fill in some holes in the Grave Digger collection but finding the albums locally is a pain. This CD was just traded in for store credit and I watched the guy price it up and I snatched it! A bargain at $9! The odd thing is that my CD says the year is 2006 but every website I’ve checked, including the band’s website, lists it as 2007.

alice-cooper-raise-your-fist-and-yellAlice Cooper – Raise Your Fist And Yell (1987) – $7: Sealed original press of this mid-80s Alice classic for seven bucks…..not bad. I thought I already had this CD but I was armed and ready with my database of my collection (I’ve been able to input up to letter D!) and it wasn’t there! I’ve seen this CD sitting in the rack for months at a great price and I’m surprised nobody bought it. I grabbed it and double checked my collection…..not there! Later on, I went through a shoebox that holds the remainder of my old cassettes and there was RAISE YOUR FIST AND YELL on tape…..I knew I had it somehow.

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009)

edguy_-_tinnitus_sanctus

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009, Nuclear Blast)

  1. Ministry Of Saints
  2. Sex Fire Religion
  3. The Pride Of Creation
  4. Nine Lives
  5. Wake Up Dreaming Black
  6. Dragonfly
  7. Thorn Without A Rose
  8. 9-2-9
  9. Speedhoven
  10. Dead Or rock
  11. Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too!?

Band Lineup:
Tobias Sammet – Vocals
Jens Ludwig – Guitars
Dirk Sauer – Guitars
Tobias Exxel – Bass
Felix Bohnke – Drums

Producer: Sascha Paeth

Country: Germany

Total Time = 53:37

Edguy
Edguy Myspace page
Nuclear Blast Germany
Nuclear Blast USA

In January 2008, Tobias Sammet released the latest Avantasia opus THE SCARECROW and it was my Album of the Year. The all-star lineup and specific attention to songwriting really made THE SCARECROW shine but Avantasia is Sammet’s side project and his focus has turned to his primary band…..Edguy.

I got into Edguy back in the late ’90s when I started scooping up albums like VAIN GLORY OPERA (1998) and THEATER OF SALVATION (1999) at the local record shop. Power Metal was having a huge resurgence with Hammerfall, Rhapsody and Blind Guardian leading the way and I was hooked right away so getting into Edguy was easy. Fast forward to 2006 and Sammet and company released the Hard Rock styled ROCKET RIDE and I just couldn’t get into it. It was still Edguy, it was still Power Metal, but with more of a ’80s Hard Rock commercial sound. From then on I put my faith in other Power Metal bands and Edguy became secondary to Avantasia. Less than a year later (TINNITUS SANCTUS was released in December in Europe and Japan), the new Edguy album arrived and I was hoping that a little of the inspiration Tobias had for THE SCARECROW would be heard in Edguy.

Opening song ‘Ministry Of Saints’ gets the Traditional/Power Metal feast started with it’s Judas Priest and Saxon styled songcraft and guitar solos with a touch of melodic harmonies that give it a bit more of a commercial sound. Euro-flavoured Hard Rock is the best way to describe ‘Sex Fire Religion’ with it’s thumping bass and cock rock styled lyrics. It’s definitely a catchy “hair band” styled song complete with sexually retarded lyrics and hooky chorus but made awkward by the band’s Euro-Metal background. It seems like Edguy is trying too hard to be sexually clever. Back to pure Power Metal and speed with ‘The Pride Of Creation’, my favorite track on the album. The guitars duel in almost a Dragonforce style frenzy and the chorus is the catchiest I’ve heard on the whole album. This is what Edguy does best, or should I say Avantasia? This could easily be a track from THE METAL OPERA or THE SCARECROW and this is what I was hoping the entire TINNITUS album would sound like. ‘The Pride Of Creation’ is the perfect blend of the two styles Sammet is trying to combine.

‘Nine Lives’ continues the perfect blend of new and old Edguy songwriting and it kind of reminds me of the direction Primal Fear started to go with on NEW RELIGION. ‘Nine Lives’ retains the Metal, slows down a little toward sthe middle and finds it’s melodic groove. Same thing could be said of ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’ but it’s a heavier track with more straightforward bass and guitar. ‘Dragonfly’ conjures up the mid-tempo Hard Rock rhythms and ’80s style riffs that the band has been incorporating into their sound, it sounds forced and the chorus has too much of a choral effect. I like the solo though it sounds very George Lynch and, now that I think of it, ‘Dragonfly’ could easily be a lost Dokken tune! Ballad time comes with ‘Thorn Without A Rose’…..is it a play on Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has It’s Thorn’? Maybe only in the title because the song is more bombastic than any ballad Poison ever released. It’s a very catchy song with a Pop Metal commercial vibe.

