REVIEWS IN BRIEF

Tue
18
Jun
Label: 
Various
Categories: 
REVIEWS IN BRIEF
 
Less words, but same conclusions and same scores.
 
A lot more to come as it’s the only way to keep up with the number of releases there are these days and the fact I missed so many over the last 12 months.
 

DYNAZTY – Firesign – So they changed style mid-career, who cares when its this good! I love these guys and the last three albums have been kick ass hard rock albums, bordering on melodic metal. Such great songs and a massive production. Nils Molin has the perfect hard rock voice. For those that love something that might fall in between Eclipse and Masterplan. 94
 
KISSIN DYNAMITE – Ectasy – Another European band showing the rest of the world how its done. Huge production, layers of everything and a bunch of high-energy anthemic rockers with big choruses every track. There’s some diversity in the material here, kinda modern, kinda punky, kinda 80s hard rock…but kinda killer! 90
 
TWO OF A KIND – Rise – I absolutely loved the debut, it was a fantastic slice of female fronted, harmony rich AOR. And I love Fred Hendrix’s writing style and his ability to deliver fresh and original songs. I’m gutted to say this album isn’t a patch on the debut, not the songs, nor the rough production. 50
 
DREAM CHILD – Dream Child – Another attempt by Frontiers to recreate Dio (this one featuring Craig Goldy, Wayne Findlay, Simon Wright, Rudy Sarzo and Diego Valdez from Helker as the Ronnie Dio stand in). Songs are pretty decent but just like recent Dio albums, everything is the same tempo and you can barely tell the difference between tracks. Valdez is one hell of a singer though! The production is also pretty ordinary – a really muddy, bass heavy sound. 65
 
BULLETBOYS - From Out of The Skies – It could almost be called From Out Of The Garden Shed such is the production quality. And the songs aren’t much better. The Bulletboys debut is legendary and between that and this album comes an array of releases that both astound and also dismay. At least it isn’t as bad as Acid Monkey. 30
 
LIONVILLE – A World Of Fools – These guys have earned themselves a well-deserved reputation for high quality European pure-AOR. And it doesn’t hurt to have Work Of Art’s Lars Safsund holding the mike. Another super smooth, very likable, highly melodic slice of music. 92
 
ALL 4 1 – The World’s Best Hope – Not to be confused with the multi-platinum R&B group (there was no better idea for a name?), this is another Frontiers/Alessandro Del Vecchio project featuring a lineup that is almost Alliance plus Terry Brock. So basically, quality all-round and some very fine performances. Should have been marketed better and under another name and it is fairly safe and predictable, but sometimes that’s a good thing. 87
 
TAINTED NATION – On The Outside – Pete Newdeck delivers his best Ozzy Osbourne here with a powerful, modern and seriously rocking slice of melodic metal. Killer production and should be huge. Huge I say! 90
 
 
NEWMAN – Aerial – Maybe not quite as strong as the last studio album, but that’s hardly a slight. Always enjoyable, always quality and always a must buy. British melodic rock at its best. 90
 
PHANTOM V – Play II Win – Not earth shattering or something that held my attention for a long time, but this second album from Axel Kruse, Bobby Boebel, Michael Voss and Claus Lessmann is a big step up from the pretty average debut. 80
 
EISLEY / GOLDY ‎– Blood, Guts And Games – The thought of the two Giuffria guys together again had folks excited. When the album title came to light, it pointed towards trouble for anyone hoping for more pink and fluffy from the guys. Then came the music. Awful songs, awful style and awful production. The result kills any hope of the guys coming back to deliver what fans really wanted. 30
 
STYX – The Mission – From the band with almost as many live/DVD releases as Foreigner comes a new studio album! Wow! And even more amazing, its pretty darn good. A concept album with more pomp than the last few records, it is entertaining and sounds great. Even the James Young lead vocal sounds great, ok, well… at least it’s short. 91
 
TONY MILLS – Streets Of Chance – Absolutely superb AOR album from Britain’s Tony Mills. Doing what he does best with a solid production and some highly memorable songs. And now he’s got a new album out. Get both. Feature review for the new album coming up. 90
 
AXEL RUDI PELL – Knight’s Call – Axel. Rudi. Pell. But not as good. 70
 
PERFECT PLAN – All Rise – Perfect name, almost perfect album. A monstrous melodic rock debut from yet another Swedish discovery. Right up there with Roulette, Art Nation and Rian. Essential for fans of the genre. Can’t believe I didn’t get a review of this done at the time. A monster! 95
 
THRESHOLD - Legends Of The Shires – The best progressive hard rock album since Dream Theater’s Images And Words. A double album with all killer, no filler. Brilliant production, songs, performances and I love the vocals of Glynn Morgan. Masterpiece! 100
 
 
VEGA – Only Human – More essential British melodic rock. The guys can do no wrong and their productivity now means its hard to compare album against album and pick the best, as they have reached that number of releases where its just all good. No exception here. A little more modern in places, but still brilliant. 93
 
REVERTIGO – Revertigo – Mats Leven, Anders Wikstrom and Thomas Broman, now that’s a powerful trio. As hoped, it’s a pretty strong album. Modern to a point, but still melodic and hard rocking. A great addition to the Mats Levin catalogue. 87
 
JAMES CHRISTIAN – Craving – It’s a nice change of pace from House Of Lords and its better produced than the Lay It On The Line record. The Cliff Magness backed album is a smooth, anthemic, mid-tempo collection of songs that suit JC completely. 85
 
WHITE WIDDOW – Victory – Love these guys, love the throw back Giuffria/keyboard heavy sound and the smooth AOR melodies. They guys haven’t delivered a bad album, but I do think this one is a little safe and a repeat of past formulas. Production not as tight as previous, but I’m still a big fan. 80
 
SCREAMING JETS – Gotcha Covered – Love this band! Great classic Aussie hard rock. Which is what this covers album focusses on – classic Australian pub rock classics. There’s covers of Men At Work, Dragon, Australian Crawl, Inxs, Icehouse The Angels (whom vocalist Dave Gleeson now fronts) and even AC/DC. But guys, if you are going to cover the best – give it your best. This is yet another example of a limp-wristed straight up interpretations of songs that either don’t suit the band at all, or just aren’t rocked out enough to warrant the effort. Very poor. 50
 
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Score: 
30-100