I finally found a storage solution for my CD collection!

It’s taken a long time but I finally found a solution to my storage/display problem for my CD collection. I have been searching for a storage solution for my collection since we moved into our house on Halloween 2006 and I have been met with dead ends. Back in our old apartment, we had high ceilings and I was able to use these beautiful wood cases from Bostonwood: a 900 CD case and two 750 CD cases. I posted updates on the state of my collection on May 9, 2007 and then again two months later on July 7, 2007.

This is the finished product — five Atlantic 448 CD cases without the doors.

cd-collection-1

The cases are only about 42-43 inches high and where the wall ends and the ceiling begins is just under 48 inches. The problem was getting cases I liked that fit the height restrictions and were economical. My wife and I found these at Best Buy on clearance for $53. Atlantic still makes them, Best Buy just doesn’t carry them anymore.

You might notice a little room at the bottom of each case. I did that for CDs I’m going to file in the near future. Nothing is worse than filing something in the letter “B” section and having to move every row in 5 cases over one space! The capacity is 2240 CDs and I estimate that I have about 2200 in there now taking into account the room I left.

The problem is that I’m going to need at least two more of these cases because I have three Rubbermaid containers in the other room that are filled with CDs and a growing pile on my desk!

current-cd-pile

This project will never be done! Head over to the Heavy Metal Addiction Flickr page for more pictures of my collection, click the link or scroll down the page and look for the pictures at the bottom of the sidebar.

Ebay Madness: Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990) auctions

Here we go with another edition of Ebay Madness…..this time I am focusing on one of Canada’s best Metal exports, Razor, and their 1990 album SHOTGUN JUSTICE. So what is so important about Razor and SHOTGUN JUSTICE that there is so much attention on Ebay? No idea really, I’ve been able to find used Razor CDs with ease but I guess they are becoming harder to find, in particular, SHOTGUN JUSTICE……

razor-auction-2Razor – Shotgun Justice CD sells for $250 with BUY IT NOW

Seller: caradepichi
Starting Price = $10
Buy It Now Price = $250
Bids = 1

This Razor CD auction started on April 4th and was sold April 5th when a “lucky” buyer decided that $250 was a fair price (for an original mint CD on Fringe Records) and bypassed the auction process starting at $10. The seller is from the U.S., offered decent shipping and a guarantee that the CD was mint and an original. I could tell by the auction description that the seller knew a thing or two about collecting because he makes it very clear that this CD was not a bootleg, reissue or a Greek and/or Russian pressing.

 

razor-auctionRazor – Shotgun Justice (1990) CD sells for $255

Seller: skivbors
Starting Price = $9.99
Bids = 66

With the market price now set at $250 the day before, this seller from Sweden had an original near mint copy of the same CD on Fringe Records starting at $9.99 up for grabs. Turns out that there are a lot of people looking for an original pressing of this album because 66 bids later this one sold for 5 bucks more! This was an actual auction so if you look at the bid history there are really only 6 actual bidders and the winner is the one putting in astronomical amounts. All the power to him for wanting to pay big money! What I did notice is that while the bidding war was going on here for a full week, the BUY IT NOW auction above started 5 days after when the price got high. This auction at $255 ended early on April 6th.

razor-auction-pic-5Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990) does not sell at $199.99

Seller: disccollector
Buy It Now Price = $199.99
Bids = 0 (auction ended by seller)

And while the two auctions above were selling in excess of $200, here is this Razor CD listed for $199.99 with BUY IT NOW…..a “bargain” at $50+ less than the going rate! I have to give the seller on this auction some kudos because he ended this auction a few hours after the $255 CD ended. Why sell your CD for less when you can hopefully get top dollar? The seller here states that he is a former record store owner and Metal fan and that he used to order an extra copy of everything so he could add to his personal collection. Sounds like something I would do!  He also makes reference to the auctions above in his listing and calls out to the people involved in the bidding war…..maybe he got an offer? Who knows but he’s sitting on a CD that’s in demand.

razor-auction-3Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990) sells for $70 with BUY IT NOW

Seller: dmitriyk2007
Buy It Now Price = $70
Bids = 1

Maybe the former record store owner ended his auction because he saw this CD sell for $180+ less? This Razor CD is located in Russia and the seller has 100% positive feedback and provided four detailed photos of the CD. This one was also listed the day of the bidding war and it was scooped up quick at a real bargain price!