‘9-2-9′ is another commercial sounding song but its a little heavier/faster, it kind of reminds me of the first Westworld album and the late ’90’s Melodic Metal movement. ‘Speedhoven’ has a classic rock element to it with the appearance of a Hammond organ in the mix but the song is Power Metal through and through while ‘Dead Or Rock’ (a title straight from the Saxon lyric book!) is classic ’80s styled Hard Rock with touches of Motley Crue, commercial Judas Priest and Saxon…..great guitar work on this song. Last tune on the album is ‘Aren’t You A Little Pervert Too?!’, Edguy’s stab at a Country & Western joke song. It’s songs like this that piss me off because they just ruin good albums…..the lyrics are just plain bad, worse than anything Gene Simmons could think up and I don’t like the C&W music. I know it’s a joke song (featuring the band as Granato Rambocco & The Killers) but that’s what bothers me…..you waste space on an album and then they will drop another EP on us in a couple of months with a few non-album tracks. I’d rather the album stop after ‘Dead Or Rock’ or get another solid original.

Bottom Line:
TINNITUS SANCTUS has been a hard listen for me since it received a proper U.S. release at the end of January. I’ve spent a good six weeks listening to this record and some days I love it and some I have a hard time getting into it. There is enough Power Metal to satisfy the old school Edguy fan in me and there is a lot of melodic Hard Rock songs that are pretty good but seem a little out of place when compared to the band’s previous albums. What I did on this album was stop comparing current Edguy to old Edguy and I liked it a lot more. Bands are allowed to change their sound and Edguy has done a good job with their new direction but another of my problems is getting by some of the bad lyrics…..you can go to a simpler sound, a Hard Rock sound, but you don’t have to dumb things down. Overall I liked the album a lot despite some of my complaints.

Favorite Songs:
‘Ministry Of Saints’, ‘The Pride Of Creation’, ‘Nine Lives’, ‘Wake Up Dreaming Black’, ‘9-2-9′, ‘Dead Or Rock’

NOTE: This album was also released as a 2 disc set with a live set on the bonus CD.

Weekend Playlist

The only good thing about inventory week at work is that I get the entire weekend off! Faced with plenty of time on my hands, and a lot of new CDs, I spent a lot of time in front of the stereo…..

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009): I just realized that I made the new Edguy March’s album of the month and I never got around to reviewing it! I’ve been spending a lot of time on this CD all week and I can’t get passed some of the juvenile lyrics but so far I like the album.

Nashville Pussy – From Hell To Texas (2009): I started on Nashville Pussy with their first record, LET THEM EAT PUSSY (1998), but I never got into them past 2000’s HIGH AS HELL. I got this CD in the mail and I really got into it…..look for a review this week.

Siren’s Gate – Haunt Me (2008): I enjoy all forms of female-fronted Metal but I do like the atmospheric/gothic/orchestrated style the best. Bands like The Gathering, Nightwish, Lacuna Coil, Lana Lane and After Forever all occupy space in my collection. Siren’s Gate is in the same mold as the bands and this E.P. is a more like a demo but still pretty good. Review coming…..

Great White – Rising (2009): I just got this in the mail the other day and I broke the cellophane and gave it a single spin.

Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009): Just like the new Great White, I got this CD in Saturday afternoon so it only got the first spin this weekend.

My 10 yr. old daughter is starting to raid Daddy’s CD collection and sample different bands so I had to teach Metal 101 to her a little over the weekend. I pulled out a few greatest hits/live albums to give her an idea of what some bands sounded like but she started looking on her own. Here are some of the albums she picked out and we listened to…..her Twisted Sister obsession is still going strong!

Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid (1991)

Saxon – Denim & Leather (1981)

AC/DC – Back In Black (1980)

Motorhead – Everything Louder Than Everyone Else (1998)

Scorpions – Deadly Sting: The Mercury Years (1997)

Desperado – Bloodied, But Unbowed (1996)

Dee Snider – Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down (2000)

Twisted Sister – Still Hungry (2004)

Anvil – Anthology Of Anvil (2000)

Press Release: Primal Fear – 16.6 Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead artwork, tracklisting, and release dates announced

From Primal Fear:

March 27th, 2009 – 16.6 Official Announcement & Cover Artwork revealed!

Frontiers Records proudly announces the release of PRIMAL FEAR new studio album 16.6 (Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead) on May 22nd in Europe and June 9th in the USA.

primal-fear-166

The complete 16.6 tracklisting is as follows: ‘Before The Devil Knows You’re Dead’, ‘Riding The Eagle’, ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’, ‘Black Rain’, ‘Under The Radar’, ‘5.0 /Torn’, ‘Soar’, ‘Killbound’, ‘No Smoke Without Fire’, ‘Night After Night’, ‘Smith & Wesson’, ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Hands of Time’.

The limited edition will include two exclusive bonus-tracks: ‘Cry Havoc’, ‘Scream’ plus the video clip for ‘Six Times Dead (16.6)’

The version for Japan will include a special single remix of the song ‘No Smoke Without Fire’.

Anticipated by a successful listening session held in Cologne, Germany, attended by the cream of the European Metal press, the new album is about to bring back Primal Fear to the throne of Heavy Metal. 16.6 is easily the most powerful, ambitious and interesting album in the band’s history. The vibe of songs like the opening track “Riding The Eagle”, “Killbound” or “Under The Radar” are reminiscent of the “Nuclear Fire” album but eh whole album features all the trademarks of the Primal Fear sound a the total dedication to pure Metal. There is also a new approach mixed with the trademark PF riffs in tracks like “Six Times Dead (16.6)”, “Soar”, “Smith & Wesson” as well as the epic stories, consummate musicianship, courage and fantastic melodies in songs like “Black Rain”, “No Smoke Without Fire”, “Torn” and the stylistically new ballad “Hands Of Time” with four band members all sharing the lead-vocals.

