Judas Priest to play entire British Steel album on U.S. Summer 2009 Tour with Whitesnake

From Bravewords:

Judas Priest have posted the following message:

“To celebrate the 30th anniversary of our album BRITISH STEEL, we are very pleased to announced we will be performing the whole album in its entirety during our US 2009 Summer Tour, plus some other Priest classics!!!”

judas-priest-british-steel-1980

As previously reported, Whitesnake have just been added to to Priest’s upcoming North American tour. The band will play select dates on the tour. More information to follow.

Judas Priest’s itinerary is as follows:

July
1 – The Family Arena – St. Charles, MO
2 – Summerfest, Harley Davidson Stage – Milwaukee, WI
3 – Taste Of Minnesota at Harriet Island – St. Paul, MN
9 – Molson Amphitheatre – Toronto, ON
11 – PNC Banks Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ
12 – Nikon At Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
17 – Moondance Jam 18 – Walker, MN
18 – Rockfest/Chippewa Valley Music – Cadott, WI

August
2 – Gibson Amphitheatre – Universal City, CA

Paul Stanley – One Live KISS DVD (2008)

paul-stanley-one-live-kiss-dvd

Paul Stanley – One Live KISS DVD (2008, Universal/New Door)

Filmed live at the House Of Blues in Chicago, IL on 11/6/2006.

  1. Prologue
  2. Live To Win
  3. Hide Your Heart
  4. A Million To One
  5. Got To Choose
  6. Move On
  7. Bulletproof
  8. Tonight You Belong To Me
  9. Lick It Up
  10. Wouldn’t You Like To Know Me?
  11. Magic Touch
  12. I Still Love You
  13. Strutter
  14. Everytime I See You Around
  15. Do You Love Me
  16. I Want You
  17. Love Gun
  18. Lift
  19. Detroit Rock City
  20. Goodbye
  21. End credits montage – Where Angels Dare/Live To Win

(Region 1, NTSC, Total Running Time = approx 110 mins)

KISSonline
Paul Stanley
KISSFAQ

My favorite band is KISS so when one of the members has a solo or side project it’s the next best thing. I was a big fan of Paul Stanley’s 2006 solo album LIVE TO WIN, especially since KISS hasn’t released any new studio recordings since 1998 but also because I have always believed that Paul is the musical heart and soul of the band. Call him the frontman, the Starchild, call him Gene’s partner but I have always maintained that without Paul Stanley as a creative driving force, KISS in the ’80s would not exist. On to the DVD…..

ONE LIVE KISS is a full concert performance from Paul and his solo band (the band that played on the TV show Rock Star) at the House Of Blues in Chicago on 11/6/2006. Unfortunately I missed the tour that year because it didn’t stop in New England, the closest it came was New York City but having a live DVD does help. The performance is your basic KISS concert without all the gimmicks, fireworks, and structured setting. As Paul himself would say, it a show that “let’s the music do the talking”. The Rock Star band is tight and play extremely well and Paul’s voice sounds particularly good…..he sounded strained on the last U.S. KISS tour (Rock The Nation 2004). What sets this show apart from the typical KISS concert is the variety of the setlist:

  • There are 4 new songs from LIVE TO WIN (a standard if you want to promote a new record)
  • There are 4 songs from the Paul Stanley solo album from 1978, some of which have never been played by KISS (‘Move On’ on the DYNASTY tour) or were played on Paul’s 1988 solo tour)
  • There are 4 KISS rarities that the band would never perform if they toured (‘Hide Your Heart’, ‘A Million To One’, ‘Magic Touch’, ‘I Still Love You’)

Out of the 18 song set, 12 tracks are songs that are basically newcomers to the live arena. When was the last time you heard KISS do a song from one of the ’78 solo albums? Or ‘A Million To One’? Or ‘Magic Touch’? These were the highlights among KISS standards Paul has to do (‘Love Gun’, ‘Detroit Rock City’, etc.) and they sound like they have been played live for years. It’s a basic performance full of music and energy.

