Archive for June, 2010

Legacy – s/t (2010, Eonian Records)

  1. Salvation Is Law
  2. It’s Real
  3. Cross The Line
  4. Forever In Your Arms
  5. Don’t Run Away
  6. Red, White And Blue
  7. Change Of A Broken Heart
  8. Comin’ Along
  9. Soldiers Unite
  10. One Way Or Another
  11. Live It
  12. What A World
  13. Model Citizen
  14. Vision Of Perfection

Band Lineup:
Doug Meacham – Lead Vocals
Matt Rice – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Fred Blanchard – Guitars & Backing Vocals
John D. Rice – Bass & Backing Vocals
“Jungle” John Jenkins – Drums

Executive Producer: Stephen Craig
Producers: Legacy

Country: Columbus, Ohio USA

Total Time = 56:26

Legacy MySpace page
Eonian Records
Eonian Records MySpace page

Legacy is a Christian Metal band from Columbus, Ohio that fell through the cracks back in the late ’80s. Back in Metal’s commercial heyday, Christian Metal, or White Metal, was considered something of an oddity even though you had the commercially successful Stryper breaking though to radio and MTV and touring nationally. Even though bands in the Christian Rock scene had a loyal legion of fans, the genre was more niche and you had many other bands like Barren Cross, Messiah Prophet, Whitecross and Petra releasing albums and touring in relative obscurity. Legacy followed the same path as many ’80s bands did by writing and gigging but they never received a proper record deal, the band disbanded in 1992 and their music remained unreleased…..until now. Eonian Records has stepped up to the plate again to release another long lost set of recordings that should have seen a proper release back when they were recorded. Through cooperation with the band, Eonian has released Legacy’s debut album, LEGACY.

Legacy’s sound is definitely ’80s Hard Rock and Metal so if your a fan of that era then you’re going to hear influences from Stryper, Dokken, Firehouse and a bit of the Scorpions. All the instrumentation is top quality, Matt Rice and Fred Blanchard are a talented and formidable guitar duo while the rhythm section of John Rice and John Jenkins are as solid as they come. What defines the Legacy sound is the vocals. As with most ’80s bands, a solid singer is the key to success as they were the primary focal point of the band. Doug Meacham is a solid singer that draws obvious comaprisons to Don Dokken and Michael Sweet (Stryper) but I can also hear some Ted Poley (Danger Danger) and C.J. Snare (Firehouse). Overall, the music has all the big ’80s characteristics with the big harmonies, catchy chrouses, solid riffs and solos and that melodic hook that keeps you coming back for more.

Opening with an acoustic guitar intro, ‘Salvation Is Law’ starts the album with a fast Metal pace showcasing the guitars and you forget all the stereotypes of Christian Metal not rocking hard. Same thing goes for ‘It’s Real’ and ‘Cross The Line’, these songs are heavy on the Metal riffs and leads but the commercial aspect comes through Meacham’s lead vocals and the background harmonies. The Stryper/Dokken influence is obvious with the commercial sounding ‘Forever In Your Arms’, a hit single back in the ’80s if I ever heard one! Doug Meacham sounds very much like Don Dokken here and there’s a bit of an echo effect on the vocals but the guy still has plenty of melodic range, this is one of my favorite tracks on LEGACY. This is how the album flows: a couple of heavy and metallic songs followed by an overly commercial sounding song, and on and on.

‘Don’t Run Away’ has a very heavy main riff but it sounds a little processed while ‘Red, White & Blue’ is a mid-paced chugger that sounds like early U.S. Metal circa 1981/1982. Another commercial sounding track is ‘Change Of A Broken Heart’, definitely another possible hit for the band had they found a record deal back in the day. It’s a melodic single with huge harmonies on the chorus and crystal clear solos, the Metal grit from other songs is gone and it kind of reminds me of PRIDE era White Lion, good song though. Following the album’s pattern, ‘Comin’ Along’ revs into high gear again with a solid guitar sound and big vocals, ‘Soldiers Unite’ is a metallic battle cry with some high pitched vocals from Meacham and ‘One Way Or Another’ races along until the chorus. ‘Live It’ enters commercial Stryper territory with that big clean sound and, for the first time, I really notice the religious lyrics. That’s the thing with a lot of Christian Metal bands, the lyrics are usually too obvious but on this album they really aren’t and that makes it a little more listenable for me. Legacy returns to the heavy with the straight forward pounder ‘What A World’ and an Iron Maiden influence on the guitarwork in ‘Model Citizen’ and ‘Visions Of Perfection’. Actually, the twin leads on ‘Visions OF Perfection’ is almost dead on to Dave Murray & Adrian Smith but the vocals aren’t close to Bruce Dickinson by any means, Doug Meacham going for a more melodic and reserved approach compared to the Dickinson’s air raid siren although he does hit some high notes.