“Our target was to write and produce the most diverse and interesting album in the history of Primal Fear and combine our past with the future” says Mat Sinner. ”The result went truly beyond our expectations and it will be a huge challenge to play these new songs on stage! The entire band is very proud of 16.6 and we hope all our old and even new fans will be totally satisfied!”

pf_band2009

Some of the feedback gathered from the press after the listening session include:

“Primal Fear top themselves one more time again with their unique mix out of traditional Metal sounds and modern melodic power metal. How can do they that again and again?” Andreas Schöwe (Metal Hammer Germany)

“Primal Fear manages to take at least one step forward, one backward and still stand for what Primal Fear always has been standing for – pure metal.” David Bergström (Sweden Rock)

“First impressions: more variety without losing the Metal balls! Fresh blood and ideas combined with the Primal Fear trademarks, outstanding vocal performance by Ralf again and great guitar work by both Magnus and Henny. Some immediate live favourites, other tracks definitely need time to grow, but sound more than promising and won’t disappoint any metal fan that wants more than easy listening stuff” – Martin Römpp (Heavy! Germany)

“To date “16.6.“ is Primal Fear ‘s most diversified record; containing a spectrum from Hard Rock up to double-bass driven Power Metal Songs. But one thing is always consistent – the quality!!! – Gerald Siebenmorgen (Rock It, Germany)

“As the cover artwork shows, Primal Fear ride fiery bullets, play with demons…and fly on butterfly leaded wings. ‘16.6’ marks the evolution of groundbreaking hard rock and power metal, filled with open-minded styles. The Devil knows they’re alive!” – Filippo Pagani (Metal Hammer, Italy)

After the Primal Fear / Sinner show in Moscow on April 4th, the band will appear in Norway on April 25th at the Haugesund Festival and in some summer Festivals. More shows are being booked in South America (with Sinner) in August, USA incl. PPX and the UK in September, followed by Europe kicking off at the end of in October(with Brainstorm) plus Japan & Asia t.b.a.

More news, confirmed dates in South America and the video report of the listening session soon.

CD Scavenger Hunt – updated purchases

Here we go again! I’ve been buying a lot of CDs & DVDs so here’s what’s new……

Ebay

hammerfall-no-sacrifice-no-victory-2009Hammerfall – No Sacrifice, No Victory (2009) – $15: I’ve been a Hammerfall fan since GLORY TO THE BRAVE was released in 1997 so everytime they release a new album I have to have it right away. NO SACRIFICE, NO VICTORY has been out for a couple of weeks in Europe and Japan and I was holding out for a U.S. release but I couldn’t wait and I used BUY IT NOW to grab the European version. I bought this late last week and the U.S. release ended up being this past Tuesday…..the local shop had it on sale for $9.99…..figures!

NEH Records

great_white_-_rising_artworkGreat White – Rising (2009) – $17: Great White’s last album, BACK TO THE RHYTHM, was one of my Top Albums of 2007 and it was an awesome comeback. This is another album that came out everywhere else a week or two ago except for the U.S. (the U.S. release is sometime in April). RISING was at the top of my want list so I searched all over the Net for a decent price and NEH had the best one. I always like ordering from NEH because they are based in the U.S. and always have a solid selection and great shipping rates.

jeff-scott-soto-beautiful-messJeff Scott Soto – Beautiful Mess (2009) – $17: Had to have the new Jeff Scott Soto album as well and I had to wait a couple months. JSS went with an initial release campaign for a digital download of the complete album. I just can’t bring myself to download anything so I decided to wait until the actual CD was released. It took a couple of months but JSS released the album on CD and then it took me a couple of weeks to get around to ordering it. I’ve always been a JSS fan since his days with Yngwie Malmsteen but his solo works are more melodic and soulful rather than Metal. After seeing him successfully front Journey a couple of summers ago, I will always support anything he releases.

tall-stories-skyscraperTall Stories – Skyscraper (2009) – $17: Continuing the theme of former Journey frontmen releasing new albums, Steve Augeri got the unreleased Tall Stories album, SKYSCRAPER, out and in the hands of fans. SKYSCRAPER was worked on from 1993 to 1995 but the band dissolved and Augeri went on to Tyketto and then Journey. I had the first Tall Stories album when it came out back in 1991 and it’s solid Melodic ock and I expect that this new record is more of the same.

CD Baby

badmouth-debut-albumBadmouth – s/t (2008) – $10: I’ve had this album on my radar since it came out in September but I’ve never been able to find a decent price. I was going to order it from NEH Records with the rest of my order but the price was $18.99! I checked Ebay but there was nothing available so I moved over to Badmouth’s website and I saw that it was $10 buying direct from the band! Clicked the link…..went to CD Baby and it’s all done.

dirty-penny-take-it-sleazyDirty Penny – Take It Sleezy (2007) – $12: Now I just couldn’t order one CD from CD Baby so I went through my account’s wish list and one of the last CDs I put on there was Dirty Penny’s first disc. I never got around to picking this up a couple of years ago and I have read some great reviews online so this one was a no brainer. What made it even sweeter was that the price was the best I’ve seen. I’ve read that Dirty Penny is like a cross between Dokken and early Motley Crue, I love both those bands so I hope that’s true.

ravage-freedom-fighterRavage – Freedom Fighter (2008) – $7: I’ve been checking out a lot of local bands and Ravage is from my backyard (Massachusetts). I’ve been compiling a list of local New England bands and Ravage was on the list but I forgot all about them until I received an email from Metal Blade that they signed Ravage for their new record. A quick check and $7 later and this 6 song E.P. was on the order.