Bottom Line:
If you want to see a good concert DVD that is all about the music then you could do a lot worse than ONE LIVE KISS. Paul Stanley and his band sound great and the song selection has something for everyone from the KISS diehards to the casual fans to the fans of Paul’s solo work. There aren’t any bonuses, gimmicks or tricks, it’s all about the music. After watching this DVD I realized something that KISS fans the world over have known for years: Gene Simmons may be the guiding force on the business end but Paul Stanley is the talent on the creative end.

Bob Lefsetz vs. Gene Simmons at Canadian Music Week 2009

Lawyer/music critic Bob Lefsetz and KISS legend Gene Simmons engage in a heated debate at CMW 2009. Great video!

Use this link if the video doesn’t show up — http://site.citynews.ca:80/video/?bcpid=1640183522&bclid=1896836079&bctid=16513340001

Motley Crue in concert at Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT) – 3/13/09

It’s Friday the 13th and Motley Crue is playing the Mohegan Sun Arena at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut and I’ve got tickets! Took the night off work, met a couple of my buddies and we went to the casino. After a nice dinner at one of the casino’s buffets, we headed into the arena. There was a band playing when we got in around 7pm and I have no idea who they were, by the time I bought a Crue t-shirt and we got a beer, the opening band was gone! We took our seats in the upper arena on the exact side of the stage (the Nikki Sixx side) and waited patiently for some kick ass Hard Rock.

Up first was Theory Of A Deadman. I’ve heard of the band but never any of the music, I don’t usually go for those Hot Topic styled bands that all the kiddies like. I went in with an open mind and, after a 30 minute set, I decided that Theory Of A Deadman suck. Second band on was Hinder…..another band I have heard of before but never heard any of their music. After an hour set, I was impressed. The songs had hooks for miles and a very melodic base, I almost could compare them to a more ’80s styled Buckcherry. Hinder made such an impression that I went online and sampled some of their music when I finally got home but I was there for only one reason…..Motley Crue!

Motley Crue setlist:

Kickstart My Heart
Wild Side
Shout At The Devil
Saints Of Los Angeles (with the singers from the opening acts)
Live Wire (with guitar solo intro from Mick Mars)
Too Fast For Love/On With the Show
Mutherfucker Of The Year (with an intro from Tommy Lee)
Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away)
Same Ol’ Situation
White Trash Circus
White Trash Circus (2nd performance for Jimmy Kimmel Live)
Primal Scream (with a quick bass intro from Nikki Sixx)
Looks that Kill
Girls, Girls, Girls
Dr. Feelgood

ENCORE:
Home Sweet Home

Basically your standard Motley Crue setlist with a couple of new numbers from SAINTS OF LOS ANGELES (2008). I knew about ‘Saints Of Los Angeles’ & ‘Mutherfucker Of The Year’ but ‘White Trash Circus’ was definitely a surprise, especially getting it twice. The band announced that they were taping the song for Jimmy Kimmel Live so they gave us two performances of the new single. If you’ve seen the Crue in concert before then you’ve heard all the hits before, not much of a surprise. What I liked was hearing the two songs from TOO FAST FOR LOVE, especially ‘Too Fast For Love’ with a quick ending of ‘On With The Show’…..what I would have given to hear ‘Starry Eyes’ or ‘Public Enemy #1′ but I’ll take it. Another couple of highlights for me were ‘Primal Scream’, ‘Same Ol’ Situation’ and ‘Looks That Kill’. Missing from the set were ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Louder Than Hell’, thankfully we didn’t have to put up with ‘Anarchy In The UK’ either, but the new songs fit in well in their place. I thought ending with ‘Home Sweet Home’ was kind of a “downer” even though it’s a great ballad…..I just kind of expected one more rocker to end the set.