Bottom Line:
You can just hear the potential Legacy had back in the mid to late ’80s, they could be heavy and fast and then go opposite and cater to the MTV generation. Maybe this is the reason they didn’t get signed? Maybe the band’s varying sound made it harder to put them in a specific style? Back then label executives had to have something to sell and it usually meant the softer, more melodic, “hair band” style. Legacy has a few of those songs but the rest are straight up Heavy Metal that could sit alongside an Armored Saint or a Steeler or other heavier L.A. Metal bands. I was pleasantly surprised by this album and I didn’t even know it was Christian Metal until I read the promo kit and CD booklet. I like the White Metal bands too so it would have never been an issue for me just like Satanic-influenced Metal doesn’t bother me either. It’s great to finally discover Legacy and the great music they made in the late ’80s but it’s a crime to have to wait 20+ years to hear it! Congratulations to Eonian Records for another solid release and here’s to Legacy continuing theirs with some new music soon.

From Universal Music:

IRON MAIDEN ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE, ARTWORK
AND TRACKLISTING FOR NEW ALBUM ‘THE FINAL FRONTIER’
TOUR STARTS THIS WEEK

The release date for IRON MAIDEN’S highly anticipated new studio album, THE FINAL FRONTIER, is now confirmed for Tuesday August 17, in the U.S.  The new album artwork has just been unveiled on their website www.ironmaiden.com  and was illustrated by Melvyn Grant. To mark the occasion, the band has made special arrangements for one new album track, “EL DORADO,” to be made available worldwide as a Free MP3 digital download file with immediate effect via their website, www.ironmaiden.com.

Singer Bruce Dickinson explains, “‘El Dorado’ is a preview of the forthcoming studio album. As we will be including it in the set of our Final Frontier World Tour, (which opens in Dallas on June 9; see full schedule dates below), we thought it would be great to thank all our fans and get them into The Final Frontier mood by giving them this song up front of the tour and album release.”

The band reunited with longtime Maiden producer Kevin “Caveman” Shirley in early 2010 at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, to record the album and then moved to L.A. to finish the recording and do the mixing. Compass Point Studio is very familiar to the band; it was where they recorded the Piece Of Mind (’83), Powerslave (’84) and Somewhere In Time (’86) albums.

Dickinson comments, “The studio had the same vibe and it was exactly as it had been in 1983, nothing had changed! Even down to the broken shutter in the corner…same carpet….everything. It was really quite spooky.  But we felt very relaxed in such a familiar and well-trodden environment and I think this shows in the playing and the atmosphere of the album.”

Thirty years on from their eponymous debut album in April 1980, The Final Frontier will be Maiden’s 15th studio album, making a remarkable average of a new album every two years for 30 years and totaling over 80 million album sales during this period.

The full track listing for the album (total running time 76:35) is:

THE FINAL FRONTIER

  1. Satellite 15…The Final Frontier   8:40
  2. El Dorado   6:49
  3. Mother Of Mercy   5:20
  4. Coming Home   5:52
  5. The Alchemist   4:29
  6. Isle Of Avalon   9:06
  7. Starblind   7:48
  8. The Talisman   9:03
  9. The Man Who Would Be King   8:28
10. When The Wild Wind Blows   10:59

The Final Frontier World Tour begins in Dallas on June 9, with 25 shows in major cities across the USA and Canada, playing to an expected 350,000 fans or more. Following this, the tour will shift over to Europe starting in Dublin, on July 30, to play a few selected major festivals and stadiums, finishing in Valencia, Spain, on August 21, and including a concert in Transylvania.