 

Not everything can be an online purchase because I’m a record store guy and I still like to go through all the racks. I went down to my local Newbury Comics to pick up a few new releases from last week and this week but I didn’t get to the store until Noon…..usually I’m there right when the doors open because there is only a limited amount of certain new releases…..

Newbury Comics

wolf-ravenousWolf – Ravenous (2009) – $12: This was first on the list because I knew there would only be 1 or 2 copies in the store. Nothing in the new release rack, nothing under “Wolf” so it was off to the front counter. Good news was that the Metal guy was working and he had the second (and last) copy of the CD behind the counter. Turns out they sold the first one as soon as they opened and they hadn’t had a chance to get the other copy on the front rack. From what the Metal guy told me, it’s an excellent album, he bought his own copy…..so they really had three!

mastodon-crack-the-skye-2009Mastodon – Crack The Skye (2009) – $10: CRACK THE SKYE has got to be one of the most anticipated Metal albums of the year especially after Mastodon’s previous album from 2006 BLOOD MOUNTAIN. That record was a grower for me but I started to come around and check out the rest of Mastodon’s albums and I’m really high on the band. I started receiving press releases on CRACK THE SKYE two months ago so I knew that there was a limited edition package with a bonus DVD but I went with the regular CD. I have to really love a band to spend an extra $5 for a a special edition with a DVD that’s just about making the record.

cruefest-2008Motley Crue – Crue Fest 1 DVD (2009) – $19: I wasn’t going to pick this DVD up because I knew there would be plenty of copies around but because the store didn’t have Saga – Live In Munich (2 CD/2 DVD) limited edition I decided to pick this one up as a consolation prize. I didn’t go to Crue Fest 1 last summer because I thought the lineup sucked aside from Motley Crue and Buckcherry and I really didn’t want a DVD with performances by Trapt, Sixx AM, and especially Papa Roach. the good news is that there is a full Crue perofrmance, a documentary about the tour, 6 Crue videos, and only a few tunes from the other four bands. I can live with that! I also just saw Motley Crue a couple weeks ago so I figured the performance had to be a good one on the DVD.

The quest continues because I was shut out of two items on my hunt: Rob Halford – Resurrection re-release and Saga – Live In Munich (2 CD/2 DVD) limited edition. The Halford reissue has four new tunes on it and was advertised a week ago for $13 but they were sold out. The Saga limited edition set is the last performance of the band with original singer Michael Sadler and was advertised this week for $25 while both the double CD and double DVD versions were both priced at $17 separately. If I’m going to buy the set then I might as well get both formats in one package for the lower price. I’ll be getting that one this weekend…..if they have it in stock!

Derek Sherinian – Molecular Heinosity (2009)

derek-sherinian-molecular-heinosity

Derek Sherinian – Molecular Heinosity (2009, Inside Out/SPV)

  1. Antarctica
  2. Ascension
  3. Primal Eleven
  4. Wings Of Insanity
  5. Frozen By Fire
  6. The Lone Spaniard
  7. Molecular Intro
  8. Molecular Heinosity
  9. So Far Gone

Musicians:
Derek Sherinian- Keyboards
Zakk Wylde – Vocals, Guitar
Tony Franklin- Fretless Bass
Jimmy Johnson – Bass
Virgil Donati- Drums
Brian Tichy- Drums, Guitar
Rob Mules- Bass
Tina Guo- Cello
Taka Minamono- Guitar
Brett Garsed- Guitar

Producer: Derek Sherinian

Total Time = 39:48

Derek Sherinian
Derek Sherinian MySpace page
Inside Out
SPV Germany
SPV USA

Derek Sherinian should be no stranger to fans in the Metal world being a part of Progressive Metal legends Dream Theater from 1995 through 1998. Sherinian has also worked with many other high profile artists including KISS, Alice Cooper, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Billy Idol, as well as, carving his own solo career and being involved in superstar projects Planet X and Platypus. MOLECULAR HEINOSITY is the fifth solo album from Sherinian, and an all-star band of musicians including Zakk Wylde and Tony Franklin, and it is another spectacular album to hear.

The music on MOLECULAR HEINOSITY is a mix of Rock, Progressive Metal, Jazz and Fusion all mixed together to create an auditory soundscape for the listener to travel through. On previous albums, the music tended to be more along the lines of Jazz but the songs on this album have a more Metal bite to them and that is what really got me into it. It sounds heavy! The album is completely instrumental except for the final track, ‘So Far Gone’, that features Zakk Wylde on lead vocals. I’ve never been a fan of Zakk’s Ozzy-like vocal style so I think ‘So Far Gone’ is the weakest track on the record, I would have preferred it stay an instrumental, but it’s still very heavy in a Black Label kind of way. The first 8 songs are where the prime music is with Sherinian weaving his bombastic keyboard style in and out of the perfect performances by his all-star cast. You play this album and the whole thing sounds like one complete piece of music like a symphony. That’s how I like instrumental albums (and I have a ton of them), the music should be so good that it sounds effortless and takes your mind on a journey…..that’s what MOLECULAR HEINOSITY does.