The overall performance was really good: Tommy still hits the skins hard, Nikki pounds the bass, and Vince actually sang most of the words this time! He was in fine voice at this show but the performance of the night had to go to Mick Mars. I’ve never thought of Mick Mars as an influential guitar player and he’s never been one of my personal favorites but seeing this shrunken, almost cripple, skeleton of a man just wail all over the stage was what made the show so much fun. He was shredding, soloing, and keeping true to all of the classic riffs. From my vantage point, he seemed to be enjoying every moment on stage with the crowd. I’ve seen every tour that the Crue has done since the ’87/’88 GIRLS Tour (except for last summer’s Cruefest) and I think this was one of the better shows I’ve seen by the band. The only drawback was that they had 3 opening acts, I would have preferred 3 more Crue songs in the setlist. After the show in the casino, I was talking with some people that were involved with the tour production and I’ve heard that the setlist that they played tonight is going to be the set they play on Cruefest 2 this summer.

Press Release: Heaven & Hell – The Devil You Know (2009) artwork, tracklisting, release dates announced

From Rhino Records:

heaven-hell-the-devil-you-know-2009

After finishing several heralded world tours as HEAVEN & HELL last summer, BLACK SABBATH legends Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice were tighter than ever before, both musically and personally. Agreeing that it would be a shame to stop making music together at tour’s end, the quartet began writing, first in England at Iommi’s home studio and later in Los Angeles at Dio’s studio. “The band had gotten too good to just walk away,” Dio says. “We wanted to show people that we were still capable of giving them new music that measured up to what we’d done in the past.”

With that goal in mind, the band once again converged on Rockfield Studios in Wales last winter, the same place they used 17 years earlier to record their last album, Dehumanizer. The result is the long awaited new album The Devil You Know, featuring ten soon-to-be-classic tracks from the Dio-fronted version of Black Sabbath. The highly anticipated set arrives on April 28 from Rhino for a suggested list price of $18.98 US (physical) and $9.99 US
(digital).

It took less than three weeks to finish the album, with most of the songs only needing a couple of takes. “It was good to play them live in the studio. It keeps you on edge,” Iommi says. “I mean, somewhere along the line we were gonna have to play them live; might as well start in the studio.” Butler adds: “We’ve learned from the past that you can kill a song doing it over and over. The first Sabbath albums were done in two or three days. Technically they weren’t great, but vibe-wise they were great. If you capture that feeling, that’s all you need.”

‘Bible Black’, the epic first single, begins with Iommi on acoustic guitar behind Dio’s plaintive wail before the rhythm shifts to a menacing stomp for the rest of this dark tale about a book of sinister scriptures. One of the first songs written for the album, Dio says it established a tone for the rest of the album. “When you start off with a blockbuster like that, it makes the rest of the album so much easier because it gives you a benchmark to measure the other songs against.”

Iommi proves he hasn’t lost the ability to inspire six-string envy, unleashing riffs like a pack of rabid hellhounds on ‘Atom And Evil’, ‘Fear’, ‘Neverwhere’, and ‘Eating The Cannibals’, a tune about doing more than biting the hand that feeds. Butler and Appice slow the pace while ramping up the intensity on ‘Follow The Tears’ and ‘Double The Pain’ and ‘Breaking Into Heaven’, the latter diverging from its glacial procession for Dio’s majestic chorus about fallen angels planning an attack on paradise.

The Devil You Know tracklisting: ‘Atom & Evil’, ‘Fear’, ‘Bible Black’, ‘Double The Pain’, ‘Rock & Roll Angel’, ‘The Turn Of The Screw’, ‘Eating The Cannibals’, ‘Follow The Tears’, ‘Neverwhere’, ‘Breaking into Heaven’.

CD Scavenger Hunt – catching up on Ebay

Ebay is one of the best places to find some good Metal albums but the marketplace has become more expensive in the last few years. There used to be a time when you could pick up albums on the cheap but the bargains aren’t as easy to come by as they used to be with tons of new sellers creating competition. I still watch Ebay closely because you can get a good deal if you are patient and know the market.

