M i s c e l l a n e o u s R e v i e w s !


Add any album review you like!
If you have picked something up that the world should know about - let them know. And if there is a real stinker on the market - warn others.
Just remember to keep praise or abuse constructive.


22/03/10: Andrew - Giant - Promise Land - mentallydamaged@netspace.net.au
Rating: 29
*** Please beware this aint pretty ***

John Roth makes & Saves this album from probably being one of the worst releases i have heard in a long time.. PERIOD !!

John simply put fire into an album that well i don't think was really well thought out. Production & the guitar work unfortunately save this steaming pile of lyrical.......shit !!

I am left to wonder who wrote the lyrics to this album as they are infant, boring & predictable. Lyrically this album made me cringe. I have a feeling my 5 year old son could have put together some better lyrical rhymes & content.

Example : Two Worlds

First time offender
looking down the barrel of a gun
I surrender
Nowhere to hide, no where to run

Ooops i have just thrown uo a little in my mouth again!

I am SERIOUSLY dissapointed with this record, one that i held such high hopes for & highlights how guys like Stage Dolls do this genre so much better.

Giant without Dan Huff, forget about it.

Production & great guitar playing is the only thing that makes this album rate with me at all. I feel embarrased for John Roth. His playing smokes, but he must not have heard any of the lyrical structure around the songs.

An instrumental version of this album would be awesome !!! (& could possibly be a near perfect record)

All in all i guess you will see plenty of these in 2nd hand stores or cheap on ebay. That's where mine has gone!!

What a shame this happened to one of my most anticipated releases of the last 6 months.

By the way wtf is PROMISE LAND?

Promised land makes sense, but like this albums lyrics, promise land makes no sense.

16/03/10: Ken Drew - JET RED - FLIGHT PLAN - kdrew@jetred.com
Rating: 95
The long wait is over. After numerous years of sitting on this album, I am proud to say the wait was worth it. To get a full length melodic rock album of the quality that Jet Red delivers in "Flight Plan" is fabulous for all rock fans. The bonus DVD is a treat albeit a little weak for a one camera shot recorded before the age of digital camcorders.

Nonetheless, you get your first take of the band live which is a cool bonus for all fans. As for the album, it starts strong with "Drive-In" showcasing Willie Hines' vocal talent and the rockin' guitar of Johnny Feikert. Throw in the driving bass of of Brad Lang and you cannot go wrong.

Followed by "After The War", the album continues to build. Keyboards are used but in a flavor to really add to the sound. "Trouble" pays homage to vinyl with the intro and shines with the solo work of Mr. Feikert.

"See The Light" actually captures the band's feelings at the time in dealing with a lost record deal thanks to idiots at Relativity and is a true gem care of Willie Hines.

To me, "Lots Of Days" is the stand out track on the album. The one minute into will never make radio people happy but let's face it, radio people don't play this sort of melodic rock.

"Dance On The Line" deals with topics relevant today like terrorism. "I Surrender" is a solid rocker and the piano intro into "Tell Me When You're Ready" is a nice change up.

The demos give a glimpse into what the band may have been with Marty Friedman but it is clear that Johnny Feikert is completely overlooked and under-rated.

The vocal harmonies found here are classic and you would be a fool not to go over to jetred.com and look at how to pick this album up. Rock on!

04/01/10: Greg Ronson - Abi Rose Music - existececlothing@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
http://www.myspace.com/abirosemusic

Abi Rose – Soul Funk Town editorial release


With eyes that look like they will pierce straight into your soul yet, carrying a demeanor that advocates the softens and delicacy of her name is Perth singer, songwriter and musician Abi Rose.
Pre empting the very close release of her EP – “Soul funk Town” at Perth’s newly opened, elite Jazz venue, “The Ellington”, this is an
artist I predict you will soon be hearing a lot of.

In a world that is captivated by pop music and electronically produced sounds, Abi Rose is bringing a new sound, with an old sound, combining funky rhythms, masses of slap bass and songs with a James Brown feel. The songs carry an old romantic feel as well as encompassing some, (you might say)… sensual lyrics, speaking about chivalry and the more eloquent things in life. Add to that a whole lot of attitude and an amazing vocal sound and you have… Abi Rose.

You may not be quite sure what to expect on meeting her though. Whilst her lyrics are womanly and oozing with confidence and passion, she’ll be most likely to greet you with a firm handshake, cheeky grin and down to earth manner with an appealing hint of shy. With her head tilting slightly to the left in a look of deep thought, she asks me, “Do you like to skate?” I think she means ice-skating but she assures me she is referring to skateboarding! I tell her not so much and she looks momentarily disappointed before moving on to tell me that she loves to skate ramps in her spare time. I am not sure quite what to make as she explains this whilst elegantly sipping a glass of red wine.

Having started playing drums early on, as her music teacher’s idea of helping Abi to…release some of the intense energy, the rhythm in the music is strong.
Having spent four years in Melbourne developing her songwriting and musicianship Abi Rose is now studying contemporary vocals at WAAPA
and is planning to release her first EP “Soul Funk Town”, in March this year. Look out for it and if you get a chance to meet Abi Rose in person…it will undoubtedly be, a pleasure.



Greg Ronson


22/12/09: Nikolas - EASY DEATH - Angelika & Demons - nikolasstn@gmail.com
Rating: 0
Angelika & Demons
Easy Death (demo)
Digital Release Date: 2009 11 15
Distribution: iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody

Easy Death is the demo album of Angelika & Demons, gothic rock/metal Internet project led by songwriter and singer Angelika (Russia). As it is a demo album which was recorded at home studio I will not enlarge much on quality of the record though it is not so bad.
First sounds of the beautiful piano ballad Easy Death which opens the album immediately remind of Evanescence’s hit songs Bring Me to Life and My Immortal. The influence of the famous female-fronted goth metal band is evident.

At the same time, Angelika’s vocal differs from Amy’s. While Amy is crying from pain, Angelika’s celestial voice is sad, melancholic, pensive. Easy Death and other piano ballads in the album are very heartwarming. They tell about death but full of hope and love. The heroine spends time in prayers waiting for the happy moment of decease. “Take me to the blessed light from the darkness of the night”, - asks she.

The other half of the album includes metal songs (Requiem, Love never dies, heavy version of Easy Death, Dead Night and The Earth). It's the heavy/power/gothic metal of groups like Nightwish that influences this part of Easy Death. And really strong female’s opera vocals, not inferior to Tarja Turunen, are a real and unexpected enjoyment. After the moment of Tarja’s leaving we desperately lack for a good female opera singer in gothic metal bands.
One more song I should certainly mention, the most strange and mysterious in the album, is called “Zemlya”. The song is an unusual, electronic musical composition with hypnotic vocal and echoes, and I had gooseflesh listening to it. There is something in the song which hard to explain, it looks like a strong cosmic power inside it.

Could Zemlya really be a message from God? If yes what did God wish to tell us through the song? Does Zemlya really can cure and make one’s dreams true? Listen to it and feel yourself, I can just assure you that this strange song is a real magik.

I would recommend Easy Death to fans of female-fronted bands like Evanescence/Nightwish and for all listeners who are looking for spirituality in music.

27/11/09: Doron - Shakra - \"Everest\" - doron@gluecksmann.com
Rating: 94
The New 2009 Studio-Album "Everest", with the Superhit "Why" of the Swiss Melodic Rock Band "Shakra", is brilliant, very melodic, and has a good quality of Recording. Compareing to the Band "House of Lords" an equal good Album. If you like House of Lords, then this Album is a Must !

20/11/09: Bob in Nashville - MASTEDON 3 - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 99
I was not familiar with MASTEDON until I heard them on a compilation disc. "3" is a one of my favorite CDs of the year and is a must buy for main stream melodic rock fans.

Track by Track.
1) Revolution of Mind. Real upbeat keyboard and drum driven with a great guitar solo.

2) Slay Your Demons. A prog-rock vibe with all kinds of vocals and you can hear the echos of Kansas at their very best.

3) Nowhere Without Your Love. The single best power ballad I have ever heard. Period. How it should be done. Layered guitars ala BOSTON. Vocal texture and musical structure that bounces between Triumph and Starship and Boston. Tremendous song in every way possible. And a lesson on how to do a power ballad that is NOT cheesy.

4) One Day Down By the Lake. It's an in your face gospel song. Full chorus and vocal. Starts slow and builds after a nice guitar and extended keyboard lead in. Progressive vibe. Different from anything else and a ton of vocals once they get into the song. The vocals make me think of really old Styx. I also hear Kansas in this cut.

5) Waterloo into Wine. Straight ahead rocker and a great story that I won't give away. I swear I hear Paul Stanley in the lead vocals. Driven by the drums and the guitars.

6) Questions (It's About Time). An upbeat can-we-do-better-as-people song. Nice Slide Guiter to finish it out. A great message and a pick-me-up if you are having a bad moment in your day.

7) You Can't Take Anything. An 80's style break up song that Huey Lewis and the News could have done (but not as well as this).

8) Lying. Mid-Tempo layered guitars and a song that Foreigner would have been proud of.

9) Western World. Another cut where the vocal texture and guitars make me think of BOSTON and TRIUMPH from the glory days.

10) That's What You Do. This one bounces between guitar and keyboards and the vocals have gospel overtones without being in your face. The Drums keep it moving and the vocals soar.

11) Dust In The Wind. A re-interpretation of the KANSAS classic.

I'm totally hooked on this CD. The production and songwriting is stellar. As is the musicianship. I love the textures and the varying tempos of the songs. Cut 3, the power-ballad is a must hear and one of my favorite songs of the year. Of the last several years.

"3" by Mastedon is a brilliant, at times stunning mainstream rock CD and one that should not be missed. I hope these guys tour the USA. I want to hear this music live!

11/11/09: Stephen - W.E.T. - W.E.T. - st_hood@hotmail.com
Rating: 7
Any CD I see so much awesome press for should blow me away! I shouldn't have to listen to it over and over to like it more! Honestly there are a couple of standout tracks but for the reviews I've read it should all be standout. Not so. Also the production is over done and way too glossy. I would prefer to be able to distinctly hear each instrument and enjoy them. Some people like to eat their food all stirred together but I prefer to taste each item separately. This album is all stirred together. Personally I'm being generous with my rating and 100 is pure asskissing!

06/11/09: Bob in Nashville - GRAND DESIGN \"Time Elevation\" - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 86
Fun CD from a band that in reviews said they wanted to sound like Def Leppard. Well, I like Def Leppard alot and I like this band, too. Big Chorus, big guitars, ect. They succeeded nicely. If you like Def Leppard, you should like GRAND DESIGN.

I'd have graded the actual CD a bit higher (88) but the lead vocals are kinda lost in the mix in places. Not a good thing. But overall a nice effort. Some might find them to sound too close to Def Lep, but if I was dreaming of being a big rock star, I might well follow the trail Def Leppard has blazed. ROCK ON!

15/10/09: James - Lynyrd Skynyrd - God & Guns - jamescrystal@verizon.net
Rating: 90
love the album. love the songs, even the one that I'm so-so on is still better than most so-so songs on albums. The sound follows EDGE OF FOREVER & VICIOUS CYCLE. This is what you would expect from Skynyrd in 2009. my ONLY complaint with this album is track listing. you have a rocker then a slow song then another rocker then another slow song through out the entire album. for me this hurts the flow of the album. Johnny's vocals are in top shape and the band is tight, rocking out and playing songs with ton's of heart.

17/09/09: Bob in Nashville - Ace Frehley - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 95
The Spaceman is back after 20 years with a brand new CD called Anomaly. It's a great piece of work. Big and messy and rocks from start to finish. Highlight for me is a monster rockin version of the classic "Fox On the Run" and a s-m-o-k-i-n cut called "Genghis Khan" where Ace burns up the guitar fret board... The CD is like most things about Ace Frehley's career. Kinda sloppy, but great raw rock-in-roll and a fun ride. 4 extra bonus points for the CD case and artwork. Not your normal jewel box. ROCK ON!

07/09/09: Andy Garibaldi - Paula Knight - Wonder - deadearnest@btinternet.com
Rating: 99
PAULA KNIGHT - WONDER CD ALBUM (Dead Earnest DERNCD 77)
Paula Knight is a guitarist, keyboards player, singer and composer from Dundee and “Wonder” is her debut album, professionally recorded, manufactured and remixed. The album contains ten memorable tracks which conjure influences somewhere between Alanis Morissette, Kate Bush and Rush. Essentially it's a hybrid of AOR, prog rock and great songwriting, with Paula's impressive high-register vocal soaring over the solid instrumentation. The opener, “Forbidden” is propelled by a blast of drumming with an undercurrent of sizzling guitars, bass pounding at the heart of things, while a brief but surging guitar break puts the icing on the cake. The song is led by its chorus, a multi-tracked hook that swirls around your head while the lead vocal is both strong and pure. After this comes “Can't Sleep Tonight”, every bit the rock ballad only way more radio friendly than most, starting with just the soft vocal and chiming guitar, then the band comes in as the song climbs to an impressive height, the gorgeous feel of the song enhanced by dynamic and increasing intensity from the rhythm section, the chiming guitar giving way to a red hot lead as the song takes off in gloriously mid-paced fashion, another chorus refusing to let go as the strength, purity and passion of Paula's vocal shines through. The title track surges into life with sublime multi-tracked wordless harmonies over the lurching beats as the lead vocal propels the song over solid bass and crunching drums, as it then moves to the multi-tracked chorus, the song twisting and turning through these elements with it all gelling in your head and making you want to hear it over and over again, as classic and long-lasting enjoyment as serious listening rock-pop goes, a sort of UK answer to a more commercial Rush and one solid gem of a song. A squall of electric guitar introduces “Something New” as the lurching drums and twanging bass feature, above which the soaring vocal tells another story and leads, once again, into a memorable chorus where combined lead and multi-tracked vocals provide the unforgettable enjoyment. The lyrics, as throughout, are personal and worthy listening, while the arrangement is propelled by some surging electric guitar riffing, superb multi-tracked vocals and a depth that is solid and direct. “Messin About” rocks like a demon as a sea of driving drumming, solid bass, surging guitar riffs propel a high-flying vocal as the soft-rock surge really takes hold on a song that dives from verse to chorus with precision, intensity and purpose, the song so full sounding, the lyrics superb and the delivery from Paula's vocal, once again leading the way with strength and delicious purity. As the song takes a twist, decelerates, a biting, bluesy guitar solo is heard on top before it all suddenly erupts and drives to the roaring finale. “Leave My Mind” starts with lush synths and languid, passionate vocal as the strummed acoustic guitar, chiming electric guitar and slowly moving rhythm section herald the arrival of a most gorgeous ballad where the vocal climbs, intones heartfelt lyrics, multi-tracked for maximum effect, the absence of any distinct chorus made up for by a song that's so strong, so full of depth, delicacy and strength, that it virtually brings a tear to the eye and a lump to the throat, her guitar playing just exquisite, her vocal so emotional, and a stunning soft-rock ballad that should be up there with the best there is around. “Why Do You Stay?” starts with cascading acoustic guitar chords before the electric guitar fires up, the band roar in and another multi-tracked vocal this time sets the scene with the chorus at the beginning as it leads into the main vocal before then scorching ahead towards the chorus, the swinging to and fro between intense lead vocal on the verses and the huge-sounding choruses that take off to breathtaking and memorable effect with another, this time Pink Floyd-esque burst of brief guitar lead, adding to the effect as the song surges ahead in driving fashion. “Seven Skies” charges into action with a memorable guitar riff and solid rhythm playing as the song itself heads off down the highway in dramatic and dynamic fashion, that swirling guitar riff sticking in your head as the purposeful multi-tracked vocals provide the extra lifeblood to a great song. There's a dual lead guitar break in the middle as the chorus takes hold and the stunning song just surges ahead with Paula's vocal sounding like she really means business. “Mr Broken Hearted” begins with staccato bass, cymbal splashes and strummed acoustic guitar as that flowing vocal mixes high register with smouldering intensity as the rhythm bounces along, drums break through then the familiar surge of guitar riffing propels the song as a background of wordless harmonies gives way to a Rush-like synth backdrop, the lurching rhythms under the vocal which flies and dives to emotional effect, the choruses turning left and right as the song just takes off, lands and takes off once more, the bass work from Don Graham particularly noteworthy on this track, although his playing and that of drummer Harvey Chamberlain have been absolutely exemplary throughout. The album ends with Paula's long-standing live favourite, the rousing rocker that is “Lady Of Rage” with a surging, swirling guitar riff that is just so on fire, and a vocal that drives forward with an arrangement that not only sticks in the head but the sort of song that you'll just want to play and play, the presence of an absolutely stunning guitar break simply the magical icing on the cake of a seriously strong hot rocking slice of progressive rock-pop of the highest order, the song's hook digging in and refusing to let go – a fantastic closing song, bringing to an end one of the best CD albums of astoundingly commercial rock with a progressive edge, that there is around today and heralding the arrival of Paula Knight as a major player on the scene.
Availability: Voiceprint Mail Order

26/08/09: LongtimeBostonFan30 - Voodoo Circle - SS454Wagon@hughes.net
Rating: 90
I almost missed out on this gem because there was a lack of hardly any info, reviews of this band. Scratching my head on this one....how did this get overlooked???
There are so many other bands reviewed that are weak that somehow Voodoo Circle got overlooked. I don't see how this happened with David Readman (Pink Cream 69) at vocals and Alex Beyrodt tearing up the guitar along with some other very respected musicians.
Anyway, here's my take on this "turn it up loud" effort.
Alex's influence of Deep Purple is strong here with a touch of a Yngwie Malmsteen sound and along with Readman's vocals....excellent!
For the Melodic Metal fan this is a must! It won't dissapoint!
Almost a 95......about a 92.5.

28/07/09: Jimmy Beach - Stryper- murder by pride - canihaveurtots@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
The boys are back and better than ever. A must CD for any roack/metal fan ...

30/04/09: Greg - Lacuna Coil - Shallow Life - darkwave2000@hotmail.com
Rating: 65
After the dissapointing Karmacode, I was hoping for a return to form for this amazing Italian goth rock band. Well, it's hit and miss here. A couple of tracks are so cookie cutter it's obvious they should've tossed 'em or taken 'em back to the drawing board. The story with this band is that they are desperate to break the U.S. So they have sold their souls to management and producers who are trying to "Americanize" their sound. It's a damn shame because they don't have the best selling CD in Metal Blade's history with Comalies because they sounded "American." They had an exotic flavor that made them so beautiful and powerful and when it was sharpened to metallic perfection on Comalies, the results were stupendous! Karmacode introduced drop D tuning on the guitars, slogging, repetitive rhythms and burying Cristina Scabbia's majestic voice in the muddy mix. There's not so much Korn-like guitars on this one, thank God, but Spellbound lacks a consistent metallic edge that made Comalies so magical.
-Survive kicks off the CD with a middle eastern vocal hook sung by children or maybe sped up adult vocals creating a haunting effect similar to Kerli's Walking On Air song.
-I Won't Tell You is a good song. I especially like the bridge where Cristina sings in near monotone "I've been burned so bad but I still play with fire."
-Not Enough is the best song on the album. It sounds like old school LC like on their Unleashed Memories CD.
-I'm Not Afraid sounds like a Linkin Park song. The chorus could've, or already has, been done better by Chester from LP instead of Lacuna's male singer, Andrea Ferro.
-I Like It is spooky and different. It recalls something The Eurythmics could've done but I like it, pun intended.
-Underdog sounds like a UFC theme song. The song is repetitive and the line "Kill my soul, kill my dream" is a bit overdone.
-The Pain never seems to kick in and rock despite Cristina singing her ass off. The guitars just buzz in the background like angry gnats.
-Spellbound is the single, I guess. It's the first song I heard before the album came out and I was surprise how much male vocals are on it. The chorus is good when the female vocals dominate and sounds like it's straight off Comalies.
-Wide Awake is next which starts with a celtic yodel ala Sinead O'connor which I assume is sung by Cristina since no other female is credited for vocals. If it is her, that's amazing that she has another trick up her vocal sleeve. Very cool. It's a very nice ballad.
-Maze has Cristina pulling out another trick as she does some mid-east crooning for the song. It's a nice track.
-Unchained is the second stand out track. The sexy way Cristina sings the "Un" in Unchained is so fine! Also the guitar solo is absolutely smoking! You don't get many solos from this band and this certainly makes up for it! Wow!
-Shallow Life, the song, closes the CD. It tries to pull the heart strings but just doesn't do it. Basically, it ends up being the title sung over and over to no emotional effect. It's one of the cookie cutter songs I referred to earlier.
In conclusion, it's an OK album. I've only listened to Karmacode twice all the way through and I've already listened to this one three times and plan many more spins. I don't really know what to expect from the next one. I wish they'd forget about trying to conquer America and just do what they do.


22/04/09: Sean Wright - The Law - The Law - seanwright@live.co.uk
Rating: 95
As a kid growing up on a diet of Free & Bad Company which my Dad would listen to around the house, I found something mesmorising with this voice coming from the old sterio in which I couldnt help but sing along with. I suppose the main man in question here is often regarded as one of the best singers in the business today with a very impressive back catalouge to his name. You will always find him in a poll of top singers in some rock magazine, some call him 'The Voice' which after one listen to this album I now understand why, of course I am talking about the fantastic Paul Rodgers! it doesn't really get much better than this guy.

The Law consisted of ex The Who & Small Faces drummer Kenny Jones, and of course ex Free & Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers who both had the idea of creating The Law when they met eachother in a nightclub. The album features big names as guest musicians such as David Gilmour, Chris Rea & Bryan Adams. The album produced Billboard's #1 chart hit 'Laying Down The Law' which was penned by Rodgers but sadly, the album didnt do as well as expected.

Here we see a band stepping up their game to create what they set out to do, a damn fine rock album for fans alike. Be it the simple yet effective drum work from Kenny Jones or the wonderful fret arobics courtesy of studio guitarist John Staehely, not to forget rocking bass from Pino Palladino. The star of the show however has to be the multi-talented Paul Rodgers, in which I find The Law to be his finest vocal work to date!

Kicking things off is a great rock number 'For A Little Ride' which starts with a big pounding snare throughout with great lead guitar chops and a big chorus to get you singing along. Next up is a song written by Def Leppards very own Phil Collen 'Miss You In A Heartbeat' which shows Rodgers at a more relaxed vocal style full of passion in which was later re-recorded by Def Leppard for their Retroactive album, oh dear. 'Stone Cold' is the first song to show what The Law is all about, a great track with whaling vocals and a funky chorus with wonderful backing vocals. 'Come Save Me (Julianne)' is a touching ballad with a warming atmosphere that surrounds it to keep your attention from start to finish. The musicianship never seems to dissapoint with The Law, not a single track to be skipped without hooking you in first. Up next we have possibly Rodgers best studio vocal in my opinion. Written by The Voice himself, the only track to be released as a single 'Laying Down The Law' shows what an incredible singer Rodgers really is. this Starting off with an unxpected piano intro flowing into a vesre where Rodgers is very reserved and laid back until he reaches the chorus and blows you away with the sheer power of this mans voice through the speakers leaving you thinking, they really don't call this guy The Voice for nothing. 'Nature Of The Beast' is another cool track helped by the talent of Bryan Adams with a catchy chorus throughout. The rest of the album tracks are in the same vain with stunning phrasing by Rodgers and great musicianship.

The Law is an album I will always consider to be one of Rodgers finest hour as far as his back catalouge goes, his vocals on this album are simply stunning. Try as I may I can't fault this release. I will always think of Rodgers as a fine wine, he really does get better with age! Forget what you hear about his finest vocal work being with Free because this album deserves your undivided attention. Rodgers really is at the top of his game, a must have.

Tracklisting:

1. For A Little Ride
2. Miss You In A Heartbeat
3. Stone Cold
4. Come Save Me (Julianne)
5. Laying Down The Law
6. Nature Of The Beast
7. Stone
8. Anything For You
9. Best Of My Love
10. Tough Love
11. Missing You Bad Girl

16/04/09: Greg - Queensryche - American Soldier - darkwave2000@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
I thought Mindcrime II was excellent with a few flaws and one song too long. I was intrigued with the concept of the new disc but American Soldier is a step back into mediocrity ala Tribe, Q2K and Here In The Now Frontier. Kelly Gray is back as co-producer so we get the long, plodding rhythms instead of cool guitar riffs. The guitar solos are awesome thanks to Michael Wilton who gives us the twin guitar attack all by himself. The first track is great and then it goes quickly downhill. I was very interested to hear the track Home Again as it's a duet with Geoff Tate and his daughter. Although it's a great song with lyrics that moved me to tears, I cringed when I heard Tate's daughter . You'd think the offspring of one the greatest singers of all time could carry a tune. Ouch! If the girls voice was in key, that song would've been huge! It's hard to believe this is the same band who did The Warning, Rage For Order and Operation Mindcrime I. I know bands must grow and change but Queensryche is like a Roomba that's stuck in a bad corner. C'mon guys. Get inspired or give it up.

10/04/09: Bob Baker - Queensryche American Soldier - bobtrish_baker@yahoo.com
Rating: 96
What you ca say about Queensryche. I know the last album was subpar. Mindcrime 2 come on enough already. At least that is what I thought until the AMERICAN SOLDIER. By far the best CD they have done since hear in the now, tribe, Empire. Yes it is a concept album. but wow you can feel the pure talent pouring thru every verse. It is a gospel type cd. If you ever served your country give it a listen. I do not matter what army you where in. This is a true classic. outstand tracks well all of them serve a reason to be on the CD. But singles If I where King. Killer, the rest is up to the listener. BUY THIS CD>>>>>>>>

27/03/09: Scott Sampson - Before The Fall / Slow Descent - subtleirony4u@yahoo.com
Rating: 91
Before The Fall's first full length album Slow Descent has some really amazing songs. I am a local music writer in Boston, MA. I have seen the band from 2004 through today, through changes, through linesup and finally to a solid, uniformed hard rock entity. This band is a must see - I saw them last month opening for Mudvayne in CT. I plan on being at there CD release April 10, 2009 Hard Rock Cafe, Boston, MA
S.Sampson

05/02/09: mrcharlie - Places of Power - S/t - nygren2002@hotmail.com
Rating: 96
Wow! This is an amazing Aor-album. A must have for all Foreigner and Shadow King fans! Amazing songs with catchy hooks, stunning choruses, a fantastic head vocal performance and a dazzling guitar work. I usually agree with the reviewer in this page but i truly can't understand the reasonable low rate for this album. Well, the production is not perfect but it's still very good. The best melodic album since the latest release of Brother Firetribe.

03/02/09: Brian Clough - Edguy - Sanctus Tinnitus - thecloughs@embarqmail.com
Rating: 0
I've been a huge Edguy fan ever since 2001. My first dose of the band was the over the top Theatre of Salvation. After that release, the band went on to release both the mighty Mandrake and Hellfire Club albums. Their last album, Rocket Ride, while a step back from Hellfire Club, had its moments. That brings us to their current release, Sanctus Tinnitus. I hate to say it, but the new album is uninspired, weakly produced and flat out bland! I've listened to this release at least six times through and I just can't manage to find much to enjoy. Hopefully, these new songs will come off much better live than in the studio. So, if you're an Edguy fan, beware that this isn't the quality, melodic metal you hear on Hellfire Club. :-(

30/12/08: Paul W. Nash - Nightingale Hall by Lyrian - paul.w.nash@virgin.net
Rating: 75
I cannot review this CD, as I am part of the band. But a friend of a friend wrote the following review for us, which I think is pretty fair, and which he has allowed me to post here:

This is the first full-length CD from Lyrian, a three-piece band from Oxfordshire, and it is a curious beast. In one sense, the music of Lyrian has come thirty (or more) years too late, as it is deeply rooted in the progressive rock movement of the mid-1970s. On the other hand, the album is full of sweet and quirky tunes, and contrives to combine nostalgia and originality in an effective mix.
Nightingale Hall is a concept album in the true prog-rock tradition, and tells the story of a haunted country house, from its building to its destruction by fire, with various, sometimes obscure, dramas occurring in between. After a ‘Prelude’, a short atmospheric instrumental which would not be out of place as background music in an alternative therapy clinic, we hear ‘Nightingales’, a ‘song’ which rambles along for more than seventeen minutes, with several changes of key, mood, rhythm and style, so that it seems almost to be short album on its own. The opening is weak, but there are some pleasing tunes later in the piece. The sweeping ending, with its shifting time signatures and complex instrumentation, is suitably moody. At this point the album improves somewhat, and the next two songs are rather more effective. ‘The Summerhouse’ is a quiet piece in two halves, the first being a spooky sequence of chords and discords played on various synthesizers, while in the second half a lovely vocal line appears, with pleasing, pastoral lyrics, some gentle instrumental breaks and a bridge-section reminiscent of early-period Genesis, with all its tweets and la-la-las.
‘He Who Would Valiant Be’ is, in my view, the best song on the album. It is another long one (at more than fifteen minutes) but does not feel overlong or uneven, despite several shifts of tempo and mood. It begins with a Bachian church organ toccata which leads into a splendid guitar riff and the main (triumphant) vocal theme. This is followed by a moment in a cathedral, when monks seem to be singing of the joys of the coming war, before the main, heavy, militaristic portion of the song begins. Apart from some whispered vocals this is an instrumental section, invoking the vainglory of war, which concludes with a violent, brassy march towards destruction. When the smoke clears a flute and a gentle synthesizer are all that remain, and a sad soldier singing another sweet tune. The song ends with a recapitulation of the first vocal theme, but with the lyrics subtly changed to reflect the protagonist’s understanding of his condition as a victim of war.
The next track, ‘The Chimes’, is relatively short (only six-and-a-half minutes) and, despite an attractive tune, fails to move at anything more than a slow walking pace. The heavy section at the end is particularly unsuccessful, being imprecisely played and rather distorted, and the lyrics are no more than atmosphere (meaning having departed for a while). The following song, ‘The Lovers Under the Tree’ is perhaps the one that owes most to early Genesis, and works reasonably well. The lyrics are here rather more pastiche than poetry, but the first, accoustic guitar-led section is pleasantly tuneful, and leads into a nice Tony Banks-inspired instrumental, with several key changes and melodic synthesizer and guitar solos. The penultimate song is genuinely short (little more than two minutes) and simple. Here there is just an acoustic guitar or two, a flute, a bass note and a short vocal. The tune is similarly simple, and beautiful in its simplicity.
The album ends with ‘Lucifer’. The title refers not to the devil, but to the Victorian word for a match (Lucifer meaning literally ‘light-bearer’). The lyrics are complex and full of ambiguity, with some use of satanic language and metaphor to describe the destruction of the house by fire and its aftermath. Musically, the opening section of the song owes a good to deal to early Marillion, with a keyboard theme that could easily have been written by Mark Kelly. The tune is simple, and the effect pleasing. A lengthy central instrumental section describes the fire itself, and recapitulates several themes already heard in other songs, before a lyrical final description of the natural world overcoming the ruins of the house and, as a metaphor, all the works of man. We hear again a simple tune that first appeared in the ‘Prelude’ and was also repeated in ‘Nightingales’. There are lots of guitar jangles, flutes and choral sounds, providing a gentle and optimistic conclusion to the album.
Lyrian are John Blake on vocals and guitars, Alison Felstead on bass and vocals, and Paul W. Nash on keyboards, guitars, percussion, ‘woodwinds’ (meaning flute and recorder, I think) and vocals. I presume from the hierarchy of the band-listing that the main voice we hear is that of Blake. I cannot distinguish a different male voice for Nash (though Felstead’s backing-vocals can be heard on several songs). Blake does not have a classic rock voice. His singing is pale, but lyrical and very English - there is no trace of an American accent here. At times he is clearly trying to sound like Peter Gabriel and it is no bad thing that he fails in this and, most of the time, sounds like himself. Overall the musicianship of the band-members is variable. There are some nice keyboard sounds and riffs, and the bass-work is solid, but the guitars are not always played with assurance. The worst aspect of the album, from a musical standpoint, is the percussion. This is evidently synthesized (for the most part) and seldom rises above the workmanlike in its execution.
The composition and arrangement of the songs is generally admirable. Although Blake and Nash, who wrote all the music on the album, have copied certain stylistic and conceptual ideas from their heroes (notably early Genesis, Pink Floyd, Yes and Marillion) there is a deal of invention here and, most importantly of all, some good, original tunes which one can hum (if one is so inclined). There are also classical influences in the arrangements; here are touches of Bach, there of medieval music, here of madrigals, there of lush romantic strings. The lyrics are, with some exceptions, intelligent and poetic.
The album was apparently recorded by the band in a spare bedroom, and does suffer from this amateur approach. Some of the mixes are a little fuzzy, and the drumming could certainly have been improved had it been recorded and mixed in a professional studio. Having said that, the results are remarkably good, given the small-scale nature of the ‘studio’. The packaging of the CD also has an amateurish feel. This is all to the good, however, as the artwork on the CD itself and on the packaging, all executed by the overactive Nash, is perfectly appropriate to the ‘retro’ style of the album. The main cover-image is a multicolour wood-engraving, hand-printed at the Strawberry Press for the first pressing of the CD, which is limited to 500 copies. This is not a completely successful image (it shows six of the characters from the story before the ivy-clad wall of the Hall), but has a certain homespun charm and suits the quirky concept of the album very well. How many CDs will be issued this year with a hand-printed cover, I wonder? Despite this arts-and-crafts approach, the album sells for only £6.00. It is available from the band’s own record label, Medieval Records, or from CD-Baby.
There is much to admire about Nightingale Hall. It is certainly very good value for money, giving seventy-five minutes of progressive rock at a rock-bottom price. It is full of good tunes and interesting lyrics. The music is often atmospheric, sometimes complex, sometimes simple, sometimes simply beautiful. All the songs have clear and musical endings. There are no fade-outs here. However, the music is not always well-played or recorded, and Lyrian could hardly be said to have discovered a new genre. I have yet to encounter a prog CD which could not be called, at some level, pretentious. Nightingale Hall is certainly that. But, to my mind, part of the charm of progressive rock lies in its pretentiousness, and Lyrian have got their pretensions just about right.

Michael Cooke

27/12/08: Sixty 8 - Sixty 8 \"Before the Fall\" Re - info@sixty8band.com
Rating: 4
Sixty 8: Before The Fall


Modern Melodic Hard Rock/Metal


Rating: 4.5/5.0


www.myspace.com/sixty8band
Independent: Self-Promotion





American rockers Sixty 8 are determined to defy convention and stand the American music scene on its head while at the same time making you wonder, 'Where have I heard this before and why does it sound so good?' The reason is simple: Sixty 8 deftly dovetails classic rock and metal with modern nuances into their own self-defined genre they call retro-metal or nu-classic rock. Whatever. Frankly, there's nothing earthshaking or intensely novel here: 'Before The Fall' is simply entertaining and satisfying rock/metal music. Forget Nickelback and other contemporaries. Sixty 8 is the real deal.

Two things make this work compelling. The first is the amazingly passionate and versatile vocals of Tryg Bundgaard. He's equal parts Coverdale and Rose with a host of others thrown in for good measure. For my money, he steals the show on songs like 'Blood Red Sky,' 'The Race Goes' (Axl) 'I Won't Play' and 'All She's Ever Known.' Secondly, there is the shear depth and breadth of song composition: there is enough variety on this album to please any rock music lover. There are touches of melodic hard rock, melodic metal, modern rock and combinations of the three. As a unit, this band delivers the songs with compelling precision and strength. Additionally, the production and mix is nothing short of brilliant (listen for the bass!)..

Now for the songs themselves. The work opens with 'Blood Red Sky,' a strong melodic hard rocker with a metal edge thanks to the heavier riffs and Bundgaard's screams. These guys mean business. From 'Interactive' to 'Better Days' you're treated to basic melodic hard rock wrapped in a modern rock wrapper. The best of these is the incredibly orchestrated 'Any Race Of Man' where, again, Tryg shines and the lead guitar thrills.

After 'Better Days' to the end melodic hard rock with a dose of metal here and there rules day. 'The Race Goes On' brings a raw rocker with a true metal tone with wild vocals and twin guitar solos. Equally impressive is 'I Won't Play' with it's steady pace and strong riffs. Another highlight is the rock ballad 'All She's Ever Known' whose acoustic foundation and passionate vocals define its intensity. Finally, there is the best cut on the album (at least for me), 'Killing Time.' It begans with a tandem acoustic and electric opening only to move towards an epic melodic rocker worthy of stadium filling appeal.

Even though there is hardly a dull moment on this album, I did tire a little during the modern rock influenced stretch at the beginning. This accounts for the less than perfect score.

Obviously, I found Sixty 8's 'Before The Fall' to be a compelling and entertaining musical adventure. This is simply solid American melodic hard rock and metal they way it should be done. I knew it existed somewhere. Why people wallow in the mud of Hinder and Nickelback when they could be living in the green grass and high tides of Sixty 8, I'll never understand. We just got to get the word out. Highly recommended! - Craig Hartranft

DangerDog.com

20/12/08: Henri Only - 72 - Hanoi Rocks: Best of 1980 - 2008 - jopokeulat@jippii.fi
Rating: 0
Great 2 CD Digipack compilation from Sleaze Rock / Rock´n´ Roll Pioneers Hanoi Rocks.
Timeless songs from the early / mid 80´s remastered. High quality of the songs from Hanoi´s " second coming " show that It wasn´t just a nostalgia thing and that Monroe and Sleaze Guru McCoy continued to improve their artistic talents into a pleasing direction.
Naturally song selections on compilations can´t please everybody. For example, I would have added great intro of Malibu Beach Nightmare and personal favourites like Ice Cream Summer or I can´t get It on CD#1.
This digipack has also the coolest covers I have seen a long time with autograps of the key members of the BAND. However, about 1/3 of all Hanoi members´ autograps from the years 1980-2008 lack. But, who really cares except some old members maybe ?
Anyway, very nice compilation from One of the Best bands. Bonus: 2 previously unreleased songs.

20/12/08: John - Axel Rudi Pell Tales of the Crown - rm2michael@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
This is as close as a classic album you can get. Very Heavy, medium tempo, to fast tempo songs, as always 2 ballads, with "Touching my Soul" as a freakish guitar ballad/slow rocker that becomes a mid tempo and odyssey of a song. The opening cut "Higher" screams with two long guitar solos that can't be ignored. Instrumental in the middle. Close to a new sound for Axel, but this release blows the Black Moon/Wizard's Chosen few completely out of the water and returns more to a Shadow Zone/Ocean's of time Feel, although the songs and arrangements are completely different. If you like heavy melodic metal/rock combined, no doubt, this is probably my second favorite album of the year- the only one to beat it is probably "Mercy Falls" by Seventh Wonder, which is the album of the year in my opionion.

04/12/08: Cozy Al Williams - Newman - Decade CD Review - alun_williams@comcast.net
Rating: 90
He opens the 1st disc with perhaps his best know track, the title of his 2nd album, One Step Closer & he’s made this sound immense! It has certainly stood the test of time & it’s great to hear here again.
To keep the momentum, Heaven Knows rips in next with no mercy, from his last release on Escape music. It rocked then & it comes back with a serious attitude here. Great reworking Steve!
Every Moment was strong from the Dance In The Fire album, as was Last Known Survivors from Sign of the Modern Times which is classic Newman similar to his One Step Closer period writing & this is classic AOR, with an edge! Personally I wish the title track from the latter release was included in this collection, but I’m sure others miss their personal favorites absent here too.
Great to be reminded of the 1st Newman release with If It’s Love & this really does sound enhanced.
Ain’t Gonna Cry Forever received a lot of praise within AOR circles & still sound strong here, as does You Should Be Gone which is almost John Waite like at times.
Pray for the Day shows the heavier / darker side of Newman, with huge chanting chorus, although this remastered version seems a little more refined. Next up is Taboo, which starts really edgy but then shows much multi-layering, was another strong track from One Step … & again, Mr. Newman does himself proud in revitalizing it here.
For the most part, I don’t really need to emphasize too much more on the best of Steve’s previous releases here, as I’ll run out of space before getting onto the previously unreleased stuff that is a real treat!
You will also find the freshened gems Save Me Tonight, The Call, Dangerous, The Way You Love Me, Judgment Day (Excellent!), Burned, I Know You (Great from the 1st album!) & Watching You.

Coming Home Tonight open the 2nd disc & I remember Steve playing this to me, around the Dance … sessions. Never understood why it was left off that album, but then Dance was still a very strong release without this.
Life After Love is a very strong catchy AOR pop rocker, that would’ve fitted on any Newman album for sure!
Tell It To My Heart is in a similar, perhaps a little lighter vein to say Night Ranger, but again is a Newman epic ala One Step Closer or Heaven Knows, very strong, with much going on. Amazing fresh sound!
Change is mid paced emotion filled rocker, with some breathy vocals from Mr. Newman, while Can You Hear Me Now is almost more keyboard led in the 1st half of the track, before the solo rips in & then the guitar comes back in more prominently, but the strength of the keys in the 1st half gives a different angle to the Newman sound. Nice!
Hands Around My Heart up next is strong Newman power ballad, perhaps Bad English influence?
All She Wants is a more mid paced rocker, though almost along the lines of the Butterfly Tattoo material.
OK, this next track really is the ace in the pack for me! Don’t Ever Say Forever is probably one of Newman’s strongest ever tracks I’ve heard. Why this was on no other album release, beats me? It’s a killer!
It rocks & has so much about it that just picks you up & totally knocks you off your feet with its strength!
Love Never Dies starts with perhaps a David Gray like intro, OK … but then gets into a more kind of Toto like groove.
Can’t Stop Falling is change for Newman, with a bluesy edged ballad to add a little variety.
A sax introduced Journey like power ballad is what we get with All of Me in very classy Newman style.
I get the feeling Steve had been checking out some Jeff Paris & FM before he wrote Emotions In Motion, it has some fresh keys effects, before getting back into a more traditional Newman groove, some great licks here too.
World Comes Down, is just pure, precision AOR another piece of evidence that Newman have all it takes in this AOR game & as UK acts go it’s Premier League stuff!

OK now I’m fortunate enough to have heard When I Look In Your Eyes & sorry Steve for another comparison, this sounds in the verses like a strong Survivor style track, but in fairness to Newman nothing they have done is a dead clone to anyone – IMO – but when there’s only so many chords & progressions anyone can play, how can anyone not sound like something else?
Next we get some different versions of 3 tracks people will be more familiar with to close out, with 15 Minute Revolution from Primitive Soul getting the treatment first. Basically coming across like an unplugged version, but since there’s keys here, Steve has to call it an alternative version. It’s OK, but to me it loses all the impact of the original.
That said I absolutely love the acoustic version of Primitive Soul. There is absolutely no doubting Steve guitar playing ability with how he takes this track to a whole different level. I’ve love to hear Heaven Knows played this way!
Ha ha, now there’s a challenge for you Steve!
The closer here is a different version of my favorite Newman track, One Step Closer so he opens & closes his album with the same song. Now there’s a concept! Very laid back version, think of the pace of Satriani’s Always With You, Always with Me.
It’s different enough that eventually it grabbed me even if initially I wasn’t so sure what to make of it. Not sure if everyone else will agree though, after all the original had such an impact.

All in all I think the man has done a great job on recreating & rerecording his well known tunes & yes, I wish there were certain others up for consideration, but he’s done well! The addition of all the previously unreleased 17 tracks, wow, it’s a seriously strong new album if you ask me! Great value for money though, anyway you look at it!
Al Williams

19/11/08: Bob in Nashville - Valentine - Soul Salvation - martiandog@aol.com
Rating: 0
This is the best CD I've bought in YEARs and I own alot of music. harkens bark tothe great days of Journey (Infinity/Evolution). Hugo Valenti's vocals simply soar... The guy sounds INCREDIBLE. Adam Holland's guitar work is smart, crisp, clean and powerful. The CD has no fillers. Just one killer track after another. The prodiction is clean and BIG!! Candidate forthe Cd of the year. A must have for any melodic rock fan. Song of the year HAS to be the title cut. "Soul Salvation" in upbeat has an instant guitar hook and the chorus is a great sing-a-long... Builds to a great finish. Stunning CD.

08/11/08: Chris Westwood - SUBURBIA - Crash EP - chrisswestwoodman@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
These swedish youngsters suprised me with their lastest EP that arrived in my mail. Lets say Rick Springfield had a party with Butch Walker, Dave Matthews and Dave Grohl.. and lets say they got drunk, decided to work together and make an album with killer hooks loads of energic guitars. Sounds good? Yeah Id say it does! This EP has 5 songs and at least 3 are really amazing. Opening track "Nothings Changing" is the perfect start of this EP, second song, "Sleep" is something you could easily fall in love with on MTV2 or any hit-chart, with its hard hitting chorus and alarming guitars. Third song "The Best Of Me", now this is pure powerpop, strings-driven verses and again, a chorus that will blow your socks off!

Be sure to check this out, I have a hard time to believe these guys will remain unsigned for too long.

Any downside with the recording? Well, lets just say its not the best production, I mean, its good, really good for an unsigned band, but it can be a lot better and they deserve a lot better recording.

More info about the band and their music: www.suburbia.nu och www.myspace.com/suburbia

/ Chris Westwood

01/10/08: Jim - Honeymoon Suite - jimdobson73@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
It's good to put a cd in and hear some great tunes again.

25/07/08: Dan MacDonald - Uraih Heep / Wake the Sleeper - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
Killer album from one of the best hard rock / prog acts of the late 60's 70's & unquestionable quality up till now .This album will do for Heep what "Newz" has done for Nazareth / re-establish their roots without sounding dated .Special kudos to Mickey Box & Phil Lanzon for serving up the guitar / keys thick heavy & traditional .My personal opinion is this is their finest release since 1982's masterpiece "Abominog".
cheers lads & thanks !
WE'RE NOT WORTHY !

11/07/08: Dwayne - Loverboy - Just Getting Started - Shaykespeeer@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Excellent new release from Loverboy. Wasn't sure what to expect when I purchased this CD, but well worth the money. Recommend to anybody who enjoys straight forward pop rock!

10/07/08: Paul Alex - Loverboy - Just Getting Started - one_severn@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: 92
This came from absolutely no-where and is a huge album. Big production, great writing and Mike Reno's voice is if anything improving with age.

Front runner in best cd of 2007 for me.

20/05/08: DJBOB69 - SAINTS OF THE UNDERGROUND - bobtrish_baker@yahoo.com
Rating: 97
WOW, Most supergroups fail to deliver. Ok that is if you want to call this a supergroup. Yes the Singer and Drummer have been in top ten bands but that was once upon a time. So what make SAINTS OF THE UNDERGROUND (SOTU)differnet. Song writting and sound. It is not a blast of the past but a new sound for today. Jani has a great vioce and his range has not failed over the years. The song writing is top notch. Music is grooveladen and non stop. No sappy tunes and the cover of Tom Petty's American Girl could put the band in top 10 rotation on modern rock radio stations. I hope this is not a one off record. Worth the money and I found it at Best Buy beleive it or not. Check it out.

13/05/08: Paul - Stone Rider - creedfan1@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 0
Stone Rider is a new band that has recently put out an incredible album. A lot of heavy '70s influence here, with a little '80s metal mixed in. Reminds me of two fo my favorite bands, Cry of Love and the Black Crowes...just great, staight-forward, kick-ass rock 'n' roll on this one.