If you’re interested in owning an original CD pressing of this Razor album then there is a current auction from a seller in Greece that’s waiting for you to bid……it’s only up to $45 USD as of this post!

Iron Maiden & The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal DVD (2008)

ironmaidenandnewwaveofbyw4

Iron Maiden & The New Wave Of British Heavy Metal DVD (2008, Sexy Intellectual Productions)

(Region 0, NTSC, Total Running Time = 157 minutes)

When I was a kid in the early ’80s and I started getting serious about Heavy Metal, many of the bands that I started listening to were from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM). Bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Saxon, Samson and Girlschool were all playing on my stereo and their pictures were hanging on my walls alongside KISS, Judas Priest and AC/DC. As I got older, I discovered a lot of other new bands from the NWOBHM and older Metal bands that benefited from the movement. Judas Priest, AC/DC, Motorhead and even Black Sabbath saw a resurgence at the beginning of the ’80s due to the NWOBHM explosion.

For those not familiar with the NWOBHM here’s a quick simple explanation:

By the late ’70s, big time Arena Rock acts like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, KISS, and Aerosmith were viewed as dinosaurs of the music world and the newest musical fads were Disco and Punk. In the U.K., the Punk movement was a phenomenon and the do-it-yourself rebellious attitude influenced an entire movement of kids forming bands and trying to do something different. Taking a cue from the “dinosaur” bands, these new musicians actually learned to play their instruments well, something many Punks didn’t bother with, and set out to “make it”. The music was loud, raw and heavy and took influences from all styles of music. The biggest bands to come out of the NWOBHM were Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon but there were literally hundreds of bands popping up all over England almost overnight and the new Metal movement made it’s mark.

What this DVD tries to accomplish is to chronicle the history of the NWOBHM from interviews with some of the movement’s players and Rock journalists of the time. There are interviews with Paul Di’anno and Dennis Stratton (Iron Maiden), Brian Tatler (Diamond Head), Thunderstick (Samson), Rob Weir (Tygers Of Pan Tang), Tino & Chris Troy (Praying Mantis) and Girlschool. These are band members that lived the experience and they shed a personal light on what it was like starting out and continuing on with their careers. Other interviews come from journalists Geoff Barton, Malcolm Dome, Jerry Ewing and Joel McIver who all had a first had account of the Metal climate of the time and they add critical review to different aspects and bands of the movement. Of course a retrospective DVD on the NWOBHM would not be complete without the insight of Neil Kay, the Heavy metal DJ who formed the Soundhouse club and who almost single-handedly spearheaded the NWOBHM with his love of well-played Rock. If it wasn’t for Neil Kay, would bands like Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon be playing to millions to this day?

This DVD packs in a ton of rare footage from newsreels, concerts and studio sessions to give an inside historical look at the beginnings of the new Metal genre. There are plenty of interviews and commentaries as well as a bonus section that includes some extended interviews, the NWOBHM and BBC Radio 1, and a interactive challenge game. Like I said, I’m a big fan of the NWOBHM so anything that gives a historical perspective is at the top of my list, the only complaint I have is that there wasn’t much said about some of the lesser known, and less successful, bands of the genre. I would have liked to hear a little more on Rock Goddess, Tokyo Blade, Angel Witch, Jaguar, and many of the rest but there’s only so much time to a DVD! Honestly, you could make a multiple DVD set, or an entire series, exploring the numerous NWOBHM bands but it would get out of focus. This DVD focuses on the more well-known bands, the most successful bands, and moves on from there. No matter what, it’s one of the best DVDs I’ve seen in a long time.