Laurence Archer - LA (1986)Laurence Archer – LA (1986, vinyl) – $40: A lot of people are going to think that $40 for a vinyl record is too much but when you consider that the original CD has gone has high as $300 at it’s peak, and the Italian bootleg CD draws between $40-$50 regularly, then this is a decent price for the original LP. I picked this record up from a reputable seller from Japan but the album hasn’t arrived yet, regular airmail can be a tricky propostition. The good news is I spent the extra $5 on the insurance so if it never comes, I get my $40 back.

stampede-hurricane-townStampede – Hurricane Town (1983/2006 reissue) – $15: In keeping with the Laurence Archer theme I also picked up Stampede’s 2nd album (their first was a live record) that is their studio debut, HURRICANE TOWN. I could have grabbed this on vinyl to get the original pressing but Rock Candy Records has done a great job of officially reissuing some great out of print records. This reissue has 4 bonus tracks from the pre-Stampede band Lautrec and a full color booklet with expanded liner noted and pictures.

ram_jam_-_portrait_of_the_artist_as_a_young_ramRam Jam – Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Ram (1978/2006 reissue) – $15: Another Rock Candy Records reissue of an album that I have been searching for. You might remember Ram Jam from their 1977 single ‘Black Betty’, a classic rock radio staple. PORTRAIT is the band’s second record and it’s usually harder to find on vinyl in good condition. This album has never been released on CD but a lot of bootlegs exist, Rock Candy worked with members of the band to reissue the album with extensive liner notes and pictures. Unfortunately there are no bonus tracks but it’s a heavy ’70s classic that’s easier to find.

deep-purple-machine-headDeep Purple – Machine Head (1972/1997 2 CD 25th Anniversary Edition)  – $10: I picked up the latest edition of Classic Rock Magazine and Deep Purple was the cover story so I decided to pull out all the Purple albums and load them into my MP3 player. I found that I was missing a couple of the older albums so I decided to start chronologically. This album came out in 1997 for MACHINE HEAD’s 25th anniversary (now it’s 37 years old!) and it’s a 2 CD set with a remixed version and a remastered version plus an extensive booklet. Deep Purple is one of those bands that gets the reissue treatment every few years but these anniversary editions seem to be the definitive reissues especially with Roger Glover and other Purple members involved in the process. The next anniversary edition on the list is

WANTED: Autograph – Buzz (2003)

WANTED

autograph-buzz

Autograph – Buzz (2003)

I was filing away my CDs and I noticed that I was missing this Autograph album. Essentially this is the comeback album for Autograph but it’s really lead singer/guitarist Steve Plunkett with a whole new band. I’ve read that it’s more of a modern sounding album instead of the classic ’80s ‘Turn Up The Radio’ style Autograph but it’s supposed to be melodic Hard Rock. Steve Plunkett was the main composer and frontman in Autograph so I figure it can’t be too far removed from the overall sound.

This was a fairly common album to find when it first came out but it seems to have become a rarity in the last 5 to 6 years, I’ve seen copies go for $40+ on Ebay and select online retailers.

Current playlist

It’s been a very long weekend and I’m up late trying to recoup after a hellish night at work. I spent the day re-organizing all my CDs but I spent more time spinning the discs than actually getting them uploaded to my database! So here’s a few albums I listened to before work and now after work…..good music relaxes the soul…..

Edguy – Tinnitus Sanctus (2009): I started out with this new record from Edguy and it is really good. Is it me or is Tobias Sammet everywhere lately? As long as he keeps putting out good material with Edguy and Avantasia, I’ll still be picking the stuff up. I found some holes in my Edguy collection so I’ll be trying to fill them ASAP.

SBS (Spicy Bits Of Scandal) – The Gambler (2009): SBS is a Heavy Metal band from Italy and they were nice enough to send their latest album along for a review. Very nice package with a DVD too, I’ve been enjoying this Traditional/Power Metal album all week. The full band name through me off (it sounds like a Glam band) but SBS is all Metal…..very good so far.