06/09/07: Michael O\'Leary - Russ Ballard - The Book Of Love - steve.walsh@web.de
Rating: 100
The Book Of Love is the album for the smoother melodic rock lover but on occasion it is very hard nevertheless. For me it is the album of the millennium - and it has just begun. I can't think of a lot of classic albums. To name a few: City Boy's "The Day the Earth caught Fire", Giant's "Last of the Runaways" or Survivor's "Too hot to Sleep". This album has long-time-no-hear arrangements. It has overwhelming songwriting. It has unearthly musical talent. It has a perfect production. And it has a huge amount of life experience - concerning life itself - but stays very cool. The album is one golden piece of music (the songs go into another - so they really are ONE piece this way too) and I think it is highly underrated. If you love "Forever Young" by Tyketto do yourself the favour and try "Into the Light" from this album. I don't know why I don't like the latest two albums from Russ Ballard. The bigger was the surprise when this album came along. The only thing you may do is to give it a third try all the music from the beginning to the end.

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Calm Before the Storm - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
This CD is the best so far, and that is saying something!! This is Phil Vincent's 3rd CD and the 4th I reviewed, and it is the best one yet. I read a review for this one back in 1997 and it made me want to try Phil's music out. I will forever be thankful for Hard Roxx magazine getting me started listening to Phil's work. They even provided a listening sample from this (I think it was One Life) but on this disc they could have truly picked anything. Every song is essential and fits so well next to the one before it, only the last track Gone is different from the others and it ROX! It is impossible on this one to pick a favorite, they all work so well. No sure thing opens the disc with a flourish and is a great song to play in your car, and as one song gives way to the next you realize you are in musical nirvana. Turn away has a great keyboard and vocal hook throughout, In the Balance is a great moody piece that constantly shifts gears. Not your addiction is a searing yet melodic piece. What I've become and Never should Have are equally superb and on it goes. Do yourself a favor and seek this one out, and after you do buy every Phil Vincent disc you can. He is a remarkable talent that you will never get tired of hearing and somehow he manages to never sound the same from CD to CD which makes each disc worth owning! Essential stuff!!

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: No Turning Back - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
I found Phil Vincent's work through an import music magazine out of the UK called Hard Roxx, and I have never turned back! I own more than 7,000 Cd's ranging from the 1960's to today all mostly of the hard rock genre, so I definitely have a passion for things that go rock. Phil Vincent was something vastly different from most of the music out there; he plays basically every instrument on his CD's to include Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keys, and he is quite a gifted singer as well. Aldo Nova was the first I had seen to play largely everything on his own releases, so I was curious after reading a review in Hard Roxx. Phil's influences were pretty diverse considering it mentioned the Beatles, Boston, Dokken, Talisman, Survivor, and Harem Scarem to name a few. Since I love all those influences myself and own all of their records, I decided to give Phil V a try and boy am I glad I did. Phil has an amazing ability to compose material that has a hook whether it be in the lyric, in his voice, in the rhythm, with the guitar, or the Keyboard work there is something to draw you in, and frankly after hearing his music, you will not want to leave. The music is powerful, melodic, and VERY upbeat in nature but it also has that "IT" factor. If you want harmonies in the vocals, his work is drenched in harmonies. You want intricate guitar work, this release is loaded with it and Phil is very skilled at doing something with his fills and rhythm work. For me, this was a first CD but not Phil's I found out he had at least 3 others before this one which I had a bit of trouble finding. The songs that stand out on this masterpiece include a great opening song Between here and there, Alone, Missing You, She,Game of Fools, Undone, and my personal favorite Outcast. Now you may notice I mention 7 of the 12 trax, that is how strong this CD is, but don't think there is filler. All 12 songs are wonderful, those are just my favorites and that is how strong this material is. Overflowing with hooks, yet with intricate tempo changes and songs that flow together or by themselves. It is hard to find, but very much worth looking for. If you can't find it, just look under Phil Vincent on the web and enjoy this, you will want them all to include his new band Tragik because it truly is an amazing body of work from a melodic rock artist that DESERVES to be a household name Like the Beatles or Bon Jovi. I love those artists so I don't state this lightly, give Phil V a try if you love rock music with an edge but lots of melody; I promise you it will become a CD to treasure!

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Life is a Game - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
This is my 3rd attempt to do the music of Mr. Phil Vincent justice by trying to describe it, but alas I cannot do that. The previous reviewer touched on some characteristics such as Phil's high pitched and very melodic pipes which he compared favorably Brad Delp. Phil certainly has that sort of quality to his voice, one might even mention Don Dokken (though not as raspy) or even Paul McCartney. Wherever he falls in so far as that elite company is concerned, one thing is certain, the man can definitely sing!! As mentioned in my 2 previous reviews for Rising and No Turning back, it doesn't stop there. You want wall of sound guitar work, you WILL find that here. You want rifforama?? You will definitely find that here. Do you want tempo and rhythm changes??? Plenty of textures and different tempos at work on this release. Add in more than a few keyboard hooks and flourishes and some great drum work and you have the perfect mix for Life is a Game. The production quality is a bit "edgier" and a bit more "raw" in places, but in the end melody is rampant in this release. As with Phil's other work, I have some favorites on this one: Letting Go and Evil's Back rock out with a vengeance! Undertow and New Tomorrow hold down the mid tempo ground while Walk Away and No One's there speed it back up a bit. Life is a game is another great track but then they all are pretty strong. There is not a weak track in the lot, and there are 15 tracks on offer here so you get a lot of music (value) for your coin in the more than 70 minutes. I cannot stress enough how essential this is if you like melodic rock. This one has a real bite to it too for those who want a more metal taste to their melody. If you like Boston, Triumph, The Scorpions, Dokken or any of their brethren, you will definitely want to seek this one out to add to your collection.

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Secrets - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
This is CD number 8 for Phil Vincent, and it is just flawless. As with every other release so far it is unbelievable the quality of the material on offer here: great rockers, fantastic mid tempo pieces....in short it is melody overload. Phil Vincent is a very prolific writer and this is further evidence of his brilliance. The hooks on this CD are again in your face front and center. There are no weak tracks at all, with highlights everywhere one looks. It is hard to single any track out, but I am going to try. The remake of S-212 is as stunning as the original, writing on the wall is super as is one good reason, you fool no one, and Love is everything. Differently is a really cool Mid tempo song and Clone a really strong tune with a hard rock edge. If you are searching for a great hard rock CD that will linger in your memory give secrets a try, you are in for something unforgetable!

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Thunder in the East - Metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
For the cynics out there, please allow me to set the record straight; I am not a family member and I am not being paid to write these reviews. Phil Vincent gives new meaning to the word prolific with this his 5th CD in 3 years but what is particularly striking is the absolute quality of each release on offer and it continues to climb to new heights on this one. Just when I didn't think Phil could write a better batch of songs, I slip this one on again and I realize he sets a new record for consistency of quality with this one. There are 11 new reasons why I love the music that this one individual is able to create by himself. What is amazing is that Phil apparently has an uncanny ability to put the right melody and just the right hook in the right place every time, it is absolutely remarkable. Friend or Foe starts this one off with a perfect song, and it just keeps ascending from there. When Love is gone is another perfect song if you love melodic rock as is Guilty and Eye to Eye. As one song gives way to the next you realize Phil outdoes himself every time out. Just when you think you have heard the best song, BANG another highlight. The perfect keyboard intro, just the right guitar solo, a perfect bridge or some other vocal hook in the chorus. These songs have it all and then some. As with Calm before the Storm it is hard to pick a favorite because the songs are all that good. Give this disc a try if you love melodic hard rock with metal flourishes, you will be so glad you spent an hour on it!!

20/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Rising - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
My second experience in Phil Vincent's magic was just as outstanding as the first, but I found out quickly he was not going to sound exactly the same every time. I bought Rising as part of a purchase that included Life is a Game and Calm before the storm which was the first CD by Phil I read a review of. Though I was eager to here Calm since the review was so good, I decided to spin these in the order they were released so I could see how Phil progressed. Since I bought No Turning back first, it was apparent the difference between it and Rising though both had very strong material. Rising was a bit more guitar oriented, but the keyboards figured prominently in the mix here too; No Turning back was more complex and more polished. Since this was Phil's first CD, it was obvious how strong his writing ability is since this one is loaded with strong tracks. It begins with Save Me which rocks it out from the beginning and is followed by and equally strong 2nd track get back to the Real World. Tracks 3 and 4 are my personal favorites; Stargazer attracted me because I thought it might be a cover tof the Rainbow track. Though it is not a cover, I was not a bit disappointed due to its power and amazing melody. The song is one of those that will stick in your head and not leave your memory, though it clocks in at 8:30 and is easily the longest track on the CD it is over before you know it and not a note is wasted here. It is an intricate piece that has several parts and reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd or Boston in places with its shifts in tempo. Great stuff indeed, and it is followed by an equally brilliant piece S-212 which is a bit heavier and still drenched in melody. Fact is, there is not a weak track in the lot as one song segues into the next which is quite a feat really; I Remember You, Without You, Lost, Trapped and Revenge are just amazing but then the whole platter is full of hooks and melody to really stick in one's head. If you like your rock with an edge and lots of memorable songs, PLEASE give this one a try because it will be an hour well spent in hard rock heaven! Rock on Phil!!

06/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent:Calm Before the Storm - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
This CD is the best so far, and that is saying something!! This is Phil Vincent's 3rd CD and the 4th I reviewed, and it is the best one yet. I read a review for this one back in 1997 and it made me want to try Phil's music out. I will forever be thankful for Hard Roxx magazine getting me started listening to Phil's work. They even provided a listening sample from this (I think it was One Life) but on this disc they could have truly picked anything. Every song is essential and fits so well next to the one before it, only the last track Gone is different from the others and it ROX! It is impossible on this one to pick a favorite, they all work so well. No sure thing opens the disc with a flourish and is a great song to play in your car, and as one song gives way to the next you realize you are in musical nirvana. Turn away has a great keyboard and vocal hook throughout, In the Balance is a great moody piece that constantly shifts gears. Not your addiction is a searing yet melodic piece. What I've become and Never should Have are equally superb and on it goes. Do yourself a favor and seek this one out, and after you do buy every Phil Vincent disc you can. He is a remarkable talent that you will never get tired of hearing and somehow he manages to never sound the same from CD to CD which makes each disc worth owning! Essential stuff!!

03/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent - Circular Logic - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 100
Simply put, this is Phil Vincent's magnum opus!! 20 songs on 2 CD's and clocking in at over 2 hours, a person couldn't ask for more value. There are a few songs that are re-worked (In the Balanace and Undertow) and they are again outstanding. The melody on this disc and the hooks are just huge. On prior releases Phil played everything. On this disc, he had some help producing and writing the songs from James Kennedy. He also had a bass player and drummer this time, but these songs are Phil's very best work so it makes since he gets a little assistance so he can concentrate on the songs and his vocals/Keyboard work/guitar playing and it really works on this disc. Standout tracks are hard to pick out, because I truly loved all 20 on offer here and all the songs work extremely well together. That said, I will mention a few that are just superior:Rise up, Hit and Run,Second Chance, If you ever want me, Take it away, Torn, In the Balance, Heart of Stone, Undertow, and my personal favorite 3:45 AM which is truly superlative. If you want a CD that will rock your world start to finish, try out Circular Logic because it will not let you down!

01/08/07: Todd Carper - Phil Vincent: Tragic - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 97
This review was more of a challenge for me; typically I listen to a Phil Vincent release and I am INSTANTLY in love with the music on hand. On this his 6th release, I actually listened to this several times before I had a strong opinion which to this point has never happened. Only one other release even had a song that didn't grab me the first time I heard it; this one had the usual outstanding production job, great vocal work, superb guitar work, in short musically it was a normal Phil Vincent masterpiece. What was not as obvious at least at first were the melodies and hooks, a person had to give this a second and third listen to be properly rewarded. What became apparent when it did click, is that this is again a very good CD, I just like the songs in a different playing order. Song 3 would have been my lead track on the CD since it is a turbo charged rocker with a great riff and a pretty good hook. Track 4 would be a great 2nd track, and So Sad (track 5) is the best song on the CD and one of his best ever. It is a perfect mid paced track with loads of melody and hooks to burn not to mention some great guitar fills. Tracks one and 2 are very solid tracks as well but they seem to fit me better in the middle of the CD, and Life is a Game is re-worked and though it has a slightly different feel it remains a personal favorite. I like the original just a little better(I believe it is a little longer and the hook is more obvious) but that is a common theme on this CD. After repeated listenings the songs stick with me just like any other Phil Vincent release, which is to say it is one that must be owned and played loud/often! Give it a shot if you love melodic rock, it will not let you down.

05/06/07: Steve Clark - Rush - Snakes & Arrows - hjsimpsoy@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 97
The review given is pretty spot-on, however, I would like to go
out on a limb here and say a few things that some will agree with and some will not. First, Rush is a band that for me, hasn't made
a great album in a long time. They have made good albums with many
great songs, and I have preferred their concerts over the last decade to some of those I saw in the 70's or the 80's because of this
fact alone. The concerts have showcased the best stuff from these
albums and have been stellar because of that. This album however,
is the best record they've made since Moving Pictures. Pick your
jaws up off the floor and if you haven't bought this album yet and
let it sink in, do so. Don't get me wrong here: I have thoroughly enjoyed the catalog and so many cuts are fantastic and better than some that are here on Snakes. But as a whole, this is a fantastic, near perfect Rush album and to my mind, I'll say it again, the best album they've made since Moving Pictures. Aside from this, the other
point I would mention is that love it or hate it, family or not, no
tune by anyone other than Peart, Lee & Lifeson belongs on a Rush album. Yes, it fits. Yes, it's nice. But Rush is Rush - three
guys. Period. I don't want Steven Tyler or Joe Perry's kids tunes
on an Aerosmith album and I don't think Alex's kids' tune belongs on
Snakes. Lastly, I would opine slightly differently and offer that
The Way the Wind Blows and Bravest Face are superior tracks to Armor
and Sword. That said, get out and buy this album! If they deliver
on the promise to perform 9 tracks from it on this tour, it shows
that they know what I believe to be true -- this is a classic and
will be viewed so in time, standing with 2112 and Moving Pictures
as their finest works.

30/05/07: Charles Smith - The Scorpions: Humanity Hour 1 - nun_yo_business_1@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
Melodic yet modern metal that places the band squarely into the 21st century. The disc would fit nicely between say Savage Amusement & Crazy World. This is the disc that fans have been waiting for since the mid 90's. On first listen I was impressed by the song writing, the band shows that even in 2007 they can still write a song with heart & hooks. The disc starts out with "The Game Of Life" a rocker from the same family as "Don't Stop At The Top" from the Savage Amusement disc (A highly underated disc in my opinion) "We Were Born To Fly" is an excellent mid-tempo rocker that would fit nicely with some of the tunes from "Fly To The Rainbow", The piano at the opening of "The Future Never Dies" brings us to the first Ballad of the disc a should be rock radio hit but in this day and age unless your name is Britney or Christina the only way people will hear this great track is by buying the disc and playing it loud until the cops come to your door & force you to turn it down or it causes a spontanious block party. Up next is another killer cut titled "Your Loving Me To Death" reminds me of some of my ex-girlfriends, the tune would be right at home on Crazy World, up next is "321" which opens with a slammin grunge or new metal killer guitar riff, but quickly turns into the sort of sing-along song the band was know for in the early 80's. The next track is without a doubt on of the best tracks the band has written since the Crazy World disc a killer ballad that should be on every rock stations playlist all summer, my 19 year old daughter has it on repeat on her iPod and has listened to it almost non-stop for the last three days. The next track "We Will Rise Again" sounds like something that "Evanescence" would have on one of their discs, new sounding yet still classic Scorpions as far as I'm concern the riff and solo on this track is the best of the disc heavy & mellow all in the space of 3:49. "Your Last Song" is another ballad that my daughter loves even though it's about staying in a love that has died. Yes there are alot of slower songs but after the mess that was "Eye II Eye" this disc is a welcome return to form for a band that ruled from the late 70's through most of the 80's, with a co-production from vets James Michael and Veteran Songwriter Desmond Child, this disc is what any scorpions fan should be craving with a guest appearance from Billy Corgan on "The Cross" who knows maybe radio will pick up on the disc. So on June 3rd if you call yourself a fan get to your local music store and GET THIS DISC, and then start calling your local radio station and let's see if we can't get this CD played all over the world.

06/05/07: Dj - Rush Snakes and Arrows - basketballguru15@yahoo.com
Rating: 91
Great Album Geddy's voice is as awesome as it always was Neil Peart is still Neil Peart and Alex is still doing his thing. This album keeps the sound of Rush and has some tracks that will be on a Rush greatest hits one day

26/04/07: Ray Gayo - DECOY - CALL OF THE WILD - raygayo@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
This website has been the door for lots of new bands and proyects I never heard before. Currently on this site on the CD SHOWCASE you'll hear samples of this cd which is brilliant, filled with excellent songs, guitar work and bass by TORBEN ENEVOLDSEN and vocals by PETER SUNDELL. Hired gun THOMAS HEINTZELMANN does an amazing job in the drum dept. I tell you I bought this before it was released and even though I spent 25 dollars on it after shipping, is the best 25 dollars I ever spent on an import cd. This is a great AOR cd with a tad of proggressive at times.
My favorite songs are DIVIDED, BROTHERS IN ARMS, HEAVY METAL THUNDER, MAKE A STAND, BREAK THROUGH, FOREVER AND EVER, HOW LONG.
This cd is simply my favorite cd out of everything I bought recently.
Anyone that is familiar with PETER SUNDELL'S former work with GRAND ILLUSION please email me.


www.myspace.com/rayguitarshred
www.myspace.com/guitarheroes

06/04/07: StevenB - Brad Gillis - Alligator - steven_bee@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Unbelievable album that did not get the respect it was due. Incredible well written songs, with incredible instrumentation. Brad really out did himself on this one. His first solo record was good, this one goes to incredible new heights. Gary Moon sounds as incredible as he did on Feeding Off The Mojo. And the melodies, hooks, solos and everything else about this album exude quality. If you do not have this album you need to get it: NOW!

26/03/07: Viktor Svensson - Review: Cornerstone - Two Tales of One T - singingveteran@hotmail.com
Rating: 8
Cornerstone - Two Tales of One Tomorrow

I sit down by my computer, excited as hell about Cornerstone's new album. The previous three studio albums showed off highly professional rockers. And damn it if they don't do it this time.

Cornerstone consists of one singer, Dougie White, one guitarist, Kasper Damgaard, one bassist, Steen Mogensen, one drummer, Allan Sørensen and a keyboardist called Rune Brink.

Dougie and Steen are the "founders" of Cornerstone. Kasper, Allan and Rune came later on. Their first album Arrival gave us an easy introduction to these guys, the songs being a little slow (apart from the swift "Fooled"). Their second, Human Stain, showed off a little harder, faster style, the only slow songs being "Singing Alone", "Sail on Stormy Waters" and "House of Nevermore". The third one, Once Upon Our Yesterdays had this dark tone over it, which made it stand out from the two first albums. So what can you say about the fourth one. Well, you can begin by saying that you definitely not want to miss it.

It opens with "Misery", introducing us to the albums style (which is, by the way, a mix of the three first, and that's not bad). It's not the best song on the album, but it's still a song worth checking out. It continues with "One Man’s Hell", whose chorus gets to your brain (it got to mine) from the first second. This track is also the shortest (04:43) on the album, and that’s something quite surprising from Cornerstone. Anyhow, “Mother of Mercy” sounds completely different from the first two (who didn’t follow each other either) and creates some sort of dark but happy feeling. You know, sand-like. Sand is fun, but you don’t want too much of it. The title track is the second longest (06:20) track and is also one of the best. It has this mystical feeling about it, as it opens up with Arabic-like instruments (they follow almost the entire song). Then after 15 seconds of calmness, they smash your ears (depending on what volume you have) with a dark and long guitar note. The chorus is what makes this song so great; it’s so, something quite alike beautiful, but not really. I can’t find the word for it. Oh yeah, magical. That’s it. The next song “Prey” has this heavy opening riff that I like very much. Cornerstone also makes use of the fact that the words pray and prey sound very much alike. I don’t love or hate this, but Dougie avoids some of the lyric-parts, for example he sings something a little bit different than he should. It doesn’t affect the album’s quality, but it’s a little bit annoying when you’re trying to follow the lyrics inside the booklet. “Blinded” is the closest you can get to a ballad on this album. The opening riff is a tiny bit alike the one of “Misery”, but that is all. Five minutes later comes “Starlight and Mystery”, which opens with Allan hitting the snare drums quite rapidly, then the guitar comes in and the fastest track of the album begins. I like the way Dougie sings that song. Later on comes “The Dance”, which is the heaviest track on the album. I like the way Kasper plays here. He makes it sound very mystical. The track “Wicked”, opens very slowly, but speeds up very early in the song. “We Are The Dead”, the last and longest track (06:45), will definitely have the largest impact on you. It is THE mightiest song Cornerstone has ever made. It opens up very slow and dark, the guitar enters and plays very dark notes. The use of a digital piano is very effective, and very beautiful. The ending always gives me goose bumps.

Closing Comments: Two Tales of One Tomorrow is a great experience for the listener, especially for those who are fond of rock. A note to be taken is that Rune Brink has been given more room for “keyboarding”, which can be both be for the good and the bad, you decide. But to really find out what this is like, you’ll have to get the CD. If you don’t, you’ll be missing one hell of an experience.

Misery: 8/10
One Mans Hell: 9/10
Mother of Mercy: 7/10
Two Tales of One Tomorrow: 10/10
Prey: 10/10
Blinded: 7/10
Starlight and Mystery: 8/10
The Dance: 7/10
Wicked: 8/10
We Are The Dead: 10/10

All in all: 7,7/10

30/12/06: David Walls - ZO2 (Can They Not Get Noticed On This Si - wallsdr@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 95
Talk is cheap – especially in rock ‘n roll! All that matters are the music and the performances. Melding the funk and swagger of the 70s with modern arrangements, harmonies and lyrics, ZO2 is single-handedly infusing the rock world with the energy and excitement it has so long been missing.

ZO2’s highly anticipated second CD, “Ain’t It Beautiful”, including songs such as the politically explosive “Isolate”, the satirically charged “If You See Kay” and the emotive “Comin’ Home”, proves once again ZO2 is a rock n’ roll force with which to be reckoned.

ZO2’s debut independent release, “Tuesdays & Thursdays” won the band surprising attention. Within weeks of its release, ZO2 was on the main stage opening for Kiss and Poison on their entire 40 city national, VH1 sponsored “Rock the Nation” tour and the toughest audiences in the world embraced them with standing ovations every night.

Featuring brothers Paulie Z (vocals, guitar) and David Z (vocals, bass guitar) and Joey Cassata (drums, vocals), the members’ individual musical achievements are noteworthy: David as the bassist for the enormously successful Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Joey in the highly successful and critically acclaimed Blue Man Group and Paulie as a featured vocalist on many of Howard Stern’s infamous song parodies and also as the creator of NYC’s popular ZO2’s Rock Asylum featuring local and national rock artists each month proving that rock n’ roll is alive and prospering and the rock community is still thriving, hungry and begging for more.

ZO2 isn’t resting for even a moment as they bring the party and their personal brand of high energy rock n’ roll to enthusiastic audiences in clubs across the country from NYC to LA. And radio is proving as supportive as the clubs. ZO2 has been featured several times on the nationally syndicated radio show, “The Tourbus”. They’ve also appeared on Mark “The Animal” Mendoza’s radio show on Long Island’s The Bone and made a guest spot on Eddie Trunk’s syndicated radio show with the legendary Joe Lynn Turner.

And what does ZO2 mean? Clearly, it’s the formula for rock ‘n roll.

27/12/06: Clare Kennedy - Koopa \'Three In A Bed With Bobby George - ilovejustin_9@Hotmail.com
Rating: 8
Pop punk is back! It's been a while since the English have been able to do it properly, but Koopa are here to really go for it! The entire EP blasts hard guitar riffs, and catchy lyrics at you with a raw passion that demands you join in. The real gem of the sampler however is the forthcoming single 'Blag Steal Or Borrow', it's something that would appeal to Busted fans, but also has the ability and maturity to catch the attention of fans who are into +44.

2007 is definitely a year to watch Koopa.

29/11/06: Abby Morgan - Karim Fanous \'Perfume\' - littlemissme1234@hotmail.com
Rating: 79
Karim Fanous is a new London based songwriter. His lyrical content is quirky and his instrumantation has a playful intent that is often missing from the solo and acoustic areana. As much a fan of Miles Davis as he is Nick Drake (or at least that’s what I’ve inferred) these three tracks rattle along at breakneck pace and leave you wanting more. He is certainly an artist I’ll be wanting to hear more from!

23/11/06: Susie - Daughtry - AI\'s Chris Daughtry\'s album - journeyroxy@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
True to form, Chris brings his signature style to his album. This is an album I liked immediately and played over and over again. The first single, "It's Not Over", is great, but there are many other gems on the CD. "There and Back Again" is powerful, "All These Lives" grabbed me. If the album is bought on iTunes, it comes with a wonderful bonus track called "Sorry". I highly recommend this album.

18/11/06: Anthony Ricapito - Circle 2 Circle -Burden of truth - aanda92000@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Just purchased the new album from circle 2 circle "Burden of truth"
I think it is a great album wish it was heavier as their last album "Middle of Nowhere" but still a 95 out of a 100. Best tracks are Heal you, Matter of time, Revelations, Evermore, Messiah, Sentenced, Burden of truth. Zak Stevens great vocals and the band is tight.

15/11/06: M - VAINS OF JENNA - guruofdeals@yahoo.com
Rating: 49
I thought this cd was terrible. I gave it a half of a perfect score because I appreciate their attempt to put out an 80's era album twenty years later. I was a music fan/buyer/listener from that era and own almost a thousand recordings on CD, Vinyl and Cassette, so I figured my review would be valid.

This is your basic rock album that probably won't receive a follow-up like so many other bands of this genre. The songs are easily forgettable without much thought put into them. The lead vocals are the weak link in my opinion; every lead vocal reminds me of the vocal style of the chorus to 'Love can make you blind' by Every Mothers Nightmare. The last two songs of the record are acoustic and really show the bands limitations. Again, I give these guys props for trying to make it in the 80's, but 20 years later. I say save your money but in fairness, hear them yourself at their myspace page.

12/11/06: Paul - KROKUS-- HELLRAISER - paul@pagrebo.com
Rating: 75
Typical Krokus offering, consistent blend of head banging heavy metal with pop sensibilities. Certainly not a great Krokus effort, but there are highlights like the title track, HELLRAISER, as well as ANGEL OF MY DREAMS(why is it that Krokus seems to do a better job with love songs than with anthemic rockers?), and LOVE WILL SURVIVE. The bonus track on the limited edition, WALKING IN THE SPIRIT, is also a top song, making it well worth getting this version. Overall, not Krokus at their best or worst, but worth a listen.

11/11/06: phil 2 - WINGER IV - info@philvincent.com
Rating: 10
Firstly, this isn't your typical Winger release. It's a concept album based on the current wartime atmosphere and it's wrongly calculated plan of attack. It works so well that a casual fan would have trouble believing it's a Winger disc. The band has grown to be one of the tightest rock units around and this CD drips of heavy riffs, odd time signatures and unusual chord progressions. "Right Up Ahead" has a slow "Blind Revolution Mad" groove and sound great cranked to 11. "Your Great Escape", "Disappear", "Livin' Just to Die" , "Short Flight to Mexico" & "Can't Take it Back" are superb heavy rock masterpieces. Kip's vocals are particularly engaging and his vocal hooks draw you in and keep you interested as well as his lyrical stabs at the powers that be and songs of far away fighting and feelings of lonliness. Awesome stuff!! I can only hope this album gets the recognition it deserves because it IS a great, great album.

09/11/06: Archie - Paul Stanley - Live To Win - bulletproofmusic@bigpond.com
Rating: 87
This is definatly one of the Albums of the year in my mind full of hooks and some killer tunes well worth the wait. Title cut is great blend of Modern Hard rock with Kiss overtones , Wake up Screaming , Bulletproof are massive tunes and deserve to be monster radio hits as is the Lift,Loving without you know at first I didnt like so much but now after continual listerning to CD which only runs for 34 minutes I kind of like it...Overall massive chorus's which will remain entreched in your mind once listern too just a nightmare that the local record company didn't press enough copies to push this album past the first week of release, its been 3 weeks one week after release that this CD is out of stock...How sickening were this CD should have been a top 10 smash , The local JB in Melbourne has had trouble getting a copy after selling out in the first week of release...

08/11/06: JonnyB - Shiva - The Curse of the Gift - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
One thing to take into consideration before you read: If you followed Shiva's previous two albums and were hoping for another AOR effort, you'll be in for a rude awakening when then opening grunts kick in.

The Swedish duo of Anette Johannson & Mats Edstrom return with a full band accompanying them, and man, is it massive! By far, this is their best all-around effort so far, and it doesn't matter if they've turned metal, used a few modern tricks, or added a couple grunts to start things out.

Although Mats does all the songwriting, it is Anette who writes the lyrics and demonstrates her dynamic and versatile vocal ability. With each album she uses a different style of vocal. In AOR, she sings AOR. When singing modern, she's got the aggressive gruffy lungs to go with it. But in 'The Curse,' she does EVERYTHING. She grunts a little on, she does operatic harmonies, she also does the raspy, the aggressive, everything else in-between, and does it with such emotion and passion.

But in particular, she experiments a lot with the lower end of her range. While as I knew of her vocal power, I didn't know her lungs could stretch so far. The 'Prelude' is the first time Anette really demonstrates just how low her range can get. Follow it up with 'Kill the Past' where she grunts a line on her own (it's not just the guest grunter on 'When Tomorrow Never Comes.') 'The Black Widow' has operatic harmonies that are just as good as any opera vocalist in the metal world, and this isn't even Anette's best vocal of the album, and that's what's scary. 'The Curse of the Gift' (referring to the title track) is a Doro-style ballad that out-duels everything that Doro dished out in the past 10 years, (including her new album which I praised highly.)

And then songs like 'The Chameleon,' while simple in design, is sung with such emotion and passion that it lifts the track two notches higher. It might of been a blessing in disguise that the track ends abruptly (the band has told me that a fade-out was intended) because Anette's vocals are that good.

I could ramble on about the greatness of Anette's vocals, but it's best to check them out yourself. If you don't like grunts, skip the first track (which I wouldn't recommend, 'When Tomorrow Never Comes' the best track on the disc IMO.) But after, concentrate solely on Anette. Not only will you appreciate this album more, but you will understand why I praise her so greatly. Shiva "The Curse of the Gift" could very well contend for my female album of the year just on the power of her vocals. Keep in mind I didn't talk anything about the music. I feel Mats' songwriting speaks for itself.

Review Score: 99 / 100

Track Listing
1.) When Tomorrow Never Comes*
2.) Prelude
3.) Kill the Past*
4.) The Black Widow
5.) Part I: The Gift
6.) Part II: The Curse of the Gift*
7.) Part III: The Regret
8.) The Chameleon
9.) The Owner of the Truth
10.) I'm Not the One
11.) So Silently*
12.) The Fly

* Best Tracks

10/10/06: lindacharts - Paolo Pisano - \'Girotondo\' - the new c - lindacharts@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
Paolo Pisano's 'Girotondo'

Tracklist:

01. Intro (the world is collapsed)
02. Girotondo
03. Il cielo
04. From south 2 west
05. Call me
06. U say
07. Great themes
08. Jò voice 2 8
09. Precipito
10. Sisters & Brothers
11. A volte è amore
12. Violins

The indipendent label 'Audiowalk Project' is out now with the new album 'Girotondo' of the italian rock/pop author Paolo Pisano.
The sicilian comes out with a fresh cd. He also signes the production. Paolo proposes a good job appreciated for his musics and lyrics. The new staff sounds between ethnic and rock/pop music with a light touch of world and electronic.
The artist plays and shows good feelings with almost every instrument recorded in the album.
Many inputs are given by the following 12 tracks of the entire work. Included may find two sperimental tracks just instrumental that recalls to minimalism, electronic, house and trip hop.
Over all it's a discrete album, sung in italian (5 songs) and english (4 songs), thematics about war, love and peacefull dreams of a 'union comunion' sense of.
Interesting job that congratulates Paolo's estro.

A nice red and blue colored jewellcase completes the lot including nice mandala drawings and signs, full lyrics of all songs and thanks to crews, musiciants and post production.

08/09/06: Brad - Ty Tabor--Rock Garden - uriahok@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
Wow! In the wake of King's X's decent "Ogre Tones" of last year, guitarist Ty Tabor has released an album that is not only his best solo work yet, it blows away the past few releases of his main band. There isn't a weak song in the set. It has all the usual Tabor trademarks--great melodies and impressive arrangements, all punctuated with Tabor's excellent guitar work. Not to mention, this album is aptly titled. It indeed ROCKS! From the addictive opener "Ride" to the final cut "Pretty Good," Tabor delivers a solid slab of heavy, melodic rock at its finest. Fans of King's X won't be disappointed and even those who aren't KX devotees will find something to enjoy on this fine collection of songs. Check it out!

01/08/06: Erik - Hotwire - Devil in Disquise - erikhardam@planet.nl
Rating: 95
Hotwire returns with a blast. Its the almost perfect mix between Jaded Heart and Casanova. The new singer Andy Urbeck is very talented and sings with the greatest ease. The songs are melodic rock perfection. The cover of T Rex - Hot Love wont leave your mind for days. Together with Brother Firetribe the absolute highlights, within the genre, of 06 so far. Essential. This album deserves a complete review here on melodicrock. Killer album. 95/100

27/07/06: Michael Milburn - Rob Lamothe - Long Lazy Curve - mmilburn@yahoo.com
Rating: 4
After a long wait for another Lamothe release, I was eager to give this cd a listen. I like this cd more and more every time I listen to it. To hear Rob singing unfamiliar (and some familiar) songs again is a beautiful thing. Its been too long! The album is quite diverse but does not stray far from the Lamothesque style we have grown to love and expect. There are a handful of potential singles here. "Aint Broken Yet" is currently my favorite. "Good Enough for Me" and "Broke Down Train" have potential as well. When I hear "No Wonder" and "Goodbye Calgary", I want to grab the wife, a nice bottle of wine and settle down by a warm fire. I hear some of Rob's familiar themes in his very personal "I Dont Walk Alone" and "Til Forever is Over". My only question is the purpose of including the reworked versions of Ashes to Ashes and 12 Moons. Why these 2 songs in particular? Kudos to Rob and his crew for another fabulous masterpiece. Rob, I thank you for the continuous auditory pleasuring.

13/07/06: Petra - HOTWIRE: DEVIL IN DISGUISE - PetraByk@aol.com
Rating: 92
New CD of german based hard rockers form Ingolstadt, the hometown of Bonfire and produced (superb sound!) by Ex-Bonfire member Chris Lausmann.
Their best so far with some great rocking stuff ("Escaping", "Skytrain", "Waterfalls") and ballads ("Feelings") and some midtempos rock songs ("Wonderland").
Great coverversion of T.Rex "Hot love" which sounds like Def Leppard should sound.
Nice Albumcover, too (No dragons, wizards, signs!)

www.musicbuymail.com
www.nehrecords.com

12/07/06: Sook - SHARK ISLAND - GATHERING OF THE FAITHFUL - naturalscience@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Been waiting a long time for Chinese Democracy? Well, a core group of us have been waiting even longer for SHARK ISLAND'S GATHERING OF THE FAITHFUL (16 years to be exact). It's hard to explain the devotion surrounding this band unless you were a part of the past when Shark Island ruled the Sunset Strip back in the day. This was every fan and band member's best kept secret for years during the late 1980's and early nineties. Although the public got a taste of what a record company thought Shark Island should sound like with LAW OF THE ORDER in 1990, it has taken 16 years since then to get a faithful and glorious rendition of what the band really means and was meant to sound like with this years GATHERING OF THE FAITHFUL. This band has always been about intangibles, feel, and character. Sometimes dark, sometimes light, but forever haunting in a way that can only be attributed to a 20 year song writing releationship between Richard Black and Spencer Sercombe. GATHERING is a modern day version of what records used to be like for us growing up. A soundtrack for timeless memories that has not been tainted by video or terrestrial radio playlists. For the FAITHFUL, this will become the gem that has been missing in their collections to be passed on to true connoissuers of rock. If you have not been converted as of yet, do yourself a favor and spend some time listening to this CD the way you used to - headphones and closed eyes. Finish, repeat.

A true classic.

30/06/06: Scott Ley - \"UNKNOWN ORIGIN\" PHIL VINCEN - sley@aol.com
Rating: 9
I just found out this guy is from the US!!! I figured he was from another country because of the lack of availability here in America for his Cds. Great disc. His voice sounds like Brad Delp,Dokken and Klaus Meiner all rolled into one. There's 8 out of the 12 songs on this CD that should be everywhere!! Huge hook. THANKS FOR NOTHIN', SHOTGUN MESSIAH, GOIN' THROUGH THE MOTIONS, DEAR FRIEND(my favorite), MAKE YOUR MOVE....the list goes on.

29/06/06: sakkeus - Brother Firetribe - sakari.suomikallio@pp.inet.fi.
Rating: 10
Brothers, this is the 1 of greatest since Boston1, Journey´s Escape then came Lillian Axe`s 3 albumn, and 90s best Fair Warning 4.
Final Frontier; Second Wave was the album of the 2004;
but here is the winner and this is what you shoud get: Brother Firetribe´s False Metal.

29/06/06: jack - eden open minds - feelmyassplease3@yahoo.co.uk
Rating: 0
Edens debut album Open Minds. This is the album and the band weve been waiting for on Majestic rock records. This kicks ass from the off then mellows you out for a couple of tracks then kicks your ass again to the end .Some great groove monsters on this album and these guys can do it live to. Saw them at the album release show wohhoooow, can't wait to see them at the little civic wolverhampton 21st july. The muts nuts.

28/06/06: Jimi - Shooting Star - Circles - jtramp4u@msn.com
Rating: 92
Yet another great studio release from one of the most underrated bands in music. Starting off with with new vocalist Kevin Chalfant's searing lead vocal, this CD takes its place among Shooting Star's classic releases, "Shooting Star" & "Hang on For Your Life". While there's a couple requisite ballads (one co written by founding member/original lead vocalist Gary West), the balance is Melodic Vocal Driven Hard Rock at it's finest. Track Highlights include: "Survivor" - this tune has all the components of what should be an AOR hit (If US radio had any brains/guts). The final two Tracks - "Trouble in Paradise" and "We're not Alone", are chock full of Van McClain's tasty Gibson flavored licks as well as some stellar keyboard work from Dennis Laffoon. "We're not Alone" evokes memories of bands that focused on hooks, harmonies and musicianship (Kansas, Journey, etc) and dare I say that Shooting Star has always been vastly underrated in this "Arena" of Rock. If that's your type of music, then this needs to be your next CD!!

17/06/06: Blake - pantera-vulger display of power - Drays92@aol.com
Rating: 100
Man this cd kicks ass best songs on it like walk and cemetery gates which by the way the greatest guitarist that was alive but now dead played in there. Dimebag derral abbott played the greatest solos and just the look of his guitar makes people shiver so just check the cd out and see how u like it im sure youll love it.

28/05/06: 20 Grit - CD Review - 20grit@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 0
Metal Soldiers

Review
By Stephen Blackwell
Metal Soldiers - May 22, 2006


(review) 20 Grit’s BEYOUND DISORDE CD Rocks.
There music is a Heavy, Dark, Powerful, Awesome Metal/Rock
There is not enough words in the diction to describe this cd .

*So let go visual. MEET DR. JECKEL and MR. HIDE!!

MR. HIDE rips you apart with pleasure on hard hitting songs like
Beyond Disorder, Black Ashes, Come Alive, Nothing Will Stop Me,
Round and Round (but this type of pain you will enjoy and say more please!!)

Then the good DR. JECKEL sews you up during Sunset Night, Papa
and Linda\ Jackie. These songs are slower and less aggressive but still
awesome.

The vocalist blows my mind on Round and Round with the evil dark laugh and
then high pitch screams. This mad metal vocalist does not have a rang limit.
]
Then you have Tommy Martian on guitar. He should be on the list of guitar
gods. This dude is awesome and sounds like no other. He must be the best kept
secret in metal and rock. His sound is awesome, his playing is awesome, and
his solos are awesome. I know what I want to be now when I grow up (LOL)

GO ORDER THIS CD AT http://www.20grit.com
And meet the DR and MR.HIDE

25/05/06: Jody - Paolo Pisano\'s Girotondo - jodyaxe@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
Never heard him before, then as soon as I bought the cd for just €12 (as suggested by an italian fried of mine while I was in vacation this last Easter) I must reconize that this man is cute. The album sound like rock-pop of the '80. Then I realized that he lived in London playing almost everywhere with bands he used to gigs around the town. Lovely songs made over the 'Girotondo' (means Ring a ring o' roses) album. 4 songs are in english (Jò Voice 2 Be, Call Me, U Say, Sisters & Brothers) other 5 are in italian and 2 are just instrumentals. Strengthfull voice, hot and rough. If you have the opportunity, just get the cd-album which is cosiderably of good quality. Just visit his website... www.paolopisano.it Thus if you want to know more about his italian songs go to vitaminic website searching for his name.

12/05/06: Dan MacDonald - Saga - Trust - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 98
Well here we go again fellow Saga fans a new release from the masters of Canadian prog.
Another inspired offering from my fellow countrymen who have been heartfully adopted by Germany.This album could easily be called "Covering all the Bases " ,which they do very deftly ,unabashedly bringing into play the older Saga bag of tricks & still sounding fresh.It's truly amazing that a band can combine hard rock/prog & pop & do it so effortlessly while changing tempos so easily without interrrupting the flow of the song & on the bigger picture -the album.This has been a Saga hallmark since album # 1.
Album starts off with "That's as Far as I Go" ,a sonically heavy driving syth lead w/lots of twists & turns.Next track "Back to the Shadows" ,finds the guys mining a straight ahead rocker reminescent of newer albums such as Full Circle & House of Cards.Track 3 "I'm OK" may be the feel good track of the album catchy as heck ,would be a single surely if this were the early / mid 80's."Time to Play" ,finds the funk groove ,perhaps inspired by Michael Sadler's hero & main inspiration Freddie Mercury.Jim Gilmour takes the mike(although he is all over this release with harmony / supporting vocals), for one of his signature & touching ballads wth "My Friend".The title track "Trust" is shouted universally by the band come chorus time for a fist in the air vibe."It's Yor Life" , a nice mid tempo rocker with some nice keybord touches.This next track "Footsteps ", sounds like a hybrid between Silent Knight & Worlds Apart- chills on this one ! "Ice in the Rain " ,may be my personal fave on the album,a basic guitar riff w/beautiful keyboard flourishes over the top ,but that could change daily as the complex layers of this album reveal themselves(like a great prog album should !).Last but not least finds Saga doing a little bit of Celtic music for the intro w/Michael Sadler going into newer vocal territory w/ a nice warm chorus.It's all over too fast ! One must respect the fact that Saga can return to their roots unabashadly ,while maintaining a modern sound ,not easy to pull off I'm sure ! Without a reservation I give this album a 95 -Canada's best kept secret.

05/05/06: JONATHAN - BON JOVI - SLIPPERY WHEN WET - jonathan07@interfree.it
Rating: 100
THE BEST ALBUM EVER. THAT'S ALL

02/05/06: Adam W - KING OF THE HILL \"UNRELEASED\&q - CabotimeSTL@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
KING OF THE HILL's sophomore previously unreleased second CD is finally available!!! After being unceremoniously dropped by SBK records back in '92 when grunge took over this completed disc went into the vaults. You can now pick it up via: www.nehrecords.com, www.impulsemusic.com, www.cdbaby.com or at www.slackers.com. If you enjoyed,"IF I SAY","I DO U","ROSES" and "PLACE IN MY HEART" from their '91 debut then you will LOVE the tracks on UNRELEASED! The first half of this 17 track disc contains all the songs from the previously shelved second CD and the remainder of the disc is made up of possible B-sides, demos, and remixes. Frankie's vocals rock and Jimmy's guitar playing is amazing! Stand out tracks include: SAVE IT FOR YOURSELF, WHAT U SEE, HANDS ON U, TONITE, JUST A LITTLE BIT, MAMA, and UNITED. This CD would have been huge in '92 if it had been given the chance! Buy this CD with confidence, you will not be disapointed! For fans of EXTREME,POISON,LENNY KRAVITZ,PRINCE.... WWW.KINGOFTHEHILLONLINE.NET

02/05/06: Robert Downes - Bad Side - Bad Side - info@northernexpress.com
Rating: 98
Bad Side • Bad Side
Vocal firecracker Melissa “Lissa” Krahnke and agile, inventive guitarist Jason Mapes are at the core of their follow-up CD which includes an assist from Dan Furmanik, Rich “Richie B!” Blair, Carol Lee Cooper, Mike Vollman and Wayne
Lawrence.
The result is straight-ahead hard rock with a strut in a mode that carries on with bands such as Velvet Revolver. You have to give Bad Side credit for pursuing an old school direction in the age of hip-hop, alt rock and MCs; yet considering that female-led headbanger bands such as Nashville Pussy are packing clubs in Chicagoland, there’s obviously still a market for that old-time rock & roll.
On that score Bad Side carries rock’s torch high and proud with a shot of blues and some vocal asides borrowed from KLT. Krahnke is better served by occupying the power pop territory of Joan Jett or Pat Benatar where the natural husk of her voice moves the music forward.
She’s an angel, for instance on the soul-searching “I Will Come to You,” a song that makes the listener strain to hear more. “Revenge” has also proved a hit with KLT listeners. That’s the upside on where Bad Side’s good side gets it on the inside.

28/04/06: scott - Cutting Crew - Grinning Souls - fyrflash1969@yahoo.com
Rating: 93
First of all, let me say I thought THE BROADCAST was one of my favorite albums of all time. This album comes approximately 20 years later and only contains the original singer Nick Van Eede. Its really hard at times to judge this album as a cutting vrew album as the accompaning vocals that I loved so much are not there. That being said, some of the songs take you back, some take you forward, and one is simply aweful (Boomerang). For Melodicrock ballads though, this album can't be beat, even by Chicago XXX. Give it a listen to at http://www.grinningsouls.biz/cuttingcrew/index2.htm Give a listen to Silhuette, its amazing. Kevin MacMichael (original member) died in 2002, and his presence is missed, but the music goes on, and although its not the same band, it is still so much better than everything else released recently, don't pass this up.

14/04/06: tina - Buckcherry\'s \"15\" - rockqueenorlando@aol.com
Rating: 85
This album just kicks ass! The lead single "Crazy Bitch": was all over satellite radio about a month prior to release: while it is indeed a crazy party song, the best rocking song on the disc is track two, "Next to you." Some dirty vocals, fresh electric guitar sounds, and the strangely groovy vocals of singer Josh Todd make this a must have record for any serious rock fan! Beware where you look for it-I got mine at Best Buy, and it was listed as "Alternative Rock." DEFINITELY not! Very reminiscent of late 80's/early 90's dirty metal a la Spread Eagle, but not so reminiscent that you feel like the clock is turned back. GO BUY THIS!

12/04/06: Junipero - GARY JOHN BARDEN - jarcunato@yahoo.es
Rating: 99
Absolutely brilliant!! Great atmosphere in "Let me down" track w/ Dr. Michael Schenker playing guitar...Buy and listen!!!