Just a quick word to the wise here: you may have noticed that the DVD title uses Iron Maiden? If you’re looking for footage of the current lineup of Iron Maiden, or a lot of Maiden footage, then I would go out and buy a Maiden DVD. There is a good size portion of the DVD dedicated to the rise of Iron Maiden, they were the biggest and most successful band of the NWOBHM, but the current lineup of Maiden, their management and their label have not authorized this DVD. There is some audio and video of early Maiden but the official stuff is under the cpyright control of the band. It’s still an awesome DVD!

Bottom Line:
If you’re a fan of the NWOBHM, then you should run right out and buy this! If you’re a Metal fan and enjoy learning about the history of Metal, then this is an absolute must! What really makes this DVD is the genuine love of the NWOBHM music that everyone involved with it has. These band members and journalists were right in the thick of the movement when things were new and ideas were fresh and their enthusiasm in talking about it all makes it genuine. For me, this DVD was a great companion piece to The NWOBHM Encyclopedia (by Malc MacMillan) reference book. I’ve had that book since it was published in 2001 and it has been an invaluable resource in my quest for picking up NWOBHM albums, I recommend finding that too!

For more info on the NWOBHM, check out these websites:

NWOBHM.info
The Old School Metal Show
Encyclopedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Scorpions – Live At Wacken Open Air 2006 DVD (2007)

scorpions-live-at-wacken-2006-dvd

Scorpions – Live At Wacken Open Air 2006 DVD (2007, Sony/BMG)

  1. Coming Home
  2. Bad Boys Running Wild
  3. The Zoo
  4. Loving You Sunday Morning
  5. Make It Real
  6. Pictured Life
  7. Speedy’s Coming
  8. We’ll Burn The Sky
  9. Love ‘em Or Leave ‘em
  10. Don’t Believe Her
  11. Tease Me Please Me
  12. Coast To Coast
  13. Holiday
  14. Lovedrive
  15. Another Piece Of Meat
  16. Kottak Attack
  17. Blackout
  18. No One Like You
  19. Six String Sting
  20. Big City Nights
  21. Can’t Get Enough
  22. Still Loving You
  23. In Trance
  24. Bolero
  25. Ready To Sting
  26. Rock You Like A Hurricane

Band Lineup:
Klaus Meine – Lead Vocals
Rudolf Schenker – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Matthias Jabs – Guitars & Backing Vocals
James Kottak – Drums & Backing Vocals
Pawel Maciwoda – Bass & Backing Vocals

Guest Musicians:
Uli Jon Roth – Guitar (tracks 6, 7, 8, 23, 24)
Michael Schenker – Guitar (tracks 12, 13, 14, 15, 23, 24)
Herman Rarebell – Drums (track 16, 17, 18, 24)
Tyson Schenker – Guitar (track 24)

(Region 0, NTSC, Total Running Time = 139 minutes)

The Scorpions

Celebrating their 35 anniversary, Germany’s most successful Heavy Metal band, Scorpions, invited former members Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Herman Rarebell to join them onstage at Wacken Open Air 2006. Billed as “A Night To Remember, A Journey Through Time”, the August 3rd performance’s setlist was voted on by fans around the world via the Scorpions’ website and witnessed by over 60,000 metalheads in attendance.

This DVD is just the basic concert with a setlist that is very predictable featuring most of the well known singles from the ’80s & ’90s. You can’t fault the band for playing the songs the fans want to hear but most of them are the hits that you expect: ‘The Zoo’, ‘Tease Me Please Me’, ‘No One Like You’, ‘Still Loving You’, ‘Rock You Like A Hurricane’ and more. The real magic is when the guest musicians arrive onstage and join the band for some classics. I’m a fan of the Scorpions’ entire catalog even though I came of age with BLACKOUT (1982) so when Uli Jon Roth and his Sky Guitar joined the band for ’70s classics ‘Pictured Life’, Speedy’s Coming’ and ‘We’ll Burn The Sky’ it was truly a highpoint. I’m a fan of Uli Jon Roth’s solo work too and to watch his fingers fly over his custom Sky Guitar was really cool. The Scorpions have been incorporating some of the earlier material in their live sets the last few years and I heard ‘We’ll Burn The Sky’ live a few years ago when they toured the U.S. with Whitesnake in 2003.