Buckcherry – Black Butterfly (2008): I have had this album since it came out but I just haven’t been able to get into it, one day I like it and the next I think it’s average. I’ve been a fan of the band since they first came out (before ‘Lit Up’ became a hit single) but I think they can be brilliant at times and dumb as stumps the other. The latest single (‘Too Drunk Too Fuck’) is good but it seems like Buckcherry always needs to have that danceable single that is blatantly explicit. It’s like they are trying too hard. Not out of the playlist yet, I need more time.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): I’m going to the show Friday at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut so I wanted to give this record some spins this week so its fresh. I know the rest of the Crue catalog by heart so SOLA gets the refresher.

Ratt – s/t (1999): I had to dig this out because Metal Mark had a Lesser Of Two Evils column with this album at Heavy Metal Time Machine, I had to give this a fresh listen to see if it was as bad as I remember. At the time, I was psyched to get new Ratt but it wasn’t as good as the Great White album that came out at the same time.

Great White – Can’t Get There From Here (1999): Awesome record! Great White toured with Poison, Ratt and LA Guns in the Summer of 1999 and a buddy and I drove the 8 hours to catch the show in the Pittsburgh area. The cool thing for me was that I knew all the new Great White tunes because I bought the Japanese import a couple weeks earlier. I saw that tour 3 times that summer……

Def Leppard – Euphoria (1999): Another great record from ’99! People slag this album because it sounds too processed (like HYSTERIA) but I thought it was a great return to the classic Def Lep sound (depending on which era you think is classic). I thought ‘Promises’ was a great single the whole record had potential but it got buried by the record company. Even the band doesn’t really recognize it. When Def Lep is live they have visuals on the big screen…..they show all the album artwork and they always skip EUPHORIA.

Snatch – If The Party Is In Your Mouth, We’re Coming (1985): Another album from Metal Mark and the Heavy Metal Time Machine! He had a post about this album and I just had to find it because the title is just so bad! I actually became obsessed with finding it and I found a copy locally for a few dollars. I set up my USB turntable and decided to break the seal with this album…..definitely not a lost gem musically but certainly a timepiece of the bottom of the ’80s barrel.

Extreme – s/t (1989)

extreme-self-titled-1989

Extreme – s/t (1989, A&M)

  1. Little Girls
  2. Wind Me Up
  3. Kid Ego
  4. Watching, Waiting
  5. Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)
  6. Teacher’s Pet
  7. Big Boys Don’t Cry
  8. Smoke Signals
  9. Flesh ‘N’ Blood
  10. Rock A Bye Bye
  11. Play With Me

Band Lineup:
Gary Cherone – Lead Vocals
Nuno Bettencourt – Guitars & Vocals
Pat Badger – Bass
Paul Geary – Drums

Producers: Extreme & Mack

Total Time = 45:07

Country: USA

Extreme
Extreme MySpace page

Parking lot parties…..friends…..girls…..beers…..these are the things I remember most when I listen to Extreme’s first album. Back in ’89 when this album first came out, I was a junior in high school working part-time and hanging out at night. We all used to get together in shopping mall parking lots and hang out, have a good time and listen to music. Extreme started to get played on local Rock radio stations because they were from Boston, MA and considered a local band for all of us to the South in Rhode Island.

‘Kid Ego’ was the band’s first radio single but it was the anthemic ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’ was our rallying cry for the Spring & Summer of 1989 amid the bottles of Schnapps and Budweiser. Back in the day we had the cassette so we could play it in the boombox so we only used to get through Side 1 (tracks 1-5). We’d drink the beers to the bluesy funky ‘Little Girls’ and hard rockin’ ‘Wind Me Up’ until we got to the footstomp of ‘Kid Ego’ that we all knew. The girls always wanted to hear the ballad ‘Watching, Waiting’, I think that was the ballad of the summer along with ‘Heaven’ by Warrant, and that was always the makeout tune. But the anthem was ‘Mutha’…..that was the song that everyone sang and jammed to, it was THE song of that summer and I remember we blasted that on the car deck as we made our way to our first day of our senior year!

‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’

After Side 1 we usually popped the tape out but back at home I would listen to the whole record. I dug ‘Teacher’s Pet’ because the band had some thick harmonies (one of Extreme’s trademarks) and some serious fretwork from Nuno. ‘Big Boys Don’t Cry’ was cool even though the lyrics were a bit lame but ‘Smoke Signals’ had that bluesy side to Nuno that really matched well with Gary’s delivery. I remember back in the day (before his ill-fated tenure in Van Halen), we all used to think that Gary Cherone sounded kind of like Sammy Hagar at his AOR best with the moves of Paul Stanley! ‘Flesh ‘N’ Blood’ was too Hagar and too Poison for me so I usually skipped it and moved on to the piano, strings and harmonies of ballad #2 ‘Rock A Bye Bye’ (another bad title). ‘Watching, Waiting’ was the better of the two ballads but you just knew by hearing both that the band would eventually hit it big with something this speed…..and they did with ‘More Than Words’ on the next record EXTREME II: PORNOGRAFFITTI (1990). The closing song ‘Play With Me’ was featured in the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and was the last single from the album and it featured some awesome guitar from Nuno making him an instant guitar god.

The only complaints I have with the album is that most of the songs have this childhood theme running through it, especially most of Side 2, and it was annoying back then because we weren’t little kids. Maybe that’s why we skipped Side 2 back in the day! The other beef is with the album cover, the guys were trying to to this “tough guy” glam thing and it wasn’t working. I know some of us looked like that but we all thought the look was awful!

Bottom Line:
This is a record packed with a lot of good memories and a lot of good music. Unfortunately it gets forgotten because the follow-up had all the big hit singles but back when this first came out it was one of the best albums out there and put the band as one of our favorite bands…..everyone liked Extreme. This album was more of the Hard Rock Extreme rather than the funkier version that would follow as their career continued and it showcased Nuno’s guitar and Gary’s vocals but the immeadiate hook was the harmonies, you just knew there was something special there. I play this album more than any other Extreme release to this day.

Favorite Songs:
‘Little Girls’, ‘Wind Me Up’, ‘Kid Ego’, ‘Mutha’, ‘Watching, Waiting’, Teacher’s Pet’

NOTE — There is a video for ‘Kid Ego’ and I was going to post it but the song is a re-worked version and sounds nothing like the version on the album. Not sure why they made a second version because the original is way better.

Sepultura – A-Lex (2009)

sepultura - a-lex (2009)

Sepultura – A-Lex (2009, SPV)

  1. A-LEX I
  2. Moloko Mesto
  3. Filthy Rot
  4. We’ve Lost You
  5. What I Do!
  6. A-LEX II
  7. The Treatment
  8. Metamorphosis
  9. Sadistic Values
  10. Forceful Behavior
  11. Conform
  12. A-LEX III
  13. The Experiment
  14. Strike
  15. Enough Said
  16. Ludwig Van
  17. A-LEX IV
  18. Paradox

Band Lineup:
Derrick Green – Vocals
Andreas Kisser – Guitars
Paulo Jr. – Bass
Jean Dollabella – Drums

Producers: Sepultura & Stanley Soares

Total Time = 54:24

Country: Brazil

Sepultura official website
Sepultura MySpace page
SPV USA
SPV Germany

I’ve never been a big Sepultura fan but I seem to have collected all of their albums over the years. I started out with the Max Cavalera years, that culminated with the groundbreaking ROOTS in 1996, but after Max left to create Soulfly I stopped paying attention to Sepultura. Sounds odd considering that I still bought AGAINST (1998), NATION (2001) and ROORBACK (2003) a few months after each was originally released. I just keep giving the band a chance but I always found myself looking for something more. The band’s last studio release, DANTE XXI (2006), was a concept album based on Dante Alighieri’s The Divine Comedy and I didn’t even bother. With every other band releasing concept albums, I decided that I didn’t need to hear another from Sepultura.