08/04/06: BillyRay - Rhino Bucket - bilhunter@aol.com
Rating: 95
Today 4-7-2006 I just received the new release from Rhino Bucket called "and it got ugly" the release is from www.acetate.com .
These boys are back rockin like before!!!!If you liked the old Rhino you'll like these too. I dont think they have had a new CD for over 10yrs.I just now have to wait till get on tour here in the Phx AZ area. Well friends lets keep on rockin!!!!!!!! BillyRay

01/04/06: jari - queensryche/operation mindcrime 2 - jari_heikkinen@luukku.com
Rating: 5
i have been also listening the promotional copy of this album and it was just what i feared.queensryche is really dead,it has been since 1995.operation mindcrime pt 2 is just the same what they have been doing last 15 years.almost only "light in the dark" is the first single ("i´m american") release which remainds me of "needle lies".grunge sound guitars,no catchy melodies and no point at all,maybe the lyrics continue the story but whats the point if the songs are weak.when the first mindcrime crows at the end this one goes just the opposite way.if you really like queensryche at the era the warning-empire it´s just the waste of money to buy this one.sad but true.

20/03/06: Lat - Def Leppard - Yeah - redcar@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
When you get a band of Def Leppard's stature coving David Essex, Blondie, David Bowie, Even Mott the Hoople something must be wrong .... the originals were better and should have left untouched, this is Rubbish, a complete waste of listening

15/03/06: Dave C - Dark Illusion - \'Beyond The Shadows\' - dpc1@bolton.ac.uk
Rating: 90
WOW !! Stumbled upon this ..... and thank God I did !!!

What an amazing slice of metal that is synonymous with those halcyon days of the 80's, played and produced by top class Scananavian musicians.
Dark Illusion take no prisoners here ... simply 14 pedal to the metal songs with unbelievable riffs and guitar solos of the highest order !!
Every track is a gem, but Secret Journey and Sensational Walk are just unbelievable !!
If you want a 'classic' 21st century album that immediately transports you back to those heady Judas Priest, Iron Maiden et al glory days, then .......
BUY THIS NOW NOW NOW !!!!!!

Dave C

04/03/06: Maxx - Queensryche Operation Mindcrime 2 - Max@djmadmaxx.com
Rating: 80
I've been listening to a promo copy of this great new Queensryche cd.. that's right OPERATION MIDCRIME II !!. A question that many people want to know.. Is it better than the original?? The answer is no, but is is a good follow-up. Geoff is in great shape, the guitar solos are good and it's a very moody, dark & heavy album. My Favorite track is "The Chase" which features the one and only Ronnie James Dio dueling with geoff.

15/02/06: Guido - My Land melodic rock band - pierguid@libero
Rating: 8
MY LAND ‘PROMO CDR’ (PROMO CDR)

A complete surprise from Italy! I received a CDR without any additional info and then you never know what to expect, but as soon as I put on the CDR I knew I was listening to something special, because with some further research I discovered this MY LAND is an Italian band/project featuring lead singer Guido Priori (JOURNEY TRIBUTE) and drummer Paolo Morbini(ex-EVA/BRUNOROCK). They were formed about 13 (!) years ago, but have just recently finished a demo album CDR. Their first CD(R) is filled with very impressive HIGH CLASS AOR in the style of JOURNEY, TOTO, SURRENDER, STREET TALK, RADIOACTIVE, ROXUS, ICE TIGER, ROX DIAMOND, STRANGEWAYS, SURVIVOR… Actually the CD is in the exact same style as RADIOACTIVE, so if you enjoy that band or any of TOMMY DENANDER’s projects this MY LAND is a must-have, although it is a little less polished here and there. 10 songs are included with a total playing time of 45 minutes and the best songs are the song “Love in chains” (classic JOURNEY/STREET TALK uptempo AOR rocker), “Stranger in lonely town” (pure 80s midtempo AOR), “Be mine tonight” (very JOURNEYish AOR) and “Take my heart” (strong semi AOR ballad). Admitted this is still a demo CDR, so the production is not always clean, but the guitarparts (which is very good a la SCHON/DENANDER), 80s keys and high pitched lead vocals (as well as the harmonyvocals) do reveal some strong JOURNEYesque capabilities of this MY LAND. E-mail the main members Paolo Morbini: jedidrum@jumpy.it and Guido Priori: pierguid@libero.it and check out their site at: http://www.mylandproject.com/

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)


Review by Gabor at Strutter'zine

13/02/06: Adam Harrold - Platinum JAR CD Review - info@platinumjar.co.uk
Rating: 100


Glancing across the promotional pictures for Leicester-based melodic rockers Platinum Jar, you’d never believe that the band had been together for about twelve years now. But if you take into account that the band cite influences as bold and important as Deep Purple, Whitesnake and Bon Jovi and that one of the members sports a rather fetching neckerchief, it makes total sense. This is because Platinum Jar aren’t just another young bunch of young squirts desperate to skank about on a stage with only a few power chords and grunts to accompany them; this is a band that have clearly spent a long time working out exactly what they want to do - and apparently it’s rock… not just mimic everybody else around them.

Having said this, the sound of Platinum Jar is far from un-worldly. Instead Jay Lang’s vocals recall Jon Bon Jovi, whilst the band flickers between classic Bon Jovi and prime Deep Purple – certainly “Rock Chick” would slot nicely into Purple’s “Machine Head”. Stand out track is undoubtedly “ Slow Road” which has a similar gargantuan production job as GNR’s “November Rain” in only about one-third of the duration.

Granted, the almost endless list of endearing classic rock influences might sound a bit old hat, but in practice, what Platinum Jar have achieved here is in creating an almost instant air of familiarity without becoming a tribute act. It’s a trick that few bands pull off successfully, due to the talent required in writing, playing and finally singing the stuff, but it’s a credit to their abilities that Platinum Jar are able to play these tracks and not sound ridiculous.

Basically, if you’re a classic rock fan, now’s the time to check this lot out – because sooner or later they’re gonna be a lot bigger and a lot more reluctant to give their music away for free on their website. Top stuff.

11/02/06: Steve Hunt - Square One - Supersonic - steveandnic@iqconnect.net.au
Rating: 98
Australian Pop/Rock band Square One have delivered an amazing album, with their debut "Supersonic". If you love beautiful melodies, top quality vocals and excellent guitars as well as world class song writing then this band is for you.

Songs like "Ups and Downs", "Wings to Fly" and "Free Flow Feeling" are simply brilliant and is in stark contrast to the garbage that litters the top 50 charts. I dare you not to be caught up in the infectious "Love Struck Melody" or the catchy lead song "Tonight"

They have a really unique sound which is hard to define and are one of the best bands to come out of Australia in the last 20 years. Do yourself a favour and buy their album, like me I guarantee you won't be disappointed.

08/02/06: Adrian - PROTOTYP ‘DEMO+DVD’ (INDEPENDENT) - Management@prototypmusic.de
Rating: 90
The German band PROTOTYP consists of a bunch of professional musicians whom all have been active for a long time now. This can also be heard very clearly on the 3 songs counting demo and DVD sent to me. Musically it is a mix 70s Classic Rock, Sympho and 80s AOR, resulting in a sound that mixes the best of JOURNEY, ASIA and THIN LIZZY. “I’ve had enough” happens to be a catchy 80s melodic rocker with good arrangements and nice melodies, while the other songs on the demo CD show the classic 70s melodic guitarsound of the band. Closing track “1959” has some beautiful melodies and is a nice STYX/MAGNUMish piece. This band should be able to release a sensational full-length CD, but in the meantime this demo and short DVD features some of the band’s material of which the fantastic uptempo Melodic Pomprocker “Children of the streets” is a song that hopefully is recorded for official CD release soon, because this is classic MAGNUM meets HEEP! More info at: http://www.prototypmusic.de and e-mail at: Management@prototypmusic.de

Reviewd by Gabor Kleinbloesem Strutter Magazine

(Points: 8.3 out of 10)

02/02/06: dovianax - From MATTADOR to TRIBE - dovianax@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
MATTADOR ex-members Leo Alvarez and Carlos Benites, form a new band with (Lead Singer) George Santiago, Jonathan Rodriguez (Lead Guitar) and Rafael Albertori (Bass) called TRIBE. Go and visit there area on www.myspace.com/tribe2 and listen to there new project.

27/01/06: Tim - Visual Cliff - Freedom Within - rockmetaljazz@hotmail.com
Rating: 89
I havent been this excited about a band in a long time! These guys have put together a great album of rockin tunes! Their catalog is as deverse as anything you will ever come across! Their first three discs are an all instrumental mix of progrock, metal and heavy fusion. No mindless wanking here though. It's all about rhythm and melody and these guys dish it out in spades! Their 4th offering "Freedom Within" contains 3 vocal tracks mixed with 5 instrumental tracks and singer Shane Lankford is amazing! This guy is as soulfully powerful as they come. I can't even begin to compare them to any one band in particular as they are truly unique! Freedom Within is a more all hard rock affair with fusionesque undertones and grooves. The instrumental tracks are incredible. Open, big and dynamic with lots of punch! Rob Perez's guitar playing is at it's best (in my opinion) on this disc! Very soulful and melodic with tasteful bursts of speed that let you know this guy can bring it too! The feel of this disc is "modern old school". It sounds very alive and raw but yet kicks like a more modern sounding guitar record. No crappy nu-metal sounds just good ole chunk with tone to spare! If you have been searching for something fresh and new to add to your collection...this disc is a must have!

27/12/05: Liz - EL84 - One World - ejkrocks@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Just picked up this EP from Cd Baby. Wow what a great and memorable rocking cd this is. Very raw and organic. this cd is LOUD. Love the title cut "One World" as well as the blues cut "You Left Me"
great stuff from EL84. I would label this as Progressive Arena Rock.

Liz

05/12/05: Jennifer D. - A-ha - Analogue - LynnJen@prodigy.net
Rating: 99
Produced by Martin Terefe and mixed by Flood this is a brilliant album from the boys from Norway. I would have given it a 100% rating if not for the one song that does nothing for me, 'Halfway Through the Tour'. Other than that one the rest of the album is absolutely awesome! The title track, 'Analogue' is addicting from the start and once you hear it you cannot get enough. Cosy Prisons is beautiful and thought provoking. Holy Ground was once a solo song from the lead singer, Morten Harket, and this reworked version is gorgeous. 'Make it Soon' is quite a surprise that I wasn't sure of at first but quickly grew to love, a soft romantic ballad that suddenly surges with powerful guitar and vocals. 'The Summers of Our Youth' finds keyboard/guitarist Magne F and Morten sharing the microphone. This song, like many others on the album, was written by Magne F who's songwriting talent has taken center stage more and more. Analogue is a must have for a-ha fans!!!

22/11/05: Tony - Bad Side - S/T - tkukoc@shipwreckislandstudios.com
Rating: 95
Bad Side at www.badsidemusic.com have just released one of the most original sounding albums of the year... With vocals that rival Pat Benatar to guitar licks that sound like Bill Leverty of Firehouse, this group will go far! This album to me sounds as if it's being played live, that raw feel. From start to finish you'll have fun listening to this album it has classic sounds and modern sounds. Melissa's vocals are simply amazing and Jason does a killer job really moving the songs along and again mixing it up with classic type riffs and yet throwing in some new stuff as well. The writing alone makes this album worth taking a listen to. Make sure you check out their website at www.badsidemusic.com, there you can listen to a few tracks that will help you make a better decision on whether or not to purchase this album if you don't believe my personal comments on it. Overall I really enjoyed this album and I wish this band nothing but the best of luck now and into the future. With talent like this they'll go far, can't wait to hear what they come up with next. You can read the full review for this CD at www.shipwreckislandstudios.com!

11/11/05: Anthony Ricapito - James Labrie- Elements of Persuasion - aanda92000@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
One of the best albums of the year. James Labrie really rocks from the killer opening song Crucify to the last song Drained. His vocals really shine on this album. The musicians on this album are tight. In my opinion this should be what a Dream Theater album should sound like. I didn't like the last Dream Theater album Octov-whatever. If you like soaring vocals, great guitar riffs pick this album up you won't be disappointed.

08/11/05: Jim Johnston/Jaugernaut - Contra Mantra - dimbulbz@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Reviewer: Don (Grumpy Old Player/Donster)http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jaugernautad
This is for everybody who misses the old AOR days of music. The music is contagious and not cookie cutter. For me, there isn't a higher compliment. This is along the lines of Tommy and Quadrophenia by The Who. Maybe not in storyline, but certainly in that the CD is best measured as a complete work instead of a quick fix to entertain you between Cell-phone calls. Take the time to take this in and appreciate everything going on. It only gets better with each listen... seriously! Personally, going on four days of nothing but, and I'm not planning on changing this out of my CD player anytime soon. Music and Creativity of the highest caliber presented flawlessly! A wide landscape of tones were used as well as recurring musical themes. The waters of this piece run deep! A 'gotta have' for anyone with a taste of music that is more than just churned out of 'the machine.' I give this the highest recommendation I can - it was the best money I've spent on a CD in memory.

04/11/05: Dan MacDonald - Queen + Paul Rogers - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I knew this was gonna be good ,but how good ? Well if you like 3" goosebumps & every one of your heartstrings are pulled this is for you . First of all Paul doesn't try to be Freddie ,he does Paul doing Freddie ! By no surprise Brian steals the show - he rips wide open & never looks back . Also Roger comes to the front & does a couple of numbers-you know what there's no point in analyzing this concert if you're a Queen fan be prepared to be takin' every which way but loose ,it's an emotional rollercoaster where the fans & the band win .Essential DVD -go get it !

16/10/05: wilmont - Fitzpatrick - wilmontt12@lycos.uk.co
Rating: 85
Fitzpatrick is a band on an independent label that appears to be mostly the work of the two Fitzpatrick brothers. The CD, "The View from 10,000 Days," is independently produced with a two sided cover. The cover art is very cool - a house in a bubble floating by a planet.
They leave the link to their site in the CD, which contains some information and all lyrics, though it remains a little unclear about who did what.

Now for the music. The songs are solid, well developed, and well written. They range from mid tempo melodic rock to ballads and feature a soulful element. The lyrics are well crafted and often poetic. The band describes itself as a mix between Toto, Fleetwood Mac and Genesis and I'd say that is a pretty close assessment. Keyboards and guitars share about equal weight in the production, with solid key work and some very skillful guitar solos . The two brothers and one female (sister, wife?) share the lead vocal duties in the album and they all perform with precision and great emotion. Background harmonies are prominent and well executed.

I saw them listed on a Christian Progressive rock site. I don't think their music is either very progressive or overtly Christian, though the lyrics do address God in one song. The lyrics reveal some spiritual themes (so if that bothers you...) and the music is performed well and is sometimes complex, but remains accessible to a general listener that appreciates AOR throughout. The songs grow on you, and I am impressed in how they develop a melody and don't rush a song. The CD is apparently only available from their website or cdbaby.com.
http://cdbaby.com/cd/fitzpatrickmusic

They feature samples and I include the link. There is a lot of depth here. Overall I have enjoyed the CD and look forward to their next project.

14/10/05: STEVE15 - JADED HEART HELLUVA TIME - thebassdogtna@yahoo.com
Rating: 80
JADED HEART WITHOUT MICHAEL BORMANN?
YES INDEED ON THE NEW HARDER ROCKING HELLUVA TIME CD.
THE REMAINING MEMBERS CARRY ON WITH A NEW VOCALIST & COME CLOSE TO THE OLDER JADED HEART CDS.
I WON'T GIVE A SONG BY SONG REVIEW BUT...
THE GOOD POINTS ARE WAY MORE HEAVY GUITAR DRIVEN SONGS , LESS PREACHY SAVE THE WORLD LYRICS.

THE BAD POINTS ARE LESS MEMORABLE SONGS! BORMANN WAS A VERY GOOD SONGWRITER THE NEW CD HAS SOME GOOD TRACKS BUT ALSO PLENTY OF UNREMEMBERABLE SONGS TOO!
THE NEW VOCALIST HAS SOME PIPES BUT FALLS SHORT OF BORMANNS JON BONJOVISH MELODIC VOCAL FINNESS.
STILL NOT A BAD CD! THE GUITAR PLAYER IS GOD!

14/10/05: darren perry - evidence 1 - dazp777@hotmail.co.uk
Rating: 99
just got my hands on the evidence one tattooed heart cd wat a blinder the only problem with this cd not enough songs on it in love and war wat a pearler of a track love this cd

13/10/05: Harry - Numbers From The Beast, Iron Maiden Trib - guitarizona@msn.com
Rating: 0
Don't mis this one!!!!! Run to the Hill done by Robin Mcauly and Michael Schenker SMOKES!!! Flight of the Icrus by Ripper Owens, Doug Aldrich, Jimmy Bain and Simon Wright, is the most powerful cover I have ever heard. The choice of vocalist is perfect for every song. Who ever thought you could hear Lemmy Kilmeister do "The Tropper", or that you would ever hear George Lynch do a 1:30 solo in "Waysted Years."

08/10/05: AORAndy69 - SILVER - Gold 2005 - andrea_boggio@virgilio.it
Rating: 98
This is a pleasant surprise !!!! Songs like "All that I wanted" and "Daydream Believers" are real gems in the AOR/Melodic Rock Universe. Great Production, Superb Atmosphere for this record that
I consider at the top of My ranking of this year.

07/10/05: NICKY D - Coney Hatch - Friction - dpnut@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
Why in the world does Coney Hatch's first cd get a Remaster priority over their classic third cd, Friction? Their debut is very good in spots but overall "Friction" is the definitive Coney Hatch cd. It is an absolute killer disc of melodic hard rock with loud guitars & ballads to boot. One of the most classy & imaginative power ballads ever written is "Girl From Last Night's Dream". Furthermore, the rockers such as "He's A Champion", "Wrong Side Of Town", & "This Ain't Love" scorch as hot as the artwork indicates. With all of the average cd's that have gotten reissued again, somebody needs to quickly do the right thing & uncover this lost treasure & give it the Remastered polishing.

07/10/05: Robert Knight - Disturbed 10,000 Fists - rknight66@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
This has to be one of the best Heavy releases in a while! The other 2 Disturbed CD's are great, but this one simply blew me away! Every song is amazing. Yes yes, I know that you might say that this isn't melodic rock, but many of the chorus's are very melodic. I listen to it every day! Maybe Bon Jovi should give this CD a listen, to try to remember how to write a good hook in a song!

04/10/05: Tomas Magnusson - Nocturnal Rites \"Grand Illusion\&q - tomasmagnusson@bredband.net
Rating: 97
This is for sure one of the best melodic power metal albums of the year. These swedes are definitely playing in the same league as Masterplan or Allen/Lande for that matter. 10 songs with world class written all over it. Kicking off with the first single "fools never die" (can be viewed on there webpage nocturnalrites.com)is absolute stunning with Jonny Lindkvist singing his heart out. Before the the album ends you have heard ten absolute kick-ass melodic metal tunes.

01/10/05: BADDOG1 - CORNERSTONE LIVE IN CONCERT - jcs4jbem@comcast.net
Rating: 0
DOOGIE WHITE SAYS IT ALL.THE MAN HAS BEEN ON AT LEAST 4 ALBUMS THIS YEAR ALONE CORNERSTONE IN CONCERT A 2 DISC SET MOSTLY COMES FROM THEIR LAST ALBUM ONCE UPON OUR YESTERDAYS.ALSO ADDS A SONG HE PENNED AFTER THE BREAKUP OF RAINBOW WHO HE WAS WITH FOR THREE SHORT YEARS THEN RIPS IN TO A RAINBOW TUNE.THE ONLY PROBLEM IS IT'S A TAD TO CLEAN FOR LIVE.BUT I HAVEN'T PUT IT DOWN SINCE I'VE GOT IT.
BIGDOG1
jcs4jbem@comcast.net

03/09/05: FAR\'N\'HIGH - FAR\'N\'HIGH \"Day Off\" - david.rey@wanadoo.fr
Rating: 0
HI!
I do it as a member of the band! SO I wont put a note...

I would like you to get a look at our music.

We've made a new album called Day Off. It's simply a good melodic rock album. We made it with the heart: strong guitars (Angra or Evergrey style), melodic clear voice (Europe style or even Muse), strong bass/Drum (more Prog oriented like Dream Theater), a lot of fun and modern stuff (samples and programms).

We wanna get the back of professionnal

We wanna be the new french connection for melodic metal

We really need your all.

Best Regard
David.


02/09/05: Giuliano - Bright Horizon - giolianoariatti@neomedia.it
Rating: 90
Bright Horizon is one of those quirky rock bands which offer up something a little different than the standard progressive fare. The delicious intro Libertango begins the “journey” with a splendid mix of melodic keyboard and guitar work but the real opening of the album is the hard rocking swagger of Burning Hope– a track which rocks from the start.. The bridge picks up a notch and the chorus turns sonically monstrous, with heavy, layered guitars and a strong, aggressive lead vocal.

Virtually all other tracks have their excellent points as well: "Daybreak" is a swift mover, “The Shade of the Hill” is a pure melancholic song with a delicious leading piano, the nine-plus minutes of "Les mystères du chateau hanté" has a cool orchestral part and a very catchy metal riff with an extraordinary rhythm section.

A good ballad (“Illusion meets reality” ) has been included too on “Oneiric Reality”. This softly song allows Rock to showcase a more melodic and passionate side to the vocal talents of Gabriele Toralbo.

“Abitta Funky” , as the title suggests, it’s a Very upbeat, funky groove track. A nice change indeed!

With “Discophobia” and “Opposite Symmetry” the band moves back to a darker sound. ( “The Shade of The hill”)

Definitely I really have enjoyed this album ..Bright Horizon brings a flashy style of progressive rock. I think that Oneiric reality is a Cd that all the lovers of good music should snap up immediately. A great offering for the fans.

29/08/05: Charly Brown - LANDE-ALLEN \"THE BATTLE\" - charly_b@noos.fr
Rating: 100
I bought few months ago the last Masterplan album that is for me one of the best release of the year. I must admit that I was so impatient for "The battle" release that I couldnt help downloading it from the net. I apologize 1000 times and be sure that I will buy 3 of this album in september because it is definitively the melodic metal album of the decade. A huge masterpiece...I never heard so many killer songs on a same Album. Melodic metal fans, order this album to support the talented guys who made it !!!! Thanks to melodicrock.com to help every aor and metal fans in their choice.
For me, The Battle overates Aeronautics !!!

22/08/05: Matt - Dream Theater - Octavarium - bbvd2000@gmail.com
Rating: 0
With ultra-cliche lyrics and extremely bland music, Dream Theater should be ashamed this album ever saw the light of day. Easily their worst album since Falling Into Infinity; and hands down their most disasterous album ever.

15/08/05: Penny Irving - Sixty-10 - pirving@nemours.com
Rating: 98

Wow! What a great EP. Sixty-10 reminds me a lot of a Modern Day Cheap Trick mixed with Weezer. Miss You starts is out perfectly. Powerful yet melodic at the same time. Everything is my favorite on the album even though Miss You & Ever Since are getting the most airplay. It sticks in your hear. Ever Since is pure Powerpop for the nu-breed. This is a band to watch out for in the near future. They will be on a major label soon.

11/08/05: Yulianto Dewata - DOKKEN Long Way Home - davidewata@yahoo.com.sg
Rating: 60
DOKKEN’s Long Way Home was released in 2002. This studio record features debut from bassist Barry Sparks who replaced the mighty 4-stringer Jeff Pilson, also featured the only studio performance from guitarist John Norum (now returned to EUROPE).

The album kicks off with a dark and down-tuned “Sunless Days”, marking a great performance from John Norum. This one is surely would be your instant favorite. “We live in sunless days/no horizon through the storm..”. A perfect album opener! They successfully brought the modern-rock sound in the song. I was beginning to be happy to be able to listen to the band in a “heavy metal” mode.

However, it strucked me to the floor when the second track came ini, “Little Girl”. They were to early to put a mid-tempo track and somewhat-grungy like this. You may want to skip this as well. This one is very much reminding you of the Shadowlife album. I am beginning to really think if this album is worth listening when I am listening to the following tracks such as the cheesy-poppy “Everybody Needs (To Be With Someone)” or the grunge-wannabe “You”. Even the ballad “Goodbye My Friend” doesn’t really help me to resurfacing my mood.

Fortunately, there are a couple more rocking tracks delivered through “Magic Road”, “Heart Full of Soul”, and “Under The Gun”. Especially in “Heart Full of Souls”, this 2-minutes plus song is a funky interesting track. Not my favorite but it surely kills. If you were disappointed with the previous ballad I mentioned, you might be as well pleased with “There Was A Time” and “I’ve Found”.

Overall, I am slightly less-satisfied with this record. John Norum hasn’t got the feeling and hasn’t been able to put his signature in DOKKEN’s musical structure. I would only suggest this record to a completist, not to a real hard rocker who wants a kickin’ ass hard rocking record. There are several memorable tracks, but more are less memorable.

06/08/05: steve glasscock - THE JONES GANG - steviegmuzik@aol.com
Rating: 0
The Jones Gang - "Any Day Now"
First release from a band featuring Rick Wills-(foreigner),Robert Hart-(The Distance,Bad Company)and Kenny Jones-(Small Faces,The Who)and various guests including Dave "Bucket" Colwell-(Humble Pie,Bad Company),Gary Grainger-(Rod Stewart),Richie Barrett-(Tony Hadley,Roger Daltry,Peter Cox)and Ronnie Wood.
How can this album fail? ,with over fifty million album sales collectively,this album has something for every one.Rockers such as the album opener "Time Of Your Life" is a guitar driven beauty with Hart's vocals in top form."Mr Brown"is well crafted with more than a tip of the hat to the bands heritage."Angel" is worth the "ticket price" on its own-already making waves stateside-a classic ballad that will sit well in any AOR fan's collection."She'll Never Know" is an acoustic gem with great harmonies."With You" almost has a Robbie Williams feel,but don't let that put you off !."Gypsy Lane" is another acoustic,capturing classic flavours of the late 70's and a tribute to Ronnie Lane."Lucy" has a big chorus and hook."Six To Midnight" is a classic almost Rod Stewart rocker,with Hart flexing his vocal muscle."Hole In My Soul" follows in a similar style."Where Are You"is another rocker with big guitars and a definite feel of a Who track-a rocker of the highest order !."Red Hot" is a good time rock and roller that could be at home on anything from a Thunder album to any classic 70's era album-but with a modern twist.I've seen these guys live,the songs are written to play live-and these boys really know how to play.NOT TO BE MISSED !

WWW.jonesgangmusic.com www.aaomusic.com

05/08/05: Jonny B - Ra \"Duality\" - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 88
IMO, Ra is THE one modern rock band that is closer to the melodic rock roots than any other group. I have broken a few local 80's purists out of their rut by pumping this band into their stereo. Of course, it does help to have a singer who sounds like Sting.

The second effort from Ra takes them to a more melodic direction, but still using the modern roots that they came from. There are more vocal melodies with some melodic-style choruses than the first album (and *gasp* a few bridges AND a guitar solo!!!) Opening tracks "Fallen Angels," "Tell Me," and "Take Me Away," show off some killer vocal harmonies from Sting-esk singer Sahaj Ticotin, (speaking of which, their cover of Sting's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" is well done!) "I Lost Everything Today," and "Say You Will," could easily be stolen and remade by Harem Scarem and nobody would notice. Some tracks do have fairly average modern verses ("The Only One," "Say You Will,") but eventually break out with some really great choruses. The only weak track on the album was "Superman," the Everyday Formulaic Commercial Modern Ballad Fit For Radio. Ra does NOT do this well.

The melodic direction Ra takes in "Duality" shys away from the heavier debut, and may bring disappointment to their established young modern fans who expected an album of 'Rectifier's. (although the track "Far Enough" comes pretty close.) However, melodic rock fans will find much more to be impressed with in Ra...that is, if they can pass by the 'modern rock' prejudice and admit that these guys are the real deal in today's music scene.

So why rank the album only an 88 if I like this one so much? Because it falls under my 'No-No's' list of what not to do with a rock album: Ending with three straight ballads. The exact same reason why I deducted points off Harem Scarem "Overload." PLEASE, if you're gonna end an album, END IT WITH A BANG, NOT A WHIMPER!

Aside from that little mishap, Ra "Duality" is the TRUE modern melodic rock album of the year. Better vocal harmonies, better melodies, better songs...period. My nu-breed of the year, and Top 10 contender in 2005.

04/08/05: Matt - ASPIRE \"Quest Eternal\" - lordstringmaster@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
This is a must!!! I picked this album quite accidentally and I can't stop listening to it! I can't believe it's an indie record. Everything sounds absolutely professional. The band calls their style "Symphonic Power Metal" and it's pretty suitable. They combine catchy guitar riffs and shredding solos with sympnoic arrangements and opera tenor! The sound is amazing. Also what is nice, ASPIRE do not forget about ballads, and they catch your heart immediately. If you like Edguy, Savatage, Rhapsody or Symphony X, get this album! I bought it from Amazon, but I think you can find it on CD Baby too. Definitely A+

31/07/05: Ashtonmon - Radiocity by Sharp Practise - nigelclo@globalnet.co.uk
Rating: 96
A new release on the Rising Records indie label. I caught the band on tour and tracked the CD down in my local shop.
Reserved undertones but good rock tunes? Check. Sounding like more members than there probably are? Check. Big atmosphere from a simple band combo? Check. Songs to back it up? Check and mate. Sharp Practise are a classic rock band but not an over the top screaming yelling rock n' roll monster, this is the sound of a band who like to keep things quiet and wouldn't say no to an acoustic set, but not tonight: tonight they wanna rock. And rock they do.
Songs like "Bridge Across The Harbour" have occasional guitar licks to make you smile and lift the soul, 'coz it's emotional, well-played music for adults that brilliantly never lapses into AOR territory. It's driven by yearning, commanding vocals and some slashing guitar work and builds meticulously to a memorable chorus. "Morgan's Creek" is slower, softer but not necessarily sombre, unlike the brash and moving anthem "How Katie Feels". Then there's the showstopping, windswept closing "How Do You Take It and plaintive guitar pop, like on "No Thanks" - which with its acerbic lyrical stabs is the kind of thing Neil Finn has made his trademark over the years. It's all generous on the ear, and overall "Radiocity" stands as a very strong album, though if push came to shove, I'd probably choose "Family Of Nations" and "Paint My Dreams" as the stand-out tracks. The former marries an excellent lyrical call for understanding with dramatic Who-style powerchords that come full circle. It's neat, powerful gear, as is "Paint My Dreams", which with its' funky wah-wah and furious discoid drumming recalls INXS before they went crap and got bloated. Urgent, in a word. The titles say it all, but you need to hear them in person to appreciate the band's style. As the album continues, Sharp Practise prove themselves to be adept at loud'n'hooky rockers; "Bed Of Rhythm" is catchy with backing vocals and a sneering guitar sound, and could be the anthem of the summer radio.
It's top stuff from a big thing in waiting that for once isn't surrounded by huge hype and expectations from the British music press.

27/07/05: GAFF - Iommi/Hughes- Fused - Gaffguitars@optonline.net
Rating: 100
This is so far the BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR. There isn't one bad song. Glenn Hughes sounds great and his melodies are perfect. I was a big fan of the Sabbath album Seventh Star and this blows that away. The 1996 Dep Sessions was good as well but not like this. High points are, well everything. Dopamine, Wasted Again, Grace, I Go Insane is an epic that doesn't let you go. If I had to pick one song that doesn't stick out for me, it would be Deep In The Shell and even that's growing on me. Iommi never sounded better and Hughes, man, the guy can sing his ass off. I hope they tour this album. I can't wait to hear it live.
Bottom line: It just kicks ass!

27/07/05: Big Mike - XYZ - Rainy Days - Bigmike456@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
Man did someone stuff up real bad by not releasing this in the 80's.
Exceptional melodic hard rock. This would have been a killer release
in the day and would have put XYZ up with the best of their day. Unfortunately, their song writing went downhill after this, although the ST album certainly has some good tracks. The production on this CD is sub standard but the songwriting is hard to find. Its melodic rock (not metal or pop). Not sure if top dollar for this production is worth it to everyone. Check out the mp3's on oneflightupguitars.com. My version came with 12 songs.

25/07/05: Richard Möller - xsavior - teddy@aol.com
Rating: 1
Man! What is wrong with my house god göran Edman? He sings like a god in Crossfade but the new Xsavior?? What is that?? He should join the opera...

Richard

15/07/05: Robert Goldberg - Sixty-10 - Roberino@mindspring.com
Rating: 96
I give it a 96 because if they mixed the 3 songs from the EP with the 1st album it would get 100. The 3 new songs including Miss You, Everything and Ever Since are all up-tempo. I know that they have a lot more styles that they will show on their major label debut. It is still great and the production is much better than the debut.

12/07/05: Roger Field - Sixty-10 - Field007@aol.com
Rating: 100
I had a copy of the Chip N'Nuff Produced Debut Album by Sixty-10. The influences of the band are undeniable. You can hear a little bit of Cheap Trick, Badfinger and some Enuff Z'Nuff. When I got the brand new EP, I didn't know what to expect. In late 2004, they released the 3 song EP Say No To Thugs. To my pleasant surprise it is the best 3 song EP that I have heard in many many years. They still have the influences, but Randall has progressed tremendously as a vocalist and the drumming of Tom Corbett make this a much more cohesive effort. It sounds like something that you would hear on a modern rock station, or it can crossover to VH1's Top 20. "Miss You" starts out like a band that is on a mission. If Rick Springfield went punk, you can have a good idea of what Miss You sounds like. There is a reason why it is getting international airplay. "Everything" shows the dynamics of Randall's voice but really has a tremendous amounts of hooks in it. It is my favorite out of the three. It is also getting a lot of airplay. "Ever Since" could compete with Bowling For Soup and Simple Plan in their arena. It is also a tremedous song. It shouldn't be long for Sixty-10 to get the major label opportunity that they have worked so hard for. I would highly recommend checking it out at Sixty-10.com

12/07/05: Joanna Mbramos - Sixty-10 - joannambramos@aol.com
Rating: 99
This is the best EP that I have heard all year. It starts out in Powerpunk fashion with Miss You. It isn't your typical clone of Simple Plan of other Punk-Pop artists. It has a unique style that shines on the new EP. The next song "Everything" is my personal favorite. It shows off Randall's low register, which hans't been seen much until this song. This is the best song that Cheap Trick hasn't written in 20 years. Ever Since is great cruising music and reminds me a lot of the last Jimmy Eat World. Overall I give it a 99.8%, because I can't wait for the next full-length release on a major label. This is the best 3 songs that I have heard in years. Sixty-10 is a band that is going places fast.

09/07/05: vapidbass - Sixty 8 / Sixty 8 - info@sixty8band.com
Rating: 100
Sixty 8's current EP/CD is melodic retro-metal built for baby boomers from the 80's, but with nu-metal influences. This 5 1/2 son disc is a formidable debut from a band with immense potential. The most striking aspect of Sixty 8 is the lead singer Tryg Bundgaard who possesses a perfect hybrid voice between Chris Cornell and Axel Rose and almost limitless range. The interplay between guitarists Kurt Schwartz and James Lee is unbridled and very imaginative. Full lead breaks and dual leads unlike anything you hear these days. The drums and bass by Brett Eurich and Paul Asher York are average and do take away from what could be an incredible band. Hopefully given time everyone will be on the same page from a musical standpoint. Paul Asher York does redeem himself in that he wrote the entire disc and the writing is very good. You can check out the entire disc at www.sixty8band.com

30/06/05: Dean Ohlrich - Journey-Generations - derbydeano@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
What I received as I walked in to the concert last week on the kickoff show was Journey's Generations CD.. WOW. Awesome. Only a little flaw and that is due to my particular taste.

"Faith in the Heartland" opens the CD, and after a drum roll opening, it takes off and soars..Neal Schon's guitar kiterally takes you with him, and the song is up tempo and fluid, complete with the poroverbial Schon solo..."The Place in Your Heart" should already be on the radio, and why it's not is beside me. This tune starts out abruptly, and then takes off with a catchy chorus and a super melodic Neal solo to close the song..The best song since Seperate Ways; in fact in my opinion, it's better. Now, the third song is called "A Better life" and drummer Deen Castranova takes over vocals on this one. I instantly liked it..starts off with a Richard marx like "Hazard: opening, then is moderate tempo, with a sweet smooth voiced Castranova doing an excellent job here..another radio friendly song. "Every Generation" is Jonathan Cains" turn to sing lead. Nothing special, but is a nice solid melodic song..a little Billy Joelish. The Next song was Steve Augeri's solo entry called "Butterfly(She flies alone). Too slow for me, and sounds like it is missing from Arrival..ok song, but I could do without. "Believe" is the next song, and it too rocks..A classic Journey song with a nice chorus. However, to me, the momentum is broken up with "Knowing that you love Me." This too sounds like Arrival, which isn't a bad thing, but could leave off. Now, the rockers come at you, starting with "Out of Harms Way." Killer Neal guitar opening, sounds like a machine gun along with Deenos drumming..great, no, superb lyrics..political song, but supportive of the men and women serving over "there." "In Self Defense" is next, and you may recognize this from a Schon and Hammer album back in the day..Neal torques on this one, and Deen fills in the high pitched vocals..."Better Together" is a real solif tune. I love the lyrics, and to me it seems as though the words are reflective of the band, not the boy/girl scenario..you need to listen to this one..For the next track, "Gone Crazy" I thought ZZ Top was included in this song. Bassist Ross Valory's turn at the mic and he does a good job on it, it just isn't Journey..very hokish and country rock..seriously, sounds like Billy Gibbons doing Journey, or Ross doing ZZ...The final song is "Beyond the Clouds."Real slow, but Schon's guitar melts you like butter, and the chorus is heavy on lyrics..

In rating this cd, I knocked off a few points for the "fillers" "Knowing that you Love Me" and "Butterfly", and for the awkwardness of the Ross song, however, this CD is strong..real strong. If radio would pull their collective heads out of their collective asses, and play this bad boy.. There are anthem songs(Faith in the Heartland), good rock tunes, pop songs(Better Life), and no tissue ballads, I rank this now number #2 in the impressive Journey catalog..yes, behind Frontiers. It's that good. Buy it if you can, or simply go to their show, and get one free!!

Dean

25/06/05: Yulianto Dewata - MSG Forever And More - davidewata@yahoo.com.sg
Rating: 88
This 2003 release from Michael Schenker (under the MSG flag) is quite an interesting compilation. This 2 disc set is a compilation from previous studio and live records, Written In The Sands, The Unforgiven World Tour, The Michael Schenker Story, one instrumental album, and Be Aware of Scorpions. Fortunately, these discs also cover some “old” tracks from the UFO years. Let’s say “Armed And Ready” or “On And On” as well as “Lights Out”, “Rock Bottom”, etc. Surprisingly enough, my favorite tracks “Save Yourself” from the McAuley Schenker Group years is also covered in the disc. If you’re not satisfied (yet), one song from Scorpions is also covered here, which is “Another Piece of Meat”! Wow… this reminds me of Scorp’s heavy metal days.

I have not been very much updated with MSG after the release of their Unplugged album. Thus, these discs are very much important me to catch up with them. I didn’t realize that “Written In The Sand” is a melodic and somewhat romantic track. That’s cool.

I wouldn’t be fair to rate Forever And More with 5 stars since this is a compilation record (of course, selected tracks, good songs blablabla…). But this compilation indeed gives me the confidence of what MSG could achieve the next future. A confidence that once was vanished after I heard that Michael went solo as an acoustic guitar player.

25/06/05: Yulianto Dewata - WINGER In The Heart of The Young - davidewata@yahoo.cm.sg
Rating: 85
Sexy hard rock music. Yep, that’s what I call Winger’s musical direction. Eleven killer tracks from Winger’s second release “In The Heart of The Young” shows their maturity of music. The album opener is “Can’t Get Enuff”, a sexy and rhythmic tune and –of course- full of implicitly sexy lyrics. The second track “Loosen’ Up” perfectly fits into the bill as the first one. I think the one that caught most of the attention in this record is –surprisingly—wasn’t written by the mastermind bassist/vocalist Kip Winger. “Miles Away” is most probably the best ballad ever recorded by Winger. This song was written by keys-man/guitarist Paul Taylor.

Another surprise output from this band, they went a bit darker here. Tracks such as “Rainbow In The Rose” or “Under One Condition”. This is great, since I like dark. Although probably it would be less-commercial for their record sale. Most probably you will love Reb Beach’s guitar-driven signature on “Little Dirty Blonde”, less spectacular than his well-penned signature on “Seventeen” from the first record, but surely this will make you dance for sure.

“Baptized By Fire”, is that Kip’s bass solo in the beginning of the song? Nice job, Kip! I think, the last 2 tracks in this record are great album closers. “You Are The Saint, I Am The Sinner” and title-track “In The Heart of The Young” are among of my favorite tracks down here.

Jeez, I do miss all those hard rock days. I always close my eyes and relive those days when I play this disc at night.

25/06/05: Yulianto Dewata - ALIAS Alias - davidewata@yahoo.com.sg
Rating: 4
As far as I am aware of, this is the only album by this band called Alias. This album was released in 1990. People might remember that their song “More Than Words Can Say” was well-received as a good ballad. Personally, I think that song now stands as one of those songs that we call “classic”. Actually, there are a lot of melodic tunes in this album. Catchy and romantic.

The album was opened with a melodic pop-rocking tune “Say What I Wanna Say”. It is very light and crunchy. A nice opener. The second track “Haunted Heart” is a more up-beat than the first track. A little bit dark but still melodic. The first ballad is “Waiting For Love”. Pretty much reminding me of John Waite’s “Missing You”, especially in the beginning of the song. This one is a killer ballad as well as “More Than Words Can Say”. Too bad it didn’t get much radio play.

The rocking tune “The Power” is pretty much a simple track and almost have nothing to highlight on. Skippable track for me, it’s worth listening though. While “Heroes” is a slow tempo ballad. Continued with the next track “What To Do”, a bass-driven intro track. I think “After All The Love Has Gone” is my favorite rocking track, other than “Haunted Heart”. I think it would be a great show opener as well. “Nothing you can do to make me stay/After the love has gone!” really clinched the emotion within. Track number 8 is “More Than Words Can Say”. Needless to say any comment on that, I suppose. While I would like to pen the next track “One More Chance” as a highlight melodic hard rock track from the band. Did I mention the killer guitar solo in the song? Oh yes, you should keep your ears for the solo parts. The last two songs are mid-tempo yet pop-y “True Emotion” (which seems to make you aware that “hey, we’re approaching the end of our menu”) while the album closer is a rock n’ roller “Standing in The Darkness”. I don’t think it is a nice choice for a closer. But it sure left wanting more for this band. Which in fact, none. However, they have marked their place in the hard rock scene during the early 90s.

25/06/05: Ian Mascall - Hammerfall - Chapter V - mookthebarbus@tiscali.co.uk
Rating: 98
First time l heard this band from Sweden they blew this 45 year olds head apart...
They remind me of good ol Saxon back in the Wheels of Steel days..awesome singer and superb headbanging riffs to keep many a metalhead happy...
Since l got into these l have recently bought there back catalogue and every albums a classic in there own right..
If you get the combination of a great metal singer and superb guitar work...you get a superb album and this to me is one of the best in 2005...
Simply awesome !!!!!!!

17/06/05: greg - Visionary -Strange but familiar shores - gyheat@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
One of the best progressive metal albums ever! LEAD SINGER HAS AN AMAZINGLY BEATIFUL VOICE much like geoff tate and james labrie
musically it is loaded with keyboards and guitars> very cool> buy this album from nightmare records> you will not be disappointed>

17/06/05: greg - Gotthard - Lip Service - gyheat@yahoo.com
Rating: 99
Gotthard just keeps getting better. Awesome rockers and cool ballads. Would have given it a 100 but the ballads on their previos albums are show Steve Lee's vocal range and emotion much more. Still a must have for any melodic rock fan. 14 songs and 1 bonus and I keep wanting more!!!!!

28/05/05: Jonas Svensson - Harem Scarem-Overload - jonas151@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
God, I´m so happy. Harem Scarem back in shape. This is an album that I would rank as one of their best. It´s up there together with Mood Swings, Voice of Reason and Karme Clensing. Truly a perfect album. Thanks guys.

25/05/05: Maricela Gomez - Simply Slang cd - esanena@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I don't know what the previous post is talking about but Simply Slang sounds NOTHING like the New York Dolls. They have their own unique sound and style. The cd (ep) is pretty good-all the songs rock (I love the vocals!) but my personal favorite is the melodic hard pop/rock of Angeline. The boys in Simply Slang came up with a classic when they recorded this one. Sure, the production isn't too good, but with a song like Angeline, it really doesn't matter.

20/05/05: Teddy - EDDIE LEO : FLIEG MIT MIR - les.deux@t-online.de
Rating: 0
EDDIE LEO : THE LITTLE PRINCE OF GERMAN POP/ROCK MUSIK.


Montaigne wrote one day :„One cannot severe the soul from the body,a man is all that“.The name of the man I met,by chance,on a beautiful sunny day,during the PopKomm 2004 in Berlin,is EDDIE LEO.

EDDIE LEO was just there,besides me,I recognized him and went to salute him.His simplicity is striking,and I was heartily greeted.We exchanged about the outcomes since his victory in the Deutsche Stimme 2003 show,(The German Voice 2003 Show),on ZDF (The Second German TV Channel).Consequently,he presented to me his album FLIEG MIT MIR.EDDIE LEO has talent,and he is a generous man who hasn't lost the normal touch.Maybe it is his practice of Yoga that enables him not to lose his head after his success with the Deutsche Stimme 2003,and the release of his uplifting album FLIEG MIT MIR on BMG Ariola.

Today,EDDIE LEO,alias EDDIE LEO SCHRUFF is 33,and he knows what he wants,a life full of music to share with his public.EDDIE LEO comes from Cologne in Germany,he was a member of the A-cappella Group,THE FRICKLES,for four years,and sang in the german version of the musical : LITTLE SHOPS OF HORROR. His classical training giving him all the tools to handle the challenges that come from the very demanding world of music.

EDDIE LEO's album FLIEG MIT MIR was recorded in six weeks in the studio Kapellmeister in Vögelsen near Lüneburg,and produced by Peter Hoffman,Frank Ramon and Patrick Benzner.This record mirrors the artist's sensibility,versatility and quality touch.Is EDDIE LEO the artistic Udo Jürgens'presumptive heir. About his record,EDDIE LEO says : « …Despite the shortness of the recording process,we save the best for my first album ». Yes,indeed,there are numerous beautifully penned songs in this record,sung with sensibility and emotion : « Flieg Mit Mir », »Aus Dem Freien Fall », »Regenzeit », »Mach Die Augen Zu », »Ich Weiß, Daß Es Dich Gibt »,and not to be forgotten, the delicious ballads : »Warum Bist Du Weg » and « Bleib » .

EDDIE LEO : FLIEG MIT MIR on BMG Ariola.

Internet site : www.eddie-leo-band.de
Internet site : www.eddie-leo.com


(P)2005 Teddy Crispin

18/05/05: oliver - Harem Scarem-Over:Load - oliver.gichert@t-online.de
Rating: 55
99?? Sorry Andrew. Know it´s your favourite band, but imo this isn´t melodic rock any more. Pure hard rock with only a few good melodies. Vocals much too agressive. No remarkable songs. Disappointing!

05/05/05: Randy Steinberg - Dark Sky Living & Dying - randyguitar@juno.com
Rating: 50
For the most part I tend to agree with andrews reviews, but not here.
Besides giving this cd a high rating he also said fans of scorpions and jaded heart should enjot this.I cannot compare this to either of these bands.I think the vocals are terrible and the song writing isn't much better.I tried to listen to this cd three different times
and I thought it got worse each time.

