primal fear - delivering the black

CD Scavenger Hunt – February 2014 update

It’s the end of April but here’s the February purchases…..late as always!

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Newbury Comics

Primal Fear – Delivering The Black (CD/DVD) (2014) – $15
Red Dragon Cartel – s/t (2014) – $13
Def Leppard – Slang (2CD Deluxe Edition) – $14
Starship – Loveless Fascination (2013) – $9
Behemoth – The Satanist (CD/DVD) (2014) – $13
Exodus – Bonded By Blood (1985) – $10
Prong – Cleansing (1994) – $4 used
GWAR – Carnival Of Chaos (1997) – $6 used

The first hunt in February took me to the Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA…..the only trip to the record store the entire month! I had a few new releases that I needed to purchase and a $100 budget to use, that includes sales tax. First three albums on the list were the new Primal Fear, Red Dragon Cartel and Def Leppard. I was able to get the new Primal Fear on sale $3 less than regular price and the Red Dragon Cartell as well for $4 off sale price…..not bad deals but the deal was the deluxe edition of Slang. I expected a 2CD set to be close to $20 and, with all the deluxe editions of albums coming out, I expected it to be as high as $30 like those pricey Thin Lizzy deluxe editions I’ve been eyeballing. Regular price was only $14! That’s a steal for 30 tracks (1 bonus disc). Keeping an eye on my list, I found two copies of Mickey Thomas’ Starship lastest record, Loveless Fascination, for $9 and $15 new and sealed…..guess wich one I bought? I’ve always had a soft spot for Starship because I like Thomas’ vocals so I snagged the album and paired it with the deluxe version of the new Behemoth record, The Satanist. Talk about two opposite sides of the spectrum! I saved $5 off regular price for the Behemoth so I still had some money to play with and I replaced two old cassettes picking up the classics Exodus – Bonded By Blood and Prong - Cleansing, topping it off with GWAR’s Carnival Of Chaos to fill a hole in the GWAR collection.

Amazon

Chastain  – Surrender To No One (2013) – $12
Adrenaline Mob – Men Of Honor (2014) – $10
Ian Gillan & Tony Iommi – Who Cares (2012) – $15
Altitudes & Attitudes – s/t E.P. (2014) – $5

While I was shopping at Newbury Comics, I found a couple albums on my wish list but I had to compare prices. Back in the early 90s, I dreamed of having something in my hand that had my want lists, collection and availability…..we call that the smart phone. With my phone out, I had my new release list for 2012, 2013 & 2014 and I saw both Chastain and Adrenaline Mob listed and in stock at the store. Unfortunately, I’m not paying regular price so I opened the Amazon app, scanned each bar code and found both albums much cheaper (saving $5 each) so they went in the cart. When I got out of the store and into the car, I remembered the new project with Dave Ellefson (Megadeth) and Frank Bello (Anthrax) called Altitudes & Attitude. It’s only a 3 song E.P. but it was also only $5 so that got thrown in the cart. I was going to checkout but I went to my Amazon Music wish list and one of the first CDs I added way back when was the Ian Gillan/Tony Iommi Who Cares project that I never bought when it first came out. I bought the single but not the full album and it’s been an expensive $20+ price tag for the CD but here it was with a price reduction of 25% off since I added it…..into the cart! So I spent $42 on top of the $100 in the record store.

Ebay

Kix – Midnight Dynamite (1985) – $10 used
Jack Blades – s/t (2004) – $5 used
7th Heaven – USA-UK (2008) – $5 used
Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Ltd Ed) (2014) – $23
Axxis – Utopia (Ltd Ed + 2) (2009) – $7
Blackberry Smoke – The Whippoorwill (2012) – $8.60 used
Persian Risk – Rise Up (1986/1997 reissue) – $11 used
Tysondog – Painted Heroes: The Anthology (2002) – $20 used
Bret Michaels – Jammin’ With Friends (2013) – $10
Revamp – Wild Card (Ltd Ed) (2013) – $22.50

Ebay has been a go to destination for me since October 1999 and, close to 15 years later, I still find bargains and rare CDs. Nothing is better than finding a CD you want and searching the seller’s other items only to find MORE CDs you want/need. I recently found one such seller who had been kind enough to list his/her collection on Ebay in portions…..lots of CDs I don’t own too! The Jack Blades solo album, the 7th Heaven, Blackberry Smoke, Persian Risk and Tysondog CDs all came from the one seller and it was all because I was searching for the High Vaultage reissue on CD of Persian Risk’s Rise Up. Once I found that at a decent price, I checked the other items and found the rest. I’m not happy about paying so much for the Tysondog anthology but it is the first two albums the band released and the E.P. they had from 1984 through 1986. I had put a high bid of $20 in and I was the only bidder with 10 seconds to go and someone who was watching it went just under $20. I thought I already owned Kix – Midnight Dynamite but I was wrong and you wouldn’t believe how much this CD goes for on Ebay! Upwards for $20+! I got a bargain for $10, same with the Axxis CD for $9 brand new and that replaced one of the first promotional downloads I ever received doing this site. Another $10 went to the latest Bret Michaels solo CD so I could hear just how bad it is…..I know I shouldn’t have bought it but I’ve been dying to hear it because everyone says it’s a train wreck. The two big purchases was the Ted Poley – Greatest Hits Vol. 2 and the limited edition version of the last ReVamp album, Wild Card. Wild Card is an import so normal channels had the price $30+, I’m a big fan of Floor Jansen so I wanted to hear this project. The Ted Poley CD came straight from Ted himself on Ebay and autographed to me personally.