The other major highlight for me was when one of my all-time favorite guitarists, and original founding Scorpions member, Michael Schenker joined the band onstage for ‘Coast To Coast’, ‘Holiday’, ‘Lovedrive’ and ‘Another Piece Of Meat’. Michael wasn’t as animated as his older brother Rudolf but his playing is just so smooth and effortless (same for Uli Jon Roth!) that it’s a thrill for me to see him play. It’s always good to hear ‘Lovedrive’ and ‘Another Piece Of Meat’ live but to get them with Michael was a treat for me. Herman Rarebell also came out during James Kottak’s drum solo and then took over the kit for the hits ‘Blackout’ and ‘No One Like You’ but the ultimate reunion highlight is ‘In Trance’ everybody is onstage joined by Tyson Schenker (Michael’s son) on his own Flying V. It was also nice to see the fans voted a newer song into the Wacken setlist because ‘Love ‘em Or Leave ‘em’, from UNBREAKABLE (2004), is excellent live. I wouldn’t have minded a second song from UNBREAKABLE if they had added one more in, it was a really good record and a return to the band’s signature sound.

Bottom Line:
Excellent DVD of the Scorpions’ Wacken performance, the music is played perfectly and the band has a ton of energy onstage. The setlist has a bunch of the usual standards but the guest musicians and the deeper ’70s tracks are high points of the show. It’s a reunion of course! The only thing missing is some extras and/or bonus footage but it’s a small complaint when you get a 2 hour & 20 minute concert by one of Metal’s top bands. Definitely a DVD worth picking up…..

Favorite Songs:
As I mentioned, the setlist is full of well known Scorpions tunes but the highlights for me were the songs that included Uli Jon Roth and Michael Schenker.

CD Scavenger Hunt – 4/7/09

Another week, another trip to the record store. I mixed it up this week and went to the Newbury Comics in Warwirck, RI (about 25 mins from home) because I hadn’t been there in months. I had spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday curled up on the couch suffering from spring time allergies so my wife decided the only way to break the cycle was to get me out of the house. We ate a quick dinner, piled the kids in the car, and headed down I-95 to Warwick.

Now if you’re a true Rhode Islander then you know that if something isn’t within a 10 minute radius from home, it’s not worth going out. I used to go to the Warwick Newbury Comics twice a week for years but, when they opened the North Attleboro store (10 mins from home!), I stopped going. What’s been killing me about the North Attleboro location is the lack of selection. Don’t get me wrong, they stock more Hard Rock and Metal than your average big box retailer but there is still a lack of variety. Previous hunts have seen me get shut out of some newer releases because only 1 or 2 copies were ordered so I figured that checking out the Warwick location would turn up a couple of gems. It did…..

My wife was kind enough to drop my oldest daughter and me off while she took our youngest to do the errands she needed to do, we had a full hour to scrounge used bins and go through all the regular priced CDs for bargains. I must say, the selection is much better in Warwick as I found all the new releases I missed out on like the new Ian Gillan CD and the limited edition Saga – LIVE IN MUNICH 2 CD/2 DVD set. I started at “A” and worked my way around the racks while my daughter grabbed a Motorhead t-shirt that she begged me to buy (and I did!). Nothing like a 10 yr. old begging for a Motorhead shirt…..reminds me of me when I was 10! I took a look around and found the new Ian Gillan album for $10 and the Saga limited edition for $25 so I grabbed those and a couple of other bargains right away.