Bottom Line:
If you like Progressive Rock/Metal, then you should really like this record. If you have heard what Derek Sherinian has done in Dream Theater and in his solo career, then you should like this record. If you’re a fan of Zakk Wyldem then you should like this album for it’s meaty guitar. I like this album because it sounds so good, it takes my mind to another place, and I am disappointed when it’s over…..that’s the mark of a good album!

Favorite Songs:
I like all of them except for ‘So Far Gone’ just because I’m not a fan of the vocals and I would like it better as an instrumental.

Press Release: New album from Isis – Wavering Radiant – due on May 5

isis-wavering-radiant-2009

L.A. stalwarts Isis are set to release their most cohesive and challenging work yet with Wavering Radiant, due out May 5th on Ipecac Recordings.

Having been on the forefront of the progressive metal scene for over a decade now, the five-piece have managed to pump out landmark records like a well-oiled machine, each one more unique and daring then the last. Routinely changing the genre’s landscape, the group produced destructive, incendiary riffs on their debut, explored the sprawling, vast unknown via 2004’s Oceanic and discordant, rhythmic textures on The Absence of Truth. Enter: Wavering Radiant. Their first full length in over two years, it marks yet another push towards the unexplored; solidifying a career in adaptation and transformation. Acting as the culmination of twelve years spent unleashing backbreaking riff-age and sonic explorations of light & dark, Radiant sees the colossal five-some moving beyond the visible spectrum of rock and the realm of the uninspired. Blissfully melodic, frighteningly dense; the album is an epic conflict between worlds of beauty and the darkest of demons.

Epic in nature, grandiose in scale, on May 5th Isis will unleash both their most demanding and accessible album yet. A monster of epic proportions, it’s seven tracks clock in at a total of 54 minutes. The shortest number (also the album’s namesake) stays under two minutes, while it’s longest reaches 11 minutes. Less tracks then they are portions, they are better described as subsections to one massive piece. After just one listen, it’s clear that Radiant is the sum of years of experimentation, varying influences and the organic infusion of their multiple personalities (band members are featured in a slew of successful side-projects).

isis_promo1

Also featuring a guest appearance from Adam Jones of Tool fame on two tracks, their latest Ipecac release finds the group displaying an unparalleled sense of maturity and a mastery of their instruments, officially making them grizzled vets of a genre fated to be at their mercy for years to come.

Tracklist for Isis Wavering Radiant [May 5th, Ipecac Recordings]:

1.  Hall Of The Dead
2.  Ghost Key
3.  Hand Of The Host
4.  Wavering Radiant
5.  Stone To Wake A Serpent
6.  20 Minutes / 40 Years
7.  Threshold Of Transformation

For More Information:
www.isistheband.com/
www.myspace.com/sgnl05

Press Release: Chickenfoot (featuring Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith) to release debut album on

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

JOE SATRIANI, CHAD SMITH, MICHAEL ANTHONY, SAMMY HAGAR JOIN FORCES FOR MUCH ANTICIPATED NEW ROCK GROUP ‘CHICKENFOOT’

 SELF-TITLED ALBUM TO BE RELEASED JUNE 2009

chickenfoot-2009a

(LOS ANGELES, CA…MARCH 26, 2009) – Four of rock music’s most successful and influential musicians are combining their talents to create the much anticipated rock group Chickenfoot.  Guitar hero Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and frontman Sammy Hagar’s new project has found the four working side-by-side for the last few months  recording their self-titled debut album, Chickenfoot, which will be released in June, 2009.  The band will grace the cover of an upcoming issue of Guitar World magazine on stands in April.

Long before these four rock icons came together to form Chickenfoot, they already had filled the pages of rock history with enough individual mind-blowing chapters to boggle the mind of any fan or musician alike.  Satriani had his own blazing solo career as a much respected guitar virtuoso; Chad Smith is the drummer of world renowned rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers; and Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar have been working together since their days as lead bassist and singer, respectively, in Van Halen.  These talented individuals were aching to work together in a band that produced rock like they never have before.

“After just a few songs, it became stunningly obvious that we shared a musical agenda and an overall agenda,” says Satriani.  “When I play with Chickenfoot, I find myself wanting to give them more all the time.  I don’t hold anything back.  I think the rest of the guys feel the same way.”

“I really wasn’t looking to have a real band,” says Hagar.  “But…the minute we started jamming it was obvious that this is something that needs to be heard.”

The news that they had pooled their inordinate talents to one collective whole quickly spread like wildfire across the internet and rock metal pages over the last year as each member slowly disclosed more and more details about the mystery project. 

The self-titled debut is an 11-track hard rock album that sets a new standard for rock music in the new millennium.  Produced by Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones) and mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica), the band is not lacking energy or enthusiasm in this project. 