Johnny Lima website

Johnny Lima – My Revolution (Ltd Ed) (2014) – $23

I’ve been a big Johnny Lima supporter after I heard, and then immeadiately bought, his 2009 release Livin’ Out Loud. That was one of the best albums of 2009 and I still spin it today so I always have an eye on Johnny’s website. Sure enough, I checked the website and there was the announcement for the new album, My Revolution, but only as a limited edition CD release and regular download. I’m a physical media freak so I had to have the actual CD so I sent Johnny my $23 and he sent the CD same day! Hit the link above and check Johnny Lima out.

Totals

Total (Feb) = $271.10

Total (year) = $615.10

Average Price (per item) = $10.79

Total CDs (year) = 54

Total LPs (year) = 3

Lover Under Cover - Into The Night (2014)

Lover Under Cover – Into The Night (2014) review

Lover Under Cover - Into The Night (2014)

Lover Under Cover – Into The Night (2014, Escape Music)

  1. A Fight
  2. Into The Shadows
  3. Miracle
  4. Toy Soldier
  5. Crushing Stones
  6. Life Is Easy
  7. Playboy No 7
  8. The Game Is On
  9. Fantasy Man
  10. Closer To The Truth
  11. No Place Like Home

Band Lineup:
Mikael Carlsson – (Rain) Bass, Guitars, Keyboards and Backing Vocals
Mikael Erlandsson (Last Autumn’s Dream/Salute) – Vocals, Keyboards
Martin Kronlund (Gypsy Rose, Phenomena, Salute) – Guitars
Perra Johnsson (Coldspell) – Drums

Producer: Martin Kronlund

Country: Sweden

Total Time = 45:20

One of the things I love most about running this website for the last 8 years is that I get to discover new bands and new music on a daily basis. Sometimes an album crosses my desk and it completely takes hold of me and captures my complete attention…..Into The Night from Sweden’s Lover Under Cover is one of those albums. Lover Under Cover is a name I’ve heard before but never really investigated. The band is a Swedish melodic rock “supergroup” of sorts with all the members being in well known bands like Coldspell, Last Autumn’s Dream, Salute and more but the music put to record is not a bunch of guns for hire playing their respective parts but an actual band rocking it hard and playing flawlessly.

Opening track ‘A Fight’ kicks the album off in high gear with a quick keyboard intro that rolls straight into some blazing guitar work. Mikael Erlandsson’s voice immeadiately commands your attention and he kind of reminds me a bit of Tony Harnell (TNT/Westworld), very melodic sounding and forceful when needed. ‘A Fight’ is infectious with it’s big harmonies on the chorus and I found myself singing along right away. ‘Into The Shadows’ continues the initial assault with another infectious chorus and plenty of harmonies, the song takes me right back to the ’80s when I was growing up when Rock music was an art of perfectly blended musicianship. And the melodic assault doesn’t stop because ‘Miracle’ is high energy powerhouse that reminds me of a combination of Westworld, Treat and Bon Jovi and it’s definitely my favorite song on the record. Martin Kronlund has some great solos on this track but the main riff, combined with the keyboards complimenting, really drives the song.

Time to slow it down a little with the album’s first ballad, ‘Toy Soldiers’. Now I’m listening to the album in the car when I first heard this song and I knew most of the words…..what? Turns out this is a cover of ‘Toy Soldiers’ by Martika from 1988 and, as a high school teenager glued to MTV back then, I remember that song well. Actually, my wife loves the Martika song. So I’m thrown off a bit by the Martika cover but it’s done really well so I can’t really fault the band for recording it. I’m not a fan of cover songs on studio albums but this is a really good one. ‘Crushing Stones’ goes back to the solid melodic rock of the first three songs and I especially like the keyboard line that holds it all together but it all comes down to the guitar for me and I’m really enjoying another great performance that brings a bit of an edge to the track. ‘Life Is Easy’ is a Bon Jovi sounding song but absolutely better than anything Bon Jovi has released in a decade (Jon take notice!). It’s just another great tune, an album favorite for me, another catchy song that immeadiately grabs you but it’s a bit more mellow, more  mid-tempo, and I like the way the band has mixed it up. ‘Playboy No. 7′ is another uptempo Hard Rock song and it’s good but it sounds a little repetitive of what’s played before it.

A second song with a bit of a crunchy edge is ‘The Game Is On’ and ‘Fantasy Man’ follows ‘Life Is Easy’ a little as far as that easy melodic tempo goes. Both are really great songs but ‘Fantasy Man’ joins ‘Miracle’ and ‘Life Is Easy’ as my stand out tracks. Add ‘Closer To The Truth’ to that list as well because that’s another effortless melodic rocker that has me singing along and doing my air-drums. This is another example of an great old school ’80s sounding song done perfectly. Ending the record is a cool mid-tempo/ballad style track, ‘No Place Like Home’, that Jon Bon Jovi wishes he could write (steal!) and, even though it ends Into The Night on a softer note, it’s a great song.

Bottom Line:
If your a fan of good melodic Hard Rock with a lot of ’80s influences, great vocals, great guitars and sing-a-long lyrics, then Into The Night is definitely for you. The entire sound of the album is excellent, great production by Martin Kronlund, and it sounds like what I remember from my younger days…..an album from a bygone era maybe? This is my first proper album review for 2014 but I’ve listened to a lot of albums so far this year and Lover Under Cover has captured my listening time more with this new album than other new albums I’ve acquired so far. It’s really that good and, like I mentioned earlier, I love it when an album crosses my desk and surprises me by hooking me in immeadiately. I highly recommend people picking this album up.

Favorite Songs:
‘Miracle’, ‘Life Is Easy’, ‘Fantasy Man’, ‘Closer To The Truth’

Lover Under Cover
Escape Music

Buy the CD at Amazon.com
Buy the digital download at Amazon.com
Buy the digital download at iTunes