My strategy has remained the same for years: grab all the CDs you want, get all the bargains, and then sit down in a corner of the store and decide which ones you want the most. This serves me well because there’s nothing worse than seeing an album, passing on it, and then coming back 15 minutes later to find someone bought it! Sometimes I have to decide between 20 CDs and bring it down to a better financial number. Anyway, here’s what I bought this week…..

avantasia_-_the_metal_operaAvantasia – The Metal Opera (2001) – $10: Seems weird that for a guy who had Avantasia – The Scarecrow as his #1 album of 2008 to NOT have the first two Avantasia albums. I picked up Part 1 of THE METAL OPERA in the regular CDs with an old sale sticker on it for $9.99, all the other copies were $14.99! I wasn’t passing up the bargain and this was high on my want list. I put the Ian Gillan disc back, there were 3 copies and I figured it would be there next week.

avantasia-the-metal-opera-part-iiAvantasia – The Metal Opera (Part II) (2002) – $8 used: If your going to buy Part 1, shouldn’t you also buy Part 2? There were plenty of copies in the regular CD rack for $14.99 each so I grabbed one figuring I got lucky with the sale price on Part 1. When I got to the used section, I was surprised to find 3 copies of Part 2 all for $7.99. I grabbed one of the used copies, checked the CD for scratches, and put the regular CD back in it’s rightful place.

scorpions-live-at-wacken-2006-dvdScorpions – Live At Wacken Open Air 2006 DVD (2007) – $25: Take a look at that price…..there’s 26 tracks on the DVD so it came out to $1 per song after tax! I’ve only seen one copy of this DVD in the last two years and I passed on it because of the high price tag. I noticed that the price tag’s date was last Tuesday so I figured that either an astute store clerk decided they needed to stock it or it was ordered for a customer and they never picked it up. I wasn’t taking any chances, I grabbed it and put the Saga set back!

I also grabbed a CD and a couple LPs off Ebay…..

tygers-of-pan-tang-animal-instinctTygers Of Pan Tang – Animal Instinct (2008) – $18: Opening bid on this CD was $9.99 and it was for the Japanese pressing with the 3 bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are from the BACK & BEYOND E.P. (2007) that the band released through their website. There has been a copy of the European version for months at the local shop but I wanted the extra tracks because the E.P. is out of print. The 3 songs are re-recorded versions of ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Man’, ‘Take It’ and ‘Hellbound’ from 1980-1981, the other 2 songs from the E.P. are part of the proper ANIMAL INSTINCT record, ‘Bury the Hatchet’ and ‘Live For The Day’. I won the CD for $10 and the shipping from Japan was $8 registered. This takes ANIMAL INSTINCT off the WANTED! list.

savage-grace-master-of-disguiseSavage Grace – Master Of Disguise (1985) – $16: I grabbed this LP for $12.50 + $3.50 shipping. I bought it last weekend and it arrived today, a nice near mint copy of the sleeve and a mint vinyl. I’m not really sure how I got this album so cheap because copies have been flying off Ebay lately at $30+ for VG/VG+. This takes MASTER OF DISGUISE off the WANTED list.

armed-force-heavy-artilleryArmed Force – Heavy Artillery (1986) – $22: Armed Forces is the same band that released LET THERE BE METAL (1984) but under the name Armed Forces. I picked up LET THERE BE METAL already so I figured I’d get the other album by the band too. Same seller as the Savage Grace LP but I won it for $18.50. Again, another near mint sleeve and a perfect vinyl.

Nashville Pussy – From Hell To Texas (2009)

from_hell_to_texas_cd_large

Nashville Pussy – From Hell To Texas (2009, SPV)

  1. Speed Machine
  2. From Hell To Texas
  3. Drunk Driving Man
  4. Lazy Jesus
  5. I’m So High
  6. Ain’t Your Business
  7. Dead Men Can’t Get Drunk
  8. Late Great USA
  9. Pray For The Devil
  10. Why Why Why
  11. Stone Cold Down
  12. Give Me A Hit Before I Go

nashvillepussy

Band Lineup:
Blaine Cartwright – Vocals & Guitars
Ruyter Suys – Guitars
Karen Cuda – Bass
Jeremy Thompson – Drums