Joe Bosso of Guitar World says, “Clearly enthusiasm is no problem in the land of Chickenfoot…the finished album is an 11-song slab of raging rock…the songs stomp and snort and do all the things that great rock songs should do.”

From the thunderous, ominous opening strains of “Avenida Revolution” (detailing the bloody drug wards in Tijuana) to the album closer, the shimmering rock ballad “Future’s in the Past,” Chickenfoot is a firebomb of a record.  The band kicks and snorts their way through a passel of take-no-prisoners rock tracks like “Soap on a Rope,” “Sexy Little Thing,” “Oh Yeah” and “My Kind of Girl” – “the kinds of songs I could never do on my own,” says Satriani, “I needed a band like this to make those songs come alive.”  The band also explores mature themes on such songs as “Runnin’ Out,” about a world stretched to the breaking point to “Learning to Fall,” perhaps the most poignant love song Hagar has ever written.

chickenfoot-debut-album

Full Chickenfoot Track Listing:

1.        Avenida Revolution

2.       Soap on a Rope

3.       Sexy Little Thing

4.       Oh Yeah

5.       Runnin’ Out

6.       Get It Up

7.       Down the Drain

8.       My Kinda Girl

9.       Learning to Fall

10    Turnin’ Left

1F    Future in the Past

For more information about Chickenfoot and the upcoming self-titled debut album Chickenfoot, please visit www.chickenfoot.us or MySpace at www.myspace.com/thechickenfoot

New album from Raven – Walk Through Fire due March 25

From Raven:

raven-walk-through-fire

NWOBHM act Raven’s new album WALK THROUGH FIRE will be released in Japan on King Records on March 25th – the tracklisting is as follows: ‘Intro’, ‘Against The Grain’, ‘Breaking You Down’, ‘Under Your Radar’, ‘Walk Through Fire’, ‘Bulldozer’, ‘Long Day’s Journey’, ‘Trainwreck’, ‘Grip’, ‘Running Around In Circles’, ‘Hard Road’, ‘Armageddon’, ‘Attitude’, ‘Necessary Evil’ (Japan only), ‘Space Station #5′ (MONTROSE cover).

Girlschool – Legacy (2008)

girlschool-legacy

Girlschool – Legacy (2008, Wacken Records)

  1. Everything’s The Same
  2. From The Other Side
  3. I Spy
  4. Spend Spend Spend
  5. Whole New World
  6. Just Another Day
  7. Legend
  8. Still Waters
  9. Metropolis
  10. Don’t Mess Around
  11. Zeitgeist
  12. Don’t Talk To Me
  13. I Spy (Dio/Iommi mix)*
  14. London*
  15. Emergency*

*U.S. bonus tracks

girlschool_04_013b

Band Lineup:
Kim McAuliffe – Rhythm Guitar & Vocals
Enid Williams – Bass & Vocals
Denise Dufort – Drums
Jackie Chambers – Lead Guitar

Additional Musicians:
Kelly Johnson (R.I.P.) – featured on ‘Everything’s The Same’
JJ French – guitar solo on ‘Spend Spend Spend’
Neil Murray – bass on ‘Whole New World’ and ‘Legend’
Phil Campbell – guitar solos on ‘Whole New World and ‘Just Another Day’
Fast Eddie Clarke – guitar solo on ‘Metropolis’
Eddie Ojeda – guitar solo on ‘Don’t Mess Around’
Lemmy Kilmister – bass, vocals, triangle on ‘Don’t Talk To Me’
Ronnie James Dio – vocals on ‘I Spy’ (Dio/Iommi mix)
Tony Iommi – guitars on ‘I Spy’ (Dio/Iommi mix)

Total Time = 50:46

Girlschool
Girlschool MySpace
Wacken Records

Girlschool is back to celebrate their 30th anniversary with a new record, LEGACY, and it is dedicated to their late guitarist Kelly Johnson (R.I.P.) who succumbed to cancer in July 2007. Most bands wouldn’t have the fire after a founding member passes away but 3/4 of the original lineup is intact and Jackie Chambers has been in the band since 2000 so Girlschool is still a high octane Rock ‘N Roll machine. Adding to the celebration, the band has invited a bunch of friends to play on the record, we get performances from Lemmy, Phil Campbell, JJ French, Eddie Ojeda, ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, Neil Murray, Tony Iommi, and Ronnie James Dio.

Opening track ‘Everything’s The Same’ features the last performance of Kelly Johnson and the song recalls the early days of Girlschool with their Punk/Metal hybrid akin to Lemmy’s Motorhead. Same thing goes for ‘From The Other Side’, it’s a brash guitar rocker that reminds me of the band’s NWOBHM roots and Punk attitude. The gem of the album is the doom-laden Black Sabbath style ‘I Spy’ which comes in two versions: the Girlschool mix (track 3) and the Dio/Iommi mix (track 13) that is tacked on as one of the bonus tracks. Both versions are similar with the exception of Dio taking over the lead vocals and Iommi handling the lead guitar. RJD is one of the premier Metal vocalists and he continues to have a msterful command of how to present a song. The Dio/Iommi mix is much better than the Girlschool version due to the obvious Sabbath style.