Three years later the band is without another Cavalera, Igor has flown the coop to join his brother  and forming Cavalera Conspiracy, and we are graced with another concept record titled A-LEX (a Russian expression of “no law”). The album is based on the novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess but I’m sure most people are more familiar with Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation. Taking Igor’s place on the drum kit is Jean Dolabella and he joins the core of Andreas Kisser (guitars), Paulo Jr. (bass) and Derrick Green (vocals) to put on a performance that makes you forget the Cavalera brothers left.

Most of the songs on A-LEX are very fast and to the point coming in at under 3 or 4 minutes, including four instrumentals (‘A-lex I, II, III & IV’), so you get pounded over and over with quick blasts of speed and power on tracks like ‘Moloko Mesto’, ‘What I Do’, and ‘Enough Said’. The band does mix the pace up throughout with the lumbering stomp of ‘Conform’ and slow buzzsaw of ‘Forceful Behavior’. The band mixes all of the styles they have used in the past (Thrash, Hardcore, Death and native Brazilian music) but there seems to be more of a focus on overall power and not on melody, something the band has always balanced and stayed heavy. The one surprise on the album was ‘Ludwig Van’ where the band takes the Classical score and sets it within the framework of the overall sound. I should have expected this but it’s so Yngwie and Trans-Siberian Orchestra and it just doesn’t fit Sepultura. The music is good and aggressive, especially the guitars, and Derrick Green has always done a solid job on the vocals but it all sounds too much of the same to me.

Bottom Line:
I got a little bored with A-LEX but I’m also not the biggest Sepultura fan out there. A-LEX is not a bad album, just run-of-the-mill for my tastes…..there are some good aggressive songs but it all sounds more of the same to me. The record is 18 songs and close to an hour long even with most of the tunes being 3 or 4 minutes in length, the five instrumentals may have something to do with that. I’ve read the book and seen the movie for A Clockwork Orange and I wasn’t a fan of either so that helped in making it easy for me to lose interest. The best parts of the album for me was Kisser’s guitar work and Dolabella’s fresh drum sound, outside of that I wasn’t really impressed. I’ll just file this one away in the collection and wait for the band’s next album.

Favorite Songs:
‘Conform’, ‘Meloko Mesto’, ‘What I Do’ & ‘Forceful Behavior’

In Shadows Reign – Phoenix (2008 demo)

isrlol1

In Shadows Reign – Phoenix (2008, demo)

  1. Through The Dark Labyrinth
  2. Eye For An Eye
  3. Wheel Of Time
  4. Raising The Torch Of The Empire
  5. Depredation
  6. A Shadow From The Past
  7. Phoenix

In Shadows Reign

Band Lineup:
Alexander Austad – Bass
Daniel Elisenberg – Guitars & Vocals
Stian Elisenberg – Drums
Kristoffer Gravdal – Guitars

Producers: In Shadows Reign

Country: Norway

Total Time = 42:00

In Shadows Reign MySpace page

In Shadows Reign is a new band out of Norway that plays a blend of Hardcore, Thrash, and Traditional Metal with a touch of influence from The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, specifically Iron Maiden and Metallica. The guys in the band look pretty young but their collective ability and attitude won me over right away. There is a ton of energy on PHOENIX and it’s evident by the overall attack that the band has paid specific attention to having a great dual guitar sound like Maiden and Metallica. Listen to the guitar intro to ‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’ and it screams Iron Maiden and NWOBHM, it’s really good! That opening guitar sold me immeadiately on In Shadows Reign because it gave me the feeling that these young guys have a good understanding about what came before the current Metal trends and they know how to incorporate both into their own style.

‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’ (live)

‘Eye For An Eye’ has an early Metallica influence musically and Daniel Elisenberg trades off clean and harsh vocals very well. On ‘Wheel Of Time’ there are some very melodic guitar lines to go along with the speed and heaviness and those harsh vocals. I’m not usually a fan of that vocal approach but I like Daniel’s because I can still hear the words. To me, the lyrics are just as important as the music! One of my favorites on the demo is ‘Raising The Torch Of The Empire’ because of the soft acoustic intro that makes it sound like an epic but then the band kicks into high gear with a speed Maiden riff that really gets the blood flowing and the head banging. The bass and drums are a little further up in the mix and they cane be heard a lot better, Alexander and Stian really pound away and keep things very heavy even when the pace slows.