Producer: Daniel Rey

Total Time = 38:56

Nashville Pussy
Nashville Pussy MySpace page
SPV Germany
SPV USA

Add Motorhead, AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Lynyrd Skynyrd together and you get the Southern-fried Hard Rock frenzy of Atlanta, Georgia’s own Nashville Pussy. I got into the band back in 1998 when they released their debut LET THEM EAT PUSSY and I continued on by buying the follow-up HIGH AS HELL (2000). Once you’ve heard Nashville Pussy’s guitar heavy, alcohol fueled, sex crazed sound then you get the picture so I kind of pushed the band aside and missed the last two studio albums. Once FROM HELL TO TEXAS came in the mail, I went back and gave the first to albums a fresh listen…..what the hell was I thinking? The band smokes and that Southern inspired Metal sound works really well.

Opening song ‘Speed Machine’ is a muscle car style track that careens down the Metal highway with speed and fury but the buzzing guitars sound like they came right out of the mid-’70s arena rock days. No let up with the title track, it’s another fast buzzsaw that cuts right through the speakers with blazing guitars. A lot of Nashville Pussy’s music has to do with drinking and cars so put the two together and you get the Alice Cooper meets KISS ‘Drunk Driving Man’. It’s a catchy tune that had me singing along right away, it has a great groove and the retro soundsounds like mid-years Alice, especially on the vocals. Blaine Cartwright has got that nasally Alice wail down pat and he teams up with his wife/bandmate Ruyter Suys to add a dual guitar attack that sounds like Stanley/Frehley circa ’74-’77. ‘Lazy Jesus’ is pure redneck fun complete with twangy guitars and harmonica that sounds more like a backyard BBQ sing-a-long than a Rock tune but the band returns to the Rock with the faster ‘I’m So High’ and ‘Ain’t Your Business’. I like the speedier riffs on ‘Ain’t Your Business’ and it’s in the same style as the first two cuts with that fuzzy ’70s guitar.

Another fast riff rocker about drinking, ‘Dead Men Can’t Get Drunk’, has some interesting guitar but you get the feeling you’ve heard it all before. That’s the thing…..most of the songs are under 4 minutes long and the delivery is so straightforward that it all sounds the same sometimes. Homage to the band’s hometown of Atlanta with the speedy ‘Late Great USA’ and the Blues grooved ‘Pray For The Devil’ is more dirt and debauchery with a touch of Motorhead styled Punk. ‘Pray For The Devil’ starts out fast but it slows down mid-song into a blues base with guitars soloing all around the main riff. One of my favorite songs on the album is the sex-crazed redneck party fun of ‘Why Why Why’. Definitely sounds like something Alice would put out but with sexually explicit, but juvenile, lyrics that would make KISS and the Nuge cry with envy. More AC/DC meets Southern blues shines with the mid level groove of ‘Stone Cold Down’ and the sleazy ‘Give Me A Hit Before I Go’.

Bottom Line:
Like I said before: cross AC/DC, Motorhead, Ted Nugent with the Southern hospitality of Lynyrd Skynyrd and you get the overall Nashville Pussy sound. The music sounds ’70s retro with the fuzzy buzzing guitars, the Alice Cooper/Nugent style vocals, and that redneck country twang like Skynyrd and Black Oak Arkansas. Damn, I forgot about Black Oak Arkansas because you can hear a lot of Jim “Dandy” Mangrum is Cartwright’s vocals! The music is good but they stay true to the formula so it all sounds too much like the same thing after a while. The lyrics are what you expect from Pussy with songs about drinking, drugs, fast cars and loose sex…..basically everything that Hard Rock stands for! There’s something about this record that keeps me coming back for more, FROM HELL TO TEXAS has gotten more spins on the stereo and on the MP3 player than any other 2009 album except for the new Saxon. Maybe it’s the blend of styles or maybe it’s because I haven’t checked the band out in a few years? Either way, this new album is pretty damn good and makes me want to pick up the two missing studio records SAY SOMETHING NASTY (2002) and GET SOME (2005).