Says bass player and founding member Steve Harris, “We’re hugely excited about this tour. I think the fans will really like the brand new stage production and lights and we will also be debuting one of the new album tracks, ‘El Dorado’. Our Texan fans will be the very first people anywhere to hear it live, so it will be interesting to see their reaction and how it goes down with the crowd on the night! Eddie has changed a bit for this tour but is possibly the most outrageous one to date…I can’t say too much about him as I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but I guarantee he will scare the hell out of you!”

The full list of dates for the first leg are:

JUNE

Wed 9
U.S.: Dallas, TX, Superpages.Com Center

Fri 11
U.S.: Houston, TX, Cynthia Mitchell Pavilion Woodlands

Sat 12
U.S.: San Antonio, TX, AT&T Center

Mon 14
U.S.: Denver, CO, Comfort Dental Amphitheatre

Wed 16
U.S.: Albuquerque, NM, The Pavilion

Thu 17
U.S.: Phoenix, AZ, Cricket Wireless Pavilion

Sat 19
U.S.: San Bernardino, CA, San Manuel Amphitheatre

Sun 20
U.S.: Concord, CA, Sleep Train Pavilion

Tue 22
U.S.: Auburn, WA, White River Amphitheater

Thu 24
CAN: Vancouver, BC, GM Place

Sat 26
CAN: Edmonton, AB, Rexall Place

Sun 27
CAN: Calgary, AB, Saddledome

Tue 29
CAN: Saskatoon, SK, Credit Union Centre

Wed 30
CAN: Winnipeg, MB, MTS Center

JULY

Sat 3
CAN: Toronto, ON, Molson Amphitheatre

Tues 6
CAN: Ottawa, ON, Cisco Blues Festival

Wed 7
CAN: Montreal, QC, Bell Centre

Fri 9
CAN: Quebec, QC, Summer Festival

Sun 11
U.S.: Holmdel, NJ, PNC

Mon 12
U.S.: New York, NY, Madison Square Garden

Wed 14
U.S.: Pittsburgh, PA, First Niagara Pavilion

Thu 15
U.S.: Cleveland, OH, Blossom Music Center

Sat 17
U.S.: Detroit, MI, DTE Music Theatre

Sun 18
U.S.: Chicago IL, First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

Tue 20
U.S.: Washington DC, Jiffy Lube Live

Fri 30
IRELAND: Dublin, The O2

AUG

Sun 1
UK: Knebworth, Sonisphere Festival

Thu 5
GERMANY: Wacken Festival

Sat 7
SWEDEN: Stockholm Stora Skuggan Sonisphere Festival

Sun 8
FINLAND: Pori Kirjurinluoto Sonisphere Festival

Wed 11
NORWAY: Bergenhus Festning Koengen

Sat 14
HUNGARY: Sziget Festival

Sun 15
TRANSYLVANIA: Cluj, Polux Mall

Tue 17
ITALY : Villa Manin Codroipe, Nr Udine

Thu 19
BELGIUM: Pukkelpop Festival

Sat 21
SPAIN: Valencia Auditorio Marina Sur

For all the latest information on the tour and for ticket availability please go to www.ironmaiden.com

Charlotte – Medusa Groove (2010, Eonian Records)

  1. Medusa Groove
  2. Woman Behind The Eyes
  3. Siren
  4. Little Devils
  5. Miss Necrophilia
  6. She Get It Up
  7. Got Love On The Line
  8. Changes
  9. Roadhouse Of Love
  10. Ocean Of Love And Mercy
  11. Invisible Man
  12. All Tied Up

Band Lineup:
Eric Ganz – Lead Vocals
Nick DiBacco – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Vinnie Cacciotti – Guitars
Chris Colovas – Bass & Backing Vocals
Eric D. Brewton – Drums & Backing Vocals

Executive Producer: Stephen Craig

Country: USA

Total Time = 45:54

Charlotte MySpace page
Eonian Records
Eonian Records MySpace page

It seems that every year more and more previously unreleased albums from long lost bands of the ’80s get properly released. Such is the case of Los Angeles, California Hard Rock band Charlotte. The band was a fixture in the famous clubs of the Sunset Strip in the late ’80s but refused to compromise their musical integrity to secure a deal with a major label. As the ’90s dawned, and the popularity of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal waned, Charlotte disbanded and their music never got properly released…..until now. Fast forward to 2010 and reissue label Eonian Records has taken great care in releasing Charlotte’s first official album, MEDUSA GROOVE.