29/04/05: Krystal - Bohemian Rhapsody - The_love@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is the Greatest song yet!!!!!!!!

28/04/05: vicente muedra - WURDALAK: Desde El Silencio - http://www.wurdalak.net
Rating: 100
"Desde el Silencio" is the second album of the spanish band Wurdalak that comes along after its previous disc "La Llamada". A more elaborated and mature work that from the entrails of traditional heavy metal approaches new directions towards vanguardist and progressive sounds. Each track is a surprising journey, either they take us to their personal epic world with subtle and mysterious atmospheres, or to submerge us in heartrendering spheres of moving lyricism. The voice of MªJose Romero invites to it, because is complex, luminous, intense, vibrant... This vocalist dynamite the climax until elevating us to delightful emotions. Its adaptation coming from the classic field to heavy metal is really commendable, although she is still more comfortable in mid-tempos and high registries.

The musical production of the album is exceptional. The rythmical section sounds aggressive, clean, powerful.... The treatment of keyboard and voice also is outstanding, cause far from being relegated to the rythmical maze they receive high protagonism, showing the virtues of these talented musicians. Similarly it emphasizes the sound of guitars, where the group is faithful to a classic metal concept, with powerful riffs, rushing guitar boths, and baroque arrangements in pure Helloween style.

An atmospheric Intro made by Helder de los Santos with an elegant taste to Alan Parson initiates the disc. Tremendously evocative and enigmatic. Next they delight us with "Atormentado" a song of progressive structure with sharp rythmical guitars - they slightly remember Conception -. "Nunca Moriras" begins with an Elegy sounding intro, pompous guitars and a noticeable protagonism of the keyboard. Very melodic, intense and heartrendering. It is perhaps next to "Camino en una sola direccion" the best structured song.

"Mil Voces" is a speedy metal hit where the brilliants riffs of guitar evoke the best Rainbow epoca. We also should emphasize the collaboration of "El Gamba", singer from Metal Mareny. His interesting voice allows a vibrant duel between both vocalists. In this cut they make an instrumental interlude that relaxes the metal fervor by suggestive orchestal arrangements. "Nyneve" is a midtempo song where the luminous voice of Mª Jose take us to a wonderful epic story. They sound like the last celtic albums made by Richi Blackmore. "No hay adios" is his following cut where they return to flirtear with symphonic rock. The rythmical section - Ignacio Garcis bass player and Rubén Muñoz drummer- is powerful and complex.

"Camino en una sola direccion" is the masterpiece of the disc. begins with an intro with reminiscencias to "Fear the dark", then flies to a gothic atmosphere with certain flavor to Evanescence, to finalize with a hard rock chorus with tenuous celtic shades. The song is in continuous crescendo, looking for a goal, a direction... musical narrative Tension very good acomplished that harmonically goes through the existencial desire of yearnings and dreams that characterize the letters of the band. They finalize the disc with "Hacia a ti" which connects with the enigmatic Intro made by Helder de los Santos, sealing therefore a perfect circle. In conclusion, Wurdalak has obtained a disc of exceptional quality where they reveal their skills in fusing different sorts with total coherence, marking a way to make heavy metal absolutely original.

28/04/05: vicente muedra - WURDALAK: Desde El Silencio - http://www.wurdalak.net
Rating: 100
"Desde el Silencio" is the second album of the spanish band Wurdalak that comes along after its previous disc "La Llamada". A more elaborated and mature work that from the entrails of traditional heavy metal approaches new directions towards vanguardist and progressive sounds. Each track is a surprising journey, either they take us to their personal epic world with subtle and mysterious atmospheres, or to submerge us in heartrendering spheres of moving lyricism. The voice of MªJose Romero invites to it, because is complex, luminous, intense, vibrant... This vocalist dynamite the climax until elevating us to delightful emotions. Its adaptation coming from the classic field to heavy metal is really commendable, although she is still more comfortable in mid-tempos and high registries.

The musical production of the album is exceptional. The rythmical section sounds aggressive, clean, powerful.... The treatment of keyboard and voice also is outstanding, cause far from being relegated to the rythmical maze they receive high protagonism, showing the virtues of these talented musicians. Similarly it emphasizes the sound of guitars, where the group is faithful to a classic metal concept, with powerful riffs, rushing guitar boths, and baroque arrangements in pure Helloween style.

An atmospheric Intro made by Helder de los Santos with an elegant taste to Alan Parson initiates the disc. Tremendously evocative and enigmatic. Next they delight us with "Atormentado" a song of progressive structure with sharp rythmical guitars - they slightly remember Conception -. "Nunca Moriras" begins with an Elegy sounding intro, pompous guitars and a noticeable protagonism of the keyboard. Very melodic, intense and heartrendering. It is perhaps next to "Camino en una sola direccion" the best structured song.

"Mil Voces" is a speedy metal hit where the brilliants riffs of guitar evoke the best Rainbow epoca. We also should emphasize the collaboration of "El Gamba", singer from Metal Mareny. His interesting voice allows a vibrant duel between both vocalists. In this cut they make an instrumental interlude that relaxes the metal fervor by suggestive orchestal arrangements. "Nyneve" is a midtempo song where the luminous voice of Mª Jose take us to a wonderful epic story. They sound like the last celtic albums made by Richi Blackmore. "No hay adios" is his following cut where they return to flirtear with symphonic rock. The rythmical section - Ignacio Garcis bass player and Rubén Muñoz drummer- is powerful and complex.

"Camino en una sola direccion" is the masterpiece of the disc. begins with an intro with reminiscencias to "Fear the dark", then flies to a gothic atmosphere with certain flavor to Evanescence, to finalize with a hard rock chorus with tenuous celtic shades. The song is in continuous crescendo, looking for a goal, a direction... musical narrative Tension very good acomplished that harmonically goes through the existencial desire of yearnings and dreams that characterize the letters of the band. They finalize the disc with "Hacia a ti" which connects with the enigmatic Intro made by Helder de los Santos, sealing therefore a perfect circle. In conclusion, Wurdalak has obtained a disc of exceptional quality where they reveal their skills in fusing different sorts with total coherence, marking a way to make heavy metal absolutely original.

26/04/05: James Smiythe - Kilometre:42 - On Any Other Day - Jamie7angel@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Kilometre:42 - On Any Other Day

WOW.
Listen to this at www.k42.net
You WILL love it!

21/04/05: Salman Ahmed - Dark Sky - Living & Dying - salmanahmed178611@yahoo.com
Rating: 10
Everybody has their own likings in music first of all, so I cannot judge for others, but in my opinion is that Dark Sky - Living & Dying is worst release as of yet, they sound like Power Metal on this CD. It 's a total waste of money where it's concerned of Melodic Rock. I regret buying this album. This is their worst release yet. Their 1st 2nd albums are good and specially the first one and which is hard to find and I would say it's OOP now. Living & Dying is nowhere near to Melodic Rock. I personally owe 6000 CD's mostly metal and I know if the Melodic Rock has good music then it usually starts from the fist song and you catch the melody, but this Dark Sky - Living & Dying it's a crap from 1st song to the last song, I have wasted my $20 with shipping cost for this stupid CD. It's very disappointing to hear such stuff.

20/04/05: mike - MOONSTONE (THE SECOND RUNE) - mike.guittard@libertysurf.fr
Rating: 70
Originally known as a cover band called Slacker in 1994, Moonstone who come from France release their second album titled The Second Rune and what a masterfull peice of work we have here.
Moonstone's lineup of Paula Guittard on Vocals, Emilien Vincent and Franck Vidal on lead and rhythm guitars, Gilles Lesoin on bass, and Mikylee on drums attack us with their melodic Power Metal rich and full of melody and power riffs.Old school heavy metal fans of Blind Guardian, Helloween and Savatage will fall in love with this band.
The Second Rune breathes fire on just about every track. Paula's voice makes all this sound so special each time you listen to this disc. She along with the rest of the guys have such a tight melodic sound North American's must listen to this CD to see what I mean.
The tracks "Run" and the title track set this disc on fire with a fantastic chorus that will grab hold of you from the first listen. These tracks build up this CD to make it possibly one of the best album's of the year.
The final track "I'm back" will end things on such an impressive high note you'll wonder what is next for these five great musicians. Nothing but great things ahead for Moonstone as this Canadian Heavy Metal fan is on board and will offer them support in every way I can.
You should too. Pick up this disc today!

13/04/05: Anthony Ricapito - circle II circle/ The Middle of Nowhere - aanda92000@yahoo.com
Rating: 10
I just brought the new Circle II Circle cd. I say its the best album of the year. The songs are more heavy than their last album Watching in Silence. The production is incredible, the sound is powerful. From songs All that Remains, Open Season, and my favorite on the album Psycho Motor Zak Stevens vocals blow you away. Everyone who loves heavy metal pick this album up.

02/04/05: larry scholfield - Starbreaker/Masterplan/Judas Priest - lscholfield@aol.com
Rating: 5
Not that this is a bad release but the problem I'm having with this and most recently the new Masterplan and Judas Priest cd's is the lack of any real hooks. I've given these albums multiple spins and can only find 2, maybe 3 songs that are memorable. The musicianship is far beyond competent and the production quality is of the highest order but the songs just don't stick in my memory like say the Alterbridge or the new fozzy. Maybe its just me but these albums could use a boost from outside songwriters. Too bad because I was anticipating these albums for a long time.

29/03/05: Tom Fenton - Simply Slang - tomf20@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
After reading the glowing reviews here about this band, I felt compelled to speak my piece. I can't figure out the big deal of these guys-The cd has poor production (sounds like it's from the late 70's), the band is really sloppy (in an amateurish sort of way) and there are only three songs (I don't count the instrumental "Star Spangled Banner" as a song). When I hear this lame excuse of a cd, all I can think of is the New York Dolls. That's who Simply Slang sounds like. I know, many may argue that the Dolls were great, but honestly they sucked. So what if they influenced the punk and glam scenes, the bottom line is they sucked. And so does Simply Slang-They sound like the New York Dolls and Cheap Trick's godawful "In Color" album mixed together. They have a unorthodox style, i'll give 'em that, but in short, the truth is-they SUCK.

26/03/05: Rob Gunkel - Fozzy - All That Remains - TwohundredMPH@fuse.net
Rating: 90
I always kind of thought Fozzy was nothing more than an over rated cover band. In stealth like fashion, this band puts out one of the best Hard Rock CD's that I have heard in 2005.

My favorite tracks are Nameless Faceless and Enemy, but this whole Album rocks. Worth Checking out for sure!!

17/03/05: Mad Maxx - Yngwie Malmsteen: Unleash The Fury - djmadmaxx@adelphia.net
Rating: 95
Yngwie's 'unleash the fury' lives up to it's name. With the same lineup as the Attack!! album they come back a bit heavier and the mix is just a little better. The whoile album is great but the best tracks in my opinion are: The Bogeyman, Guardian Angel and Russian Roulette. There are 18 tracks, 4 of which are instrumentals and 3 bonus video clips of yngwie playing in the studio. It also looks like Yngwie got back in shape.

15/03/05: Bradley - TUFF LUCK - HOW I SEE THE WORLD - babahazi@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
I am from the South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale) area and lived through what was the metal to grunge transition which took place in the early 90’s. I was always a fan of TUFF LUCK (mostly a fan of Dave the guitar player) and thought that they should have been a huge rock band. They were selling out clubs and playing with major league rock acts in the late 80’s but I never really liked the singer they had. In 1990 or 1991 they got a singer named Rick to join the band and I was immediately blown away. They were the most talented band I ever saw in a club anywhere. They put out a cd called HOW I SEE THE WORLD and it was amazing. If you ever see this cd on ebay you should get it. I’m still trying to locate some of the songs that didn’t make the cd so if anyone has them please email me.

12/03/05: Aston Georges - TOYZ House of cards - jc_fun_cool@yahoo.fr
Rating: 92
A very good AOR album from these french guys. For their debut album, they show they are good happy song-writers and experienced musicians. They bring a renewal alternative for the french Melodic Rock scene ! Hope a second flight with the band.

05/03/05: Dan MacDonald - Thunder / Magnificent Seventh - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Really great stuff,the first Thunder album I got was "Laughing on Judgement Day ",I couldn't get my hands on "Backstreet Symphony" here in Canada 'til later.Anyway slightly disappointed w/3rd effort "Behind Closed Doors".Seemed like the guys lost the plot or something,the live album was wicked & their last album, "Shooting @ the Sun", was the best since LOJD,now THIS album is in the same league as the 1st two,kinda like Zeppelin meets Bad Co meets AC/DC.
If you're a Thunder fan or a fan of classic British rock don't hesitate it's all gravy !

02/03/05: texas holdem - texas holdem - info@andrewsaluk.com
Rating: 0
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28/02/05: Brett Maverick - Metal Majesty 2005 - dckiss@yahoo.com
Rating: 2
Has anyone heard this album? Holy cow, its one thing if you sound like another singer or your bands souond is similar to another band. But what these guys do is out and out theft. Hold on the Night is a complete rip off of Still of the Night by Whitesnake....I mean right down to the drum sounds. Imagine Freddy Mercury (which is who singer sounds like) singing Whitesnakes Still of the Night. If this was a major release there is no doubt the Metal Majesty would be sued. When my buddy and I first heard this one we just started laughing. Check it out.

27/02/05: Valerie Spinner - 3lb Universe \"Hello Catatonic\&quo - lifehousefan@comcast.net
Rating: 99
This band is still not well known outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, yet they have become my favorite band of all time. Some say they sound like Stone Temple Pilots, Alice In Chains- but I think they are just awesome. Mike Cobak, Tom Minydzak, Mark Larimer, and Rich Cosgrove write some high energy rock that never takes a cheesy turn...the musicians are all great and the vocals are great. They have self released two cds and they are both great. They open for King's X often in Pittsburgh and are doing well in the area. Really they have some very hooky songs which could easily be hits on the radio. Someone is gonna find this band someday and they will be a very big deal. 99/100. www.3lbuniverse.net

26/02/05: John from PA. - 7th heaven - johnfrench34@yahoo.com
Rating: 92
7th heaven-"Silver".

7th heaven are an independent melodic rock band, from Chicago Ill. Usa.(They have nothing to do with the U.S Tv show of the same name or the European band from the early 90's).
My favorite tracks are 'Cellophane' ,"Misunderstood" and 'Ghost of Me" . Other standout tracks, are Gravity, Undone, and Right by your side. I love this CD, because there something for everyone from melodic rockers with Def Lep type choruses to atmospheric u2ish rockers like "she", to heartfelt AOR like "Windows".

Now,there are a few tracks that skew to the alternative, such as This Pressure, Face of Terror, and 'Breaking me up", but with 30 tracks on 2 CDS there is plenty of variety for everyone. Why these guys don't have a deal with at least Frontiers is beyond me. the production is excellent for an indy release, and the price $10+ s+h for 30 songs is a bargain!Everybody can check out their web site at www.7thheavenband.com , where you can listen to clips, and buy the cd direct. I heartily recommend this cd, and urge melodic rock fans to pick this one up.

24/02/05: Erik - Sam Alex - Pieces - erikhardam@hetnet.nl
Rating: 89
I think this is one of the best new AOR/Melodicrock records that I have heard for the last couple of years.Ultra catchy songs with good vocals from Sam, nice use of keyboards and a good production.
Yeah what a pleasant surprise. This is very good melodic rock. Nothing groundbreaking but you hardly ever hear quality stuff like this anymore. Man this cd rocks !! Look forward to hear more from these guys ( Sam Alex and Bobby Altvater). A must have !

24/02/05: Erik - Final Frontier - High tension wire - erikhardam@hetnet.nl
Rating: 90
Again they deliver AOR perfection. This is such a talented band. Maybe the production is a little les compared to The Second wave album but this is quality stuff throughout. And songs like "Two Different Worlds", "Listen To Your Heart" "Hollywood Drama" and especially "Hearts On Fire" make us feel that 2005 will be a great year for us, AOR fans. And you know what i still even think they can do better and come up with the ultimate AOR killer album. This is a well deserved 9/10. This band should be huge, comparable to top AOR bands from the late 70's-80's but with an original and wonderful production value. One of the best of 05(already).

22/02/05: Tony - Bittersweet - Loaded Up - ajbtoao@hotmail.com
Rating: 89
If only for the sake that this is classic American hard rock, I suggest this album for all melodic rock fans.
It's got 20 solid tracks that don't let up. The disc is consistent throughout and really makes you yearn for the good old days of rock and roll, (not that bands like Loud N Nasty aren't bringing it back.)
They do a couple songs from Rock Candy, the new york 80's band, and I believe the guitarist was in Rock Candy before this band. It's just plain great. I got it from www.RetrospectRecords.com but it's at Perris too.
My review - Good stuff. I wish the demos were re-recorded, but for the time period, and for just $15, I would say it's an A+.

18/02/05: Marcus O\'Neil - Sonic X - Debut Release - phifly2001@yahoo.ca
Rating: 97
This is the Best new Hard Rock Band that I've heard in a real long time. The songs and performance are great, there is not 1 weak track on the entire CD. It opens with a real Kicker titled "News For You" and literally doesn't let up. My friends and I found that this CD grips you and doesn't let go. I find myself listening to it over and over again and that's the sign of a great disc. THere are lots of mood changes on the CD and takes you on a real Journey. I highly recommend this Band and CD. I also checked out their Web site: www.thesonicx.com and found it to be really inofrmative and fun. THey run contests to win Sonic X material and it also previews the songs that are on the CD. You can also order the CD from their web site which is what I did and received the CD very quickly.
Have a listen is you love Melodic Hard Rock as much as I do...I highly recommend this Band...Give it a Try !!!

M'O'Neil

05/02/05: Andrew Davies - Alter Bridge - Andrew.M.Davies@eu.nabgroup.com
Rating: 95
Absolutely superb. I am a big fan of Creeds music but found the songs a little too dark. This album combines superb music with power and melody. You get light and shade and it all works equally well.
Congratulations guys, this record is stunning and everyone I have played it to agrees.

28/01/05: Dave Smith - Xoch - Caberet EP - daves@wsieurope.com
Rating: 90
This recently self released EP (and 34+ minutes of it too) is a must buy for fans of pop/melodic rock/female fronted rock. And a full length release is due soon in Europe on Now and Then Records. Every track on this EP is a gem in it's own right, and the production is top notch. I won't name a favourite track, as every one is that good. And as a bonus, Xoch has added three tracks from her full length album to this EP, so we can get a taster for the up and coming full length release. With some releases of this genre leaving a lot to be desired here in the UK, this gal desererves to be BIG! She has already been featured in Fireworks, Powerplay and Classic Rock Zines, with further mentions due. She has also had a track featured on a Fireworks Magazine sampler. I love this gal, and her music - surely there must be some justice in this world - go to her website (http://xoch.com/) and buy!

26/01/05: guillermo - FINAL FRONTIER High tension wire - guillerperez@usuariosretecal.es
Rating: 100
the best aor band of the moment. A GReat album a nice songs like Journey

22/01/05: Dawn Deveaux - Silence - Nostalgia - dawnd2222@yahoo.com
Rating: 99
Silence has just released their latest CD Nostalgia, a must for melodic rock fans! Great sound and about the only artist I know of that keeps me re-spinning the CD - over and over. Great tracks overall. But Stupid Man, Easy Way, and the killer tune Electric Harps make this CD a MUST BUY for melodic rock fans worldwide!

21/01/05: Phil V - Fozzy\"All That Remains\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
I know it's still early in 2005 but I will go on record as saying the new Fozzy release "All That Remains" will be on my top 10 list at the end of the year!!! This CD has more than your average metal release. It combines classic metal, prog, nu-breed & thrash into a most satisfying CD!! The songwriting is what shines throughout the album. Opener "Nameless Face" has heavy guitars with some mighty impressive vocals by Chris Jericho. This guy should devote 100% of his time to Fozzy because this CD eclipses any accomplishment he's had in the wrestling ring!! Guitarist Rich Ward combines a heavy Dimebag Darrel(RIP) tone with Zakk Wylde-like squeals to produce an in-your-face guitar sound reminicent of Pantera's "Cowboys From Hell"!! Zakk even provides his services on the track Wanderlust". Those comparisons aside, this band writes songs like no other modern day metal band. There's hooks everywhere thanks to Jericho's multilayered harmonies and the drum work of Frank Fontsere recalls images of Mike Portny. Tracks like "Enemy", "The Test", "Born of Anger" and my favorites "Daze of the Weak" & "The Way I Am" prove that this band has the chops to compete with the Dream Theaters of the world. The only think missing are the keyboards. I've heard all 3 of Fozzy's releases and this one is head and shoulders above anything they've done before. It's not often that a CD grabs me on the very first spin but this one did!!! Awesome!!!

11/01/05: Fiona - Shy - Sunset & Vine - Fionamc@ics-uk.co.uk
Rating: 100
Fantastic latest album from SHY. I would say their best ever album yet. Tony Mill's vocals are amazing and the guitar playing out of this world. Simply Brilliant! Due for European release 7 Feb 2005.. A must have...enjoy!

29/12/04: Charlie Smith - Frank Marino & Mahogany Rush - Real - Nun_Yo_Business_1@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
WOW Where to start on this great disc from the Opening riff of "Voodoo Chile" which clocks in at over ten minutes to the final note of "Try For Freedom" this is IMHOP the greatest live disc ever recorded. Hunt this double disc set down. Amazon has it and you can get it personalized by Frank himself on his website. Clocking in at 2 hours and 36 minutes this is huge bang for your buck. Frank has released two other live discs in his career and they don't hold a candle to this one. Included on the set is probably his best song ever "Stories of a Hero" off of the "Juggernaut" CD which Frank very rarely if ever played live. The set was recorded on Sept. 9, 2001 and was mixed over the next 3 years. The included booklet explains the long drawn out process he went through to make sure the fans got a true rep. of the show that night. The set list includes several out standing tracks that more that make it worth the purchase price. From "Voodoo Chile" he goes right into "Something's Comin' Our Way " without missing a beat. Probably the best song on the first disc is "Crossroads" I have never heard a better version of this song, the only other band that comes even close to topping this version is Molly Hatchet. This set really stands out for the main reason that Frank tried not to include any songs that were on his previous live discs other than a couple which he felt were better versions than what was on the the other discs. How's that for giving the fans something special. To many groups release live CD after live CD with the same songs on them most times in the same order. The one knock that most people will have is that they might think there are to many instrumentals but just being able to listen to Frank shine through on any track is worth it to me. Disc two is loaded with outstanding instrumental songs including "Electric Reflections of War" and "World Anthem" and a mellow version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". The one track that best reflects where Frank was that night though is "Strange Universe" which is done twice one slightly longer that the other sandwhiched between the two versions is "Ode to Creation" another stand out track. The only thing that would of been better would of been to actually have been at this show which was originally 3 hours and 40 minutes. How's that for getting your moneys worth, we happily plunk down $50-$100 bucks these days to watch bands play for a little over an hour and think we got our money worth. I always feel ripped off when I go see a show now a days. I hope that Frank comes to my neck of the woods I'd be more than happy to pay $100 (Not that he would ever charge that much)for over three hours of music from Frank. BUY THIS DISC you'll LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

27/12/04: Gina - Simply Slang - illianababy82@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
This 4-track CD from midwest sleaze rockers Simply Slang really rocks. The opening tune, an instrumental rendition of the national anthem is awesome. The way Aaron Morales played it, it sounds something like the intro to Bon Jovi's 'Let it Rock'. But the real jems are the band's orignals 'Live 4 the Weekend' and 'Angeline'. Especially 'Angeline'. I'm shocked that it isn't #1 on the charts right now! This CD one can listen to over and over again, without tiring of it. On this CD, Simply Slang walks the line between 'Look What the Cat Dragged In' era Poison and Bon Jovi's 'New Jersey', but with a fresh and unique twist. Being only in their early 20's, these guys have the potential to be the new reigning kings of rock in the future. Check them out.

18/12/04: Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck - Cardinal Trait - khannaleck@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
You have heard the term cardinal sin, well, in reference to music; we have a band called Cardinal Trait hailing from Oklahoma. This is a twist on a negative term to make it more positive and forceful upon first impression. Therefore, we are off to good start right out of the gate. The title of the album reveals a truth right from the beginning of the opening track “Something More.” Their roots rock melodic sound makes you feel all warm and tingly inside, like You Already Know them.

I really enjoyed this album; in fact, I appreciated it immensely because there was not one throwaway track. If you were wondering what this band sounds like, the best way to explain it would be they are a combination of REM, Hootie and the Blowfish and Dave Matthews with a smidgen of the Allman Bros. for good measure. Sounds like heady stuff indeed, however, I did hear all of those influences in their musical output. Each of those bands has a distinct sound and a magnificent reputation for recording quality music. So to say, that they are in good company and going in the right direction is hitting the nail right on the head.

This band has a melodic foundation with a marvelous pop sensibility; they are intelligent, crafty, and very talented at every position in the band. Get ready folks, the south is gonna do it again. They have all the cardinal traits of greatness and I hope you as the listener are curious enough to check them out, if you don’t you will be missing one of the best musical rides of 2004.

13/11/04: David - Pulse-Worlds Apart - dlisley@prodigy.net
Rating: 85
I checked out the Pulse record from the CD showcase and liked what I heard in the melodies. After reading the review here about the sound, I approached purchasing this title with caution but decided to take the plunge anyhow. I'm not sure if maybe Andrew got a defective copy because I do not hear any ringing on mine. True, the sound mix is very trebly and could use more bottom end. I find the sound mix on this record isn't much different than the Hodson record and for obvious reasons since Vince Regan was involved in both. In fact, I think the mix is more consistent here and the songs definitely catchier. The Hodson record is okay, but I think this record is better overall. Glad I took the chance...

30/10/04: Srinivasan - Sanmukananda Concert - srini1912@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
“Stringed to perfection”
Three violins playing in perfect synchrony are always a delight to the ears. When the artistes are Sneha, Ramya and Kaushik it is like the icing on the cake. The audience at the Sri Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha on October. 17th evening were treated to a cascade of music flowing from the three violins that came together for compositions and played in sequence for swara passages.
Synchrony not only requires hard training and practice, but also complete understanding and coordination among the players and there should be no effort to dominate. Ramya led the way but did not impose her will on her two partners. The concert commenced with the 'bhairavi' varnam ‘viriboni’ in Ata thalam.
Hamsadwani was taken up next. Rather than the many Ganesa kritsi in this ragam it was Dikshitar’s 'vatapi ganapathim' which was selected. The succeeding piece was Tyagaraja’s devotion laden kriti Sobbilu saptaswara in jaganmohini. Then came “Jaya Jaya Raghurama” in Sahana.
Ramya was given the task of handling the alapana in Vachaspati for the kriti "Pahi Jagajannani". Her effort was competent.it was clear that Sneha was going to take centre stage for the day. Succeding that came two heart warming pieces Ranidhi and Bhogindrasayinam in Manirang and Kuntanavarali respectively.
The main raga-kriti was Karaharapriya. This is a raga that can never pall on the ears. It lends itself to endless manodharma and J.Kaushik utilised this attribute to the full. The kriti was Thyagaraja's "Chakkani Raja". The move into the swaras by the trio was so smooth that they seemed virtually part of the song. There was 'Azhutham' in the rendering of the 'swaras'. Each note fell clearly on the ears.
There are some artistes who feel that Thyagaraja's contributions are not suitable to be taken up after the main piece. The trio is fortunately not one of them. The rendering of 'bhajan' in Misra Bhagasree was soft and poignant. In contrast was the brisk-paced 'Alaypayuthe piece in Kanada. Ennathavam followed. The trio was set to complete the concert after a complicated 'thillana' in Revathi composed by Lalgudi Jayaraman. The unique concert came to an end on a devotional mangalam in saurasthtram and an auspicious note.
Seasoned laya vidwans Kumbakonam N.Padmanabhan on the mridangam and Delhi R.Srinivasan on the kanjira were tailor made for their respective roles in this enjoyable concert.


26/10/04: Phil V - Millenium Best of...and More - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
One thing always scared me about greatest hits Cds, the flow. In other words, because songs were compiled from different albums at different times, with different producers, recorded in different studios....you get the idea!!! But on Millenium's "Best of....and More" there is a sense of cohesiveness that I've never heard before on a greatest hits package. Lead guitarist and chief songwriter Ralph Santolla writes the classiest and heaviest melodic rock songs that never cease to amaze this reviewer. I've always marveled at his massive, yet melodic guitar tone. A uniqueness that drives the point home even further. " I Still Believe" is my favorite track. From the gorgeous piano intro to the minor/major 7th shift during the brilliant solo this track deserves special attention. Add to the fact that I'm a huge Boston Red Sox fan and the lyrics take on a different and spiritual meaning. The only down side to this collection is the missing "Come Back" from their debut. But that's nit-picking on my part. From "The Power of Love" to "Julia" this CD sounds like it was recorded at the same session, which only adds to the listeners enjoyment. And now on to the second CD that features a few cover songs and some unreleased material. "On & On'","I Surrender" and "Jane" have one thing in common........THEY ALL SOUND BETTER THAN THEIR ORIGINAL VERSIONS!!!!! "Jane" especially with Jorn Lande's vocal harmonies filling out the truly spectacular production. The solo on "On & On" makes Michael Schenker's sound like a dated demo version. Santolla has outdone himself with this performance. My pick for best release of the year.

24/10/04: Todd Carper - Enzign - Cast the Stones - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 85
Folks, This is a hidden Gem. John Halliwell steps out of the shadows of his more well known nadmates in Ten (Gary Hughes, Vinny Burns, Paul Hodson) and gives us a CD of songs not far removed from Ten but also along the Whitesnake veign. The songs on offer are strong, and the players on the CD top notch as well. From the opening track on, every song is well done and well worth trying out. I highly reocmmend you give it a spin, you will be happy you took the time to find this hidden jewel!

18/10/04: Diane - Simply Slang - dianarobledo@earthlink.net
Rating: 60
People, you should check this band out. First of all, they are one of the few new bands playing 80's style sleaze/hard rock. Second, they have an awesome song called Angeline. This song is a classic hard/power pop song. It evokes so much emotion that i'm sure once the world hears it, it will be a hit. The other tracks, like the hard rocking Live 4 the Weekend and Rock and Roll Chain Gang rock too. The record label should have spent more money on the production, because despite that the quality is pretty clear, the overall sound levels are quite low. But nonetheless, you cant lose with this band. I expect great things in the years to come from Simply Slang.

07/10/04: Valerie - Europe - VAndr78341@aol.com
Rating: 100
'Start From The Dark' is probably the best album Europe has ever made! I absolutely LOVE this album. It is a great quality album with quality songwriting, killer solos from John Norum and Joey Tempest has never sounded soo awesome. Ian, Mic, and John Leven also sound at the top of their game and all combined give us fans a huge treat in the form of songs such as 'Flames', 'Hero', 'Song #12' (Andrew- you need to listen to this one again. It is an awesome song and one of the best on the album. It is NOT awful), 'Wake Up Call', 'Spirit of The Underdog' and I could go on and list the whole album. This is Europe for 2004. The classic melodies that you expect from them are there, but the sound is kicked up a few notches and is very heavy, dark and just plain Amazing!! Get This Album. You will Love it. Europe ARE BACK!!

06/10/04: Zè Rocks - Shadows Fade - firefish_100@hotmail.com
Rating: 60
This cd features an uninspired Kevin Chalfant on vocals (but is he really that man behind the mic?), a pretty poor production and most of the songs included are taken from other artists albums, as it was for From The Inside, Khymera, Over The Edge and Vertigo. More, many of the songs are performed worse than the original ones: “Sooner Or Later” and “Without You” come from Anders Johansson's “If It’s All I Ever Do” album of 2003; “First Love Song” and “Masquerade” are taken from the self titled debut cd by Across The Sky (year 2003); “Run To Me” is originally featured on Clay Akins' “Measure Of A Man” cd; another one is taken from the “Back To The Innocence” (2002) album released by Seven And The Sun; “Speak” from the “Waiting” (2001) cd of Canadian singer Maren Ord. Yes, the songs themselves are pretty nice but why have they been performed so bad?

29/09/04: Andrea Zedd Zerbinati - The Sign - The Second Coming - andrelebau@yahoo.it
Rating: 100
Finally I received from IndigoRecords the new "The Sign" album. I was amazed at Signs of Life. I think it is one of the best Rock records of the last 10 years, at least, and I thought it was impossible to repeat such a great job.
But they surprised me, in the unique intelligent way (we are speaking about the VIP of the rock scene !!) it is very DIFFERENT.
So, we are in the presence of another milestone, the mystic journey of Aryon continues, The concept is still there.
Mark Mangold (all lyrics) painted a full-emotional screenplay, song by song, between our fears and our doubts,
but the message is always positive, "What a wonderful time it is to be alive."
The difference is that in their previous CD each song was outlined in its entity.
This time they are more musically linked and we are in a presence of high PROG moments. You will find again that particular sound encountered in Signs of life,
the unique music style they created as "The Sign" project, but you will be positively surprised at the different impact. This CD is very difficult to "classify" using the usual adjectives we all know. eg. Aor - Hard Rock - Progressive, you can find all of these or none !
The result is unique.
Starting with the irresistible chorus of "Aryon Overture", you'll then be knocked down by the amazing "Stained" and then "The Morning After". But you cannot breathe too much 'cause the band is putting you on the cycle of "Motorcycle Messiah" and you will face the wind blowing. Then you can relax awhile with the surprising "Shine" where you will find the incredible choruses that contributed to make Signs of life great,
Then from track 6. "Bliss", a strange/dark intro from "Inner Child" you'll be lost in a whirl of magnificent choruses like "Flame of the Oracle", solos, bridge moments like only these musicians can do, and just when you think it's over ... the Zeppellinian "Black Mountain" will wake you up. What a song ! - but the best is yet to come ! One of the best ballads ever heard waits for you, "Keep on breathin'". No comment about this one - believe me - a self explanatory title. Then the album goes to the end from 14. to 16. another PROG delicious part.
The American version ends with the bonus track "Maniac", a great solid rock song opened by Terry's unique voice
and then Randy with Terry (!)
I dont know which song will be cut from the European version, but for all fans I suggest you buy the CD
directly from Indigorecords.com. The sound is fantastic and you will not risk losing any tracks.
For those who loved Signs of Life I also recommend buying the American version (always from Indigorecords.com)
It contains the fantastic bonus track "Love is Alive" and a different version of "Wine"
(in my opinion better than the european one).

23/09/04: Treffo - Europe - sl1973@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
The new Europe album Start from the Dark kicks ass! A great album with no fillers! I didn't know what to expect from this band this time but I'm surpised in a good way! Dark downtuned heavy guitars (some parts reminds me of Zakk Wylde), great riffs, great melodies, great solos from John Norum! And of course superb vocals from one of the worlds best rock singers Joey Tempest! You can't hear much keyboards. Most songs rock quite hard, it's not too many ballads! Even if they are really good too! The album kind of reminds me of some bands like Nickelback / 3 Doors Down etc but heavier and with better songs and musicians! Good to hear a band that's not afraid of guitarsolos these days! :) I agree with René that Song # 12 is really great!! Not plain awful..... Take my advice: Buy this album!!

21/09/04: erik - Teer - erikhardam@hetnet.nl
Rating: 95
This is an excellent melodic hardrock album. Fans of Harem Scarem, eraly Firehouse,Steelhouse Lane etc will have something to cheer about. This is the kind of debut a band can be proud of. This is slick, polished hardrock at its best, loaded with hooks and harmonies. In fact its so good it just may bring a "teer" to your eye. These guys have some real potential. They could become huge. Soaring melodies and vocals and sharp guitar work. Beg steal or borrow but get a hold of this album ! Listen to Vampire's lullaby, Heavens not enough or Romeo and you will be hooked.

20/09/04: Angie - Simply Slang - Simply Slang EP - angeladero62794@yahoo.com
Rating: 85
A cool EP from a new band. Simply Slang is a four piece rock band from Chicago, and they have a similar sound to early Enuff Z'Nuff meets Ratt. They write pop/rock tunes with a slight metal/punk feel to them. The singer sings something like Jon Bon Jovi mixed with Alice Cooper. A unique style indeed. The cd has four songs, one being a guitar instrumental of the national anthem. The three other songs, Live 4 the Weekend, Rock 'n' Roll Chain Gang, and Angeline are exceptional. I especially recommend Angeline, because it is such a great song, a melodic pop rock song, kind of in the vein of Bon Jovi's Runaway. Check these guys out, buy the cd or you maybe able to (legally) download some of their stuff on the web. They rock!

18/09/04: René - Europe - bif@tele2adsl.dk
Rating: 99
Nearly 100. Guys by by by. I got a sampled version but as soon as this gem arrives it´s all mine. Europe is back with a vengance. Andrew what did you think about when you wrote that song 12 is plain awfull? IF expecting Carrie I admit it could be a awfull thing but none the less song 12 is a monster track with a killer solo. Let me remind you Andrew that we write 2004 and not the eighties. I love the way europe has matured perhaps the problem is that the fans or at least some of them still hope for carrie version 2. Carrie was wonderful in the eighties start from the dark is a god damn killer album. Andrew please try it out again. You must have had a bad day.
Anyway expect a hard edge guitar driven Europe cd with the guys in tip top shape. This could be there best release EVER. My favorite before this one was superstious

10/09/04: Mark - Zillion - mark@wyse583.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 95
Hard rock with tons of melody, an underrated and forgotten treasure maybe?

09/09/04: Phil V - "Survival of the Sickest" Sali - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Heavy, powerful, nasty......These are words that come to mind when I listen to their new CD!!! I've followed Saliva's career since their begining and I must admit "Survival of the Sickest" is not only their best release but one of the top 10 releases of this year so far!! What makes this CD so good, you ask? HUGE GUITAR SOLOS & HEAVY SONGS WITH HOOKS!!!! I had to check the credits to see the name of the guitar player who was shredding his arse off and much to my surprise it was the same guitar player that was in the band for their last release "Back into Your System". But that CD had no solos and paled in comparison to this one. Why guitarist Wayne Swinny wasn't allowed to let loose before is a good question but thank God he finally did!!! This guy smokes!! And forget the rap/rock sound that graced their first CD. This is 100% heavy as hell hard rock played at 11. Singer Josey Scott obviously has some issues with record company executives because most of the tunes spit expletives and fly the "rock & roll will never die" flag high and mighty. "Rock & Roll Revolution", "Bait & Switch", "One Night Only" and the title track come blasting through your speakers like a locomotive. The production is fat(phat) and loud with an incredibley low bottom end. I haven't been this excited about a CD since...since...come to think of it, I can't remember when I've been this excited about a CD!!!Let's hope this is a trend that will continue with newer bands because it's a breath of fresh air to hear a band that can actually play their instruments and play them well!!!! A must have!!!

03/09/04: Thomas - EUROPE - k.schaltz@get2net.dk
Rating: 99
After listening to 9 pics of 12 songs. Im very surprised of getting my ecspectations kicked so much forward. This music is so different from what combines with europe; i like europe a lot, but this is so much better. much more progressive, Harder, tuff, and well maid`no doubt that it is europe, they are hounest, its just another rapping. the 0,01% must be the waiting for the FINAL release

03/09/04: Liz - New Artist / Aprillee - GIjane7772002@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
WOW. Heard this chick streamed on www.streamingmusicstation.com Her song "Who am I?" was played. I searched google and found she has a site on soundclick, and a guy that worked with Dokken is her producer. Holy shit, she smokes. you can listen to her at www.soundclick.com/Aprillee She also did a remake of Tell Me What you Want by Zebra... man she nails the high notes. I saw pictures of her, too, playing with Zebra recently. Has anybody else heard of her?

25/08/04: Rina Montilbano - Metallica-master of Puppets - rina_montilbano@yahoo.com
Rating: 97
i love the song its really hardcore that time metallica did exist, no one can get my attentions theyre really cool and on the top of it its got a lot relevant thinngs to be consider. like the way way they played the music it has some kind of featuristic and modernised update. either local and international band trying to imitate them till this time i reckon if theyll given a chance to performed live around the world viewers will be glad for such great and head overheals talent that they have...

14/08/04: Dan - Saga-DVD-All Areas - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Incredible to use a word to describe this concert,the band touring Bonn,Germany 2002 w/ then new,"House of Cards" album,a highpoint even by Saga's standards.Included are "new classics" such as hard rockers"Time Bomb","Remember When", & "The One".This stuff is heavy with some amazing tempo changes that Saga have become known for,Ian Crichton is such an crimially underrated guitarist,as the rest of the guys in making it look so effortless & obviosly having fun ! Also musically some cool surprises,the resurrection of "A Brief Case",a drum duel between Mike Sadler & Steve Negus that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.The inclusion of"See them Smile" & "Take it or Leave it" for us old fans as well.A different spin is put on "Time's Up",has the guys doing the tune minstrel style with Jim Gilmour on accordian & Ian Crichton on Mandolin-works really well ! Mike Sadler even straps on the bass for an excellent run through of my all time fav Saga tune"Humble Stance".A must have !

06/08/04: Freddy De Keyzer - Dakota : Deep 6 - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
One of the most forgotten and underrated acts in history is Dakota. The guys have with 'RUNAWAY' one of the best CLASSICS EVER and all their other records are also above average.
Their new one is again a great AOR/westcoast record, with catchy songs and great musianship.
The only minor point this time is that it is a bit too soft time by time. I should have been a bit rockier. More power !
But it's still a pleasure to listen to this and it's head and shoulders above 95% of the hyped acts.
It's time the world begins to respect this band. They should no longer be forgotten. They are one of the best acts coming from the USA, and they are still there after years and years.
Time they get the attention they richely deserve !
Check this brilliant act out pronto !!!

06/08/04: JOHN MAC HOLMES - SEVENTH SEAL - PREMONITION - SILVERTY@BOL.COM.BR
Rating: 10
very good songs man, very good. Too hard to find this album " Premonition" so it´s better download some stuff at www.seventhsealmetal.com check the song " evil love" fuckin´great

04/08/04: James - 38 Special - Drivetrain - jamestate@optidynamic.com
Rating: 83
well, i got my cd and gone is the pop/southern rock of the 80's. The core sound is still there to where you can pick up on who the band is but the rest of the sound is totaly updated. from the guitar sound's to the song arangements to Don's vocals. Donnie's vocals are same and his songs fall along the line of his past but with an updated sound. Don's songs are much more, I don't want to say angry but they are much more in your face.
It will take me a few spins but i'm really starting to like the album a lot.

02/08/04: Dora Z - TUFF LUCK *TL2* - redoleander@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
In 1987 TUFF LUCK released their debut album on NEW RENAISSANCE records. The record was typical of 80's metal and the one stand out was guitar player Dave Scott, who's playing was melodic and fast. Though the band had some success, it was limited to a small, yet hard-core fan base in Florida. After singer Kenny Monroe left the band they recruited Rick Maurer from a band called PUSH from New Jersey. The CD released in 1993 was absolutley incredible, vocally superb with feeling and just the right amount of "dark energy". Rick's vocal style is so flexable that the songs could change on a dime without sounding forced or contrived. From ballads to screaming anger it is a must have for collectors and fans alike. It was only released in a small market but can occasionally be found on EBAY, I am told a re-release is forthcoming.

30/07/04: JimBob - Tamrah Aeryn - justins55@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
I just recieved a new album that has not yet been released by a briliant young artist. She goes by the professional title of "Tamrah Aeryn" and in my opinion she is one of the best new artists since Kate Bush. Her style is very similar, yet it seems to have more folk influences. Her style of piano playing is a bit like Tori Amos but it is still quite unique. I would recommend this album to anyone who has an appreciation for good music.

19/07/04: Music Dish Network - Valerian - The Knight Errants Of Rock - suzi@musicdish.com
Rating: 99
Valerian - The Knight Errants Of Rock


City Canyons Records, indie music's "new sound in town" is proud to announce the signing of a groundbreaking new group, Finland's Valerian. The three album-deal contract between the downtown Manhattan label and the Finnish group kicks off with the late fall 2004 release of Valerians' North American debut album 'Intimations Of Sorrow'.
Valerian is full of surprises, moving from grinding almost metallic riffs to soaring and dramatic guitar solos to a softer almost delicate lyricism, all tied to solid, heartfelt lyrics voiced with style and conviction by a brilliant lead singer. That lead singer and spark-plug (and sometime guitarist) is Olli Koskela and he is backed by Toni Ritonen and Matti Toivonen on guitars, Janne Jaaskelainen on bass, and Tipi Andersson on drums.

Sounding like no one else but instantly familiar, Valerian are men among boys compared with other current young rockers, not through any macho posing, but through the fiery intelligence of its songs and the disciplined wildness of its play. While it admits to its own musican influences, Valerian is so disdainful of industry wisdom and industry expectations and so willing to tilt at industry windmills that one Finnish journalist has dubbed it the Don Quixote of Rock.
While the Quixote comparison may be apt to the extent that it reflects the devil-may-care David and Goliath attitude of Valerian, there is nothing addled or looney about its approach to music. Each Valerian song is exquisitely crafted in careful layers and uses the brilliant guitars of Ritonen and Toivonen, the inspired rhythm section of Jasskelainen and Andersson and the chamelion voice of Koskela to tell stories ranging from the travails of life on the road in "Homesick" to the blood chilling "Nothing Will Ever Take Me Away From You (From the Archives of a Serial Killer)".
Intimations Of Sorrow will be City Canyons Records third release following the release of The Secret's Out the critically acclaimed debut album of Jen Elliott and her band Bluestruck --curently available on line and at independent record stores--and the scheduled North American release, on October 5, of UK rocker David Steele's Underneath The Ice.Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2004 - Republished with Permission


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18/07/04: IAN JOHNSON - MILLENIUM - JERICHO - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 88
Over the past few weeks or so i've seen some pretty bad reviews for this album. Many saying that it dosen't live up to the HOURGLASS cd and that TODD PLANT isn't as good as Mr Lande. I'm wondering if any body has actually listend to the music on this cd ?. OK i will gran t you that the songs are heavier than the band has been for quiet a while , but you can't deny the quality of such cuts as "MY SAVING GRACE", "HERESY" or the wonderful "LET THERE BE LIGHT". Each track features superb guitar interplay between Ralph Santolla and Shane French + the fantastic vocals of Todd Plant , who has come in for some really terrible critisisem about his singing not being as good as Jorn Lande . Lets face it two singers two different styles and in my opinion as good as Hourglass is Angelfire is so much better . So come on stop comparing the two bands , give Jericho the chance it deserves you never know you just might come to love it .

29/06/04: Charles - Decoding The Soul - kissman7865@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Decoding The Soul is Magnitude 9 third release, and I can't think of a bad thing to say about it. This CD just kicks ass from the opening track to the last. I mean it got it all from shredding guitar work, soaring vocals, killer bass, keyboards, and drums.

28/06/04: Tim - Picture of the Moon - Waxing Crescent - borkent@cs.utwente.nl
Rating: 85
Album: Waxing Crescent
Band: Picture of the Moon
Year: 2004
Medium: Mini-CD
Genre: Hard rock/ progressive metal



The band Picture of the Moon from Enschede, the Netherlands, has been together since 2001. This five-piece progressive metal band has now produced their first official release, a mini-CD called “Waxing Crescent”. The 17 minute CD contains three songs First Picture, Evil Livesecure, and Depressive Garden. The line-up consists of singer and keyboard player Michiel Borkent, rhythm guitarist Franz Klaver, lead guitarist Sjoerd Kolk, bass player Sander Rhebergen, and drummer Rudolph Saathoff.