Favorite Songs:
‘Drunk Driving Man’, ‘Why Why Why’, ‘Lazy Jesus’, ‘Speed Machine’, ‘Pray For The Devil’

Siren’s Gate – Haunt Me E.P. (2008)

sirens-gate-haunt-me-demo-2008

Siren’s Gate – Haunt Me E.P. (2008)

  1. Borrowed Eyes
  2. Only An Angel
  3. Haunt Me
  4. Chains Of Pain
  5. The Garden Of Night

sirens-gate-2008

Band Lineup:
Alicia Taylor – Vocals
Casey Brew Curec – Guitar
Dave Hudson – Lead Guitar
Matt Camm – Bass
Winston Chamberlain – Drums

Produced by: Siren’s Gate

Country: Australia

Total Time = 21:19

Siren’s Gate MySpace page

One of the sub-genres of Metal that I never get sick of is Gothic Metal, specifically when fronted my a talented female lead singer. I’ve been listening to The Gathering, Lana Lane, Lacuna Coil and Within Temptation for a few years now but there seems to be a neverending stream of new bands starting up and releasing solid material. Add Melbourne, Australia’s Siren’s Gate to the mix. Not officially signed to a label, HAUNT ME is Siren’s Gate first independent release and the 5 song E.P. can be considered a demo. The good news is that the production is very good so it’s a very well done demo, maybe a little knob-tweaking is needed to push the vocals a little more to the front but it’s a small criticism. Otherwise the music is well done and I enjoyed a lot of the guitar work and rhythms.

‘Borrowed Eyes’ starts the E.P. off with a very heavy main riff and some solid drumming but Alicia Taylor’s vocals sound a little too far back in the mix, that can be corrected next time around. Alicia puts in a solid vocal all over the CD but sometimes I was waiting for her to get a little more aggressive. Her vocals are operatic and beautiful (haunting maybe?) but it sounded like she needed to really let loose with some extra power. Like I said, could be the mix but I enjoyed her performance overall. ‘Only An Angel’ follows the heaviness of ‘Borrowed Eyes’ but with a slight Iron Maiden style. The title track is a soft ballad that builds up with the guitars, a sign of what Siren’s Gate can do and do very well. My favorite of the five songs has to be ‘Chains Of Pain’ with it’s overt Maiden-isms. Honestly, this sounds like a Maiden song music wise, just put Bruce Dickinson in for Alicia and we have a new Maiden track! You can easily hear the influence but Siren’s Gate does make it their own towards the middle once they change pace. The band changes things up and adds a bit of Thrash to ‘The Garden Of Night’. It’s a heavy song with some really great drumming to go along with the buzzsaw riffs but it’s the atmospheric vocals that contrast the music that make it all come together.

Bottom Line:
Overall I liked it and I will be watching Siren’s Gate and seeing what they come up with next. The band is able to go from Metal to a ballad to Thrash and still retain power and beauty. Sometimes a lot of these gothic Metal bands try and stay in the ballad area, or their heavier songs border on Hard Rock, Siren’s Gate keeps it heavy with good guitars and solid drums. I also like the Iron Maiden influences. My only complaint is the vocals are a little far back in the mix but I can’t fault the band on that because there is only so much money out there when you’re putting music out on your own. Keep an eye on Siren’s Gate…..

Favorite Songs:
I liked all the songs but the two standouts are ‘Haunt Me’ and ‘Chains Of Pain’.

Demand KISS in your city for their upcoming Fall 2009 tour!

Nothing is better than hearing that your favorite band is going to tour! KISS is my favorite band and I will be attending as many shows as I can on this new Fall tour. I live in Pawtucket, RI so I voted for Providence but I will hit all the local venues in Massachusetts and Connecticut: Boston, Worcester, Mohegan Sun Casino, Mansfield.

Vote for your city now! Click the link above…..