The songs on MEDUSA GROOVE are a collection that were mainly written between 1988 – 1992 with a few touched up in 2009 for this release. All the songs are classic ’80s Hard Rock that take influences from some of the bigger bands of the era like Dokken, Great White, Kix, The Cult and Led Zeppelin clones Kingdom Come. You can definitely hear that Blues base that many Hard Rock bands in the ’80s tried to emulate so the underlying musical roots are pure ’70s Rock from the likes of Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. This Blues base give Charlotte’s songs an attitude and rock star swagger and really shows off the potential these guys had at the time. The title track opens the record and it’s a hypnotic Rock song that emulates the title, it has that feel of snakes in rhythm. ‘Woman Behind The Eyes’ continues the cool mid-tempo groove Charlotte has going with a huge Great White influence, lead singer Eric Ganz sounds a lot like Jack Russell on this track and the song really captures some of Great White’s quieter moments. Ganz does another chameleon performance on ‘Siren’ that pushes him in Ian Astbury’s (The Cult) direction. ‘Siren’ sounds a lot like The Cult due to the vocal but the song has a good Hard Rock sound that’s almost danceable.

One of the best songs of the album is ‘Little Devils’, a song that draws directly from Led Zeppelin. I’m not a huge Zeppelin fan, I like them don’t get me wrong but I have been bombarded with their music for 30 years so I’m a little tired of them. Kingdom Come straight up just copied Zeppelin but Charlotte actually builds on the Zep Blues basics and creates a masterpiece. Ganz again shifts his voice to fit the music so he sounds just like Robert Plant but what really makes the song is the guitar work from both Vinnie Cacciotti and Nick DiBacco. These guys really capture that Jimmy Page sound that blends power with more subtle tones, very thick ’70s riffs. Another favorite is the sleazy ‘Miss Necrophelia’, a song that reminds me a little of Skid Row because it’s heavy but retains that big ’80s Hard Rock sound with a very cool groove. More hard party rocking follows with the faster ‘She Get It Up’, typical ’80s Metal fare, and the Bon Jovi inspired ‘Got Love On The Line’ complete with talk-box! It’s definitely more sleazy and fun than anything Jon and the boys have released in two decades so Charlotte gets the upper hand.

Mixing things up a bit, the band delivers a cool ballad with ‘Changes’. You can hear that Tesla vibe with the quiet acoustic guitars backing a smooth vocal, definitely one of the best ballads I’ve heard this year and one of the best tracks on the record. ‘Roadhouse Of Love’ gets things jumping again and would definitely be a crowd favorite with it’s different tempos, catchy chorus and solid soloing…..basically another Hard Rock feast. I’m not really sure how to approach ‘Ocean Of Love And Mercy’, it’s a melodic mid-tempo song that has some unexpected saxophone running through it to make it sound like early ’80s Pop. There’s a groove here though so the song sounds like it has a Great White influence to it but it seems just a bit out of place to me. ‘Invisible Man’ moves back into the more uptempo blues-based, gritty Hard Rock with some tasty soloing while ‘All Tied Up’ is one of the best Dokken songs that Dokken never released! Eric Ganz really has Don Dokken down cold and sounds just like him here…..I’m not saying Ganz is a copycat, I’m saying the guy is a solid singer that draws different influences. I think the background vocals also add to the Dokken-esque nature of the song.

Bottom Line:
I love it when I get my hands on an excellent album from a band that never made it big  or got signed to a label back in the day, Eonian Records has definitely unearthed a solid gem here with Charlotte’s MEDUSA GROOVE. You have to wonder how a band like this falls through the cracks and doesn’t get signed, especially when their material is excellent. All the songs are top quality and definitely fit in both with the late ’80s/early ’90s era when it was recorded but also the current state of the scene where a lot of bands are going back to that classic Hard Rock sound. Call it retro, call it dated but you definitely have to call it good and that’s exactly what MEDUSA GROOVE is…..good. Too bad it took close to 20 years before the album saw the light of day, it’s definitely worth the time and effort to check out.

Favorite Songs:
‘Little Devils’, ‘Miss Necrophelia’, ‘She Get It Up’, ‘Changes’, ‘All Tied Up’