The music can be described as a combination of different styles such as hard rock, progressive metal, and progressive rock. Singer and keyboard player Borkent finds the term “progressive” to be too pretentious, but the fact is that the music obviously is influenced by bands like Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Pain of Salvation. The comparison with these bands must not be drawn too far, because these are probably the greatest bands in the progressive genre. Waxing Crescent is definitely worth listening to on its own merits. The music is diverse, fascinating, and catching. The sound quality of the CD is very good although it wasn't recorded in an expensive studio. The atmosphere provides a good ”band in the studio” feeling. Here is a song-by-song review of the CD.

First Picture
The first song is instrumental and lasts more than three minutes. It starts with a calm bass guitar intro and soon turns into joyful and alternate sounding music, and has a beautifully played keyboard solo. This song reminds us of progressive rock with recurring themes and melodies and a real break in the middle of the song where all the instruments stop and are followed by a very cool bass guitar solo. Gradually the rest of the band joins in again. Spock's Beard anyone? A keyboard solo that is reminiscent of Jordan Rudess (Dream Theater) is followed by a catchy and heavy guitar riff. The finale of the song leads us back to the original theme (played by guitar) and is a worthy final of a great opening track. The drumming is very solid by the way. Maybe this is my favorite track!

Evil Livesecure
This song also opens with solo bass guitar playing but soon something totally different approaches. Vocals! Nope, this isn't an intrumental but a heavy sounding metal song lasting six minutes with a pretty bleak theme. The lyrics are about a person who has a dismal look at life on earth “Life seems a mistake, too evil for love” but still he has hope and holds on to that. I have to get used to the vocals for a few moments. Like many singers in this genre there are always big differences in opinions about them. Probably the same holds for Borkent. After I have gotten more familiar with Borkent's voice I can appreciate it more and more. Especially the high pitched screams completely belong. I did get the impression that Borkent didn't drive his vocals to fullest and held back now and then. Let's get back to the music. After the intro a straightforward piece follows, which isn't that interesting. After a minute the music slows down and the mood changes subtly. Fragile vocals in the form of a chorus are done well here and they keep coming back in the song. Here and there I hear nice drum fills. After the song carries on a bit too long for my taste, suddenly a surprising twist can be heard that can be described as reggae music. The main role is again played by the jazzy piano and even some Hammond organ. The vocals are mixed with a certain echo effect which contributes to the reggae atmosphere. After a short but intensive guitar solo we hear a couplet and the song ends unexpectedly. A fine song, especially because of the mid-section, but as a whole a bit too long.

Depressive Garden
The third and last song is, with its seven minutes length the longest and most mature song on the CD. The atmosphere of the song reminds me of Pain of Salvation and is pretty dark. That holds for the music (bombastic pieces) but also for the vocals and lyrics (full of dread and sad emotions). Do not expect something like black metal here, that is totally not what I mean. The soothing vocals in the beginning of the song sound very fragile and again very beautiful. The song has a very good chorus in which the lead vocals are preceded by really deep grunts. The instrumental mid–section is the best this CD offers; it represents the band at its best. The main role is played by piano and guitars, supported by drums and bass guitar. The melody reminds me of Dream Theater's “A Change of Seasons” but is different enough to be called original. A couplet and chorus (which contains a cool high scream) follow and ends the song. A good piece of song writing! Contrary to Evil LiveSecure this song is worth it from start to finish.

Maybe this is a bit of a long review for a mini-CD, but, as you were able to read, Waxing Crescent has a great deal to offer. Technically the band manages very well and also the song writing skills are present. We will certainly hear more of this band! One final remark about the artwork, it is done in black and white and looks classy. Surprisingly enough it is a picture of the moon! The MCD can be ordered through the band's website: http://www.pictureofthemoon.net .


18/06/04: Dave - DreamEvil - robrock89@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
The Book Of Heavy Metal- This is their 3rd cd and this is by far their best.Every song just kicks you in the face expect the last song which is a ballad but none the less good stuff.I can't think of anything bad to say about this release it has everything. The vocals are first rate.The guitars are incredible.Check out songs like the title track,No Way this song just plains kicks ass has a ozzy influence.Man or Mouse the rythm guitars during the verses are just plain sick.I could go on and on with each song but i won't.Just pick this amazing cd and blast your speakers.Best metal cd of the year.I would love to see Andrew put up a few mini bites of this so everyone can have a chance to hear how great the music is.Please get this!!!!! Stay Metal

18/06/04: Ro10 - Dragonforce-Sonic Firestorm - pli384@teiser.gr
Rating: 92
Without doubt the fastest power album yet!A logical succesor to the previous album called "Valley Of The Damned" with even better mixing
and a great variety of uplifting melodies.Their music is great, although the medium vocals.Also featuring Sam from Power Quest!

15/06/04: Brian - The Scorpions/Unbreakable - bbernhardt@twrgroup.com
Rating: 100
I think Andrew had a typo with his review of Unbreakable. It should have said 96% not 86%. I usually agree with his reviews but I was pretty much disappointed this time. Unbreakable is a freakin masterpiece! Everyone I know who has heard it has said the same thing "It's Unbelievable"! My brother's quote after hearing it ...."I Wet My Pants!" This CD represents everything I love about Hard Rock. Big Guitars, Catchy Riffs, Awesome Production, and Klaus' amazing voice. These songs evoke so much emotion. The Scorpions have managed to come out with something totally fresh and still sound like themselves. There is not one bad song on the entire CD. I'm sorry but it just doesn't get much better than this. Run out and buy this immediately!

14/06/04: Shawn - Velvet Revolver - ozznet@shaw.ca
Rating: 95
I loved this album. I haven't heard a rock album that is this good since the 80s. Its nice not having to listen to untalented bands on the radio anymore like Creedleback. This is the first CD that I have bought that wasn't metal since ACDC. Did anyone else notice that there is finally a guitar solo on a radio friendy rock ablum. Its about time.

13/06/04: PeterE - Dare - Beneath the Shining Water - peter@ringtail.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 75
I must say I agree with Andrew on this one. I love the Celtic vibe, and it's a classy production job, but it's just too laid back and samey, and drifts by without registering much difference between the tracks.

Their previous one "Belief" is an excellent mood record - but even that has much more variety of pace and tone than this one.

It does grow on you, and I'll no doubt listen to it from time to time, but someone should tell Darren Wharton that more light and shade is needed rather than a perpetual autumn twilight.

01/06/04: Sean E. - Visual Cliff - Key To Eternity - rockmetaljazz@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
The music of Visual Cliff combines the power and intensity of Rock and Metal with the intricacies of heavy fusion. This music is very well played, in fact, all of the guys in this band are virtuoso players. The power grooves and fiery bursts of Rob Perez guitar work will make any fan of Holdsworth, or Vai very happy. The music is very cinematic almost evoking an imaginary movie in your head. It's hard to describe who this band sounds like cause what they are doing is so unique. This is a must have album "IF" you appreciate dudes who can play more than three chords in one song !
www.visualcliff.net is where you can get this gem for only $9.99 shipping included....you cant beat that !

26/05/04: ianjohnson - ARYEON - THE HUMAN EQUATION - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 98
This cd blew me away , it maybe not AOR / or Melodic Rock , but it has all of their musical flair + all of the bombast of Metal/folk /prog and many styles inbetween.Each song is sung by an incredible ensemble of singers from the awesome James Labrie to Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn,each of the vocalists puts in a stunning performance. The cd is hard to describe having so many elements to it but suffice to say if you like thoughtful , intelligent music played , sung , and produced to a wonderful high standard then this may be for you . Also if you get the special edition for a few pounds [ or whatever currancy you use] more you get a rather wonderful dvd which has agreat documentory + videos etc . again i'd like to reccomend this cd to all Melodicrock.com readers it will i'm sure be a pleasent surprise to most of you , all the best.

25/05/04: dave c - Cryptic Vision - 'Moments of Clarity' - dpc1@bolton.ac.uk
Rating: 95
I bought this album two weeks ago from cd baby.com, and it has been on constant play ever since. Wow ! What a brilliant album.
I suppose it must belong in the genre of prog-rock, but wait, Moments of Clarity has everything: great riffs, beautiful vocals, solid drums, amazing keyboards, and the production is first class.
If you like Kansas, Pink Floyd, early Genesis etc etc, then this album is a must !!
There isn't a filler on the album, as every track is a gem. Check out 'Coloured Leaf'- it would not be out of place on 'The Wall', in fact it would embellish an all time classic even further.
Without question, my album of the year so far !!!!!

23/05/04: Lindsay Jamison - Danger Danger :- Cockroach - lindsay@jamison.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 100
I have to disagree with rockerfan, Bon Jovi-Slippery When Wet, great album but not the best ever.The title of best Melodic/Hard Rock album has to go to Danger Danger- Cockroach.If you have not heard this album beg,borrow or steal a copy you will not be disappointed.If this album had been released the same time as Slippery then D2 would be megastars and you would be watching them play 80,000 seat areans.So do yourself a favour and grab a copy.Me, well I'm off to watch them play in sweeden and now Ted's back world domination beckons.Just remember, Walk It Like You Talk It.

23/05/04: Dan - Scorpions / Unbreakable - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 97
Just wait until Scorps fans hear this, you won't believe your ears !
Sounds like stuff from "Lovedrive","Animal Magnetism" & even the Uli Roth years,it IS that good ! Lead guitar everywhere(can you say "no compromise " kiddies).Don't cheat yourself of this treat,even better than my beloved UFO's new release"You are here".By the way very melodic-can't see this being topped this year.

19/05/04: Suzana - Foreigner/25: All Access Tonight - suzi@musicdish.com
Rating: 0

Foreigner/25: All Access Tonight - DVD in Dolby Digital Stereo with 5.1 DTS Digital Surround Sound

Website: http://www.eaglevisionusa.com/ecards/Foreigner/index.htm

On May 18, Eagle Rock Entertainment presents Foreigner/25: All Access Tonight on DVD. Foreigner gives a spectacular live performance of some of their greatest hits of all time on this 25th Anniversary Tour, which was recorded in 2002. Experiencing great success in the late 70's into the early 80's, Foreigner has maintained their rock star status and outlasted many other less successful bands of that era.

The Foreigner/25: All Access Tonight DVD features the memorable band recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo with 5.1 DTS Digital Surround Sound, giving giving fans great surround sound, plus exclusive video extras. Eagle Vision was awarded a Surround Music Award for 'Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon DVD'.

This film, with a running time of approximately 84 minutes, includes bonus features include a special October 2002 performance of "I Want To Know What Love Is" by Mick Jones & Lou Gramm with a full orchestra on Night Of The Promos in Antwerp, Belgium.

Celebrating their 25 years together, Mick Jones, Lou Gramm, Jeff Jacobs, Tom Gimbel, Bruce Turgon and Denny Carmassi perform 11 of their classics songs. The track listings include "Long, Long Way From Home '95," "Double Vision," "Cold As Ice," "Head Games," "Fool For You Anyway," "That Was Yesterday," "Dirty White Boy," "Feels Like The First Time," "Urgent," "Juke Box Hero," and "Hot Blooded."

These songs range from their self-titled debut album to their 1984 release of Agent Provocateur. In addition to these ever so popular songs performed live, rare behind-the-scenes and on-the-road footage is intertwined throughout the concert to create a sensational overall experience.

From the beginning, Foreigner's leader has always been British guitarist Mick Jones. He first broke into the music industry by appearing on George Harrison and Peter Frampton recordings as well as Spooky Tooth. Shortly after relocating to New York City in the mid-70's, Jones sought out to create his own band that would combine all elements of music: pop, R&B, progressive and rock.

He eventually assembled a rock band consisting of five other members - Ian McDonald, Dennis Elliot, Al Greenwood, Ed Gagliardi and Lou Gramm - but found immediate chemistry with Gramm. With this connection, Jones and Gramm formed Foreigner, making a record deal with Atlantic Records. In 1977, they released their self-titled album, which achieved instantaneous success and eventually went platinum five times. In 1978, they released Double Vision, their best-selling album of their entire career. Over the next few years, many band changes occurred, creating the band that is known today as Foreigner.

Provided by the MusicDish Network. Copyright © Tag It 2004 - Republished with Permission

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18/05/04: ROCKERFAN - BON JOVI - SLIPPERY WHEN WET - jonathan07@interfree.it
Rating: 100
Without any doubt the best album EVER!!! they defined what rock and roll is.....

15/05/04: sVice - Northrup/Shortino - Afterlife - svice@csd.ca.gov
Rating: 93
The new Northrup/Shortino album, “Afterlife”, far eclipses anything either of these artists has ever produced in their collective careers. I have seen the turmoil, the depression, the elation, the tenacity, the blood sweat and tears, and so many other diverse aspects of life spilt sacrificially into this project and well beyond. It is a grand effort on behalf of all parties involved in its musical project that will not disappoint in if purchased out of curiosity or familiarity. How can you go wrong with a collection of honest music from the heart?

14/05/04: Michael - Gene Simmons 'Asshole' - angra55t@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Do not believe in the shit written here about Gene Simmons new solo album! Simply do not compare it with KISS! Yes, Prodigy's cover is not really great but 'Carnival Of Souls', 'Asshole', 'Waiting For The Morning Light' and almost all other songs are incredible!!!! 'Carnival Of Souls' could have saved the whole album from the alternative crap it was overfilled with. It's the best album ever!

14/05/04: PEARLCOPPER - PEARLCOPPER upcoming Rock album. - rockmewitness34@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
PEARLCOPPER is at work on double-set album, "Anarchist or Satan; Producing a Witness".
The feature songs like "Breed of Humans", "Dream of Babylon"-Lake of Fire, "I'll be out there outside" as well as "Atlantis" are magnificent works by this awesome artist.

PEARLCOPPER, solo Rock act, is the legendary music and stage name of Mark Spiewak-Pearlcopper. As he creates, sings and dives in pools of blood and angel's dance, he takes listeners and audience into rare experience from his perspective. PEARLCOPPER plays guitars, keyboards, vocals and write his own material, both music and lyrics. PEARLCOPPER loud vocals are awesome. www.way.to/atlantis

Some might say PEARLCOPPER is borrowing musical ideas from other artists. But that's bullshit opinion.
From concept of Universal Blue Print and Social issues that Mark Spiewak-Pearlcopper rediscovers in this double-set album, and in his book manuscript he's writing "Birds, Atlantis, Ants and Rock'n Roll", he suggest that those musical ideas are accomplishment, not the ripp-off. What else there is to say? When we see three generation of Rockstars coming to the same musical point.
Half-shaved head, great hearing aid and boiling brains and eyes are astonishing symbols of this Rock artist. PEARLCOPPER is as well considered as Avant Garde and Art Rock musician.
In all, PEARLCOPPER categorizes his music as Classic Rock but it's awesome music ranging Rock'n Roll to Punk Rock to Hardcore to Jazz to Clasical music. Who really cares?
"Anarchist or Satan; Producing a Witness" double-set album is in many way the icon and museum to lost brothers of Rock'n Roll and bystanding political figures like John F. Kennedy and Santa Claus.
Check your brains and music stands soon!

Got some more blood here for you...
http://artists.iuma.com/IUMA/Bands/PEARLCOPPER_1/
or
http://www.sail.to/wizard

05/05/04: Geoff Gillespie - Dream Theater@Budokan...oh yes! - gillespiesan@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
Me and Dream Theater go back a long way. I was their promo man at Warner's in London from 'Images And Words' through to 'Falling Into Infinity'. I saw the early London Marquee shows (where the live record was recorded), set up the legendary Ronnie Scott's gig...and now, here we are at Tokyo's Budokan. Unbelievable....

This show felt like a rights of passage for the band, the next evolutionary step for a band that - let's face it - have nothing to prove and who are so ahead of the wannabe pack hot on their tails that it's frightening. Speaking to the guys afterwards, the relief was tangible. To a man, they seemed physically (it was a three hour show) and emotionally drained. They al admitted to being happy with the gig, but glad it was over. The fact that it was being filmed and recorded would obviously have something to do with that, but I think they all knew that it was more than that. Things would never be the same after tonight...

And the show? Fantastic, simple as that. People had old me how notoriously difficult it was to get a decent sound in Budokan. It was never designed for music, being a martial arts hall. Dream Theater, however, had no such problems. From the opening 'History Of...' rear projected video into set opener 'As I Am' through highlights from 'Metropolis' and through to the very welcome 'Pull Me Under' final number - biggest cheer of the night, not surprisingly - this was a band on top of their game. My fried, in Japan for a week or so and relatively new to Dream Theater, turned to me at one point and shouted "they make it look easy". And they did....

I jokingly asked James LaBrie backstage where they went from here. How do they top this? He shrugged , obviously a little taken back by the question, and said something about getting better and better and just doing it until they drop. Admirable. I haven't seen them much better ever, and certainly not over the last few years.

...the DVD will be a blinder!


Budokan, Japan 4/26/04

band history video (intro tape)
As I Am
This Dying Soul
Beyond This Life
Hollow Years
War Inside My Head/
The Test That Stumped Them All
Endless Sacrifice
Instrumedley
Trial Of Tears
~~~intermission~~~
New Millennium
piano solo
Only A Matter Of Time
Goodnight Kiss/
Solitary Shell
Stream of Consciousness
Disappear
Pull Me Under
~~~encore~~~
In The Name Of God

26/04/04: Vineeth - Judas Priest live in london 2001 dvd - vineeth87@hotmail.com
Rating: 4
This is the best dvd I have seen since Iron Maiden's Rock in Rio,'Live in London' shot at a sold out Brixton Academy in Judas Priest's home town was a perfect way to end 'The Ripper Years' espcially after the release of the highly dissapointing 'Demolition'.

Tim'The Ripper' Owens who was recruited from a Judas Priest cover band has got a great voice and gives perfect justice to the old priest songs.He lacks the stage presence that is required for a frontman of a band as big as Judas Priest.He cannot headbang for nuts.When he is not singing,he sometimes acts like a freakin' clown,punching air and acting as if he is in the middle of a girlish scrap.He however does a good job in co-ordinating with the crowd.Ripper also does the traditional act of Rob Halford when he rips the bike on stage just before the Scott Travis kicks off with Painkiller.K.K Downing and Glenn Tipton allmost twice his age put him to shame.They generate energy as if they are in their twenties.Since Rob's departure,the two frontmen are the main reason Judas Priest kicks ass all around in live performances.

There play three songs(One On One,Feed On Me,Hell Is Home) from 'Demolition' and two awesome songs(Blood Stained,Burn in hell) from Jugulator which actually sound real cool live.Fans of old Priest may be a tad bit dissapointed because they have not included a few old classics.But Priest take pride in the new stuff and the only way they promoted Demolition was by touring.
The stage setting is not as huge as the ones their metal contemprories Iron Maiden and Metallica use.This does not matter as long as they are tearing the whole place down.

Also included in the dvd is the band playing a 25 minute soundcheck of 'Desert Plains','Running Wild','Turbo Lover','The Sentinel', 'Machine Man', and 'Lost and Found'.

There is an 18 minute feature called Demolition Time which has interviews and backstage clippings which is interesting.
The production is good and the picture and sound quality is simply perfect.If you are a metal fan and you do not have this,then loads of shame on you.
Track Listing:
1. Metal Gods
2. Touch Of Evil
3. Blood Stained
4. Victim Of Changes
5. One On One
6. Running Wild
7. Ripper
8. Diamonds And Rust
9. Feed On Me
10. Burn In Hell
11. Hell Is Home
12. Breaking The Law
13. Desert Plains
14. Turbo Lover
15. Painkiller
16. Electric Eye
17. United
18. Living After Midnight
19. Hell Bent For Leather(Encore)

On a drinking binge since 1987
VINEETH(vineeth87@hotmail.com)

26/04/04: Vineeth - Metallica live at rock am ring 2003 dvd - vineeth87@hotmail.com
Rating: 4
Over the years,Metallica has compromised their music.From a thrash metal band in the 80's to a hard rock band in the 90's and now with the release of St.Anger,it can be labelled as a 'New Metal' band.Metallica might have given life as a money minded comercially driven band,however,the agression and intensity of live performances has not changed.No wonder,they still attract massive crowds all over the world.This concert is surely not the best performance of Metallica but descent enough for their standards.This is the concert where Metallica headlined the Rock am ring festival(Germany)-2003.It is recorded in Dolby digital AC-3 surround on this dvd with a running time of 120 minutes.

The new bassist Robert Trujillo who replaced Jason Newsted is good.Working with Suicidal Tendencies and Ozzy,he has earned himself a lot of respect.What impressed me most is the youthful energy he generates.James Hetfield introduces him to the 70,000 strong crowd saying"We love him and respect him and we expect you guys to treat him the same way".It's a shame he never said anything this nice about Jason during Jason's 13 years in Metallica.His love for music can be clearly seen by his performance.He wears Bermudas and basketball jersey looking quite out of place at the same time giving a different look to the band.

Fans of old Metallica will have enough to cheer about because 15 out of 17 songs are from the first five albums.The other two (Frantic and St.Anger) are from the ridiculous album St.Anger.I love the old hits but again there are songs like "Memory Remains","Fuel","Aint my bitch" and a few others from Load and Reload which I enjoy to a considerable extent.But I am not complaining.

Kirk Hammet has grown his hair long.Lars Ulrich is balding and frontman James Hetfield covers his head with a headgear for the entire gig.Lars Ulrich's flamboyant stage presence while thumping the double bass drums precisely has set performances of Metallica a class apart from most of other heavy metal bands.James Hetfield's vocal performance is quite weak but overall he does a great job in keeping the crowd going on.

This dvd is worthwile having if you are a metallica fan but before adding this to your collection,make sure you have "Live Shit binge and Purge","Cunning Stunts" and "Monsters in Moscow".


Songlist:
1) Ecstacy of gold
2) Blackened
3) No Remorse
4) Harvester Of Sorrow
5) Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
6) For Whom The Bell Tolls
7) Frantic
8) The Thing That Should Not Be
9) St. Anger
10) Seek & Destroy
11) One
12) Battery
13) Master Of Puppets
14) Nothing Else Matters
15) Creeping Death
16) Sad But True
17) Enter Sandman (encore)

Mail me at vineeth87@hotmail.com

26/04/04: Markus Tost - ZARPA - Infierno - mtost@web.de
Rating: 98
The 8th release of German Hard Rock/Heavy Metal-Label KARTHAGO RECORDS is maybe the best on this label although all other releases were strong. As a mixture between TIERRA SANTA and basic BARON ROJO the 6th album (LP/CD) from ZARPA called "Infierno" is one of the best albums I ever heardt from Spain. Incredible vocalist, unique songs and great melodies you won't get out off your mind! All is wrapped in a very well done cover-Artwork. The CD shows a superior booklet with many informations about the band-discography and biograpy in 3 languages. No more words needed: Hear "Babilonia la ramera", "Viena","El poder de la fe" or one of the 6 (!!) Bonustracks (2 rerelease from second album, 4 unreleased) and you will know what I mean. In my opinion the melodic Heavy Metal-album of the year! ZARPA rules!

19/04/04: Andy - S.I.N (somewhere into nowhere) - Andrewwharton@blueyonder.co.uk
Rating: 100
Wow! S.I.N's Debut (Somewhere into nowhere) is a must for all melodic rock fans everywhere! excellent riffs, great chorus in ever song! with a killer production and of course the unbelievable voice of Mr Jason Marks, what more could you ask for here!
Thank god for record labels like MTM for this band! Buy this CD ASAP!!! I also liked the Forever album, (faces of the past)
But this blew me away!

15/04/04: Jake - The Living End- Modern Artillery - divided_is_the_one_who_dances@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
I recently went to the Aussie Invasion tour to go see Jet play. TLE was the opening act, and to my surprize, they stole the show. I bought the new album at the concert right there, and have been a huge fan ever since. They are a really unique 3 piece band, with the lead vocalist playing surprizingly fast and creative lead guitar also.
A few personal favorites from the album include "Whos gonna save us?" "Jimmy" and "hold up". The whole cd is awesome, and I recommend anyone who is looking for a new sound to buy the cd. A+++++++

03/04/04: freddy de keyzer - Y&T : Unearthed Vol 1 - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Another brilliant Y&T record, and these are only leftovers ! You can imagine what kind of record they still are capable of, if they should write new material !
This is maybe the best pure hardrock band in history, along with the also mighty Legs Diamond !
And the best news is : Y&T's volume 2 will be released mid summer 2004 and also a new Legs Diamond compilation and a totally new CD are in the pipeline !
Y&T rules !

20/03/04: Shelley - Mark Stein/Vanilla Fudge - rockenroller@aol.com
Rating: 100
Classic Eye Review: Mark Stein - White Magik


Our Rating:
4½ out of 5 Gold CDs

Part of the late 60s music revolution, Mark Stein is the original lead singer and keyboardist for Vanilla Fudge, a band renowned for covering classic soul, R& B and contemporary pop songs in an unconventional, symphonic and psychedelic style. The group, which also included guitarist Vinnie Martell, bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice, traversed the world with such support acts as Three Dog Night, Canned Heat, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin before calling it a day in the early 70s. From there, between attempts at a solo career, Stein became a noted sideman with Tommy Bolin, Alice Cooper and Dave Mason. Sporadic reunions with the Fudge in the 80s never quite gained the momentum to take it any further. Through it all, Stein's talents as a singer and instrumentalist have yet to fade. After years of silence, White Magik, the long-awaited Mark Stein solo debut, is solid confirmation of that. Supported by an A-list of players including Bobby Rondinelli on drums, Jimmy Haslip on bass, John McCurry on guitar, and Jim Campagnola on saxophone, Stein rips through seven new original songs and three exquisite covers that discerningly capitalize on the man's unequivocal capabilities. The CD sustains a running thread that intertwines a sense of national pride with cynicism and inquisition on cuts like "American Dream," "Shame On Humanity," "Prime Time Soldier" and the hopeful "Let's Pray For Peace." On a lighter note, "A Natural High" and "After All" are majestic ballads that soar in melodic splendor. And who could resist the mesmerizing renditions of Otis Redding's "I've Been Lovin' You Too Long" and Ben E. King's "Stand By Me" that underscore Stein's unabated range as a singer and stylist. Exclusively available from the Mark Stein Web Site, White Magik is a soulful and spirited musical celebration from one of the most unique and powerful voices of the last 50 years.

16/03/04: Kristy Gullett - Forrest Blackburn -- The Life I Know - kristy@forrestblackburn.com
Rating: 90

I've been a die-hard fan of FB since he was the lead singer for Handfed back in the late 90's and I have every solo album he has made since. His current album, "The Life I Know" is captivating. The guitars are very Tool. The vocals are easily comparable to Nickle Back or Puddle of Mudd. He's even got a Blink 182 thing going on with my favorite song on the record, "Back to OC."

At times, the vocals seem a bit too loud(although it is an 'artist' record and not a 'band'),the eniter vibe of the record leaves you wondering how that could possibly be all there is. My girlfriends and I play the album at least two times through every time we listen!! This is a great Hard/Melodic/Rock/Alt/Punk record for anybody.

Good material, great musicians, good production, amazingly talented artist.

13/03/04: Satchya - Project STeiger - "DEFIANCE" C - satchya@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 96
Reprinted from: METAL_EXILES.COM

Year 2004 : Project Steiger - Defiance - Steiger Productions
Posted by skinwalker on Monday 2/23/2004 10:19:43:pm
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Instrumental releases do not seem to get a lot of press these days as that era has slowly passed us but I think that this release deserves to be known. The release in question is Defiance by Project Steiger, the brainchild of Ken Steiger. This vivid array of sounds provokes the mind to really listen to each instrument and take it all in as a whole. I love the way the guitars interact with the keys to make this a full band sounding CD instead of just a total shred fest. The production is unreal as Mr. Steiger himself produced this disc and he did a fantastic job. His guests on this CD included Derek Sherinian, Tony Franklin, Gary Hoey, Michael T. Ross, and none other than Phil Soussan mixed it. With a line up like that you know you can expect to hear amazing sounds, period. Steiger is the ultimate guitarist; He combines melody, power and sheer ability to come up with the intoxicating sounds that make up this beyond unreal disc. Every conceivable emotion is on this disc, from the slow to heavy burn of Neutron Flux, the heavy rhythms of Rock-It to the emotional feel of Run 4 Cover, this disc shows all off all of his faces. If you love instrumetal Cds that actually posses dignity, then you WANT this disc…

CD Now Available!!
Goto:
www.ProjectSteiger.com
Mailto: Steiger@RockGuitar.net for details

Or visit:
www.TowerRecords.com
www.Guitar9.com
www.CDBaby.com
www.Amazon.com

Hear it NOW!!
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http://www.geocities.com/ksguitar@sbcglobal.net/ProjectSteiger-KT_Boundary_Event-Sample.mp3

http://www.geocities.com/ksguitar@sbcglobal.net/Project_Steiger-AntiGone-Sample.mp3

http://www.geocities.com/ksguitar@sbcglobal.net/ProjectSteiger-Child_Of_The_Storm-Sample.mp3

http://www.geocities.com/ksguitar@sbcglobal.net/Project_Steiger-Neutron_Flux-Sample.mp3

29/02/04: Yolen - Project Steiger - Defiance - yolen@sbcglobal.net
Rating: 92
Project Steiger - 'Defiance'


By: Nigel Cuff
Repromted From: Gods Of Music
Email: n.cuff@ntlworld.com


-------------------------------------------------------------'Defiance' under the Project Steiger moniker bringing together some amazing talent including Derek Sherinian (keyboards and co-producer), Tony Franklin (bass) and Virgil Donati (drums). These three musicians have played with some of the top names in rock including Dream Theater, Steve Vai, Jimmy Page, Yngwie Malmsteen and Alice Cooper. Quite a pedigree.

Together they have made an instrumental metal album (or instra-metal as Ken refers to it) that has enough intensity to melt wax and cause the infirm to collapse. It's like being caught in the eye of a musical hurricane. Opening track 'Prince Of Souls' kicks the album off in fine metal style and sets the scene for what's to follow - which is more ferocity than anyone would dare shake a stick at. The musicianship is exemplary with all concerned putting everything they've got into each performance. The rhythm section comprising Tony Franklin and Virgil Donati create an incredibly powerful musical backdrop from where Ken Steiger, at center stage, can command attention and let rip with a combination of fretboard dexterity and muscular riffing that reaches fever-pitch throughout the eleven tracks on the album.

As well as featuring superb musicianship 'Defiance' is also a well-crafted and arranged album with many strong riffs and melodies woven into each track. Stand-out tracks include 'Rock-It' and 'KT Boundary Event' which is perhaps the catchiest on the album (if I'm allowed to say that in relation to metal guitar) and 'Run 4 Cover' which begins quietly, lulling you into thinking that a full-scale metal ballad is about to follow. It doesn't. After the brief opening the track soon picks up speed and we're off melting wax again.

One of the great things about this album is that Ken Steiger has allowed his fellow musicians the freedom to play instead of claiming all the musical space for himself which can happen with many lead players. A generous guitarist who allows the sort of interplay in evidence on this album will always win out over more egotistical ones who don't. This is demonstrated throughout 'Defiance' including the tracks 'Vertical Integration (V.I.)' and 'Persuasion' which both feature Ken's live rhythm section Yolen Farias (bass) and Gene McEwen (drums) as well as Gary Hoey who exchanges lead lines with Mr Steiger on 'Persuasion'.

With Project Steiger - 'Defiance' Ken Steiger and his colleagues have crafted a strong instrumental metal album that goes beyond being purely a guitar album embracing as it does the power of true ensemble playing.


For more info visit the Project Steiger Web Site at:
http://www.projectsteiger.com

25/02/04: Dave Smith - RPM - daves@wsieurope.com
Rating: 90
RPM is a female singer with attitude. All I can say is think Avril Lavigne with loads of this attitude, and that may be a little near the mark. The lyrics are hard hitting, and the CD is as catchy as the flu! Go to her website www.rpm.tv to buy. If Avril or any other female artist in that mold appeals, then BUY! You will not be dissapointed.

23/02/04: Rycheage - SIAM- Prayer - rycheage@si.rr.com
Rating: 85
Excellent slab of Queensryche inspired hard rock. But instead of being a clone, these guys have put their own spin on it. "Queen Of The Sword" is easily the best track, but that does NOT mean that the others are bad. Quite the contrary. How this slipped by the mainstream boggles the mind.

22/02/04: Mark - Aina - Days of Rising Doom - mrhine7333@comcast.net
Rating: 100
This huge album package includes 2 CD's, 1 DVD and a 64-page book complete with story and lyrics, great artwork and pictures of everyone involved. When I received it, I wondered if the music could live up to the packaging. It does and more!! New Age Cinema should be so lucky to have this for continuing their success with Lord of the Rings. The Aina music spans many genres and takes the listener on a journey worthy of the name – Rock Opera. This is a must have album!

20/02/04: Jeff Vancura - Jaded Heart : Trust - jeffvancura@comcast.net
Rating: 95
Jaded Heart is one of those bands that you know right out of the box what you are getting. Are they trying to break new ground? No. Is that a bad thing? Not at all!!! With so many bands trying to break new ground with influences in rap and punk or "breaking new ground" by simply producing a stripped down, horribly engineered album. Jaded Heart sticks with influences in basic melodic hard rock and produces a full, massive sounding album that would make Mutt Lange proud. The album begins much like the last two. The song Anymore has a long intro that builds and builds until the band explodes with the start of the song. The song then softens with the verses. Then builds with the pre-chorus. Then explodes again with the chorus. This is perfect song structure. This is what is missing in popular music today ; dynamics. Anymore was a free download off the bands website and was probably the only song I played for a week. Outstanding!!! The next song is Feels Like Home. A feel good rocker with a great chorus. Healer and Burning Heart sound like something off of Bon Jovi's first two albums but with Def Leppard's backing vocals. If I Lose is your typical power ballad. Good song though. Trust is a darker, heavy rocker again with the mellow verses and incredible pre-chorus that build to a big chorus. Next is Masquerade. My only beef with this song is the chorus. The song again follows the same song structure but the chorus is kind of a let down. The pre-chorus is so good and electrifying that the chorus had to much to compete with. I wish they would have chosen a different song to break their formula because this would have been my favorite song on the album. Let it Rain is average. Not one of the better songs on the album. Love is Magic is again your typical power ballad that would have been the second single off any rock album in the late 80's. Sweet Summertime is a slide guitar sing-along type song with a rap style processed drum track. This song doesn't really fit on the album. Add a real rhythm section and it would be a very good song kind of in the vain of Extreme. Hating You is my least favorite. I don't care for the vocal delivery of the verses. Jaded is a guitar driven rocker with an amazing riff that is much in the same vain as Zakk Wylde. Definately an album highlight! Give It Back is a piano ballad. Eventually the entire band comes in near the end of the song but it's too late for me. Not one I ever really listen to. Trust is a very good album. There are a few songs that could have been left off or tweaked a bit. Then why a 95 score? Because the other 10 songs are so good they overshadow the bad ones. This is a must have for any hard rock fan that appreciates excellent vocals and superb musicianship. Just a note on the albums sound. If you have a lot of effects on you stereo turned on such as echo you may want to turn it off or down. The album was recorded very loud and with an expanded stereo sound which could distort if not adjusted.

16/02/04: rob - house of lords-power&myth - michael23n22@aol.com
Rating: 10
i had very high expectations for the new house of lords album, they were one of my fav bands of the late 80's-early 90's era. their earlier albums are all classics to me. however, i thought this album was going to be great, being 12 years since they made the last one. james christian's voice does not shine on this cd (if he is the lead singer indeed on this cd), the melodies are very lacking HOL quality and very forgettable, the heard and heavy production is not there, no signature keyboard-pomp. it certainly is a big disappointment after all this time, and i would recommend the james christian solo 94 cd as a HOL 4 alternative or follow-up. that one rings closer to the sound of house of lords, althoug it was very melodic in comparison.

30/01/04: ipilzi - Celtic Legacy-Resurrection - ipilzi@yahoo.de
Rating: 90
Got this album and wow! I´ve waiting for it last Gary Moore´s Wild Frontier and Lizzy´s Thunder And Lightning Album. The Title-track,
10 minutes Best Rocksong heard for years, rate 100%!!! The rest an
absolutely MUST BUY very good handmade rock and fantastic sound.
This is such an album, you hear it more and more and you can hear it
in 10 years same like today, if you like Lizzy, God Gary, Maiden, Rainbow, Ufo....all this great timeless stuff, you must hear it and i´m sure you like it. But I can´t understand, why there´s no critics
at melodicrock.com, i´ve only heard it in the mini byte section?????
Sure, there are a lot of good albums too, but this is one of the best albums at this time!!!!!!Write about it!!!Love the site, best in the web, greetings to all friends of good rock, rock on! iPilzi*

06/01/04: jim - HEIFER "Black Skies Blue" - dogupthou@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
"...A blitzkrieg of energetic guitar riff work coupled with an up-tempo bass line...infinitely catchy. An impressive effort...the future is going to be loud, very loud." -

check it out www.heifer.com.au

03/01/04: Phil V - "Made in California" Johnny Li - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
This CD should be all over the radio!!! Just Lima's vocally faithful rockin' rendition of the Beatles' classic "Help" should be enough to assure massive radio airplay!! This CD has the sound of a big label production and is sonically perfect!! The vocals are layered and smooth and the guitars crunch and cut through the mix. There's no drummer listed and the credits state JL did the drum programming but I swear those are real drums!! That's one hell of a programming job Mr. Lima. Picks of the bunch are "Made in California", "Best Night of My Life", "We've Got Tonight", the aformentioned "Help" and "Welcome to My Paradise" which I would have put first in the track listings just because of it's huge hook and awesome vocal performance. Well, let's see if this CD gets what it deserves, huge sales and all-over-the-map radio airplay. A definite must have.

22/12/03: Hanuk Baac - SILVER - Intruder - meduza@freechal.com
Rating: 98
Silver bros don't disappoint. Songs are very strong and even top their previous two classics. Seasoned veterans Gary Barden, Bernie Torme, Bob Daisley and Don Airey(what a lineup!) know how to rock hard without being too loud!

13/12/03: Francine - Neil Turbin- Threatcon Delta - foodbyfrancine@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Good lord! What a lethal dose of brutality this album is!!

I first got interested in Neil Turbin when I was discussing with a friend the history of thrash metal, and how Neil was among the very first to start the genre. After going through old records, I stumbled upon Anthrax's "Fistful Of Metal," which of course featured a young Neil singing his ass off. When I bought this album, I went in holding it to pretty high standards...I couldn’t have been more satisfied!

Threatcon Delta is nothing less than a metal masterpiece, touching up on where Anthrax should have left off after Fistful Of Metal, but also pushing the boundary line way further.
The album starts off with "Wake Up Call," which sets the scene for the first 3 songs..which can’t be described as anything less than brutal!! “What You Can’t Control” and “Sick Of It All” show Neil’s true thrash abilities. As the album progresses, ”Keep the Fire, The Truth Is The Best Lie, Blue Screen Of Death, and Piece Of Me, show off Neil’s incredible vocal range and melodic ability through the most well written songs on the disc. The cd also includes two incredible covers. AC/DC’s “Touch Too Much," and Jimi Hendrix’s “Dolly Dagger, Along with a reworked version of Wrecking Crew’s “Wrecking Ball.”

As if this wasn't enough to keep a fellow metal head satisfied.. his roster of guests on this album are absolutely incredible. Among the backup vocals include Paul Shortino, Jeff Scott Soto, Tommy Gunn, Sean Flynn, and many more. On guitar you have Mitch Perry, Vernon Anderson, Steve Mcknight, and Kurt James, who all add their own fretboard wizardry to the mix.

Neil Turbin is an untapped resource in Heavy Metal music. 2004 will hail a prominent year for the face of all things Heavy Metal. 2004 is Neil Turbin’s year, are you ready?

21/11/03: Todd - Hardline Live At The Gods DVD - kisschild@hotmail.com
Rating: 50
After purchasing both the JSS and Harem DVD's from the "Gods" I really was hoping that Hardline would deliver also.Man was I wrong.Although they played all their hits from the mega Double Eclipse album, only a few of those songs came over well live.Johnny Gioeli is a madman onstage and his vocals never disappoint, but apart from him and Bobby Rock on drums the rest of the band played like they didn't want to be there.Also the sound mix of the set was horrible.The two femle backing singers were way too loud and drowned over Johnny and apart from that they also sounded like they weren't even singing in tune.Overall a very disappointing
effort from a band who I thought would deliver much better.Maybe it was the 1:00am timeslot.

25/10/03: Dan - Saga / Sillouette-DVD - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Have been a Saga fan since "album #1" & loved thier original progressive style,sometimes called "pomp rock",after the 1st 3 albums which were very proggy,got producer Rupert Hine who took them in a slightly more pop direction without losing thier original musical integrity.Although Canadian(me too) never got a major following here but hit it off hugely in Germany & Puerto Rico.The band eventually tried some experimental music a little bit to far off from what the hardcore fan base expected,but more the than made up for it w/the last 3 latest albums,"Full Circle","House of Cards" & "Marathon".
Anyway on to the DVD,the 1st 10 tracks features all of the band's video's except for "Only Time Will Tell" which they couldn't secure the rights to,the next 10 are live videos of some of their performances from the 1st 5 albums,some very tasteful moments here,you can see a band who takes great pride in their musicianship & performance.
The last section is a really cool section with very down to earth & frank interviews with all members of the band going into the early years & the brief separation of Steve Negus & Jim Gilmour,their subsequent return & Saga returning to the "Chapters" & their original sound but updated to give it a vibrancy alot of bans today would love to posess.
Anyway a great cllection for Saga fans & prog fans in general !
Dan

24/10/03: Billy Marsden Jr - RUSH "IN RIO" - zekejunior@aol.com
Rating: 99
Rush fans in Rio??? Who'd have thought it??? The band certainly didn't. But upon hearing that they had many fans in Rio,decided to play a few shows there to end their "Vapor Trails" tour last year. This 3 cd release is a testament not only to the Rio fan's ADORATION of the trio from Toronto but also of how these 3 talented musicians can overcome horrible weather conditions and STILL put on one hell of a show. Disc 1 starts off with "Tom Sawyer",a song normally played later in the concert but the band's choice opener for the tour. The sound is actually better than the quality on the Vapor Trails cd that they were promoting on this tour. There are many gems on this release such as live versions of "Ghost Rider","By Tor & The Snow Dog", and an INCREDIBLE acoustic version of "Resist" which follows the ever amazing drum solo(O Baterista) of "The Professor" Neil Peart. There are also previously unreleased live versions of "Between The Sun And Moon" (recorded in Phoenix) and "Vital Signs, (recorded in Quebec). Standards such as "The Trees","Closer To The Heart" and "The Spirit Of Radio" are also featured on this disc and sound quite good. One more thing worth noting....the DVD which came out the same day features 2 discs...one of the concert and the other of a documentary by longtime photographer and friend of the band Andrew MacNaughtan titled "The Boys In Rio" which gives the fans an indept look into the preparation for the show by both band and crew and features the first interview by Neil Peart since the tragic deaths of his Wife and Daugter a few years ago(The subject of them is touched briefly by Geddy Lee). There is also a live performance from 1975 of "Anthem" as well as the cartoon featured during "Bytor" from the VT tour. A MUST for ANY Rush fan indeed!!!!!!!

11/10/03: ignacio - Praying Mantis - The journey goes on - i6n4c10@latinmail.com
Rating: 95
For me the record of the year. Almost perfect, but lacks a killer voice that Tony put on the last two albums. Don't get me wrong, the voices are not bad, but Tony's was superb. Shame ...
Composition is all you can expect from Chris, Tino & Dennis .. quality at highest, if you like melodic hard rock.
Enough said...

06/10/03: Dave Smith - Fuel - Natural Selection - daves@wsieurope.com
Rating: 0
Fuel, a band that perhaps would not be associated with this site. However, their latest Opus 'Natural Selection' boasts some very good songs, and I challenge anyone not to find themselves tapping or singing along to most if not all of the tracks on offer here. Ok, one or two songs do veer away into heavy territory, but the melody is still to the fore. If you like good Modern Rock with plenty of melody, then purchasing this CD will be money well spent. And this endorsement comes from someone who has spent years listening to AOR and good old fasioned Melodic Rock.

01/10/03: Delirious Nomad - Rik Emmett - Good Faith - tamkoman@alltel.net
Rating: 85
Rik continues to stretch the boundaries with each release.
He is without a doubt one of the most versatile musicians on the planet.
I will start by saying that this CD is great, just as all of his CD's are....I must admit, I'm not sure if Rik can do any wrong in my eyes. I am predisposed to like everything he does.

With that I will say that if you're looking for great guitar work with screaming leads and great riffs, this CD is not for you.
If you want a great CD with uplifting, very diverse music, and you like Rik's voice (no brainer) then I would highly suggest getting it.
Most of the guitar on this one is acoustical background. He does break out some good stuff every so often.

Unlike his last release, which was entirely instrumental, Rik sings on each song. His voice is unmistakable. Still the same fantastic voice he has always had. The songs are very uplifting and hopeful.

A quick review of the songs from first hearing.....

1. Unconditional Love - A very upbeat tune with a "mexican flavor" due to it's trumpets and shakers. It has some sax (soprano, alto, and tenor) also. A very "fun" song.

2. Butterfly Lullaby - An upbeat tune in pace, yet sung a little softer. They break out a flute on this one...very nice. Just a smooth song about getting to bed. There are no lyrics included in the CD, so I haven't memorized the words yet, but I feel as though there is a much "deeper" meaning in this song. Very enjoyable song. Rik breaks into a small acoustic solo towards the end.

3. Only a Fool - Probably my favorite so far. A great beat that is more like some of his older stuff. Similar to his "Spiral Notebook" CD. Rik gets out his electric guitar on this one. Very clean sound, very little, if any, distortion. Just a great song to play outside so everyone can hear.

4. Wicked Miss - This one is different from any Rik I've heard in the past. There is a flugelhorn in this one. (What the heck is that?) It sounds more like a trombone. I don't know what "Big Band" music is, but that is the word that pops into my head. Heavy bass line, kinda jazzy?, good steady beat with an acoustic guitar lead.

5. Beacon Street Hotel - Swing anyone? I'm not too familiar with swing music, but this is probably the closest thing to it that I own. I picture some guys in tuxedos in a dim fancy club, with a guy playing one of those big, stand-up basses. Some smooth background guitar. A soft, but good, guitar lead.It has a good beat and it sounds like Rik enjoys singing it. Yet another of the endless styles that Rik can play.

6. Way Back Home - Another good, upbeat song. Smooth, with some good lead guitar. Another flute in this one. Probably the best chorus in this one. I like the way the flute and the guitar trade off and the way he blends them when they play at the same time. Almost a little bluesy. Very hopeful positive song.

7. Moment of Truth - Probably the slowest song on the CD. Rik pulls out a slide guitar which gives this song somewhat of a country and western feel to it. The deep bassline keeps it from being one. I'm not a Waltz kinda guy, but I think you could easily dance a Waltz to this one.

8. Break Away - Another great, upbeat, uplifting song. Good bass line that drives the song. Some well placed piano.

9. Ask - Another slower song with a strong bass, piano, and good soprano sax solos. A very relaxing song. For those of you that follow lyrics, you will probably like this one. Notice that I don't comment on lyrics too much. I am a guitarist. I listen to the guitar. Rarely do I even pay attention to lyrics.

10. Spare Change - A good upbeat song with lots of piano. Reminds me of a "Bruce Hornsby and the Range" type song.

11. True Hearts - Another stretching of the boundaries. Rik breaks out fiddles, violins, flutes, and even an accordian in this one. It has a folkish, Celtic feel to it. The chorus sounds like about 10 Irish beer drinkers in a pub holding up their beers and singing to this. Just another great song.