‘Spend Spend Spend’ is a very catchy melodic tune but it doesn’t really sound like the original Girlschool sound (but I like it) and ‘Whole New World’ sounds pretty basic with it’s spoken word style. JJ French (Twisted Sister) makes an appearance on ‘Spend’ and Neil Murray (ex-Whitesnake) and Phil Campbell (Motorhead) lend their talents to ‘Whole New World’, I especially like the main guitar riff. Phil Campbell guests again on ‘Just Another Day’ and the song goes back to the Metal/Punk style that the women are known for while Neil Murray strikes again on guest bass on the melodic tribute to Kelly Johnson, ‘Legend’. There’s a diversity to the band’s sound as they are changing from being brash to melodic and sometimes it just doesn’t work. ‘Legend’ is a good example because the band sounds like they’re holding back the power to be more melodic.

‘Still Waters’ is harder tune but with an overly repetitive chorus but impressive drum sound, not the best song but a step in the right direction. ‘Metropolis’ is obviously a cover of the Motorhead classic, complete with axework from ‘Fast’ Eddie Clarke, and it’s pretty good but unnecessary, let’s have another original. I like the faster ‘Don’t Mess Around’ (featuring Eddie Ojeda for the guitar solo) and the machine like pounding of ‘Zietgeist’ but the obvious connection is the Motorhead inspired ‘Don’t Talk To Me’ complete with Mr. Kilmister on vocals and bass. This is how I like to hear Girlschool sound: no holds barred, frantic, and powerful…..just like Motorhead, just like the old days.

As I mentioned earlier, there are some bonus tracks included on LEGACY. First is the Dio/Iommi mix of ‘I Spy’ that sounds like a long lost b-side from the DEHUMANIZER sessions. Second is a remake of ‘London’, a song that can be found on the full-length album 21st ANNIVERSARY – NOT THAT INNOCENT (2001)the third bonus is a remake of the classic ‘Emergency’ from the band’s 1980 debut DEMOLITION.

Bottom Line:
I have to give credit to Girlschool for coming out with a new album for their 30 year milestone, they could have easily put out a live record or another hits package or even a live DVD, but they didn’t and they created an album that has a lot going for it but also a lot you’ve heard before. Overall the sound is pretty good, especially Kim McAuliffe’s vocals and the backing tracks…..the guitars are good too but after a while you just keep hearing the same riff. There are a lot of guest stars helping out, especially on guitar and bass, and it makes me wonder if it was out of need or a gimmick. The overall record is better for it but I think the women of Girlschool can do it well without the outside musicians. Girlschool is at their best when they are in your face like their male counterparts Motorhead, I’m not used to the melodic side of the band but they do it well. Overall I’d say this is an album worth getting but it’s a grower…..after weeks of spins I enjoy it a lot more.

Favorite Songs:
‘Everything’s The Same’, ‘I Spy’ (both versions but the Dio one is better), ‘Spend, Spend, Spend’, ‘Don’t Mess Around’, ‘Don’t Talk To Me’

J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2007)

J.C. Cinel – Before My Eyes (2007, Black Widow Records)

  1. Ships In The Wind
  2. Feel The Moment
  3. Sweet Dream
  4. Out In The Frontline
  5. Dear Old Friend
  6. Intro Brush
  7. Brush My Cymbals
  8. Before My Eyes
  9. What I See
  10. Voices From Nowhere
  11. Alone In The Dark
  12. Taking Chances

Main Musician: J.C. Cinel

Total Time = 48:50

J.C. Cinel official website
J.C. Cinel MySpace page
Black Widow Records

I first heard of J.C. Cinel from his Progressive rock band Wicked Minds but BEFORE MY EYES is the Italian singer/songwriter’s latest solo album. What is immeadiately obvious is that Cinel is very influenced by ’70s Rock, specifically Southern Rock, Rock, AOR, Soft Rock and Prog. Take J.C. and transport him back in time and his music would compete with the likes of The Eagles, Aerosmith, Bad Company, Steve Miller and Tom Petty.

‘Ships In the Wind’ starts the album off on an acoustic note complete with harmonica but it sounds very Lite Rock. There is a nice slide guitar added in to add some depth and some cool harmonies but it sounds like Crosby, Stills, & Nash. Things pick up with more of a Rock pace with the Steve Miller/Skynyrd styled ‘Feel The Moment’ that features some familiar sounding guitar riffs but it’s back to the acoustic basics for ‘Sweet Dream’. ‘Out In The Frontline’ is a little more uptempo and you can hear that specific southern twang to the electric guitars, more country on this song but the harmonies are really great. ‘Dear Old Friend’ is another slower acoustic based ’70s Lite Rock/Country style song and the album is starting to get a little predictable…..the music is very well done but there’s no diversity in different styles. So far I prefer the uptempo rock tunes to the acoustic AOR/Soft Rock style but the music is played very well.