‘Depedation’ is a fast thrashing song that reminds me a bit of Slayer mixed with the NWOBHM when it gets a little more melodic with the cleaner vocals., a very powerful song. The crown jewel of PHOENIX has to be the 11+ minute ‘A Shadow From The Past’. This song showcases every strength that In Shadows Reign possesses: a solid rhythm section, good vocals, excellent guitar and diversity in sound. Most of ‘A Shadow From The Past’ is slow/mid-tempo but the band also kicks the power into gear halfway through for a Thrash attack. I also think the best guitar solos are here, there is emotion to them, as well as my favorite drum performance from Stian. The title track ‘Phoenix’ brings the band full circle again to the heavy riffing and speed that makes up the overall In Shadows Reign sound.

Bottom Line:
PHOENIX was released in November 2008 and it’s a demo so the production is a little raw but that can be helped when the band gets signed. I think the band did a good job in capturing their sound, it’s definitely a good sounding demo, I’ve heard some real bad ones over the years. What jumps out at you when you spin this disc is the dual guitars, the different styles and the pure energy the band has, you can just tell that these guys live for Metal and enjoy playing it. In Shadows Reign is a band I am going to keep a close eye on…..

Favorite Songs:
‘Through The Dark Labyrinth’, ‘A Shadow From The Past’, ‘Raising The Torch Of The Empire’

Current playlist

I haven’t been spinning a whole lot of music lately, for some strange reason I have been getting a little bored with it all. Then I heard an old song on the radio the other day and it brought the passion back right away. So here’s what’s in my rotation right now…..

Extreme – s/t (1989): The old song I heard was ‘Mutha (Don’t Wanna Go To School Today)’ and I went and pulled the CD from the racks and its been getting a daily spin or two. Good memories attached to this album, mostly old friends from high school, etc.

Rose Tattoo – Blood Brothers (2008): This album is still in the rotation but only when I walk the dog so its getting a daily spin. I wish I could do my best of 2008 list over again because I would slot this one high.

Saxon – Into the Labyrinth (2009): So far my album of the year!

The Cotton Soeterboek Band – Twisted (2008): Like an idiot, I’ve ignored this album even though it’s been towards the top of the growing pile for months. This album is the reason why I love Rock music, it has that infectious groove to it that keeps you listening. Pure Classic Rock with a Blues base…..this is the kind of music I want to hear on the radio! It has a mid-’70s Rock sound and that’s what makes it so fresh to me. Another album I’d like to get in that best of list if I could do it all over again.

In Shadows Reign – Phoenix (2008 demo): This young Norwegian Metal band was kind enough to send me their demo via email and I have been giving this some serious listens. I really like the guitar tone, it has a NWOBHM sound to it like old Iron Maiden, Diamond Head or Tygers Of Pan Tang.

Sepultura – A-lex (2009): I keep giving this some spins and I am still up in the air on this one. Not sure if I dig it or hate it. I’ve never been a big Sepultura fan but I seem to have all their releases…..go figure. A-LEX is a long record, maybe I’m just not getting it because there is so much?

Cornerstone – Head Over Heels (2008): A real good Rock album that has been in the pile too and I’m only getting to it now.

Axiom – A Means To An End (2008): Solid Progressive Metal album that has been in the pile for awhile but I have been spinning it a lot.

Motley Crue – Saints Of Los Angeles (2008): I’m going to see the Crue next Friday (3/13) at Mohegan Sun Arena so I’ve been gearing up with old Motley but I wanted to revisit SOLA because I wasn’t too impressed when I gave it a lot of airplay over the summer. I was disappointed either so I need to give it another shot.