There you have it. If you're looking for born-again Triumph, go the other way. If you like Rik, well,......it's just great Rik.

I was always a Triumph fan. I will always be a Rik fan.
If you are like me, you can't miss with this one.

01/10/03: Sean Mahoney - The Sulentic Brothers Band - vanzant@insightbb.com
Rating: 100
Review of "South Bend" by Midwestbands.com:


I have been a fan of Southern Rock and Roll for a long time. Bands like Lynrd Skynrd, The Marshall Tucker Band, Molly Hatchet and The Allman Brothers Band have been at it for years, and each band has songs that I really like. The closest I ever got to seeing a Southern Rock show was when I went to see The Charlie Daniels Band back in the late 80’s; it was quite possibly the wildest show that I’ve ever been to! However, I haven’t had the opportunity to see any of the bands that I mentioned above. Ever.

It’s kind of funny, but no Southern Rock bands have really come out in a long time. A group like the Black Crows would come closest to that definition, I guess, but even then, it’s been a long time since they debuted, too! I’m sure that if you ask 10 people why this fact is true, you’ll get 10 different answers; however, one answer that I think a lot of people would give you in one form or another is that it is considered a dead genre. Like doo-wop and surf music, Southern Rock has been relegated to musical history.

However, there is a band from South Bend, Indiana, that’s trying to change that perception! The Sulentic Brothers Band has been at it for over decade or so, and they are Southern Rockers to the core! One only needs to take a look at the cover art on their new CD South Bend to know what kind of statement they want to make. With many bands, the way they look is not important; with these guys, the look tells you all you need to know. They are on a mission to bring Southern Rock to the forefront again!

In a lot of ways, the music from South Bend, the band’s third independent release, is very familiar to us here at MWB. We’ve had quite a few of these songs in our hands for the past year! They are very dedicated to making pure music, and through several different trials and tribulations, they have been meticulously recording, re-recording and perfecting this release. It’s been a long time coming, but has definitely been worth the wait!

At the core of this band are Dave (guitar) and Tom Sulentic (drums), the brothers that founded this band. Also on guitar is Mike Mays, a left-hander that swings a mean lead axe (on a right handed guitar--upside down)! Vocals are shared among several guys in this band, but the primary vocalists are Dave Lynch (who also plays some rhythm guitar and percussion) and Cliff Schooler (who plays guitar and harmonica as well). Rounding out the band, and helping to build the rhythm foundation is Jim Robinson on bass. All of the guys in the band are multi-talented, and with 6 guys, they are able to lay down a large amount of sound! Guitar parts are well-layered, and auxiliary parts like the harmonica and percussion stuff really help fill out their sound! I have not had the privilege of seeing the band live (except on a VHS tape that the band’s manager sent to us), but I am really looking forward to the time that I’ll be able to do so! Looking at the band’s playlist, they not only play their own original tunes, but they play a host of Southern Rock classics, including “Free Bird” (what would an evening with a Southern Rock band be without hearing “Free Bird”?)! In fact, they reserve “Free Bird” for the finale at their performances, and they do the song as well as Skynrd ever did it!

South Bend is an excellent showcase of this band’s talent. It shows a veteran band at work, both as instrumentalists/vocalists, and also as songwriters! I think that was one of the first things that really blew me away about SBB; their songs are very well written! The opening song on the CD is a 9/11 Tribute, called “Old Glory”; we have all heard 9/11 tributes, and I think can all agree that they get kind of cheesy. This one does not fall into that category! The first time I heard the song, it sent a chill down my back! It doesn’t come off as fake, or contrived; it comes off as a collection of thoughts regarding pride in our country, in our flag, and in the men and women that fight to keep us free. The chorus is especially dramatic! I’m not giving it away… you have to hear the CD!

Probably my very favorite SBB song (and perhaps one of my favorite songs, period!) is one called “Roll the Dice”; in every way, it is a classic Southern Rock tune! The introduction on harmonica leads to a very catchy verse, followed by an incredibly hooky chorus! It is just one of those songs that you can’t get out of your head, and you really don’t mind!

Other songs that we had been familiar with before the CD was released were “13 Years” and “Free Ride”; both are slower tempo songs, but both also feature excellent guitar work! “13 Years” has a twin guitar solo played by Mike Mays and Dave Sulentic that at times sounds kind of like the guitar solo at the end of “Hotel California”; it is incredible! "Free Ride" is a very soulful song with a very cool melody line, and a great guitar riff. The lyrics are also good. I just can’t say enough about the songs!

Newer songs include “Faded Glory”, a song about being sent to Vietnam; Another, entitled “It Will Be Alright” sounds very much like an old Allman Brothers tune. It’s a bit campy, but a great song nonetheless! You feel good after you hear it! “Close Your Eyes” and “Maddness” are two also great guitar songs on this album! I will say it over and over again, I know, but you have to hear this band for the guitars! These guys simply rock when you turn them loose!

“See You in My Dreams” is a song that features a conversation with a loved on that has passed away. It is a very good song, and in a lot of ways, one that is very poignant, because of the fact that Dave and Tom’s father, with whom they had a very close relationship and who had everything to do with them getting into the music business in the first place--passed away the same month the album was released. I can’t help but think of that every time I hear the song. It is a very beautiful song.

The title track, “South Bend”, is up there as one of my favorite songs from the Sulentic Brothers! I’ve said this, too, but these guys really know how to write a song! It has all the great elements, including great lyrics, a great vocal recording, and awesome guitar parts! It is also one of the catchiest songs on the CD.

You should definitely get a copy of this CD! When you do, you will get a glimpse of a band that is working hard to make converts! These guys have been opening for great Southern Rock acts for years; they’ve also played several Lynrd Skynrd tribute shows, and opened recently for classic rock acts like .38 Special, Foghat and the Marshall Tucker Band. At every show, they get great reviews, and win a few more fans! Their website’s guestbook has entries from all over the country, and from several European countries as well! It’s about time you added your name to the list of converts! When you come over to their side, be sure and drop them a note, and let them know that they are a great band producing really great music! A band that deserves to be on top!--Mark Lush, MidwestBands.com, 7/18/03 *Listen to The Sulentic Brothers Band on MWB RADIO!



24/09/03: Tim Willing - The Darkness - Tim@assetdomain.com.au
Rating: 90
Whilst reading all of the comment relating to this release, the most positive part in it all is the groundswell of popular opinion making melodic hard rock front of mind again! Surely this is what we all want! This should mean a better musical climate for all of our well loved classic bands, or at least for those still deserving another shot. In finishing I must say a great fun album with some excellent songs opening up the genre to the broader public again!

16/09/03: Phil V - PETRA "Jekyll $ Hyde" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Monster CD!!!! I wasn't expecting this kind of heavy guitar onslaught from these guys . The production and songwriting is top shelf. The title track is an outstanding piece of heavy, and I mean heavy, melodic rock. "Stand" & "Test of Time" are 2 more awesome slices of Petra-fied melodic rock. I don't know why this CD hasn't been given more attention because it's clearly heads above the rest out there. The only gripe I have is the short(39:00) running time. The credits list Peter Furler as the producer and as I've never heard his name before I can sense greater things ahead for him just because of this amazing CD. The production quality is outstanding! Now let's see if all the ingrediants of a great CD, songwriting, performance & production equal massive sales.....which this CD deserves!!

08/09/03: Todd Carper - Slav Simanic - Let It Go - metalhead7@msn.com
Rating: 85
This Disc is amazing!! The Songs are very much in the vein of Dokken or Stryper, Melodic vocals provided by the silky smooth talents of Mr. Phil Naro are married perfectly to very hook laden guitar licks written by Slav Simanic. Equal parts heavy guitar rock on songs like the title track, I am going up Higher, You're never Gonna Die, and my personal favorite People Say. The only thing missing is the over the top ballad to provide some lighter tones to an otherwise hard rocking masterpiece. The songs are given a very strong life of their own courtesy of the infectious and MEMORABLE vocals of Phil Naro. A VERY strong outing full of very upbeat lyrics and excellent guitar work. If Mr. Simanic can convince Phil Naro to come back for the next CD and provide him with the same kind of very strong material with the over the top ballad included, he may have an international hit on his hands. An exceptional effort made even better by the inclusion of Simanic's first release Water of life (totally instrumental)as a bonus for fans. Please give us another helping, very good stuff!!

31/08/03: Britny - Vonray - littleredfoxx@yahoo.com
Rating: 98
Quite simply my album of the year so far. I got the same feeling listening to this the firt time as I did the Gin Blossoms Debut many years ago.
This album is the perfect bridge between Aor and the more modern melodic rock styles.. The songs are unbelievably catchy, I find myself humming aaway unexpectedely in supermarket queues or more worryingly when I'm at work talking to customers ;-)
Also just listen to those total 80's riffs like Stranded. Then we have the perfect acoustically driven pop of Fame, that is one of those tracks with great crossover appeal like Nickleback.
In fact I feel Vonray like Nickleback or Evanescence given the right promotion or exposure could have massive crossover appeal. Melancholy and aggressive enough for the younger audience, catchy enough for pop audience and with hooks big enough to appeal to melodic rock fans.
Standout track for me has to be The Letter, it just has an unbelievable groove to it.
The hardest thing to accept for most listeners may be the vocals but I love the breathy, melancholy style which fits the music perfectly.
I would kill to see this band, would love to see them with evanescence ;-)
If you only buy one album this year make it this one

25/08/03: Dan - Heavy Metal Kids-Hit the Right Button - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
I didn't know what to expect when I got this CD,I primarily got it because my favourite band- UFO's former keyboardist,Danny Peyronnel was on it(who does a fine job on vocals !).As soon as I put it on ,it was immediately infectious,quirky(in a good way),a combination of Hard Rock,tasteful Pop & a slight Punkiness.There are many influences here;Sweet,Clash,& one track,"Blow it all away", sounds exactly like Angel City(or" Angels" in Australia)& Mott the Hoople.I would highly recomend this to anyone who likes the aforementioned ingredients & also appreciates catchy hooks.A great party album !
cheers.
Dan

08/08/03: Omar - Sammy Hagar/Sammy and The Wabo's Live: - omarjafet@zonai.com
Rating: 100
With Van Halen MIA and the lack of good rock and roll this days, Sammy Hagar's new live album is a breathe of fresh air in a caothic musical industry. This album of 17 tracks, compiles the best of Sammy's career, 11 of his solo classics, 1 song from his Montrose days and 5 Van Halen highlights. The performance is awesome, I'll dare to say even better than Van Halen's live album from the past decade. Sammy is 50+ but his voice and dynamism is still intact. Van Halen's bass man Michael Anthony guests in bass and background vocals in some tracks and also Sammy's substitute in VH, Gary Cherone guests in a very rocking version of "When It's Love". The Credits says that also in this particular song the "members" of the original Boston line-up minus Brad Delp and Tom Scholz and former Extreme bass player Patrick Badger colaborate in the backing vocals. So if you wanna have some fun with hard rock's Jimmy Buffet you must have this one.

21/07/03: Nick - Zebra IV - stix12@Hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Zebra return's after 16 years with a brand new album, Zebra IV! "IV" contains 11 never before heard Zebra song's! This album is an INSTINT CLASSIC! Every Zebra albumhas been great, but Zebra returns with "IV" and just in time because Rosk music has went down the drain and is about to be flushed out of our lives! Which is killing me along with many other's. Song after song is amazing on Zebra's comeback album! So guy buy ZEBRA IV and you will see why this is an INSTINT CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!

09/07/03: Laurent - TOTO - Through The Looking Glass - jazzhard@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
I am a bit pissed to see how Toto is mistreated nowadays. I am a late comer when it comes to being a fan of the band. I always liked them but was not that much into their music. On the other hand, I have always been a huge fan of them as studio musicians.

We can always argue about the need to release an album of covers and whether those covers should be "reinvented" or just played the way the band feels like playing them. Personally, I like covers.

With this album, Toto proves - once again - that they all are the cream of the crop when it comes to musicianship. They can play everything the way it is supposed to be played. They're hot fusion guys, real rockers, balladers, funk & groove masters.

Their versions of those classics songs are superb (except for the disappointing Dylan's "It Takes A Lot....". There is a stunning version of this song of David Garfield's "Tribute To Jeff" that features Eddie Van Halen, Boz Scaggs and Neil Stubenhaus) and pay a real and honest tribute to their writers/performers.

Since "Tambu", I think that Toto managed to reinvent itself. The inclusion of Simon Phillips opened new horizons and the band successfully ventured on newer grounds.

"Through The Looking Glass" is as great as it gets.

And musically, they can show one trick or two to any other melodic rock bands.

Toto is the perfect balance between chops, feeling and groove.

02/07/03: Susumu - Jackson Browne: Lawyers In Love - susumu6@yahoo.com
Rating: 89
American rocker with heart Jackson Browne's '83 album is really catchy with techno beat rhythm with a bit of heavier edge. Lawyers In Love, which became huge hit, is a nice pop rock, whose lyric has full of cynicism portraying tension between U.S. and Russia these days. Downtown, low-keyed techno-pop is another great example full of wit and cynicism, which might be comparable with Petula Clark’s classic, "Downtown". Tender Is The Night and Say It Isn't True are nice love songs. Overall I enjoyed the album and has listened to this hundreds of times and still not getting bored.

Highly recommended for mid 80's pop rock fans that like Eddie Money, Don Henley, Steve Winwood and Bruce Springsteen.

24/06/03: Mark D. - Spymob - secret@toavoidspam
Rating: 99
This is about Spymob's debut full length CD...Sitting Around Keeping Score. It's not been released yet, but I've been able to hear some of
their music at their site...www.spymob.com/music.html. They also have an EP released previously, but it hasn't gotten as much attention. It will all change with this CD. Picture Jellyfish meets Ben Folds and then picture The Beatles meets Steely Dan. It's modern yet retro &
it rocks yet it's got a funky beat (real funky - not the nu metal).
The singer is one of the best lyricists I've heard since the late Kevin Gilbert, and like Kevin, he sings it as well as he writes it.
It's piano driven, but there is a lot of creative and often heavy guitar work put in the mix that you've gotta love. I highly would
recommend going to the above site and downloading high resolution
MP3 musical samples. If you download only one, "National Holidays" must be it, then "2040". That first one especially, there are few
if any new artists out there making it as catchy as that stuff. I
will be one of the first to buy that CD when it's out. You can read their full story at the "About" link on the above site. I highly recommend it. The new trend towards more melodic rock and pop with substance is promising, and these guys lead the way. Future stars?

23/06/03: Jay Tee - Kingdome Come - not.given@hot.com
Rating: 95
Kingdome Come started in the late 80's and took the world by storm. But I lost track of them after the 4th album. But now I've found this by accident Lenny Wolf (aka Knigdome Come)is a genius not only playing everything but the drums also produced the album himself. Its heavier than the old stuff and sounds abit newer but the vocals are the same as always which is refreshing at a time when most bands wanna just scream. If you've liked older albums give this a shot I havent stopped playing it. The tracks do vary some slow some heavier. "I can feel it" is a great openning track. "Forever" reminds me of the older albums. I think "Independent" is a sound purchase and a good addition to any CD collection go out and buy it.

17/06/03: Magnus - MSG - "Arachnophobiac" - magnus.beronius@seb.se
Rating: 90
The best since... a long time.

As www.ontherocks.de wrote; "Heavy Metal tour de force" - I'll sign up for that. This album is very guitar based, strange if not - it's MICHAEL SCHENKER GROUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As a matter of fact there is no keyboard on this album - just some great hard driven, firm and stable ROCK and Michael in fine shape, delivering the goods with some splendid AXEWORK. Chris Logan is takin' care of the vox greatly, adapting his voice perfect to each song. The "rythm section" consist of Stu Hamm/bass and Jeremy Colson/drums and they are just f#¤# phenomenal - solid and firm - with no compromises!

So what do we got here... 11 heavy raaaawwwkers, well at least 10. The first one out is called 1.) Evermore, a hard driven, plain and simple, rocker with some touch of blues... in a mid-tempo phase. The guitar solo is as perfect as it can be - just bursting out in a screaming 'n' howling way, nice and solid back-up guitar, drums clean and perfect! Nice Schenkery ending solo, one of my favs - gets 5 point! Next killer out is 2.) Illusion - kicks off very softly for 40 sec, then... this old and heavy riff á la Sabbath - yeh! Speeds up very airy and quick, mid-tempo rocker with a nice and fluent chorus. The solo is clean and fresh - shoots on straight forward, just as it suppose to be in my point of view - not that tangle as on BAOS. Nice ending solo with lots of tones - like the good old days, this one get 4 points. 3.) Arachnophobiac - well it took me a week to get the pronunciation correct until I heard this Spiderman-song... has this somehow spidery-melody! This is good. Hard driven axe work in a firm mid-tempo way mixed with a catchy chorus - howling and screaming solo mixed with plenty of nice freet work! "I Want my money back! - Arachnophobiac" Hahaha... the MTV-award for best lyric goes to Mr Chris Logan :o) Very nice ending solo, perhaps a bit too short - but hey, it's brilliant, gets 5 point! 4.) Rock & Roll Believer - straight forward and no compromises... in a light blues-tempo. The intro could have been something from his earlier solo projects. Very nice and beautiful pre-solo that turns into a heavy blues 'n' rock solo, ends with that nice pre-solo stuff. Then it just rolls on in a basic blues and rock airy mode with no ending solo, that's why it only gets a weak four. 5.) Into The Sands of Time - one of my favs (but it took awhile)!! Again - has this 'old' intro style. Then Michael puts on his 'lead-guitar' and deliver some raaaawww 'n' heavy riff that would open up Fort Knox! The chorus is quite different from the rest of this hard 'n' heavy low-tempo rocker, very soft and airy. The solo is raw and furious with some hard freet work, great back-up guitar work as well. This is a very very strong 4, would have got that 5:er if an ending solo! 6.) Weathervane - not one of my favourite. The song is kind of crawling in a low-tempo phase. Chorus? Yes there is one... Solo - yes that to. The best part is the short - but - very joyful ending solo. Two points. 7.) Over Now - a ballad, lighters on! Actually really nice, but at the same time very predictible. The song is very light and soft but the chorus rises up in a airy way (nice pre-chorus) as the solo that floats out in a soft howling tempo. Typical Schenkery ending solo - great freet work, turn up the volume during the very last 10 seconds - I would have loved to hear that a bit more...., OK it's a 3,5 points. 8.) One World - alright, back on track! A hard axe working riff opens up this song straight in your face, then Jeremy takes over the scene, backing up Michaels heavy guitar riff! Straight forward in-your-face chorus; ONE WORLD! Great solo arrangement - just listened to that hard and solid axe working back-up guitar - when Michael is all over the whole scale with some pure fresh freet work, YES - Jeremy is HITTING the drums! Great, but short, ending solo. First I gave this one 3,5 points - now it's 4. 9.) Break The Cycle - GREAT! Kicks off in your face directly with a single guitar intro. High-tempo rocker, firm and steady guitar. Fine - Fluent - Furious hard driven solo! The ending solo last for one minute... wonderfully - greatly... 5 POINTS! 10.) Alive - "Overkill" haha! High-tempo? Noooo it's "Heavy Metal tour de force", aggressive hard rock :o) This one is just damned GOOD, hard driven wild solo, ends with a 'funky style' á la RUSH/XYZ! Ending solo..? YES! Enjoy the ride :o) 5 POINTS! 11.) Fatal Striker - low-tempo phase, the chorus could have been taken from the 80's. If I were a "courageous F-117 Stealth Fighter pilot" I would have gone for ALIVE! Best part; the ending solo.... "deux poin".

CHEERS'N'LIGHTS OUT - Magnus :o)
http://home.swipnet.se/mberonius/

11/06/03: Dan MacDonald - Metallica-St. Anger - dan_mac62@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
I can't believe how bad this is,you can't tell one song from another & the drumming sounds either like someone building a shed or someone falling down a flight of stairs.I mean the 1rst 3 albums were absolute classics ,what is this? And to watch the DVD that comes with it they seem to play with such conviction you'd think something was really going on.I was lucky enough to trade mine in the next day on a used copy of Star Wars 1 DVD.I know this site is for melodic rock but
if you like "metal" stay away from this it is just a bunch of in your face noise,also did I mention there is no lead guitar at all on this album!
stay away or be very disappointed!

10/06/03: freddy de keyzer - Khymera - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
I expected this to be a real classic, but it is a bit of a disappointment. Why ? Because the songs are not varied enough, all mid tempo or ballads. Practically no keys at all and even the voice of Steve are not top. He's more shouting than singing on this one. And this is not an AOR record, but melodic hardrock. Is it bad ? No, but the stuff Steve released with Streets is head and shoulders above this rather mediocre rock, and it hurts me to say so. No, the seventies and eighties will never come back, I'm afraid ! If this is the top on recent melodic release, then it is poor. In fact, not one record has touched me this year so far. Some decent, but not classic releases. Sad.

19/05/03: John Francis - Enzign - Cast the First Stone - fukingruven@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Review of Cast the First Stone by Enzign
(John Halliwell and Mark Sumner)

by John Francis (box-of-rock.com).
fukingruven@hotmail.com.

General: There are no keyboards on this album. The guitar is track up 8 times at various points. The album is recorded the old way, with no Pro-Tools used. There are a couple of things that make this recording suffer. The drums have been mixed way too far back, and as a result the bass has been as well. This may be because certain drum parts have been sampled and the drummer brought in to record certain parts. But the lack of a good backbeat makes this album lack punch. No meanness meant to Matt Pearce, but he could have been used more effectively.

The arrangements and the quality of the music make up for this to a major degree. The album reflects a certain maturity for a first album. The lyrics are intelligent and thoughtful. The performances are top quality in the vocal and guitar areas.

Cast the First Stone: The first song is the title track. This is a story of rejection about what one may think the other will think after a break up. The structure of this song is incredibly well orchestrated. Mark’s voice is excellent. The harmonies have been tracked up nicely. There is a certain resemblance to Ten with the amount of lead over the verses à la Vinny Burns. This song is of epic proportions.

Sixth Sense: I am not sure if this song is based on the movie with Bruce Willis. The third verse has a really nice part where the guitar and the vocal line follow each other. The solo is right over the top with elements of Steve Vai kookiness burning through. John, being a rhythm guitar player in Ten really has a different attitude toward lead playing. This is shown here by the abstraction of the solo.

Midnight: This song has “single” written all over it. A real new school rhythm over this song makes it sound modern. The sound has a real Millenium or Ralph Santolla type feel to it. Given the album is done on a small budget on an independent label, Z Records, it is downright unlikely it will make radio rotation. This track does deserve a shot.

I Had to Fall: There are four songs on the album that were redone from versions off of John and Mark’s 1998 “Kage Demos” recorded at Churchill studios. This is one of those songs. Those from the Manchester area may remember Kage as a name touring around the Midlands during the time before John got involved with Ten. The versions that were redone for the album are infinitely superior in terms of arrangement, feel, and performance. The demo versions do reflect a greater simplicity that I sometimes miss with the pressures to mount something more complex for an album production. This song showcases the guitar as a multifaceted versatile instrument which when properly arranged, effectively takes the place of keyboards.

Dangerous in Daylight: Can you say ballad time? Lots of acoustic guitar introduce this number. When the electric guitar comes in here, I here massive drums like Bobby Rondinelli or Cozy Powell leading the beat here, but that are sorely missing. The takes away dramatically from the impact that songs like this could have given a larger budget. Another song left from the Kage Demos but with very tasteful harmonies laid in which give the song a rich emotional feel.

Close the Door: Yet another from the demo disk song redone to a much more effective feel. The hooks have been changed. Mark says in his credits on the album cover “Special thanks…..my good friend John Halliwell for getting performances out of me I didn’t know were there.” Well said having heard both versions and right to the point. The guitar breaks are very precise and show off the skill of John which remains virtually untapped in his main gig, Ten. Another one with single written all over it.

Holding a Gun: Some good AOR hooks on this number. The lack of bass is a bit of a shame on this number. I can’t help but wonder if the fact that the album was recorded and mixed at the same place didn’t affect that final product. A change in venue might have provided a little objectivity in the process. The lyrics to this song are excellent. Political content to be sure with a strong message about the arms race.

Keepers of the Kingdom: This song come through a little thin. To me, it is about emerging renaissance intellect and the Protestant ethic. The sound is in line with the rest of the album.

Lazarus: Without a doubt, my favourite song on the album along with Cast the First Stone. Incredible vocals and harmonies abound on this tune. Mark Sumner’s favourite group is Killing Joke. Though I am not familiar with their music, Mark says he draws major encouragement from them. When I first met Mark at Gods 1999, he said he was influenced as well by Tony Martin. Other than the tone he sings with, that’s where the resemblance ends. This song showcases Mark’s beautiful Midlands accent and makes this song one of the most “British“ on the album.

The One: This song is actually left over from the Kage demos under the title “Stranger than Fiction.” The new version is a lot slicker. Surprisingly, the drums come through a little better on this song. This track is available as an MP3 track if there are people who want to check out the song before buying the album. The link is:

http://zrecords.simplewebhosting.co.uk/songs/The one.mp3

Endless Seas: An angelic introduction with well placed acoustic guitar make this ballad a great way to end off this album. It goes out on a positive note.

Conclusion: While this album contains AOR elements, it does not reflect the trappings of AOR. That formulaic quality that draws to you into something mediocre. As a listener, I have turned away bigtime from AOR. This album has more than enough originality to firmly place in the Melodic Rock category as opposed to AOR. It’s “Britishness” makes it a classic despite the rhythm section production leaving something to be desired. A definite must for all collectors of British Hard Rock.

Music: 10
Genre: 9
Production: 5

18/05/03: Martin Law - Praying Mantis - prayingmantis@blueyonder.co.uk
Rating: 10
I have seen your review of this album on their website and have to say you really should listen to it a few more times and review it again. I'm sure you do not have time to but a more informed review might be more appropriate and fair to a band who really work hard to create good music. You described it as a bit of a mess. A bit harsh I would say, so give it another go with an open mind. These guys deserve more success than they have had so far.

My review

After waiting for what seemed like 10 years for this follow-up to Nowhere to Hide, I thought that this album would be a bit of a letdown after Tony and Bruce both left. How wrong I was!!! I have given my thoughts on the message board already after a week of listening. Now after another week, I have to say this is an absolutely brilliant piece of work! From the first song, Tonight, until the last song , a re-recorded version of Naked from the last album, this is a collection of truly epic songs with all the trademarks of Praying Mantis in there. I mean epic choruses, great guitar work and fantastic compositions and the production is excellent (excuse me for a moment, I'm listening to it as I type and all of my hairs are standing up!!). That was Lost World which had that effect. Real standout tracks are Lost World, The Journey Goes On, Naked, Hold On For Love, Tonight, The Beast Within, Silent War, The Voice, The Escape and If Tomorrow Never Comes. Hang on!!! That's all of the tracks!! This is the first album for ages, by anybody, that I can actually sit through and listen and enjoy the whole album from start to finish. Okay it did take a few listens to get into it, but I would urge anyone who buys this CD to give it a chance - you will NOT be disappointed. As I said, the guitar work on the album is brilliant. The new drummer is amazing (Bruce who???) and the two vocalists are superb - I could not pick out the best one, as they both fit perfectly to whichever songs they sing (Tony O'WHO!!!). My only hope is that Mantis will play live properly for this time round. Although it is always great to see them performing, I would have to say give me a full set of songs anyday. GO OUT AND BUY THIS ALBUM NOW!!!

10/05/03: Colin Wilson - ENZIGN - cwilson@usher-walker.co.uk
Rating: 95
This album is NOT instant! I gave it two turns before I realised that this is almost the album I've always been waiting for 20 years...
You all know why you love rock don't you? It's the "feeling" isn't it? Get this album it FN full of it. Prior to this, John Halliwell to me was the cynical pretty rock image for 10. The reality is that this guy really seriously rocks like I don't know what!!! He strangles and grinds the shit out of that guitar but still maintains a truly beautiful melodic current in the songs. (Amazing!!)
If you like the big guitar power and class rock sound of Whitesnake circa 1987 and early Queensryche and Metallica combined with the vocals of Graham Bonnet/Rainbow/Alcatraz/Persian Risk/Preying Mantis along with the down to earth nature of the NWOBHM (new wave of british heavy metal) then this is it! Don't get me wrong this album is not perfect. There are maybe too many layers, too many under the vocal guitar solos and maybe two out of eleven of the songs are dodgy. But I assure you, there are pure and utter classics on this album. This is a big statement but it's almost up there with Mindcrime or 1987. If you like your rock loud, big, heavy, classy but with clear melodic and thoughtful lyrics (no poncy bullshit here!) then this album is a must! It's been said before, but this album ROCKS, LOUD BIG AND PROUD!!!Get yer guitar out and yer head down 'cos here it comes...!I love it!!!!
Colin Wilson (From Glasgow but lives in Lancashire).

09/05/03: Kevin Iddon - Meat Loaf - Couldn't Have Said it Better - icwuke@aol.com
Rating: 0
I must say, I am blind when it comes to songs that Meat produces and sings. If he brought out the worst song in the world, I believe he would and could, sing it beautifully. I&#8217;ve had the new album for a few weeks now and held back doing any reviews for any sites or forums as didn&#8217;t want to spoil anything for anyone buying it.

Out of all the albums, this is the first not to tell a story and is based more on dueling harmonies, apparently. I would rate the albums over the 25 years as follows&#8230;

1) Bat Out Of Hell
2) Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell
3) Couldn&#8217;t Have Said It Better
4) Welcome To The Neighborhood
5) Dead Ringer
6) Midnight At The Lost And Found
7) Bad Attitude
8) Blind Before I stop

I class this as the 3rd best album because this is Meats album, not Meat and Jim, but Meats and outshines the other albums with the styles and music. It&#8217;s hard really to put into words, but its so different from the other albums, but just enough like them to keep that Meaty magic there.

The songs, I love them all, the thing about Meats songs, they usually mean different things to different people. So no ones opinion is ever wrong, well, unless they say the songs are shit, then they just need a good kicking.

The songs,

1) Couldn&#8217;t Have Said It Better (Myself) &#8211; Not the strongest single on the album in my opinion, but just had to be released, as is the same format as Meat&#8217;s last two big single hits. &#8216;I&#8217;d do anything for love&#8217;, number 1 for 7 weeks in 93 and &#8216;I&#8217;d Lie For You&#8217;, number 2 in 95. Without the distribution problems and bigger promotion campaign, could well have been meats 13th top 10 hit.

2) Did I Say That? &#8211; About his divorce from wife Lesley last year and a top 10 hit in Germany earlier this year selling around 120,000 copies. The full 7-minute version is much better than the edited single and adds a whole new depth to the song, and amazingly powerful song. Even more so when you realize the meaning of the song. Second strongest song on the album.

3) Why Isn&#8217;t That Enough &#8211; Agreed, a perfect follow-up to &#8216;Two out of Three&#8217;. But seems like, although its not 3 out of 3, it still cannot happen. Quite a sad song actually.

4) Love You Out Loud &#8211; Loving someone who belongs to someone else&#8230; Thankfully never been there, but this song portrays the love for someone but having to keep it remained bottled up&#8230; another emotional song&#8230; but, dark as the cheating becomes clear.

5) Man Of Steel &#8211; Great gothic music start and musical pipes finish to this song and an amazingly powerful duet towards the end. A love affair that goes wrong, as they tend to do with Meat songs and the revenge of trying to break the other persons heart. Powerful and very strong song. A man of Steel who is now so weak, he can&#8217;t even break a heart.

6) Tear Me Down &#8211; A big &#8216;Fuck You&#8217; to all the doubters who over the years since Bat I and throughout the 80&#8217;s and late 90&#8217;s who said he was finished. Do and say what you want, but try to tear him down&#8230;

7) Testify &#8211; Without a doubt, Meats best and strongest song since &#8216;Objects In The Rear View Mirror (May Appear Closer Than They Are). It has just about everything compacted into 4 minutes and 57 seconds. Its fast, its Meaty and its accompanied by the amazing vocals of 2 dueling background gospel singers which just make this amazing. It covers a wide rage of genres in the one song and is based on a 30&#8217;s gospel song his mother used to sing. This would have been the first single released had Phil Fucking Collins not stole the album name &#8216;Testify&#8217;&#8230; A sure fire American number 1 when released in the late Summer.

8) You&#8217;re Right, I Was Wrong &#8211; The ending to &#8216;I&#8217;d do anything for love&#8217; in my opinion. After all the promises at the end of the 11-minute epic song, she was right, and he was wrong. He should have listened, but was blind not to see, he wants her back, but its not happening. How much does that reflect almost everyone&#8217;s life?

9) Because Of You &#8211; A classy Meat rock song, but not one of my favorites from the album. This is one of the songs I would have maybe like to have been replace by something like &#8216;Decedent Wish&#8217;, the B-Side to &#8216;Did I Say That?&#8217;. But as its here, it will grow on me and I&#8217;ll love it like all the rest soon enough.

10) Do It &#8211; Meat wanted to try something different with this track. I think the shortest Meat Loaf song ever at only 2 and half minutes. Very fast, very Rocky, and something new.

11) Forever Young &#8211; A message to the fans to leave the album&#8230; misunderstood my most I believe, but basically its Meat wishing you all the best. A very good slow Meat song, and its growing on me&#8230; Staying forever young, setting up nicely for the end of the story, Bat Out Of Hell III&#8230;

I really do love this album already and loved having it before almost everyone else. I also love the Live tracks at the end too and the videos&#8230;

28/04/03: Kaponis - Gotthard-Human Zoo - kaponisapostolos@hotmail.com
Rating: 85
An album with some highlights and some conventional (like Bon Jovi) song in between. It could be possible to touch a wide range of people and especially those who likes slow rock ballads. No relation with the early alboums of the group as I read at your site.

27/04/03: Dave Morris - Lynch-Pilson-Wicked Underground - Sacredgroove@nc.rr.com
Rating: 100
Ill start by saying i have been looking forward to this cd for some time now. Lynch-Pilson delivers every expectation i had and then some!
12 well crafted tunes with excellent production and musicianship.
I believe this album has something for everyone into rock,including whats really missing,killer guitar! there are absolutely no "fillers" on this cd,and as i listen while i write this,it just has an undeniable sinister groove. do yourself a favor,and check out "Wicked Underground"... Lynch rules!

16/04/03: Warren - Stratovirus - Elements Pt1 - not given
Rating: 90
This is Stratovarius' finest album since Infinite. Eagleheart, Stratoforces and Learning to Fly all make this a well worth buyin album. Alot of Orchestral work used in this album but it totally fits with the music. If you haven't heard of these guys before then now is the time.

11/04/03: Dan Garrison - Brian Howe - Touch - therugratskid@iloverugrats.com
Rating: 6
Well, after hearing that Brian Howe had a new Cd coming out, I was really looking forward to it. I am an absolute HUGE fanatic of his Bad Company 80's pop rock era material, as well as his solo debut, "Tangled In Blue", which to me was one of the coolest AOR pop rock releases in recent years.

When I took a first listen to Touch, I realized that a LOT of the songs on here sounded too familiar, and sounded like stuff I had heard before. Upon comparing the tracks/titles to that of his Tangled In Blue Cd, I realized that Brian Howe simply stuck a half dozen of his songs on this "new" Cd, added a half dozen new ones, and called it a brand new Cd. The titles list the songs being written in 97, so obviously this lacks creativity in the song listing, BUT the new songs make it highly worth owning. This Cd is absolutely brilliant AOR pop rock at it's best.

If you're into the lighter side of rock somewhat comparable to the new Boston "Corporate America" this Cd is FOR YOU. It's brilliant. If you want more of the heavier rock that Brian Howe did in the 80's with Bad Company, steer clear. You'll be disappointed.

dan

19/03/03: BOB MYRON - Talisman - Live in Sweden - pearlplayer1@cox.net
Rating: 100
Jeff Scott Soto and Talisman continue to prove why they are one one of the most killer rock bands that ever existed. It's a sin the cd is not available in wide release. This baby rocks flawlessly from start to finish...Pontus Norgren smokes on guitar as well as the incredible drums by Jamie Borger and Mr. Bass Ace Marcel Jacob....and Mr.Soto himself.....enough said...hunt this cd down...buy it....crank it up....and see why these guys are the best hard rock band around.

02/03/03: Phil V - SHUT "Excruciating Pleasures" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
WOW!!!! This truly a solo cd by Gary Schutt. He plays EVERYTHING!!! Guitars(complete with solos that will please all shred-heads!!), Bass, Vocals, Keys & Drums. And I do mean REAL drums. No loops or computers anywhere to be found. And he's better than 90% of the drummers I hear out there today. The tunes are melodic/heavy rock with a slight, and I do mean slight, modern edge. Opener "Drama Queen" has huge hooks and a great solo break. "Night Terror" shines as a bombastic heavy tune that really hits you over the head like a bag of bricks. "Mental Ward" also kicks into high gear showing off all of Mr. Schutt's talents. I can't understand why this CD is self-released and not put out through a label. Just the production alone runs rings around anything out there today. This CD kicks major ass and is quality from start to finish. Something that can't be said about too many releases.
Go to his web site for more info http://www.SHUTworld.com

18/02/03: Phil V - MASTERPLAN s/t - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
When Helloween split last year I was curious to see where a certain masterful guitarist would turn up. I'm talking about Roland Grapow. The shred-master that was my biggest reason for listening to Helloween in the first place. Enter Masterplan. A heavy metal/hard rock outfit including Roland's other former bandmate drummer Uli Kusch and vocalist extrodinaire Jorn Lande. This CD hits you over the head from start to finish and really shows off their 70's roots with influences ranging from Judas Priest to Iron Maiden to Led Zeppelin. "Enlighten Me" is the first single complete with massive hooks , massive guitar, massive vocals, massive.....you get the picture!!! Every cut is a winner and the production is...........you guessed it......MASSIVE!!!! We can only hope Jorn Lande doesn't pull one of his disappearing acts because there is something very special here, something that doesn't happen very often. This band has the capability to get to the top and stay there for a long time to come.If you don't believe me just listen to "Soulburn","Crystal Night", "Sail On", "Into the Light", "Bleeding Eyes". "Crawling from Hell", "Spirit Never Die" and the the aforementioned "Enlighten Me". This CD also includes a multi-media CD with interview footage and the video for "Enlighten Me" along with some Masterplan wallpaper & screensaver. This is THE CD of the year!!!

07/02/03: Warren - L.A.Guns - Waking The Dead - not given
Rating: 95
Waking The Dead for me is seen as their best work yet. This album rocks!!! As Jay says songs like Revolution, Frequency, City Of Angels and Don't you Cry make this album worth buying. So go on get out your well earned cash and invest in a copy of Waking The Dead. By the way JAY forgot to put the name of the album so you'll be able to find out the name from my review.

05/02/03: Jay - Blaze / Tenth Dimension - Not Given
Rating: 95
Blaze are really coming together on this CD. Frontman Blaze Bayley orginaly from Wolfsbane and then Iron Maiden has got better as well. This gives an idea as to how they sound slight sounds of Maiden in some tunes but not too much. Metal sound and good writing make this and his first album Silicon Messiah well worth the money its a pitty bands like this don't get more air time on TV and Radio they could be really big as they are a great band. If you like Iron Maiden style rock you'll like it although some tracks are slightly heavier but you'll still wanna play it forever.

05/02/03: Jay - L.A. Guns - not given
Rating: 99
A true L.A. Guns album slightly heavier than Man In The Moon. The guys sound great more like their earlier days and not the slightly off target Shrinking Violet or American Hardcore. Revolution, Frequency, City Of Angels and Don't you Cry make this album worth buying. The Ballad slightly slow as the title says but what a tune. If you like One Way Ticket, Crystal Eyes or the Ballad of Jayne you'll love this. If you Havent listened to any L.A. Guns before give it a try don't think you'll be wanting you'r money back.

06/01/03: JoJo - quell "sleep soundly" - maggottface@xyahoo.com
Rating: 10
This CD is a masterpiece. Triple layered harmonies from 3 guitarist. Melodies on top of melodies. It's just very complex, some think this band is chaotic but there is pure brilliance here. These are real compositions that are arranged and masterfully executed, complex and full of depth, the music rises and falls, it speaks and whispers and growls and screams yet at times it's sheer britality. Sometimes I wish they were an instrumental band yet the vocalizations lend a necessary sense of mortality to the music. I urge anyone to investigate this band and visit thier mp3 site. They have 2 songs listed there, "Final Transaction & End Balance" & "Requiem of Purity" the latter of which is my favorite. http://www.geocities.com/quellchaos/
http://www.mp3.com/_quell_

28/12/02: Chris ward - AUDIOVENT - Dirty Sexy Knights in Paris' - chris.b.ward@btinternet.com
Rating: 95
There are those who mistakenly seem keen to dismiss what has become known as the Nu-Breed of melodic Rock as ‘pop/punk’ trash. Nothing more than spiky haired teenagers re-hashing bubblegum powerpop, that loses its flavour overnight. AUDIOVENT look set to shake that perception to the ground. Whilst there’s no doubt that fans of the Nu-Breed are more likely to accept this band initially, the quality of the songs on offer here and the clear influence of classic rock bands demands the attention of anyone with an interest in finely written, powerful melodic rock.

AUDIOVENT combine the depth and range of material from classic rock bands such as Zeppelin or The Who with the energy and power of the likes of Nirvana or even The Wildhearts, all the time retaining their focus on creating memorable melodic rock songs.
When vocalist Jason Boyd sings “We are the energy…” on lead track ‘The Energy’, I believe him! His rich voice surfs over waves of heavy, yet melodic guitar combining to create one of the most devastating opening tracks you’ll have heard this year. Then, just when you think you have the song worked out, the arrangement changes; the riff turns inside out and therein lies a clue to the rest of the album. Throughout, there is a quality to the songwriting lacking from many of today’s releases. And this is just track 1! Once you’ve managed to stop repeating this track you’ll find that there’s a LOT more to offer.

According to the biography on the band’s site (www.audioventmusic.com) the band have been together for 10 years. The creative process has clearly benefited from this time spent playing together. The production by Gavin Mackillop also adds greatly to the overall effect. Apart from ensuring the perfect guitar sound for Ben Einziger, Mackillop links tracks 1 & 2 together to keep the energy level up. He repeats this trick with tracks 10 & 11 as well before the album closes with the moody and reflective ‘When I drown’, which sees Einziger and drummer Jamin Wilcox sharing vocal duties. In fact all four members are credited with vocal duties and there are no shortage of harmonies used when the song calls for them. ‘I Can’t Breathe’ has an acoustic middle section that recalls Zeppelin somewhat, while on ‘Rain’ Boyd even sounds a little reminiscent of Hurricane’s Jay Schellan, though that’s where the Hurricane comparison ends!

The more you play this album the more you discover. It’s an album that produces a new favourite track every day. Those tracks that didn’t quite hit you first time just sink their hooks into you with repeated plays and pretty soon you don’t even notice how many times you’ve spun it non-stop! Highlights are just too many to count, but over the course of three tracks ‘Underwater Silence’, ‘Back and Forth’ and ‘Beautiful Addiction’ AUDIOVENT pretty much leave all competition in their wake. Awesome stuff indeed.

AUDIOVENT provide no quick fix, no sugarbuzz or fastfood Mcmusic! Here is a band with the clear potential to become a force to be reckoned with. If they can retain this level of quality over a brace of albums then the only thing to hold them back would be the promotion machine. To not like the Nu-Breed is one thing, to ignore a band such as this would simply be a mistake. Make it your mission to check this band out. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Chris Ward



11/12/02: Toxic - Sinapoli Eyes Never Lie - Toxicshocker29@aol.com
Rating: 100
Hey You People ,
In case you didnt know it yet -Joey Sinapoli is Back with a New cd The Eyes Never Lie , and back with a Vengence and bring you the Hard rock that matters ..

If you Love that down and dirty fun straight up rock and roll look know further with The Eyes never Lie -:)
Ripping you out and make you feel good with kick ass tracks like Lets Get The party Started showing you what rock and roll is allabout -just having fun and not takin things sersiouly -its all about the goodtime and excape to let it go.
This ones sure gonna do that -crank up the stereo and rip out the cold one and rock -have a party baby..


Get excited Joey rips it up with Girl you got me going thats right its
down and dirty rip roaring rock we all love - this one slams it hard and hits ya between the Eyes -..


One more well of Many to lookout for on this killer cd is the killer very melodic American Dream-showing Joey can more then rock he can slow it down and you will get the chills from this one .

His band behind him rocks as well so lookout cause the rock never lies here either does Sinappoli -The eyes never lie is avaible from PerrisRecords.com as well.
If you love goodtime Melodic yet in your face hard rockin stomping music with energy and shredding riffs as well as soulful ballads and rockers that will make your stereo kick your own ass then remember the Eyes Never Lie Neither does Sinapoli -I recomend this Highly . The Hellraiser..TT

09/12/02: Phil V - "Cyberdreams" WESTWORLD - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
This is THE BEST release of 2002 hands down and maybe the best release in the past 5 years!!! Tony Harnell has never sounded better and the songwriting is superb! From the title track all the way to "Beautiful"(Why they put this classic at the end of the CD is anyone's guess!!) this CD takes you on a melodic rock journey complete with layered vocals, heavy & melodic guitar playing, courtesy of Mark Reale, and a performance of the highest quality. There are NO fillers on this CD and if all was fair in the world it should sell more copies than any Goo Goo Dolls or Matchbox 20 release but as I've said in past reviews, no promotion=no sales. If there's any chance of melodic rock cracking the mainstream it's Westworld's "Cyberdreams"!! Awesome CD!!!!!

21/11/02: Bob Roccaforte - MAMBO SONS - "PLAY SOME ROCK & - broc@nsn.mail.com
Rating: 0
Reviewer: A music fan from Big R.O.C.K, MN United States

DISEASE: Rock 'n Roll Depravation

SYMPTOMS: Nausea, dizziness, cold sweats, and an intense urge to break the switch off your "Radio, Radio"

KNOWN CAUSES: Wimp music dominating the airwaves, predicated on the almighty $ and corporate greed, that worships "style over substance", and succumbs to ... formula songwriting. (the ... images of the latest "Boy band" or "pre-pube girl" with no clothing, currently zooming up the Pop charts) induces this dangerous affliction.

REMEDY: Like I did, immediately go get this CD, crank it up right away (Just like the old days) and drive your parents, wife and kids crazy!!! - thoughts of The FACES, MOTT, STONES, Humble Pie, The Nuge and Thin Lizzy immediately flood the memory gates. Derivative? - ... yeah...but by no means are the Mambo Sons a 70's nostalgia band. Just like the masters of yesteryear - they beg, borrow and steal from the best and mix it up to cook up their own wicked, steaming hot Mambo "Rock 'n Roll Gumbo".

"Play Some Rock and Roll"? You bet!!! - The writing is more mature, the music more diverse (elements of country, rock, soul and reggae adorn this LP) and the playing more inspired than on their critically acclaimed 1st one (which BTW featured 70's guitar icon Rick Derringer). In total: a better CD and a "big step up" to the "Major Leagues" (Where the "Mambo Sons" surely belong if there's any justice left in the world and if there happens to be any true "ROCK and ROLL" left up there these days!!!