I like the cool playing on ‘Brush My Eyes’ that moves from calm acoustic/harp to more electric guitar sounds and bigger vocals and the title track moves in with solid vocals. ‘What I See’ has a Skynyrd electric guitar style over the acoustics and ‘Voices From Nowhere’ moves Cinel back into that ’70s singer/songwriter, Westcoast AOR, Lite Rock radio arena. ‘Alone In The Dark’ has a little more rock to it but the keyboards are pushed way to back, I think they could support the song more if they were a little more up front in the mix. Last song is ‘Taking Chances’ and JC Cinel doesn’t really do that because we get yet another lite acoustic song.

Bottom Line:
If you like lite ’70s AOR/Rock with a touch of Southern Rock then BEFORE MY EYES is definitely in your future. The music is very well played and I really like the acoustic guitars and melodic harmonies but that’s all this album is about. I was hoping for a few real rockers mixed in but the ones that are there are still kind of on the lighter side for my tastes. It’s a good solid album but just not my style, if things got a little harder I’d be on board a little more than I am. There is enough good music here to make me check out a little more of J.C. Cinel’s solo output in the future, I just hope it’s not as light.

Favorite Songs:
‘Feel the Moment’, ‘Out In The Frontline’

The Cotton Soeterboek Band – Twisted (2008)

cotton_soeterboek_band_-_2008_-_twisted

The Cotton Soeterboek Band – Twisted (2008, Caf Fine Records)

  1. Set Me Free
  2. Pretty Maureen
  3. Twisted
  4. Colorado
  5. Leave Me Blue
  6. Little Sister
  7. Gold And Gray
  8. Still Of The Night
  9. The Game

Band Lineup:
Robert Soeterboek – Vocals
Alan Cotton – Guitars
Reynold “Butch” Carlson – Drums
Mike Davis – Bass
Joost van den Broek – Keyboards

Producers: Robert Selvaggio & The Cotton Soeterboek Band

Total Time = 31:10

Country: USA

The Cotton Soeterboek Band
The Cotton Soeterboek Band on MySpace

The Cotton Soeterboek Band is basically an all-star cast with the band members seeing time in bands like Maestro Alex Gregory, Star One, Ayreon, Rob Halford Band, After Forever and Driver. With such a diverse set of styles from the members’ previous bands. I really wasn’t sure what to make of TWISTED. If you take a look at the album cover it really doesn’t look like a Hard Rock or Heavy Metal release, I thought it looked like more of a Folk Rock type thing. You should never judge a CD by it’s cover because you can get surprised and I was! The Cotton Soeterboek Band is all about ’70s style Hard Rock, Blues, and Southern Rock all rolled together to give it that overall Classic Rock sound. Add the groovy rhythm section to the Blues based guitar of Alan Cotton, add Joost van den Broek’s keys/organ and the deep melodic vocals of Robert Soeterboek and you get a cool ’70s combination of early Deep Purple, Whitesnake, Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Opening track ‘Set Me Free’ sounds almost like Deep Purple combined with Bad Company Hard Rock with it’s thick guitar/organ riffs and deep soulful vocals from Soeterboek while ‘Pretty Maureen’ is a little more hook oriented and sounds like an early David Coverdale on the vocals. What I immeadiately hear from the first two tracks is that this is a really tight band of solid musicians and the interplay between the guitar and the keyboards set the tone for the entire album. The title track slows down and is extremely bluesy and I can’t stop hearing a little Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughn in the music, ‘Twisted’ sounds so familiar like I’ve heard it before on all the local classic rock radio stations. ‘Colorado’ keeps the blues base but is much more melodic with a cool soulful Coverdale delivery complete with vocal harmonies and a slow hand guitar. The keys add a depth to the song rather than trying to compete with the guitar it all sounds so natural, ‘Colorado’ is my favorite from the album.

‘Leave Me Blue’ is a cool Skynyrd/Allmans style ballad that shows off the band’s Southern side while ‘Little Sister’ picks up the Hard Rock groove like early Whitesnake. The power in ‘Little Sister’ is in the chorus where the vocal harmonies, guitar and keys all combine to hit you with a wall of sound. By the time the upbeat ‘Gold And Gray’ hits the speakers, I’ve already decided that Soeterboek really does sound like David Coverdale at his deepest. ‘Gold And Gray’ could be the twin song to ‘Colorado’ with it’s upbeat melody and tempo but it also has that Southern Rock vibe to it and you can hear the Lynyrd Skynyrd influence. More Hard Blues Rock hits with ‘Still Of The Night’ and incorporates regular piano in with the music kind of like the Allmans and Skynyrd do, the piano solo is smooth. Ending song ‘The Game’ is more of the Blues based hard Rock that started the album off and ends the album on a high note. The only drawback to TWISTED is that it’s such a short record clocking it at just over 31 minutes. The music was so good throughout the entire album that I was looking for a little more.

Bottom Line:
I’ve had the album for a long time and it’s sat in the growing pile of CDs on my desk getting lost in the shuffle. I should have played this disc as soon as I got it because it is a really awesome album that reminds me of all the great bands that I hear on the radio everyday…..it’s like a modern time capsule of the best of ’70s Rock. I really enjoyed it and I wish I could go back to this past December and pull out an album from my Top 30 so I could slot this one in. Definitely a band to keep an eye on in the future and definitely an album worth seeking out.

Favorite Songs:
‘Colorado’, ‘Gold And Gray’, ‘Set Me Free’, ‘Leave Me Blue’