Press Release: Michael Schenker to release new album, Gipsy Lady, on CD and vinyl May 19, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MICHAEL SCHENKER RELEASES NEW CD / VINYL AND RESCHEDULES “IN THE MIDST OF BEAUTY” TOUR DATES

The German Hard Rock Guitar Virtuoso Returns To America With “Gipsy Lady” and His Highly-Skilled Group Of Musicians

Gipsy Lady”, the first album from the Michael Schenker-Gary Barden Acoustic Project, will be available on CD and vinyl on May 19 (just before the US tour begins). Gary Barden’s vocals give the cleverly arranged songs just the touch of soul they need for full impact… The long-term Schenker collaborator wrote the lyrics virtually off the top of his head. Also on board is Michael Voss, an experienced producer and second guitarist, who also provides background vocals. Kai Luennemann on percussion completes the team.

With such a distinctive, soft sound from Michael Schenker’s guitar, this album distinguishes itself easily. In this way, using a flamenco guitar with castanets in “Dance Lady Gipsy” conjures up a hot-blooded gipsy dancing before your eyes, while the fiddle and flutes in “Fight for Freedom” transport you to beautiful Ireland. The new album from Michael Schenker-Gary Barden Acoustic Project is more than an acoustic album; it demonstrates all Michael Schenker’s expertise as a guitarist and songwriter.

The live Michael Schenker experience will come to fruition through the “In the Midst of Beauty—World Tour” headed for the United States.

The line up for the U.S. Tour is:
Michael Schenker — Guitars
Gary Barden — Vocals
Chris Slade — Drums
Wayne Findlay — Guitar & Keyboards
Robbie Crane — Bass

The tour begins on Tuesday, June 9th in Hollywood:

06-09 – Key Club – Hollywood, CA
06-10 – Fat Cat – Modesto, CA
06-12 – Canyon Club – Agoura Hills, CA
06-16 – Club 101 – El Paso, TX
06-18 – Pontiac Garage – Dallas, TX
06-19 – House Of Blues – Houston, TX
06-20 – Camargo Park – San Antonio, TX
06-21 – Aces – Austin, TX
06-24 – Blender Theater at Gramercy – New York, NY
06-25 – Jaxx – Springfield, VA
06-30 – Pops – Sauget, IL
07-03 – Vinnies – Concord, CA
07-04 – 19 Broadway – Fairfax, CA
07-07 – Element – Victoria, BC
07-08 – Studio 7 – Seattle, WA
07-10 – Brixton – Redondo Beach, CA
07-11 – Galaxy – Theater Santa Ana, CA

WANTED: KISS Creatures era poster: The Loudest Band In The World (1982)

WANTED

kissloudestpostw

 

KISS poster from the Creatures Of The Night era: The Loudest Band In The World (1982)

I have been after this poster for 27 years! I saw it for the first time in 1982 at the Good Vibrations record store in Foxboro, MA, it was hanging in the window promoting the new album, CREATURES OF THE NIGHT. I decided to spend my hard-earned allowance on it but the poster was sold out! I never saw another one at any record store through the ’80s and I looked through every poster rack in every record store I went to.

The second time I saw this poster was at a KISS convention put on by a New England KISS collector’s group in the mid-90s. There were a ton of the posters there in excellent condition but the prices were way too high, from $50 to $100! I was paying my way through college at the time so it was way out of my price range. Then I got online in late 1997/early 1998 and I found a ton on Ebay with similar prices. I’ve been half-heartedly watching for the poster over the last decade or so but I never bothered to snatch one up now that I can afford a higher price. This pops up on Ebay a lot so now that one of my side projects is collecting old posters from the ’80s, I’m in the market again.

What makes this so special to me is that this was supposed to be the original cover of the CREATURES album and it just looks really cool! CREATURES is my 2nd favorite KISS album and it’s completely underrated. The picture above I took from the last completed auction on Ebay…..the poster went for $29.51 plus $8 shipping…..not too bad for a near mint poster that’s 27 years old.