15/11/02: PeeJay - DISCONNECTED - prince_djie@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
New School Punk is ready!! disconnected with the album "INSIDE OUT". new independent band in Indonesia with 11 songs. nice tracks, new style of emo.. it's melodic emo. combining punk music and electronic music. u guys should try to hear it, find at www.mp3.com

12/11/02: Thomas - KICK SWEET LICK - the_nutt@hotmail.com
Rating: 94
GET THIS ALBUM NOW!

Whether you're a Jovi, Leppard, Skid Row, U2 (the list goes on) fan, then here it is, KICK's 'SWEET LICK OF FIRE'.

This album is simply COMPLETE! It has balance and poise and rocks from the 'off'!

Killer tracks are:
'Kaleidoscopic Eyes' Dark, moody, atmospheric, powerful.
'Inhibition' All of the above with pace.
'Time' Monster melodic rock in its finest form
'So help me god' Power and melody in harmony.
'Greatest show Riff of De-ath, and progressive in nature.
on earth'
'Where I belong' Awesome radio-friendly tune, and rocks too.
'Sweet lick of fire' You should hear this one live - outstanding.

I could go on, but I think you've got the message! If NOT, then go to www.kickuk.co.uk and check out their news.

Cheers, Thomas (UK KICK rock fan, who's gagging to see 'em live again!)

06/11/02: Phil V - "Corporate America" BOSTON - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 7
I read ALOT of negative reviews before I actually heard this CD so when it came time to listen, I wasn't expecting much. To my surprise, there's much more good music on here than people give credit to. Boston fans seem to be divided into eras: 1)The classic Boston sound era of the first album and "Don't Look Back".2) The "Third Stage" era of Tom Scholz, computer drums and.....well, more Tom Scholz!!3) Then there's the Fran Cosmo era Boston which, as some die hard fans have pointed out, is not really Boston at all. "Corporate America" falls into the "Third Stage" & Fran Cosmo era Boston. And it actually adds another dimension with female vocalist Kimberly Dahme appearing on lead on one song("With You") and dueting on another("You Gave Up on Love"). I was surprised to read that out of the 10 songs on the disc, 4 weren't written by Tom at all!!! Guitarist Anthony Cosmo(I think it's Fran's son)wrote 3 and the aformentioned Kimberly wrote the one she performs lead vocals on. This tells me that Mr. Scholz is not as much of a control freak that most people make him out to be. That said, the abolishment of the computerized drums that appear on 6 of the tracks would be welcomed. Let me rephrase that, an updated computer drum sound would fit very nicely. If Tom would check out the new Alfonzetti "Machine" CD, I think he would be surprised to find out the drums are computer samples.It has the BEST computer drums I've ever heard. I challenge anyone to distinguish them from real drums!! Anyway, back to my review. "Turn it Off" is my pick for best tune on the album. It's got real drums, great solo and some really nice Fran Cosme vocal work as well as a nice fat hook. "I Had a Good Time" is next in line but real or different drums would have pushed this tune over the top. The same can be said for "Someone", which shows Brad Delp in fine form. That's another complaint I have with this album, NOT ENOUGH BRAD DELP!!! After all, BRAD IS the Boston voice. I think that is widely agreed upon!! All in all, not a bad CD. It could have been SOOOOOO much better with only a tweak here and there. Maybe the next one will offer more of the classic Boston sound that everyone has been craving for all these years!!!........let's see......2010 should be the release date.......Tom will be 62.........uh..........I'm not holding my breath!!!

02/11/02: Ignacio - Praying Mantis - Forever in Time - jigutierrez1@yahoo.com
Rating: 100
Ok, 100/100. This record deserves every point, because i believe it is not honest rating it higher :-). It would be one from 5 records to take into a desert island. The follow up 'Nowhere to hide' is a very good record, but not as good as this one.
Every song is different but every has the Mantis feeling. Finest Hard Rock. Songwriting 100% perfect.
Sadly we i do not believe we see its follow up ... hope to be wrong, please!!

02/11/02: Ignacio - ALICE COOPER - Brutal Planet - jigutierrez1@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
I think that 'Last Temptation' album is one of Alice finests works.
When i first heard Brutal Planet title track, i thought "mmm... i am not sure that i am going to like this one". Although i digged into more songs and discovered that i liked it. Alice Cooper late 80's melody sounding fresh new . Sanctuary, Gimme .. these are new Alice classics, but over all of them Pick up the bones. I saw it on a video and man, it was incredible :-)). I have the 2CD version from this record and i recommend it.

27/10/02: Taco - Jace The Mirror- New Artist - Toxicshocker29@aol.com
Rating: 100
Well Well ,
Got a new artist to tell yas about witch I got directley from him ,and thats singer songwriter and musician Jace with his cd the Mirror .
If you love Soulful ,Melodic moody ,driven acoustic Based Melodic rock then youll enjoy this .
Theres increedible piano driven tracks as well:)
He sure can sing too ,very diversified voice and sung from the heart.
Jasons put alot of effort into this cd and music he plays everything from Drums to bass to guitars..
The cd is the Mirror and its chocked full of diversity from mellow moody acoustic tracks as well as some Upbeat keyboard driven rockers like Have It All ,very killer song and sure to surprise you.
Theres a very killer acoustic Nothing In The Way ,very cool check it out it rocks.
The cd closes out with a very mellow and killer acoustic track All My Tomarrows .
There soo much more 10 tracks in all ,this ones sure for the Melodic rockers into acoustic based music with mix of upbeat rock and roll.
Checkem out by going to his web site http:// www.Jacemusic.com
You wont be dissapointed ,this one your sure to enjoy I know am ..

24/10/02: Phil V. - "From One" RA - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
This band is going to be HUGE!!! Heavy rock with layered vocals and asskickin' tunes!! Hailing from New York these guys have put together a very impressive collection of intelligent songs. "Do You Call My Name?" has been the first single and reminds me a heavier Tea Party(with much less Middle Eastern flavor). Vocalist Sahaj has a vocal range similar to Crown of Thorns vocalist Jean Beauvoir but the music is much heavier and more modern sounding but still maintains a melodic ingredient, probably because of Sahaj multi-layered vocal performance. "I Believe" has all the makings of a #1 modern rock radio hit, but that depends on the promotion. And judging from the record company(Republic?) I think that might be their downfall. This CD rocks from start to finish and the production is superb. The vocals are clean, the guitars heavy and the bottom end tight. Awesome CD that deserves to be huge. 12 songs of the BEST heavy melodic rock out there today!!!

16/10/02: Jim - GUITBOX - bythekilo@yahoo.com
Rating: 5
I have had the pleasure to watch Guitbox rock out a few times at The Chance Theater in Poughkeepsie NY and they are absolutely the best new band out there. There cd rocks like nothing in years. It isn't easy to describe exactly how they sound. It has a modern sound but not boring like everyone else out there. One of the key things you notice about them is they bring high energy back to rock. None of this boring, dragging tempos like Staind and others like it. The guitar player is just amazing. His ability is off the chart. The drummer is the most original drummer I have seen in a long time. His energy brings so much to both the cd and their live show. Then there is the singer. Finally a singer not trying to copy everyone else. This guy is very melodic but at the same time knows how to rock out and has the best rock scream I have heard in a long time. Their website http://www.guitbox.com has alot of mp3's on it. GUITBOX ROCKS!

11/10/02: Register - Great Older Song - register_14u@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
if you guys like to crank the same kinda tunes as me (metal), try to find some Faith No More songs. you prolly know Epic, but get like Angel Dust, Ashes to Ashes, The Gentle Art of Making Enemies. Those are some great songs. And get iEpic if you've never heard it. Epic is funk/metal, but its all good.

08/10/02: tim - Logan/Roberston - Revisited (Violet's De - timstar@btconnect.com
Rating: 100
Quite simply the best album of all time. I thought that the first time I heard the bootleg about two years ago and haven't changed my mind since. Atlantic signed the band around 94’ but never released the album, for some reason or another, probably something to do with money (it always is). Since its proper (independent) release a few months ago I can now hear the album as it was meant to be in its fully musical glory, although the album is not too overproduced and sounds quite retro, exactly as it should be, to suit the dark, psychedelic, 70's, zeppelin feel rock that this album is. Every track on this CD is a winner, although some of the later tracks may be a little heavy going to start with. It is an album that takes you on a journey starting with “Luna” and originally ending with “Beggar’s Day”, one of the best grooves ever written and my person favourite. With the new release we are given three extra tracks which although maybe not be in the same “conceptual lyrical direction” as the original ten tracks, are equally as good in song writing with the last track "ShaLa Land" probably be the most commercially viable song on the CD. OK, I am a bit biased as Oni Logan is my favourite and most influential singer/musician but it is this album that put him there. I suggest you buy this CD now, as well as the new EP "I" if you want something a bit more intellectual then your average rock album.

04/10/02: TB - Roxx Diamonds and Rust -Hard Knoxx Comba - Toxicshocker29@aol.com
Rating: 100
Roxx -Diamonds and Rust -Demos 85/89

Well Well - People People ,
Rock and Roll is sure Alive and sure Raw , Fun ,Hard and Loud -
Once again Perris Records Delivers the goods with the fun and music your Neighbors will Love or Hate but whatever the case may be its only rock and roll ..


With that in Mind ,the Goods im talking about, is A Band that was from Nyc that has played everything from The Cat Club to Lamours Far East and a whole lot more.
They Broke the walls and took down the doors of every club theyve played -as well as Play the Loudest down and Dirtiest rock and
roll -youll hear and that band is Roxx and There cd Diamonds and RustThe Demos 85/89
released in 20002 on Perris Records ..

If you love that Fun goodtime no holds barred gritty rock then your gonna Love this cd -
Cause being rude is what rocks all about ahahaha :)
If you dont take rock and roll serious and just love to kick back and rock this one is sure one youll Enjoy with the Killer Hard Rockin Opener Break Down,
Too the real rude and roudy and fun Puss and Boots and the killer closer For you witch is a Acoustic killer Ballad but rocks..


This one cd if you love bands like Tuff Meets Motley Crue meets Kix then add this one to the platter and hear rock aint dead..

This has got killer liner notes from the Guitarist Franky ,one cd sure not be missed available from Perrisrecords.com

Too quote from the cd -and Franky"Crank up your system close your eyes and let this cd time capsule transport you back to the Catclub in Nyc era of 1986
When you ressurect these 80s glam icons from the grave youll be expirencing Roxx and not only that a helluva rock and roll Party" ..
So Glam it up and Raise the glasses drink the beer champane and youve got Roxx Baby
Long Live rock and roll.
Theres13 tracks in all hear for yourself and expirence Roxx if you dont like rock and roll then you must be better off dead -but if you do then youll be Rockin the City cause the Kids Rock -
Im out Lickity Split :)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hard Knoxx -Combat Alley
-------------------------------------
Man just when you were ready to go bed theres more noise to be Made -
and more Powerful hard driving Vocals ,Pounding Bass and Earth Shattering
Guitars and Drums so Raw and Loud the Rock has been put back into the Roll..
Without Further adue youve got The Hard Driving sounds outta Nashville with Hard Knoxx And there cd Combat Alley .


Feel the Thunder and get Ready for The Smashing Thunder to Hit with The Mark of The Rocker -Raw powerful rock and roll has just been here to energize you ..

Why you all sleeping ,you shouldnt cause you need to Get up and Rock,thats what this one does its a Headbanger and a groover shake shake it up baby..

This also features 5 extra Bonus tracks there 12 tracks in all ,this is one hard driving rock and roll cd you need to order this as well from Perrisrecords.com.
Its time we let the world know rock and roll is kickin with Adrenlin and a rock and roll rush of pure power and speed and its down and dirty .
It Only gets Nastier from here theres no goin Back ..
Hard Knoxx Combat Alley is giving rock and roll a swift kick in the ass what it deserves and Perris too..
Now I must Getaway -I know your gonna Love it cause we are Young and Rock Loud and Proud..



01/10/02: Phil V - "Burning Organ" Paul Gilbert - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
This CD should be in everyone's collection. Gilbert blends heavy rock guitar with Beatle-esque harmonies and songwriting right out of the Cheap Trick book of "how to write a great hook". "My Religion" is a heavy rocker that really shows off Gilbert's guitar prowess and tight vocals. Why this guy didn't sing lead in Mr. Big is beyond me!!! "Amy is Amazing" cranks out the Utopia harmonies in the chorus and is such a great song that it's a shame this CD probably won't get any airplay. It DESERVES to be huge!!! Any fan of nu-breed rock will also find alot to like on this release."Suicide Lover" is another gem that could have come off any Simple Plan CD. On Paul's past releases, he tried to explore every musical style and the result was spotty. On "Burning Organ" he seems more focused on writing catchy hooks and putting them in a heavy rock context. Well done!!! I could go on but if you love heavy guitar, fast shredding solos, layered vocal harmonies and intelligent songwriting then buy this CD. IT SMOKES!!!!

29/09/02: Phil V - "Craveman" Ted Nugent - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
HOLY SMOKE!!!! Ted's guitar sounds HUGE!!! A real metal tone and some smokin' tunes made this CD a real favorite in the car with the top down!!! Ted handles all the shredding and vocals. Marco Mendoza is on bass andTommy Clufetos is on drums. The production is massive and the solos are some of the best Ted has played. Opener "KLSTRPHNKY" bangs you over the head with heavy melting metal guitar power chords and some fierce vocals as well. The thing I like most about the production is that Ted's vocals are not as up front as his past releases which makes the guitar stand out even more. "Damned if Ya Do" has a rocking AC/DC riff and "Crave" rolls through more time changes that I can ever remember there being in a Ted Nugent song!! You'll notice Ted's vocals are somewhat screamed throughout the disc, but it fits the maniac musical mayhem that ensues. Now, if can re-record some his past classics with this guitar tone............THAT would be awesome!!!! Highly recommended release!!!

19/09/02: Mad Maxx - YNGWIE MALSTEEN ATTACK!! - djmadmaxx@adelphia.net
Rating: 100
There are way too many people here bashing Yngwie. He may be stubborn and hard to get along with but he is the MASTER of his art. His new album ATTACK!! is absolutely one of his best additions ever. The production is top quality and the songs(and lyrics!!) are well written.
His band is:
Doogie White (RAINBOW) vocals.. he sounds like a mix between Marc Boals and Mike Vescara.
Patrik Johansson(Stormwind).. Drums
Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) Keyboards

Just one listen to this album and you'll be hooked. In my opinion the best tracks are: Valhalla, touch the sky and baroque & roll

18/09/02: Rob Mallory - Genesis: The Way We Walk - ytserob2112@msn.com
Rating: 89
Genesis: Live the Way We Walk (The Shorts and The Longs)


The live set. The great American cliché. Many bands have not only used this medium, but have embraced it. Bands like “Kiss” and “Peter Frampton” are just a couple of the acts out there who have released competent and compelling live shows. Genesis, is of course, another.

With the release of “We Can’t Dance”, the band embarked on what may arguably be their most complex stage show to date. With a huge array of lights and images, and an even bigger sound to match the sights, it was obvious that a live set needed to be released.

“Live: The Way We Walk”, the first live disc since the highly acclaimed “Three Sides Live”, is a two disc set, packed with great songs from the Genesis career.

The first disc, “Volume 1: The Shorts”, concentrates on the three releases following “Three Sides Live”, “Genesis”, “Invisible Touch”, and of course “We Can’t Dance”. With phenomenal versions of “No Son of Mine”, “Mama”, and set closer “Invisible Touch”, the band is without a doubt, at the top of their game.

With the second disc, “Volume 2: The Longs”, the band concentrates on epic pieces. The lead off track, although technically not one song, is perhaps the greatest piece the set has to offer. “Old Medley” delves back into the progressive past of this godfather of prog act. With suites from “Selling England by the Pound”, “A Trick of the Tale”, and the progressive classic “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway”, among others, this is 20 plus minutes of pure genius.

With such a fiery performance on hand, one would think that the band could go nowhere but up. “We Can’t Dance” was another commercial hit for the band, and it seemed the future was indeed bright. Unfortunately, “The Way We Walk” would be the final full-length release with Phil Collins. It seems that the only thing left to be said is… “… And then there were two.”

17/09/02: ToxicTaco - Hollywood HairsprayGlam Comp-Vol1 - Toxicshocker29@aol.com
Rating: 100
Just got a killer cd from Perris Records called Hollywood Hairspray Glam comp. Vol1.
This Features New and Unrealesed Tracks from some of The Hardest Rockin Hitters in the Rock and Roll world Today ,
and some of Them are Pretty Boy Floyd with Backstreet Shake,
and you will be Shaking in your boots when this one Pumps up and rocks the Stereo..
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Razamanaz featuring Michael Kelley Smith on Guitar with Feel it ,
this one Shreds harder then a Mother izzzzz pure rock and roll at its best .
This song will be on the Razamanaz upcoming cd avaible from Perrisrecords.com in Oct .
Get ready to Feel iT -Cause the Heat will be on this is one monster of a track.
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This cd also Features the Raw thundering Power of Kristy Majors from his new cd The Devil in Me with the Track Broken Dreams -

If you love your rock and roll Raw and Loud try this on for size and make it one for Rock and Roll And Checkout the Devil in me available Now from Perrisrecords.com
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If you Love alot of Hellraisin then Raise your fists cause Cherry St are the Hellraisers of Rock and Roll and thats the name of this killer song Hellraiser .
This Features Perris Records Own Tom on the shredding Guitar rockin like a Razerblade on fire..

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Youve got a killer track from Shameless with the Kids in America if you love to pump it up and let the stereo Burn then crank this up and let it rock .
You got Steve Summers on Vocals -Alexx Michael on Bass as well as Keri Kelly On Guitars and Bc on Guitars and Mike Fasano on Drums..
So get ready to stir it up and rock and roll ,this is not on any Shameless cd .
You get here Exclusively on Hollywood Hairspray .
Be sure to pick up the new Shameless cd Splashed Now.
Let the Rock and Roll Burn Shamelessley ..
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Other Bands Include Roxx , ,Jetboy ,and the Nasty Idols,and more..
Checkout Rocks most killer Compilation ,Hollywood Hairspray hear the Fun back into Rock and Roll.
Youve got the Sleziest grittiest bands in rock today and Perris top artists ready to rock your world and then some..
This is one for Rock and Roll -Hollywood Hairspray -avaible from http://Perrisrecords.com
Rock and Roll aint dead its kickin you in the teeth from Perris Records..

One more side note the artwork and the layout for the cd rocks ,its got tidbits of info on the songs and band picts so check it out youve got it all -one enjoyable cd -that rocks.

14/09/02: TT - Shameless -Splashed and Kristy Majors R - Toxicshocker29@aol.com
Rating: 100
Shameless -Splshed
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I just got the New Shameless cd Splashed from http://www.Perrisrecords.com as well as Kristy Majors the Devil In Me. Let me just say these cds sooooo Rock..
If you are Familer with Shameless and have the first two cds Backstreet Action and Queen4aDay then you know what im talking about..
But onto the new cd Splashed this is asskickin rock and roll at its best and Features Alex Michael on Bass ,Pretty Boy Floyds -Steve Summers -Vocals and Stevie Rachellefrom Tuff on two tracks on Vocals-Getaway and Love the Way you Make me Sick.
As well as Kerri Kelley on Guitars ,Bc on Guitars and as well as Mike Fasano and Kari Kane on Drums on tracks..
This in your face rock and roll and youll be mighty surprised when you hear the very shredding Toy Human to Wild In The Night .
Other killer tracks Include Love The Way you Make me Sick and the killer ballad, Shes not coming Home plus others that rock..
Pick Up this cd you wont be dissapointed as it says There not Pop There not alterative there ass kickin rock and roll -sums up Shameless..
Get Splashed today..

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Kristy Majors Devil In Me
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Im not done yet -Youve got more rock and even shredding rock and roll -thats no holds barred and really pounding ,and your face ,youve got Kristy Majors The Devil In Me.
This Devilish pounding rocker is the Guitarist from Pretty Boy Floyd set to
rock the world on his own ,with raw sounding Vocals as well as Guitar riffs that cut through any speaker and shake all the walls and watch them crumble and get ready to rumble when you pop this rocker in your cd player..
Kristy sings plays the bass as well as guitars and drums alone on this shredder of a meat grinder of a cd..

This will bring out the Devil in you with the spine chilling opener and its gut wrenching sound effects and rips into the kick ass Rocker The Devil in Me .
You really wanna rock hard then youve got the Rock City On the Radio ..
Closing out the cd is the nasty very much attitude guitar driven crusher Psychotherapy -those speakers will start melting allready once you got this crank on 13..

Well pick this one up too ,and get ready to really rock with plenty of shredding riffs raw attitude and music that rocks..
Kristy Majors will sure bring out the devil in you as well as the Animal -get ready to roarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Loud and Proud..
TT

13/09/02: Phil V - "Happenstance" FOZZY - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Fist in the air metal complete with screaming vocals and shredding guitars, this CD couldn't have come at a better time!!!
11 songs with 4 originals & 1 instrumental. Including covers of Priest's "Freewheel Burning", Accept's "Balls to the Wall", W.A.S.P.'s "L.O.V.E. Machine",` Maiden's "Where Eagles Dare" & The Scorpian's "Big City Nights". All performed with an agression and passion that is nowhere to be found in today's music scene. Lead vocalist Chris Jerico(aka Mongoose McQueen) hits all the right notes and then some. I only wish they had included more original material because the 5 songs they did write actually SMOKE!!! Great hooks, heavy riffs and a crystal clear production puts this CD on the top of my list!!

12/09/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 0
Glenn Hughes
Different Stages
Steamhammer/S.P.V.

Any attempt to summarise the history of Glenn Hughes in a short review would be like trying condensing the history of rock music to a single page. And Glenn Hughes has plenty of history in rock. Having said that though, I will give a brief overview anyway.
He started out in his own band Trapeze, before he was offered a role in Deep Purple. After leaving (Due in part to the death of Tommy Bolin), he made his debut solo album ‘Play Me Out’ in 1977. His next project, ‘Hughes/Thrall’ was released in 1982, followed by the ill-fated (But fantastic) Black Sabbath album ‘Seventh Star’ in 1986. It was quite a while before Glenn resurfaced (Due to substance abuse). When he released ‘Blues’ (1993) and ‘From Now On…’ (1994), Glenn had finally made his almighty comeback.
He then signed to the S.P.V. label in 1994, and after six highly successful albums, S.P.V. have decided to compile a double album best of from those years.
The twenty track collection compiles eight tracks from 1994’s ‘Burning Japan Live’ (Fantastic live sound and all round history lesson), two from 1995’s ‘Feel’ (A exercise in funk, soul and jazz), two from 1996’s ‘Addiction’ (Very heavy rock album, and most personal to date lyric wise), two from 1999’s) and his ‘The Way It Is’ (Blues, funk and rock fusion album), two from 2000’s ‘Return Of Crystal Karma’ (‘R.O.C.K.’ for short), two from the limited edition bonus C.D. (With ‘R.O.C.K.’) ‘Live In South America’ (Check out the amazing version of Black Sabbath’s ‘No Stranger To Love’) and two from his last solo album, ‘Building The Machine’ (2001).
It’s certainly not a complete historical overview of all the many styles Glenn Hughes has done in his twenty-five years in the business, but it certainly brings together the best tracks from his years with S.P.V.
Some might claim that because of the absence of unreleased material, it would seem a pointless exercise for the avid Glenn Hughes fan. Avid fans would certainly complain if they had to purchase this album for one track, wouldn’t they? But then again, when the price of this double C.D. comes for the same price as a single, there’s no better way to discover the man they call ‘The Voice Of Rock’, and his own brand of funk, soul, blues and most definitely rock!

For more information on Glenn Hughes, check out - http://www.glennhughes.com/

12/09/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 0
Enchant
Blink Of An Eye
Inside Out Music/S.P.V.

One of the best albums to come out of the progressive genre in 2000 was Enchant’s fifth album ‘Juggling 9 Or Dropping Ten’. But with the success and their best reviews to date, founding member and drummer Paul Craddick decided to leave. Rumours of the band folding were dismissed when new drummer Sean Flanegan (Ex Chaos Theory) was welcomed into the group. So with great anticipation, I eagerly awaited the San Francisco Bay Area band’s new opus.
The first thing you notice straight away in the opening number ‘Under Fire’ is the return of the guitars in the mix. While guitars have always played a part in Enchant, their last album tended to be leaning more on the keyboard side of things.
The familiar sound of late returns with ‘Monday’, and featured some great drumming from Sean.
One of the heaviest numbers on the album is ‘Seeds Of Hate’, while the band provide plenty of room to experiment without sacrificing the ever-present hook.
‘Follow The Sun’ displays the amazing vocals of Ted Leonard, who at times sounds like Steve Walsh from Kansas. There’s also some great lead work from producer, guitarist and main songwriter Doug Ott.
The ballad ‘Ultimate Gift’ drifts by nicely, before ‘My Everafter’ gives Dream Theater a run for their money.
‘Invisible’ again blends the bands pop sensibilities with progressive rock. ‘Despicable’, however, has a riff that brings to mind Rush. That’s not a bad thing though.
The final track is where the band finally gels in true progressive unity. ‘Prognosis’ is an all-instrumental workout with all the right twists and turns.
While Dream Theater is imitated and those bands are numbered in the hundreds, it’s good to say a band break the cycle and have a stab at originality.

For more information on Enchant, check out - http://www.theoasis.cc/

31/08/02: Lindsay - Rhytm House - Debut - Lindsay@JAMISON.FSNET.CO.UK
Rating: 98
I picked this cd up at a record & cd fair and almost made the mistake of passing it by,for a start to look at them you'd never think they could come up with a slice of AOR perfection,they would even make TOTO sit up and take notice.Rhytm House are a 6 piece multi racial band and they are all christians,please don't be narrow minded and let this put you off.I'm not a christian and i can say without any doubt that this is one of the finest examples Iv'e heard, and this was their debut album,amazing.In vocalist Jeff Pummill they have one gem of a singer.They build their sound around bassist Kieth Emmerson and drummer Marvin Sims who both definately have "Rhytm".Add to this two keyboard players(Dave Innes & Charlie Hueni)and the brilliant guitar work of Kevin Sowers, and you will realise very quickly that this band play AOR of the highest class.The vocal sound sparkles with harmonies that bounce all over the shop among glourious melodies.I only have the slighest of gripes and that is the guitar sound is a little to far down in the mix. Kevin Sowers lets rip with some fine fret work but it just doesn't get in your face enough.So,what do we have?,great vocals,playing and a fantastic production, what about the songs i hear you ask,are they any good (DOES A BEAR SHIT IN THE WOODS).The opening quartet of "i believe", "one by one", "the promise"and "make it right" are perfect aor and "hold me " will have you crying into the liner notes.To finish all i can say is that this is BRILLIANT- a bon fide classic with total cross over potential (ie- into the secular market).PLEASE,PLEASE,PLEASE, don't be put off by the fact this is a christian band, words cannot begin to do it justice.If you should come across this cd please buy it,and while i realise this review is one persons opinion,if you don't like this,you don't like music!!!.

31/08/02: Angelo - Clockwise Demo review - muzico@luna.nl
Rating: 9
[Clockwise Demo Review]

Musicians:
Benny Söderberg (Fortune)- Vocals, Keyboards/Synthesizers, Elec. Drums Program
Jan Granwick (Glory)- Elec. & Acoustic Guitars
John Levén (Europe, Brazen Abbot, Glenn Hughes)- Bass

Songs:
"Our Roads Never Cross" (5.15)
"If You Change Your Mind" (4.25)
"Demon In The Dim" (5.05)

New title album: "Nothing Is The Greatest Thing" (expected early 2003).

Intro:
After a great débute with "Nostalgia" (1997) and with an even greater follow up
"Naïve" (1998), Clockwise is ready to take it to a higher level in the next episode!
The demo contains 3 songs, rough versions but you really can get a good picture about how things are going to be on the next comin' album. I hear a more band sound instead of a project, what's been said before...
We all would like to welcome Jan back to the band, maybe he's the responsible for the solid sound, he really plays a main roll here.
Benny gets 11 out of 10 points for his catchy tunes all over and over again!
Levén sounds invisible, yet he's always pumpin' that bass on all the songs.
It's weird not to hear Ian beatin' the heads but I didn't get all to dissapointed 'cause Benny did a great job programing the elec. drums and it almost sounds like a real acoustic kit.
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"Our Roads Never Cross"
This First song is a mid tempo rock song. You'll recognise Benny's voice immediately or Jan's tappin' technique and think about the previous album(s).
The chorus is beautiful with lots of atmospheric keyboard sounds and acoustic guitars.

"If You Change Your Mind"
I'll keep it short with this one:
Could be a great hitsingle, enormous power ballad, catchy chorus,
stays in your head spinning around. Play it loud!!

"Demon In The Dim"
A Clockwise rocker! You can hear clearly John Levén pumpin' heavy tunes, he gets lots of space in this song, while Jan Granwick's distortioned powerchords blast through combine with a terrific in neo-classical style solo. A classic 80's rock song.
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finally:
If you only listen to the songs you can conclude that Benny is obviously a very talented musician, with lots of imagination and fantasy you could be dreaming about middle ages landscapes while listening to this tracks...sometimes with dark melodies, here a 10 for teamwork between Jan and Benny.
On all the songs you'll find catchy tunes most of the time 'cause Granwick plays along with the vocals melody, sometimes it seems to carry Benny's voice. Watch out not to listen to often 'cause it makes you to play it again and again!!
The songs are easy to listen and you get caught very fast, it makes you to sing along. If you liked the previous Clockwise album or are in to Europe or any other 80's heavy, melodic rock? Then you should buy this new album blindly!
I'm very curious to hear the final result,..I almost forgot that I'm just listening to a demo!
Sounds like nostalgia!

Angelo Noziglia
ESC-The Netherlands Co-ordinator.

28/08/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 0
Brad
Welcome To Discovery Park
Redline Entertainment/Shock Records

In 1993, Brad released their first album 'Shame'. The album was certainly a departure from Stone Gossard's day job in Pearl Jam. With the combination of Shawn Smith's beautiful vocals, and an element of experimentation, the album was certainly a grower.
With their second release ‘Interiors’ in 1997, the sound was altogether different. The songs had directness to them, and certainly showed growth within the band. A couple of hit singles assured them a wider audience, and much deserved recognition outside the mere 'Pearl Jam side project' tag.
Since then, Stone Gossard has released a solo album ('Bayleaf' 2001) and Shawn Smith released a couple of solo releases (1999’s 'Let It All Begin' and 2000’s ‘Live At The Point’).
While Stone's effort was more or less an exercise in releasing an album of solo songs outside his other bands realm, Shawn's work was without a doubt a firm candidate for albums of the year.
So after a lengthy break, Brad is back with album number three, 'Welcome To Discovery Park'. Upon first listen, the album sounds anything but remarkable. But then after a few spins, the magic starts to creep through.
'Brothers And Sisters' sounds like it could have been lifted from 'Interiors' with its piano led instrumentation. There's also the production that jumps out at you. It certainly sounds like the band have made a conscious decision not to polish up the sound too much and allow the song to keep its rawness. You get the feeling that the band was happier to catch the moment as opposed to sucking the life out of the songs in the mixing stage.
'Shinin' is a sure fire hit single. Shawn Smith has the unique ability of turning a simple song into something quite magical.
'Drop It Down' is as raw as the album gets. While this does take a bit to get into, it really is a demo that could have done with a little more refining before being committed to tape.
Both 'Never Let Each Other Down' and 'Sheepish' follow. Although simple, they are both emotional numbers that utilize the voice of Shawn, with minimal instrumentation from the band. Both could well have been lifted from Shawn's solo albums.
'If You Could Make It Good' is the sort of drifting sound scape of a song from the 'Shame' days. It drifts from a quiet starting point before building to a piano riff led ending.
One of the heaviest moments, and a personal favourite of mine, is 'Revolution'. The band cranks it up big time and provides plenty of pace change for the album. It also marks a complete change for the band in their respective instrumental departments. Stone has a go at the drums, Regan Hagar takes on the guitars and Shawn plays a mean guitar solo.
'Takin' It Easy' has an almost country sound to it, while 'All Is One' returns the band back to the epic ness of 'Shame' era numbers.
'Couch T-bone' is a fun number with a slight progressive feel to the middle section, while 'La, La, La' another great rock number. There are a few wavering moments in the vocal department, but that also adds the 'live in the studio' feel.
'Yes, You Are' is an emotional number led again by Shawn simple piano and vocals. The rest of the band creep up slowly in the background, but never dominate the atmosphere created.
'Arrakis' ends the album ala 'Shame' style with a rambling sleep like jam session.
The album is strange in that it's nothing like previous Brad albums, but somehow familiar. Fans of 'Shame' will certainly love it, while newcomers from 'Interiors' will be less convinced. Having said that though, fans of Shawn Smith will not be
disappointed. The only disappointment is that Stone Gossard can come up with something as exciting as this, while sleeping his way through Pearl Jam. Now that, readers, is a real shame.

28/08/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 0
Richie Kotzen
Slow
Lion Music

Richie Kotzen is one musician that's hard to pin down. He's practically covered every genre known. He started out with shred, joined Poison for 'Native Tongue' (Replacing C.C. Deville), released some blues and soul albums, played in jazz/fusion super-group Vertú and had a stint in Mr. Big after Paul Gilbert left.
So what musical landscape does 'Slow' have Kotzen offering this time?
Well, you could say it offers a bit of everything he's covered in the past, and then some.
Richie's blues influence opens the album with the short instrument 'Ohio' before launching into the funk/rock inspired 'Scared Of You'. Richie combined all the right elements that are sure to please both the rock fans and those who like a little funk to their music.
'Gold Digger' incorporates a little modern technology with its accompanying backing track, but the essential elements are still there. Richie sings up a storm with the high-powered chorus, and the guitar playing is simply amazing. The sound of the guitar is fed through a computer to give it a unique sound, but never takes away from his playing at any time.
'The Answer' is a short solo guitar instrumental, and is clearly aimed at the shred fans out there. At just over a minute long, there's no chance of losing interests no matter how you feel about the old shed movement of the eighties.
Title track 'Slow' opens with some feedback before moving into familiar funky territory. There's no reason why this couldn't be hit single potential. And the same goes for 'Don’t Wanna Lie'. Even though a promotional clip has been made for this song, and there's plenty of potential, both radio and television will likely ignore this gem.
'Got It Bad' is another funky workout that works well, while 'I Can Make You Happy' has Richie dazzling with his frantic speed of note playing on the guitar. The chorus features the familiar soul styled backing singers. The fact that songs like this seem so effortless for Richie is beyond comprehension for most of us listeners.
Another instrumental called 'Sapphire' shows an acoustic flair, and then is followed by 'Come Back (Swear To God)'. The use of samples again give the song a distinctly modern feel, but still contains plenty of song writing talent.
'Rely On Me' is an up tempo soul number, while 'Lets Say Goodbye' is a blues workout with a touch of soul. There's plenty of guitar wailing towards the end that really will have blues fans jealous.
One of the strangest tracks on the album is 'Conflicted'. This instrumental jazz/fusion workout doesn't quite fit with the tempo of the album, but is still a great track nether less. Perhaps it would have been better serves on an album of similar material.
Rounding out the album is 'All I Can'. As it’s noted as a bonus track, again it sounds like it was recorded at different times. The production is heavier and the guitars certainly play a heavier role. It's a great song too.
Richie seems to know exactly what he wants on this album. He plays every instrument, and also produces the whole thing. The fact that he hasn't truly received the recognition he deserves, not only as a guitar player, but a singer and a songwriter too, is criminal. This album is every bit as modern as it is retro, and that is where this album wins over most of his previous work to date. This may just be the one to push his many talents into the spotlight.

27/08/02: Jem Jedrzejewski - Graham Greene - Club Voodoo - jem@camelesk.demon.co.uk
Rating: 10
Graham Greene - Club Voodoo


Ten years ago, I was on my way to see Emerson, Lake & Palmer at Manchester Apollo. A friend who was travelling separately handed me an unmarked cassette with the instruction to listen to it on the journey. Off I set on the short journey across the Pennines intrigued by what the tape contained and, wow, was I blown away. Powerful guitar dominated, clearly music to be played at volume 11 on a 1 to 10 scale. Whilst it was powerful, melody was far from forgotten and 30 miles later I was sold on it. What the hell is this, I asked, the answer being Joe Satriani’s The Extremist.



So what has this to do with Graham Greene? Having just gone to bed in the now early hours of the morning I decide to listen to just one track (on headphones) off Club Voodoo, Graham’s latest album and then get some sleep. 17 tracks and almost 74 minutes later I was buzzing! Visions of a stadium packed with rock fans are easy to conjure up. But what type of music is this? Heavy rock? Metal? Blues/jazz rock? I would settle for the all-encompassing term of melodic rock as the music covers all the aforementioned with a hint of prog and is very melodic. Like Satriani’s The Extremist, Greene’s Club Voodoo whilst being guitar led is quite diverse; for example, Vinnie’s Pink Guitar opens with intricate acoustic guitar along the lines of Steve Hackett’s Bay of Kings album. The Garden Of Good And Evil (he must have seen my garden) starts with a ‘present day’ proggy style slipping into a Satriani sounding fast but smooth guitar semi-prog composition. Wonderful! The title track, Club Voodoo, has elements of Ian Anderson Tull-ish acoustic with Hackett-like sustained electric guitar in the background. RFC97 could be a combination of Gary Moore guitar harmonies and Anderson (à la Secret Life Of Birds), slow, gentle but very powerful. Eternity is the first track to feature Donna Greene’s strong, unstrained clear vocals that combine to remind me of Renaissance Mother Russia in a way. Strange Illusion is a mix of Carlos Santana and Satriani styles with a haunting melody. Donna’s great voice can be heard again on Walk On Water. With a voice like that I’m certain she could cover The Great Gig In the Sky whilst drinking a glass of water! Sliders has a proggy start in a Galahad vein with ghostly voodoo wailing vocals courtesy of Donna leading to some great tempo changes. Hopefully you can tell from this how varied the compositions are.



Now, going back to where I started waffling on about Joe Satriani, I found some tracks on The Extremist to be less appealing than others and the album, for me, got progressively weaker towards the end. I’m happy to say that this is not the case with Club Voodoo; whilst I find it hard to pick out a favourite track, it is impossible to find a track I don’t like. On an album that is 74 minutes in length, that is quite something.



We don’t often hear of Australian bands or artistes apart from maybe Kylie (who doesn’t really count, sorry), Australian Pink Floyd, Men Without Hats, Bengal Tigers, Voyager, and of course Rolf Harris who has covered some well known rock epics in his own inimitable way, so it is good to find that Graham Greene hails from that very land. Obviously, you don’t become a guitar virtuoso overnight so it is no surprise to learn that Graham has been gigging professionally for twenty years now with various bands which is how he met Donna (then Donna Andrews) the lead singer and founder member of the band that was to become Judgement Day. Late in 1994, Graham was asked to headline the W.A. Music Awards, performing some of the rock instrumentals he had been working on. The show was at the prestigious His Majesty’s Theatre and the ten-piece band he put together for the concert became the first incarnation of Graham Greene and The Happy Sinners (named after a track that appears now on Club Voodoo). Grahams full bio is available on his website (see foot of page).



Graham plays all the instruments on Club Voodoo with Donna contributing her vocal skills on four tracks, the remaining track being instrumentals. However, for live performances The Happy Sinner’s, whose line-up is always changing, are brought into service.



All things being equal, Graham Greene should be headlining large stadiums across the world, but we all know that record companies and promoters with clout are not in the least bit interested in good music. Consequently, like so many bands these days, he had to self finance Club Voodoo and in the absence of a distributor (at the moment), you will only be able to purchase the CD via his website (using PayPal) or, if you happen to live in Perth, W.A. some select record shops. Get it while you can!



To get a taster, check out some MP3 samples via Grahams website or at MP3.com. There again, why waste time downloading when you can buy the CD?





Graham Greene Official Website
http://grahamgreene.topcities.com







Jem Jedrzejewski
Hairless Heart Herald

08/08/02: JC from GA - Meniketti CD review - crosbyjo@mail.armstrong.edu
Rating: 10
OK, Y&T fans worldwide, be on the lookout for Dave Meniketti's new CD due out very soon in Europe (Dreamcatcher Records) and Japan (Avex Records) by the middle of September. Folks outside of Europe and Japan can order the CD NOW on Dave's website at www.meniketti.com.

This is Dave's second CD as a solo artist, and let me tell you that it absolutely SMOKES!!!! A fairly significant departure from his first solo CD with a harder rock edge overall. The production on this CD is absolutely top notch (Dave did it himself, again) and many of the songs will certainly rank among the most memorable that Dave/Y&T has ever committed to tape/CD. The musicianship is outstanding across the board, with Dave once again demonstrating his killer rock/blues chops and his legendary vocal talents. Highlights of this CD include the in-your-face rockers "Messin' with Mr. Big", "Storm", and "I Can't Take It" as well as some of the power ballads that Dave/Y&T built there sterling reputation on including "As Hard As I Try", "It's Over", and "Lay Me Down". Another ballad on the CD, "Tell Me (Why I Should Wait)", is a seemingly radio-friendly title that may represent the best effort of Dave's career, and the one title he may best be remembered for years down the road. One title, "The Other Side", represents a significant departure, musically, for Dave, but, for my money, is the strongest song on the CD.

There is/are only one or two songs on the CD that are not on the same level as the others, but even they are strong in terms of overall musicianship. This CD puts Dave firmly back into the Melodic Metal/Rock genre that he (with Y&T), and a few others, singlehandedly created back during the 1980's.

A very solid CD and well worth the money. Buy it!!!!

08/08/02: Phil V - "All in Time" MISTER KITE - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
These guys slipped under the radar for some reason and it's quite a shame!!! The CD is a monster, as is the production. Big, big sound and self-produced which leads me to believe these guys have been around for awhile. The vocalist reminds me of the lead singer of Spock's Beard but that's where the similarities with that band end. The guitars sound huge and heavy and the songwriting gives a little nod to STP as well as the Beatles(hence their name!!). I still can't believe this was a self produced album!!! Lion Music has a winner here and it's too bad they didn't promote this band because they could have been as huge as their sound. If you like modern heavy melodic rock that's played by actual musicians, then this is for you.

03/08/02: Steve Clements - Thunderstone - S/T - clements.clan@tesco.net
Rating: 10
AWESOME! - If this is their debut than by all accounts the next album will be the best thing since sliced bread!!. Not since my review of Angra - Rebirth have I felt the need to tell all of you out there of such a great album. Vocals, musicianship, arrangements, production, are all superb. This is melodic metal at its best. Check out track 8 Like Father, Like Son, this has to be contender for track of the year.Fast and in your face but melodic with a great guitar solo to cap it all. Any fans of Angra / Artension / Symphony X / Last Tribe should add this to your collection. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. There is plenty for all to enjoy - passages of light and shade with strings and keys and then BANG! in your face guitar riffs backed bya tight and thundering rhythm section. Let me know what you think.

Also worthy of a mention is Wolverine - The Window Purpose. A prog metal concept album that will blow you away. This has received great reviews and believe me they are not wrong, if anything they are understated.

25/07/02: mark - Jim peterik worldstage live - lessthanusual@hotmail.com
Rating: 6
It's a great album the studio songs!! but the sad thing is why are eye of the tiger and between two fires mixed with a live bckground and the songs are the same as on the worldstage album??
It's supposed to be live!! that's why i rated this album a 6.5, and if if you don't believe me listen to the studio and live one and compare these to!! the length is the same and every note is the same!!
But for the rest it's good!!

20/07/02: robert john - MOX NIX Self titled - bassdude30@hotmail.com
Rating: 8
I'd been looking for this release on cd for a while as it was one of my favorite nwobhm albums of the late 80's--even though they hail from Texas...the remastered version shows a few audio flaws from the lp but all in all it sounds great blasting from my cd player...

Hints of Riot, Y & T and Judas Priest make this a great speed metal classic. Cheers to Axe Killer Records for the rerelease...bonus tracks rock even though obviously mixed/recorded at different time than rest of lp.

29/06/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 0
Geoff Tate
Geoff Tate
Sanctuary Records/Stomp

If you’re a die-hard fan of Queensyrche, then the styles depicted on this album will come as no surprise. After all, both Televiod and Slave To The System were almost the opposite of the Queensryche style and sound.
Samples and piano introduce ‘Flood’ to the listener. There’s an obvious contemporary sound to the song, which progresses into something a touch heavier with the guitar build up. Lyrically Geoff discusses issues of a more personal matter, and very indicative of the album in general.
‘Forever’ follows on in a similar method until the chorus where Geoff seems to utilize soul inspired back up vocalists to great effect.
One of my favourites on the album is ‘Helpless’ with its Spanish flamenco guitar inspired backing track. It might sound like a strange mixture, but this mixture certainly makes the track distinctive.
‘Touch’ is very sparse in its instrumentation and works well with Geoff’s breathless vocals providing an eerie atmosphere.
‘Every Move We Make’ is a superb ballad with an emphasis on the chorus standing out. As a common theme for the album, relationships play the dominant role.
As a continuation, ‘This Moment’ flows straight after. The fifties inspired piano provides the song an authentic old time sound. Geoff wouldn’t be easily pictured as a soul singer, but this song really presents the image with clarity.
Geoff hasn’t used his voice on ‘In Other Words’ for some time, and it’s a shame. He sounds so desperately depressed on this track, you can’t help but feel that he’s really trying to put you at the scene with this one.
‘Passenger’ has a slight jazz influence with the subtle time changes and excellent playing from the ensemble of artists performing.
The final three tracks really pick up the pace somewhat, and would be of most interest to Queensryche fans.
The first single, ‘Off The T.V.’ is the heaviest, and lyrically the least personal. The guitar work is also quite well done.
‘Grain Of Faith’ is not as frantic, but still just as heavy.
Final track ‘Over Me’ finishes the album in classic style. The mix of keyboards and guitar work perfectly and Geoff is singing up a storm.
In an overview, this review might seem to be a little thin on the descriptive department, but that’s what the album is like too. Geoff is by nature a reflective and introspective man. The album was written from the heart, and lyrically the tales of human relationships and interaction are as painful as they are compelling.
His band never overplays any moments, and provides the right atmospherics to convey the messages contained within. Discard all Queensryche preconceptions before listening to this. Who knows, you might find solace in all the melancholy of it all.

For more information on Geoff Tate, check out - http://www.geofftate.com/

28/06/02: rich moseley - Vanden Plas - \"Beyond Daylight\&qu - richard.moseley@sscs.org.au
Rating: 7
Good CD...not as good as Far Off Grace but songs like "Phoenix" and "Nightwalker" are bloody good. I must admit that i got this cd the same week as I (finally) got Jorn's Worldchanger which has won the battle for cd player rights. Stephan Lill is a pretty good guitar (i have high standards ok) player and shines throughout with his best work being on the solo of "Phoenix". It would be nice to see these guys really go out on a limb with the next cd, really push themselves and try to incorporate a few more ideas... they have progressesd wonderfully since Colour Temple but i think they are starting to get a little repetitive in some of their structures(high standards again....sorry).Ark's Burn the Sun has shown how diverse a cd can sound and still gel nicely....maybe VP should walk down that street for a time and see if they like the scenery.
Anyhow Beyond Daylight is one of the better releases of the year. Good for them...come to australia you german bastards.......

22/06/02: Dave Ling - SWEET- @SWEETLIFE\' - clusk@orange.net
Rating: 3
Sweet
‘Sweetlife’

following the death of drummer Mick Tucker – who like bassist Steve Priest did not play on ‘Sweetlife’ – debate on the Sweet internet discussion forums has raged. Should this album be judged as a solo offering by original groups last remaining member, Guitarist Andy Scott, as an entirely new project called ‘Sweetlife’ (the CD artwork is highly ambiguous), or the full-blown successor to 1982’s overlooked ‘Identity Crisis’?

We’ll let the anoraks settle that one. But whichever way you slice it, ‘Sweetlife is a refreshing alternative to the myriad of existing compilations, and it proves that Scott has not lost the knack of writing hook-laded anthems. No disrespect to ex-Statetrooper bassist Jeff Brown who sings surprisingly well throughout, but it is probably no coincidence that Scott takes the mic for the albums best two songs. ‘Leap of Faith’ and ‘So far so good’. With layered vocal harmonies that would have done the original Sweet proud, the latter is particular dazzling, though the well crafted likes of ‘Do it all over again’ and the ELO-esque ‘Airheads’ remain the highlights of this credible hard rocking set.

3 stars

written by Dave Ling

08/06/02: Lindsay Jamison - L.A. COWBOYS - lindsay@jamison.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 98
With everybody raving about the MECCA cd and I agree 100/100, I just thought I would bring another classic to everybody's attention.The cd in question is "Endless Summer" by The L.A.Cowboys, and what a cd.If your into bands like Toto,Chicago,King Of Hearts or Planet 3 then I advise you to beg,borrow or steal a copy of this cd.From the opening track it's super cool pop/rock/aor all the way,it's probably one of the best examples of this genre period.The Cowboys are James Studer/vocals and keys(his voice could be compared to a cross between Joseph Williams and Peter Cetera)and Wayne Nelson/bass. Highlights?, were do I start, "Say You Love Me"is colossal with brilliant high pitched vocals over the chorous, or what about "Holding Back The Tears" probably the best ballad since Chicago's heyday.When you think it can't get better than this Joseph Williams appears to sing the last track "Something In My Heart, talk about ending on a high point. So all in all probably one of the best westcoast releases you are likely to hear and utterly essential for any aor fans collection. This was released back in 1995 but you can still track it down and I urge you to do so now.

08/06/02: Steve Hunt - DIO _ Killing the Dragon - Crazy@austarnet.com.au
Rating: 10
Ronnie James DIO is a vocal God, and this album proves it. If you liked his "Holy Diver","Last in Line", "Dream Evil" and "Sacred Heart" albums then you will LOVE this album. Ronnie has never sounded better, and his song writing with old mate Jimmy Bain, Craig Goldy and Doug Aldrich is second to none.

I honestly thought that "Strange Highways" and "Angry Machines" might have meant the decline of this little master, but "Magica" made me optomistic. Then the great man releases "Killing the Dragon" which is as good if not better than anything he has ever done before.

I have had this album for two weeks and it has not left my stereo, and is the only album I am playing. Songs like "Better in the Dark","Guilty" and "Killing the Dragon" rate along side all time great DIO songs like "Rock and Roll Children", "Hungry for Heaven" and "Naked in the Rain".

If you don't buy another album for the next 2 years, do yourself a HUGE favour and buy this slice of Rock and Roll magic.

Ronnie you truly are the master of metal, and as long as you keep making brilliant albums I will keep buying them. "Long Live Rock and Roll!!!"

31/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 7
Tommy Lee
Never A Dull Moment
M.C.A./Universal

Tommy Lee’s first solo venture (‘Methods Of Mayhem’-1999) didn’t really excite me at all. There were about two songs that seemed O.K.
However, his second effort ‘Never A Dull Moment’ is a whole lot better.
I’m not going to lie and say it harks back to the old Motley Crüe days, and while it has a very similar sound to ‘M.O.M.’, it’s a vast improvement.
The album kicks off in rocking style with ‘Afterglow’. There’s also plenty of crunch in the guitars. The album follows a familiar trend of having drum loops through the verses before using the real thing during the choruses.
The first single off the album is ‘Hold Me Down’, and there isn’t any reason why this song shouldn’t be a hit (Apart from radio and television being too afraid to play something original). It’s apparent that Tommy has grown as a songwriter, and more importantly, as a vocalist.
‘Body Architects’ is self explanatory in its message, and features a guest performance by Rahzel (The Roots).
One of the best tracks on the album has to go to ‘Ashamed’. There’s plenty of lush orchestration to make for a moving song, and the guest appearance by Chino Moreno (Deftones) makes for an interesting vocal trade off.
The reworked cover version of ‘Fame 02’ (David Bowie) is interesting, and Tommy additional lyrics are par for the course.
As a tribute to his father who passed away (The same week as the New York September 11th tragedy), we are given ‘Blue’. The orchestration makes another appearance and again, Tommy’s vocals have improved. Mind you, there are some high-end attempts at the end of the track that quite doesn’t hit the mark.
‘Sunday’ rocks out with gusto, only to be marred by those high vocals again.
Bringing the pace back again is ‘Why Is It’. This is another favourite from the album.
‘Face To Face’ is in part inspired from several egotistical musical business people, and man, does it sound mean. There’s no shortage of anger on this one.
‘Higher’ is a close as the album gets to ‘M.O.M.’, not only in its message, but also in the feel of the song.
Brandon and Dylan (Lee, Tommy’s kids) introduce ‘People So Strange’. The three way vocals provide a nice mix, and the chorus is a killer.
The final track on the album comes in a mysterious phone message collage by ‘Mr. Shitty’. Could this be Kid Rock? (Who also gets a nice message in the credits)
Both Steve Lukather (Toto) and Brandon Boyd (Incubus) guest on the album too.
As an added bonus, the album also features a six and half minute E.P.K., four photos and the promotional video clip to ‘Hold Me Down’ (Look out for the cool metal salute at the end).
If ‘M.O.M.’ shit you to no end, and you liked ‘Planet Boom’ and Motley Crüe’s ‘S.T.’ album, then this is may worth be checking out.

For more information on Tommy Lee, check out - http://www.tommylee.tv/

28/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 8
Ozzy Osbourne
Diary Of A Madman (Re-Master)
Epic/Sony

If the release of ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’ didn’t silence critics about Ozzy’s solo career, his second solo effort ‘Diary Of A Madman’ certainly did. Utilizing the same line up as ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’ (Bob Daisley-bass, Lee Kerslake-drums, Don Airey-keyboards and Randy Rhodes-guitar) and recorded immediately after, ‘Diary Of A Madman’ hits the racks in November 1981.
The album proved to be another success for Ozzy and helped establish him as a household name.
‘Over The Mountain’ and ‘Flying High Again’ became instant classics seemingly overnight. The anti censorship ‘You Can’t Kill Rock And Roll’ proved any message could be conveyed in a melodic rock setting, and also proved Ozzy had something to say.
Although the album featured a mere eight songs, ‘Believer’, Little Dolls’, ‘Tonight’ and ‘S.A.T.O.’ were no mere fillers.
The final track (And crowning moment on the album), ‘Diary Of A Madman’ proved there were still plenty of dark demons raging within Ozzy’s mind well after his departure from Black Sabbath.
Sadly, it also proved that with every bit of success achieved, there’s a price to pay. Randy Rhodes (Along with two others) died in a plane accident on 19th March 1982.
Many have tried to speculate what Randy would have written with Ozzy in later years. While the passing is a tragedy, Randy inspired a host of budding guitar players after just two albums, and lives on with these re-masters.
As I have mentioned earlier (Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’ (Re-Master) review), Sony fleeced both Ozzy and fans alike with their earlier re-masters. I also mentioned before the superior sound (I.E. 24 bit mastering compared to the previous 22 bit) and the return of the full album artwork. This one is again an enhancement in every way. There are also some sleeve notes written by none other than Phil Alexander (Kerrang! Magazine). Ozzy also provides plenty of quotes to help him out too. The lyrics are also presented with a host of previously unpublished photographs. As an added bonus, they’ve also added the b-side from the ‘Flying High Again’ single, ‘I Don’t Know (Live)’.
I also noted previously the recruitment of Ozzy’s current band members Robert Trujillo (Bass) and Mike Bordin (Drums) to re-record Bob and Lee’s original recordings (Due to ongoing royalty issues over the years). Again, the playing is as close to the originals as possible and wouldn’t be noticed had the issue not been made public.
Some would go as far as to say this album surpasses ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’, while some are opposed. I don’t favour either, but should you own one, you too should own the other as their incomplete with out each other.

For more information on Ozzy Osbourne, check out - http://www.ozzy.com/

25/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 9
Rush
Vapor Trails
Anthem/Atlantic

The fact that Rush has made this album at all is a testament to the human spirit. After much personal tragedy, the band finally decided to finally get together to make some more music. Their seventeenth album ‘Vapor Trails’, the long-awaited follow up to 1996's ‘Test For Echo’, is without a doubt their heaviest to date.
The overall sound of the album is very loud. It’s been quite some time since Rush has had a full modern sound in production terms, and most of that can be credited to producer Paul Northfield. Paul has worked with Rush previously, engineering such Rush classics as ‘Signals’, ‘Exit Stage Left’, ‘Moving Pictures’ and ‘Permanent Waves’. He also co-produced the last live Rush release, ‘Different Stages’, a triple-disc live effort released in 1998. For the most part, melody has been sat right next to keyboards in back seat. That’s not say there isn’t any melodic parts at all, but they only become apparent after several listens.
It would be fruitless to try and explain or describe every song in explicit detail, but I will point out some of the more obvious numbers.
‘One Little Victory’ spearheads the set with some welcomed blasting from Neil on the drums. It’s also great to hear Alex (Lifeson, guitars) providing a riff worthy of the band. I believe there have been some moments in the last decade when I questioned whether Alex’s love of the keyboard outweighed his need to play the guitar. I have been answered in spades on this platter.
‘Ghost Rider’ is haunting from the outset, and most of that comes from Geddy (Lee, vocals). The song may have many interpretations, but brings to mind the image of a lone walker in the most deserted of places.
Geddy also puts in a fantastic performance on ‘The Stars Look Down’. He hasn’t sounded this good since…well since his solo album!
‘Secret Touch’ combines one of the more accessible choruses, while providing one of the heaviest verses. This is one of the bands finest moments in years.
The truly progressive moment on the album, and one of my personal favourites, comes in the form of ‘Freeze (Part IV Of “Fear”)’. Just who outshines who on this number is a matter of personal opinion as they all play with such passion.
As usual, Hugh Syme has again provided the band with its stunning artwork. While it may not be as visually distinct as previous efforts, the simplicity works well with the material on offer.
In conclusion, I could really sit here for hours and describe to my hearts content why everyone should own this album, but really fans of Rush will enjoy this immensely. For those unaware of the bands talents, this would be a good starting point as any.
As an added note, Neil Peart also has a book out sometime soon called ‘Ghost Rider’. This is one for the Rush fanatics among us out there.

For more information on Rush, check out - http://www.rush.com/

25/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 9
Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s Star One
Space Metal
Inside Out/Riot

Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s latest album (As apposed to his other projects under the names Ayreon, Ambeon and his own) is again another journey in the oft forgotten space rock arena.
The thing that stands out about this project instantly is the heaviness and simple flow of ideas as apposed to concept. The album is based on individual story ideas for tracks rather than a whole album concept.
And then there are the guests. Making an appearance this time is the legendary Dan Swano (Vocals, ex-Edge Of Sanity, Nighingale), Russell Allen (Vocals, Symphony X), Damian Wilson (Vocals, ex-Threshold), Floor Jansen (Vocals, After Forever), Robert Soeterboek (Vocals, Ayreon), Ed Warby (Drums, Ayreon), Erik Norlander (Keyboards, Ayreon, Lana Lane), Jens Johansson (Keyboards, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dio Stratovarius), and Gary Wehrkamp (Guitar, Shadow Gallery).
‘Lift-Off’ opens the album as an instrumental introduction before slamming into the fast paced ‘Set The Controls’. This is pure traditional power metal with a distinct ‘70’s retro progressive feel.
‘High Moon’ spaces things out with a slow beat and the heaviness to go with it. The drums and bass fill out the sound, proving Arjen’s heaviest number to date.
‘Songs Of The Ocean’ is without a doubt one of the best tracks on the album. The song wins on several levels. There’s the ‘70’s feel in the organs, but also the unique vocal chorus (Bringing to mind the best moments of ‘Universal Migrator’).
‘Master Of Darkness’ is (By my guess) influenced on the Star Wars movies, and is a fast paced song, which features all vocalists.
‘The Eye Of Ra’ is one of the more drawn out epic numbers allowing all five vocalists to stretch their vocal muscles.
‘Sandrider’ moves at a quick pace and belies its five and a half minutes worth.
And so do ‘Perfect Survivor’, ‘Intergalactic Space Crusaders’ and Starchild’. All the songs defy modern day terms of progressive, and sound brilliant all the same.
In summary, this is another great album from a man that deserves more recognition that he gets.
One final thought comes to mind though. If this man is given a film camera a decent budget, he could very well become serious competition to George Lucas and Ridley Scott in the fantasy stakes.

For more information on Arjen Anthony Lucassen, check out – http://www.ayreon.com/

24/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 7
Vanden Plas
Beyond Daylight
Inside Out/Riot

They say the greatest form of flattery is imitation. And to say that Vanden Plas imitated Dream Theater in the past is a fair comment. However, their brand new (Fourth) album is well and truly their own.
While this is not as heavy as ‘Far Off Grace’, the songs have a more instant appeal.
‘Nightwalker’ opens the album in classic progressive style with all instruments working in unison before allowing vocalist Andy Kunz set the tone of the album.
From the outset, there’s a clear indication that the band are happy to find the happy medium between Threshold and Dream Theater, yet retain their own stamp of individuality.
There’s some nice guitar work through ‘Cold Wind’, yet it never dominates the overall song.
One of the highlights of the album has to go to this track, ‘Scarlet Flower Fields’. Starting off as an almost acoustic track, the band kicks into gear through the versus before Andy provides a lush chorus. It’s simply magic.
‘Healing Tree’ is very reminiscent of Dream Theater in places, but again, Vanden Plas put their own stamp on things.
Andy’s vocals on ‘End Of All Days’ appears to falter pre-chorus, but makes it up in spades through the actual chorus. This song is simply amazing regardless of the slightly off-putting moments. This is more than likely due to be a live favourite.
‘Free The Fire’ is the heaviest number on the album, and to be honest, the album could have done with a few more moments like this. It’s a great rock out moment.
‘Can You Hear Me’ again is not unlike Dream Theater in parts, but that not really a bad thing, right? This semi ballad is another highlight.
‘Phoenix’ is a faster paced song with one of the best solos on the album. Stephan Lill plays with everything he has in him on this and it’s quite possibly his best yet.
Final track, ‘Beyond Daylight’ will place any listener in progressive heaven as everyone in the band is given the opportunity to play a role. At ten minutes, the song goes by so quick, it’s unbelievable.
I happened to see these guys supporting Dream Theater during the ‘Falling Into Infinity’ tour some years ago. I thought then they were pretty good. Since then, the band has forged their own sound and has improved ten fold.
How I would love to see them live now.

For more information about Vanden Plas, check out - http://www.vandenplas.de/

Justin Donnelly

21/05/02: Justin Donnelly - Ty Tabor - Safety - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 8
Ty Tabor
Safety
Inside Out/Riot

Ty is one hard man to pin down. As well as being one third of King’s X, he’s also a member of The Jelly Jam and a solo artist. And that’s why he’s so unique. Every project he’s involved in is so different.
It’s been some four years since his last (Second) official solo album (Moonflower Lane), and his latest ‘Safety’ is a very different beast.
The last four years have been emotionally hard for Ty (Due to a marriage breakdown), and the sombre mood of both the music and lyrics on this album amply display this.
From the acoustic opening of ‘Tulip (Your Eyes)’, you can tell this is very downbeat. Mind you, it’s nowhere as depressing as it may seem. The songs have a distinct stripped down feel that makes you feel that Ty want’s to deliver a simple message in an uncomplicated style.
‘Better To Be On Hold’ electrifies things up a little more, and is more akin to some of the material off ‘Moonflower Lane’.
Possibly one of the best tracks on the album has to be ‘Missing Love’. It’s so beautiful, yet so emotionally sad lyric wise. There’s some nice keyboard orchestration to fill out the song without dominating the distinct melody.
‘Funeral’ attempts to fully rock, but the chorus doesn’t stand out. Maybe this should have been a b-side. It could well have been a basis for a King’s X track. It lacks Doug and Jerry’s input.
‘Room For Me’ so similar to ‘Missing Love’ it should have been called a reprise. Still, it’s a good track.
‘Safety’ is another of the rare upbeat tracks on the album, and in true honesty, a relief. The sound of the music is very upfront in the mix, and well done. Again, the song has been stripped down to its basics.
‘True Love’ is another lavish slow song and full of Ty’s distorted lead vocals.
‘Now I Am’ is as personal as Ty has ever been.
‘Anger’ is not anything like the title suggests. Instead this mid paced number is another up moment with some great guitar soloing (And that happens to be a rarity on this album unfortunately).
The final track ‘I Don’t Mind’ is right up there with ‘Missing Love’ as one of the best tracks written by Ty. I can’t confirm this, but I’m sure there’s a moment where Ty almost chokes up on this song.
In the end, this is so different to anything Ty has done in the past. Apparently, Ty has trouble listening to Platypus’s ‘Ice Cycles’ due to the lyrical and emotional content. This will also have the same effect I think.
Ty recently states, ‘Real music comes from human emotion.’ This album is very real, and all the better for it.

For more information on Ty, check out - http://www.tytabor.net/

21/05/02: Justin Donnelly - Planet X - Live From Oz - justindonnelly@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 6
Planet X
Live From Oz
Inside Out/Riot

The arrival of Planet X to Australia was a huge boost to progressive music followers. It had been quite some time since we’d seen a band of their calibre down our way.
And as for the shows, well they were fantastic! As a token of their appreciation, we now get the live show recorded at The Corner Hotel in Richmond (Melbourne).
However, as much as I love the progressive movement, there’s something about live instrumental progressive albums that doesn’t quite sit well with me. To really enjoy this, it has to be seen live (And yes they can do it!) But listening back to it is another thing. The only thing I can pinpoint it down to are the songs. There’s very little for the casual listener to grab onto melody wise. That’s not to say that it’s all a waste of time as there are some great moments on this.
‘Sea Of Antiquity’ features some soothing bass moments (Courtesy of guest bassist Dave La Rue) and amazing guitar work. ‘Her Animal’ and ‘Europa’ are also very well constructed and allow the entire band to shine.
The album seems to suffer, at time, the same fate as the first Liquid Tension Experiment album (The second being a vast improvement). All musician involved are some of the most talented in their field, but without some serious song writing talent, you’re only going to appeal to musicians.
As an added bonus, new song ‘Ignotus Per Ignotium’ is aired from the upcoming Planet X album ‘Moon Babies’, and the hidden track ‘Clonus’ is another highlight.
Personally, I’d rather wait for the new Derek Sherinian album due in September this year. As a follow up to the amazing ‘Inertia’, and featuring Yngwie Malmsteen, Billy Sheehan, Tony Franklin, Al Di Meola, Zakk Wylde, Brian Tichy and Simon Philips.

For more information on Planet X, check out - http://www.xplanetx.com/

16/05/02: Andrea - HARMONY PARK - aorwebsite@email.it
Rating: 90
Harmony Park come from Michigan and consist of seven members that are singers Jami Avedisian and Pat Curry, guitarists (and also back and lead vocals) Joseph Czentnar and Dominic Margitan, Louis Margitan (dr), Eric Lindstrom (bs) and Jeff Overholt (keyb). The union of so many musicians makes very personal this cd in which they make a marriage of AOR, pomp rock and prog rock, with passages perfectly mixing the passionate pompous emphasis of Kansas with the spectacular instrumental performance of Dream Theater.
The only weak aspect of this release is the too dry and high pitched sound, but it is put in the background by the huge artistic quality showed.
Harmony Park open the cd with two songs of great AOR/prog/pomp rock, that are the straight "New skies" and the calmer "Watch me fly", with the more melodic soul emerging in "Rescue me", but "Passing time" reflects hints of Yes, Cairo, Dream Theater and Queensryche.
"Don’t follow me" and "No question why" (sung by Jami who appears in almost all of the most melodic tracks) are two really nice pop rockers coming before and after the prog experiments of "Now is the time", but soon after "No question why" we have two great songs like "I believe" and the more prog oriented and aggressive "Rising sun", both of which are qualified by good vocal harmonies and a careful instrumental performance.
The last three songs ("Shades of grey", "Take your bow" and "All inside your mind") show no weak sign and throw Harmony Park towards more ambitious and deserved goals. I have only to point out the cover of an old song ("Vehicle") by Ides Of March song, the band of early ‘70s that featured Jim Peterik (who later will gain a lot more of success with Survivor).

16/05/02: Andrea - 7 MONTHS - aorwebsite@email.it
Rating: 90
From LA comes a very promising band that mixes AOR, complex instrumental parts of prog school and catchy harmonies with great results and I do wish them to sing asap a great deal to reach a wider audience.
All of the nine songs featured are worth of devoted listenings (and keep by you your air instruments), thanks to the first level instrumental skill of Joe Booe (vc), Chris M.Jacobson (gt), Garegin Kalajian (keyb), Barry Magnuson (dr) and Shawn Richkind (bs), who know how to write well crafted songs that will never bore you and will claim for more and more spins!
"New Age" introduces us into the world of 7 Months with pompous and energetic sounds, halfway between Queensryche, Symphony X and Journey (listen to believe), but their more melodic side explodes in "Change", a perfect marriage of Bad English and The Storm, and "Stay", where Booe’s voice between Hugo and Steve Perry lays charming vocal melodies over a not banal instrumental base.
The following song is the beautiful ballad "Start it over" with its perfect balance of guitars (electric and acoustic), keyboards and vocal harmonies, AOR and one tiny prog touch that makes it even more intriguing and magic. The quality remains at high levels also in the next songs, so come on with "Say goodbye", that makes live without nostalgic feelings the AOR spirit of the ‘70s (Toto and Survivor above the rest), and makes it younger and fitting the today’s tastes, and the lovely romantic ballad "You & Me".
In "The night" and "Sometimes" we can hear again those more pompous atmospheres of "New Age", and the use of unusual rhythms give great evidence to the performing/songwriting skills of 7 Months. The eight minutes of "Señorita Serenade" close the cd with fantastic instrumental tricks mixed with majestic and spectacular pompous solutions, marking with their personality an album that will give great satisfactions to the listeners.
Download the songs, ask for their cd to support the band, break the balls to your preferred label because it gives a deal to these great Americans (there’s only to give a little touch to the sound), so now it’s up to us all!
(7 Months has meanwhile signed with Frontiers Records)

16/05/02: Andrea - MADISON PAIGE \"Demo\" - aorwebsite@email.it
Rating: 75
Madison Paige come from West Hollywood with this three tracks demo with a weak sound and it's a pity because MP have good intuitions with their intriguing and personal guitar driven AOR, surrounded by good and clear voice of Paul Caroul.
Opener "The One That Got Away" is a pleasure to listen to, with glimmering vocals and a sound somehow devoted to The Storm and Journey, while following "Any Day Now" is much more aggressive and powerful, touching sometimes heavy rock acts like Icon and Pretty Maids, but the refrain is catchy again.
Last song "When I'm Gone" is halfway between the above mentioned tunes, aggressive without extremisms of "Any Day Now", but with a melodic, straight refrain and hints of Triumph, Dokken and Drive, She Said.
Madison Paige show to be ready to face the test of a wide public, but they have to work a lot above all on the sound, and I have to verify their talent of the longer distance of the full lenght album.

16/05/02: Andrea - JIM PETERIK \"Rock America - Smash - aorwebsite@email.it
Rating: 95
Jim Peterik puts on this cd a collection of ten live songs taken from his shows with World Stage, a collection of his most known and successful tracks written or co-written by himself plus, only for Europe and Asia, five bonus tracks from "The Day America Cried" album, hosting a rich line-up.
The live side is introduced by greatest hits "Eye Of The Tiger" and by "Hold On Loosely" that offered a great exposure to 38 Specials album "Wild-Eyed Southern Boys", and in facts there’s former member Don Barnes singing (we’ll find him later on "Rockin’ Into The Night" song).
Night Ranger’s Kelly Keagy appears on "Sister Christian" (top single included di "Midnight Madness" lp, 1983) and on the groovy "Heavy Metal" from the OST of the oponymous cartoon, originally sung by Sammy Hagar. Kevin Chalfant’s voice puts a precious mark on "I Can’t Hold Back" and "I’ve Got A Lot To Learn About Love", REO Speewagon’s Kevin Cronin performes "Between Two Fires" and on the warm ballad "The Search Is Over" there’s a duet on vocals between talented singer Brian Anders (his debut album is quite ready) and Kelly Moulik, Jim's niece and she’s here not only because blood related to Jim, but thanks to a good and passionate voice.
There’s only to name the huge black feeling of "Vehicle" originally played by The Ides Of March and now performed with legendary Buddy Guy, witnessing the great writing skill showed by Peterik along his long life in music business.
The studio portion includes five songs, the first of which is "The Day America Cried", whose words were written by Johnny VanZant (Lynyrd Skynyrd) when he was informed by a friend who just saw the first plane crashing into one of the Twin Towers. Johnny asked Jim to help him write the music and in three days the song came to its definitive shape, a heartfelt tribute to the victims of that bloody killing madness.
"The Sum Of Our Hearts" was written in memory of a three years old child killed by cancer and in this pop/AOR tiny song Jim and Kevin Chalfant duet with passion. The remaining three tracks saw the late on Jim Peterik "World Stage" album and they are the southern rock/AOR "Can't Say It Loud Enough" (performed by Johnny VanZant), the semi ballad "Changed By Love" with Don Barnes (and flutes create an almost celtic atmosphere) and the intense rock "Long Road Home" with Kelly Keagy supporting Peterik.
This album is a mighty and great stars parade, successful and catchy melodies that cross the history of rock music, with five new gems testifying the fruitful writing verve of Mr Jim Peterik (and what about the recent Mecca great album?). Really reccommended!

15/05/02: Justin Donnelly - - dogmaticent@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 7
Ozzy Osbourne
Blizzard Of Ozz (Re-Master)
Epic/Sony

After spending some eleven years fronting the profoundly influential Black Sabbath, Ozzy decided to go it alone with a solo career. He quickly enlisted a more than capable band in the form of bassist Bob Daisley (Ex-Rainbow), Drummer Lee Kerslake (Ex-Uriah Heep), keyboardist extraordinaire Don Airey (Look on any album and he’s no doubt played on it!) and the now legendary late Randy Rhodes (Ex-Quiet Riot).
Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Blizzard Of Ozz’ was released in September 1980, and was immediately given the seal of approval from critics and fans alike.
While some would have claimed that Ozzy would never find another guitarist of Tony Iommi’s caliber, Randy proved to be just that and a lot more.
From the opening riff of ‘I Don’t know’ through to the rock ‘n’ roll buzz of ‘Steal Away (The Night)’, there’s no denying that Randy was up there with the best.
Don’s neo-classical inspired keyboarding in ‘Revelation (Mother Earth)’ is also worth noting (It’s right before Randy goes off his dial on the solos!)
As a true test of time, ‘Crazy Train’, ‘Suicide Solution’ and ‘Mr. Crowley’ are still set standards some twenty odd years later!
Now fast forward to 1995 when Sony was commissioned to re-master Ozzy’s back catalogue. To say they were shit would be polite. Ozzy was furious at the way the booklets were presented (The tiny front cover art work), and the sound was anything but re-mastered.
So how are the new re-masters I hear you ask? Well first off, the sound is a whole lot cleaner. This time they’ve done the material justice (I.E. 24 bit mastering compared to the previous 22 bit). Also of note is the return of the full album artwork. There are also some sleeve notes written by none other than Phil Alexander (Kerrang! Magazine). Ozzy also provides plenty of quotes to help him out too. The lyrics are also presented with a host of previously unpublished photographs. As an added bonus, they’ve also added the b-side from the ‘Crazy Train’ single, ‘You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You’. This particular song is as worthy as anything on the album.
Now for the bad news. Controversy has struck with some fans as Ozzy has employed current band members Robert Trujillo (Bass) and Mike Bordin (Drums) to re-record Bob and Lee’s original recordings (Due to ongoing royalty issues over the years). While this a contentious issue, if it wasn’t pointed out in the first place, no one would be the wiser. And has the ‘Original album back cover photo’ been modified to feature Ozzy alone for some reason? It’s not really an issue, more just an observation.
At the end of the day, the album still holds up and is worthy as any classic ever was. Even after some twenty years. If you don’t own this, you should do.

13/05/02: Brian - ELO\'s new ZOOM - briademo@aol.com
Rating: 100
ZOOM is so good I have listened to it every day since I bought it in June of 2001. Jeff Lynne is back leading ELO for the first time since 1986 and the wait was worth it! My favorite song is Lonesome Lullaby but if you get the Japanese import there is a great extra song called Long Black Road that rocks! Definitely worth adding to your CD collection!

10/05/02: Steve - ANGRA - REBIRTH - Steve.clements@tesco.net
Rating: 100
If there is one album you buy this year, make it this one. Any fans of Symphony X,Artension,Last Tribe, Threshold or DT must buy this CD. I have to say that everytime I go to play some music this CD screams at me to give it yet another spin. The musicianship is superb and the production matches their performance. There are no fillers out of the 10 tracks here. What you get is first rate prog/metal/rock of the highest order. The twin guitars play some of the best solos I have heard in a long time and the drummer, well talk about Mike Terrana, Simon Phillips, this guys bass drum work is nothing short of perfection and adds so much overall to the quality of the songs. Acid Rain (track 4) has now be now considered as one of my all time favourite tracks. There are passages of orchestrated movements with big choirs that stir you up ready for the onslaught of great guitar riffs and perfect vocals. There is so much here you cannot take it all in in one play. I urge you to go and get this CD.

Other great buys so far this year:Artension - Sacred Pathways / Last Tribe - Witch Dance / Ayreon - Star One Space Metal

09/05/02: Justin Donnelly - The Jelly Jam - dogmaticent@ozemail.com.au
Rating: 7
The Jelly Jam
The Jelly Jam
Inside Out/S.P.V.

While this album could be seen as The Jelly Jam’s debut, there is plenty of history that precedes it. They are better known as a band called Platypus. Platypus came onto the scene as a super group of sorts, whose members consisted of Ty Tabor (King’s X), Derek Sherinian (Ex-Dream Theater, Planet X), Rod Morgenstein (Dixie Dregs, Winger) and John Myung (Dream Theater). They released their debut album, ‘When Pus Comes To Shove’ in 1998, and the simply amazing second album ‘Ice Cycles’ in 2000. Since then, Derek has moved onto other projects, leaving the band as a three piece, and a change of name. While Platypus was a mixture of rock sensibilities and progressive rock, The Jelly Jam is generally regarded as more straight-ahead rock.
Opening track ‘I Can’t Help You’ rocks along at a heady pace with Ty’s vocals taking a backseat. The guitars are turned up and provide a more than heavy beat. Lyrically the song is interesting as it deals with fan obsessions.
‘No Remedy’ is opened with a funky guitar sound before turning into a heavier Ty solo song of sorts.
‘Nature’ is a short instrument piece lasting for just under a minute before moving into ‘Nature’s Girl’. The frantic pace of the song is welcomed as a change of pace, and Ty’s vocals sound strong. The song might take a strange King’s X twist with the chorus, but the versus are strictly The Jelly Jam.
‘Feeling’ slows down the pace and allows the band to do a touch of improvised jamming. Again, the lyrics show another aspect to Ty’s psyche, however dark it may be.
‘Reliving’ is by and far one of the best tracks on the album. Ty’s Beatlesque vocal harmonies are all over this, and you can’t help but fall into the story line of the lyrics. As a reflective song, this is right up there with the best King’s X have ever had to offer.
The albums most progressive rock moment belongs to ‘The Jelly Jam’. The whole band stretch out with this lengthy jam and prove that they are truly masters of their instruments. Of course, this all leads into ‘I Am The King’, which has plenty of riff heavy moments to please fans of all walks. ‘The King’s Dance’ can also be seen as the final part of the trilogy (Which started with ‘The Jelly Jam’) and this instrumental piece provides more improved musical pieces to stimulate the hardened music fan.
Final track ‘Under The Tree’ is altogether different from anything else presented on the album. If anything, Rod is the musician pushed to the front here with all the percussion and drumming pushed to the forefront. Again, this is another stunner of a track and the second best for the album.
While this album is very good, I can’t help but think that since Derek has left the band, so has a lot of the progressive element. This album is far from instant, and does take a few listens to let it truly sink in. ‘Ice Cycles’ has far more emotional lyrics (Due to Ty’s marriage break up) and had a real dark feel to it. The album is ‘more up’. Regardless of that, it’s still as every brilliant as its musicians.

For more information, check out this site - http://www.tytabor.net/

Justin Donnelly

29/04/02: carl - The Shmir - carl27@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
hi A FRIEND OF MINE HAD THIS ALBUM FROM A BAND HE KNOWS I LISTENED TO IT AND LIKED IT LOADS , I DONT LISTEN TO NEW MUSIC ,CAUSE I,M JUST ADDICTED TO THE LIKES OF FLOYD ZEP ETC.....BUT I BOUGHT A COPY MYSELF AND NOW PLAY IT IN MY CAR ALL THE TIME,. SINCE THEN I HAVE BEEN AND SEEN THE BAND AND AS YOU CAN GUESS I,M HOOKED...DEFINETLY A BAND TO WATCH OUT FOR SEE/HEAR FOR YOURSELF AT WWW.SHMIR.COM THEY ARE NOT PAYING ME TO WRITE THIS I JUST GENUINELY THINK THE WORLD NEEDS TO HEAR IT. CARL

24/04/02: Susumu - Trillion: Clear Approach - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 95
As two Trillion vocalists Fergie Fredericksen and Thom Griffin are participating Mecca, Trillion they are from should be given more attention and reappreciation.

The biggest difference between Trillion's debut and Clear Approach released in 1980 is lead vocal was changed to Thom Griffin. Thom's vocal is softer and mellower than Fergie so the hard and prog edge was a bit off and more pop rock and melodic side of the band emerged. If you like 80's melodic rock giants such as Foreigner, Survivor, and Journey you can easily get into this one. Their dynamism has been excellently controlled and refined as you see in Make It Last Forever, Promises and Cities. They're long forgotten but former members such as Fergie Fredericksen and Thom Griffin will never let it continue. This time Mecca and the next Thom Griffin solo Ambition. Is it wishful thinking that they will reunite? When you build it they will come...(Field of Dreams).

13/04/02: Jonny B - Total Stranger \"Obsession\" + - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 49
Lately, Escape Music has been notourious for signing bands that eventually make my "Great Songs From Not-So-Great Bands" compilations. Bands like that include Firefly, Roulette, Silent Witness, among others. Now, I must include Total Stranger "Obsession" to this list.

I'm not a huge fan of modernized melodic rock, but I can usually tolerate it if it's the music style that has changed and not the vocals. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The vocals are just plain terrible! It style reminds me too much of Firefly "After the Fire" which only had a few decent tracks. Musically, though, it's pure melodic rock with a modern twist. Unfortuately, some of the tracks seemed to drag on when it could've ended or faded out, and this ruined the overall flow of the album. Here's the album track-by-track:

Cream/Believe in Yourself -- Ok song, Ok vocals. Typical start to any modern melodic rock album.
Obsession -- The best of the rock tracks. It's got a prog-esk sound to it, but the vocals remind me too much of Firefly; it's got that pitch that can't always be tolerated. Fading out the song 30 seconds earlier may of saved the overall quality of the track.
Rising Sun -- KILLER TRACK! A relaxing ballad with a smooth, relaxing vocal. But it doesn't seem to be a kiss-my-girlfriend type of dancing ballad, it's more like a go-to-sleep type ballad; Extremely relaxing and soothing to the ears. By far, the best track on the album.
Life After Life -- Another ok song/ok or worse vocals track. That could've ended 30 seconds earlier
Erotic -- More like Idiotic. Song seems to last forever when you wish the vocalist would just shut up.
Vision of the Very Young -- Has to be the worst track of the album. Vocals and music is too alternative/modern for my tastes.
Mistaken Ways -- If the previous track wasn't the worst, this alternative acoustic ballad is.
Hey You -- Second best rock track behind "Obsession." vocals a little improved, and the quality of the sound is better.
Wildest Dreams -- Another acoustic ballad. Unlike the other tracks, they end the song when they should.
Little Somethin' -- Another ok song with not-so-ok vocals.

Overall, I give Total Stranger "Obsession" a 49. The music was pretty good, but the vocals were terrible. The flow of the album is just not there.

Now the question is, why would I buy such a lousy album? Well, because there is a bonus CD: Total Stranger "S/T" debut. Based on samplers from other websites, it had a totally different sound to "Obsession". How different? How about KICKASS MELODIC ROCK AT IT'S BEST! I don't even need to review the bonus CD track-by-track, the first 30 seconds completely blew away "Obsession" without a doubt! No wonder why Escape Music added the bonus CD, they probably knew the album wasn't gonna sell. The only bad track of the bonus CD is "To the City" which is too reminiscent of the sound and style Total Stranger eventually used in "Obsession." To make the perfect Total Stranger album, Take all of the bonus CD, but replace "To the City" with "The Rising Sun" and you will have all the Total Stranger you'll ever need.

I still hope one day to buy a double CD in which both CDs will get an equal number of spins. But Total Stranger will not be one of them.

08/04/02: Phil V - \"WAKING THE FURY\" Annihilato - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
This CD is worth getting just for the track "Nothing to Me" which is the BEST heavy melodic rock tune I've heard in quite some time. A real departure for these guys. The rest of the CD is filled with balls out melodic metal that has the nastiest guitar crunch this side of a Sans Amp!!!! "Prime Time Killing" is a great example of how heavy these guys can get. Vocalist Joe Comeau delivers the goods and fits perfectly with Jeff Waters & Curran Murphy's distorted guitar prowess!!! The solos must be heard to be believed. Annihilator should be HUGE but as it is so frequently in the music business, they probably don't have the management to break them big time. Too bad 'cause this band rocks from start to finish. The best and most melodic Annihilator release yet. Wait 'till you hear "Nothing to Me"!!!!!WHEW!!!!!!!!(FISTS IN THE AIR, PEOPLE!!!!!!!!)

01/04/02: Amanda - Puddle of Mudd - Hyperhuzzy
Rating: 9
Puddle of Mudd rocks!!!!! The cd is amazing!!!!! And the song are cool too, lol!

31/03/02: Phil V - \"System X\" IMPELLITTERI - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
When news of Bob Rock's departure from Impellitteri last year and his replacement being Graham Bonnet I was concerned. Very concerned. Nothing against Bonnet but let's face it, "Stand in Line" was lame in comparison to all the Rob Rock lead releases and Bonnet's lyrics never really grabbed me and seemed so rediculous at times. So when brand new CD "System X" came out I wasn't expecting much. Silly me!!! This CD ROCKS BIG TIME!!! Graham has never sounded better and judging from the writing credits, the whole band was involved with the music & lyrics which suits me just fine. Opener "United We Stand" tells the 9/11 story to chilling detail and Chris absolutely smokes. The chorus has a riff right out of Black Sabbath era "Heaven & Hell" but the song is a real winner."Why Did They Do That?" is another heavy rocker with the signature Impellitteri riffage and real strong vocal work from Graham. He actually sounds better now than he did on "Stand in Line". How old is this guy anyway??? "Falling in Love with a Stranger" is a balls out rocker that has a great hook & chorus. Should be a single!! And thankfully ,drum duties are handled by the incomparable Glen Sobel(Beautiful Creatures) who again performs his mastery of the skins with pinpoint precision!!! Definitely one of the most underrated rock drummers today!! "System X" proves that there is more to Impellitteri than just hyper-speed riffs. His songwriting talents have consistently matured and his playing is flashy but restrained which gives the songs room to breath and also gives the listener time to absorb
the massive talent that just keeps growing and growing!!! Oh yea, almost forgot......PLAY IT LOUD!!!!!!!!!

31/03/02: James - Starsailor - Love Is Here - jackie@felixstowe180a.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 0
I first saw this indie/rock group on CD UK performing Alcaholic. This was apalling, stupid, unsenseful, rubbish and that lead "singer" of theirs sounds like a cat being operated on without anesthetic.
This STINKS. IT SO STINKS LIKE A PLANET MADE OF OLD CHICKEN. If you see this album, stay away from it. Its cover is hello with a train track on it. IF i ever see this in the number one spot, it will SCREAM. AHHHH!!!

31/03/02: James - Linkin Park - Hybrid Theory - jackie@felixstowe180a.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 10
This artist reminded me of Limp Bizkit and Iron Maiden when i saw them on Top Of The Pops performing "Crawling." Which shouldve gone to number one, if it didnt im sorry but if it did WHOOPI. This album is one of the best albums of 2000. Absoluteley fantastic. The Linkin Park team have put together a combination of Rap to Rock with a hint of soul on the track "With You." If you like hard hitting rock with the edge of broken records and fast rap talent, then look no further, this is the album for you.

31/03/02: James - Limp Bizkit - Significant Other - jackie@felixstowe180a.fsnet.co.uk
Rating: 9
I loved this album, with the hardcore rock and rap combination.
I think fred durst has a brilliant way of stringing the rythym together. If you havent picked up this album or one of their other two (Three Dollar Bill Y'all$ and Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water) then i suggest you do. I do wish to say one thing though, if you are easily offended DO NOT BUY THIS RECORD. But if you can see the language how i do then you will love to blast this album out of your speakers until the blow up.

01/03/02: Phil V - Vanden Plas \"Beyond Daylight\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Excellent CD from this very talented German band. "Phoenix","Healing Tree","Scarlet Flower Fields" & a faithful but very heavy cover of Kansas' "Point of Know return" make this an album worthy of massive appeal throughout the melodic rock world. Vocalist Andy Kuntz sounds alot like Goran Edman on many of the tunes which is very pleasing to the ear. Although these guys rock like Dream Theater, they have an uncanny knack for writing very AOR-ish choruses which really grab you. Production is ultra-crisp and keyboardist Gunter Werno supplies some very melodic textures which sound really good against Stephan Lill's heavy guitar attack. Definitely their best release!!

28/02/02: Roger - DC Cooper - s/t - rogerakk@aol.com
Rating: 100
Brilliant, Unsurpassed Vocals !!!!!!
Rob Halford was the most amazing vocalist that i have ever heard.....UNTIL....I heard this man sing.. DC Cooper is Amazing on this CD, I bought this by chance, I saw his reviews but never heard him. When i put this CD in for the first time, I had to rake my mouth off of the living room floor....Truly Amazing !! I cant wait to buy everything that D.C. has done the vocals on (Royal Hunt, Silent Force, etc.) Buy this CD !!!!! You will not be sorry !!

27/02/02: Don Hosler - TWO FIRES/Ignition - don@donhosler.com
Rating: 65
OK, first off I must say I'm a HUGE fan of ANYTHING Kevin Chalfant does, and I personally thought the debut TF CD was the best melodic rock release of summer 2000. On this sophomore effort, the songwriting and the performances will still knock your socks off, but compared to the debut, this CD sounds like a freakin' demo ! The production sucks ! I read interviews saying Kevin was going for a rawer sound with less reverb, but c'mon - this kind of music calls for a big production job with lots of layering/processing and smooth mixes. The drums sound like they were recorded in my basement ! The production just doesn't do these awesome songs justice, espeically on the INCREDIBLE ballad I'M FALLIN' ! I'm a musician myself, so I can hear a great song through a muddy production, but next time guys - please take the time and do it right !

26/02/02: Noddy - HTP- Hughes Turner Project - jonferg@nortelnetworks.com
Rating: 99
First play - Devil's Road blows you away! This is exactly what you hoped this CD would sound like ; caught somewhere between Rainbow's Death Alley Driver and hard rock heaven. As the CD plays on, maybe you're not too sure about the songs you hear. Are they going over your head or is it all too much to take in?? The truth my friends, is the latter. As Dave Lee Roth put it, "There are 2 rules to music, 1: If it sounds good, it is good. 2: There ain't no other rule." He must have been refering to this album. Put simply, if this album had been released twenty years ago, it would have been regarded today as an all time rock classic. It really doesn't get any better than this.
When John Sykes released "Blue Murder" in 1989, the only reason why he didn't score a massive hit to go some way to matching the oncredible success of Whitesnake 1987 was the absence of a great vocalist to carry the music. Don't get me wrong, Sykes is a good singer, but it needed one of the gods of rock to carry the imense tracks peddled on Blue Murder. The obvious choice for those of us on the outside aleways was and still is, Glenn Hughes. Well, we get a taster of what might have been on the stunning "Heaven's Missing an Angel", which is simply Blue Murder featuring Glenn Hughes.
Mystery of the Heart, featuring only Joe Lynn Turner on vocals is as close to "Stone Cold" as I have heard, and stands out above Joe's own solo stuff, worthy though it is. Possibly best of all is final track, On the Ledge. I cannot describe this track as my words would not do it justice. Buy, listen, enjoy.
Why not 100, I hear you ask? Well, I will save that for the next Blue Murder album - with Glenn Hughes singing on every track!!!!

16/02/02: David and Shirean - HTP (Hughes Turner Project) - dands@ghpg.net
Rating: 95
Wow, this is one CLASSIC ROCK album!!

Glenn succeeded big time with his writing style for this outing. It provides the listener the full spectrum of both Glenn and Joe's talent and allows them to highlight their star-studded careers. Combining the best of the Purple and Rainbow sounds of the 70's and 80's with a heavy dose of the modern day talent they both still exude on tracks like 'Mystery Of The Heart' and 'Heaven's Missing An Angel' just to name a couple.

The choice of core musicians to share in this winning formula include the outstanding keyboard wizardry of Vince di Cola, the always maturing guitar talents of JJ Marsh and drummer Shane Gaalaas. Guests include Paul Gilbert ("You Can't Stop Rock'n'Roll"), John Sykes ("Heaven's Missing An Angel") and Akira Kajiyama ("Ride The Storm" & "Against The Wall") who bring their artistry to the forefront when they enter the project.

There's a chemistry going on throughout the album highlighted by the complimentary vocal talents of Hughes & Turner, while the other performers are perfect in their delivery of the ever-timeless rock'n'roll riffs and solos.

Highlights include the opener, 'Devils Road' with Glenn and Joe sharing thundering vocal deliveries with a thumping bass pumping in the background and keys and guitar riffs throughout! 'You Can't Stop Rock'n'Roll' and 'Missed Your Name' are 'put your fist in the air' stompers yet include some great harmonies by both vocalists. 'Mystery Of The Heart' is Joe Lynn Turner's impressive solo number co-written with Glenn, for fans of 'Street Of Dreams' this one is going to bowl you over and is worth the price of admission alone. 'Sister Midnight' features some funky honky-tonk keyboard and guitar parts and vocal performances highlighted by Glenn who's in full swing on this one. There's also some smooth harmonies by both vocalists which "back in the day" would make this one a good candidate as a '45 single release. 'Heaven's Missing An Angel' is Glenn's solo performance with guitar duties provided by John Sykes. A classic from Glenn on this wonderful song, one minute you get the 'rock god' vocal delivery quickly followed by the soulful whisper that only he can perform. 'Run, Run, Run' is delivered with a 'bang your head' classic metal riff and shows off all the musicians on the track, this is definitely a 'top down, peddle to the medal' rocker! 'On The Ledge' starts off with Vince di Cola in fine form on keyboards with a classic mixture of 'Lord and Emerson' influenced passages, followed by the band gradually fading into a thunderous beat and then Glenn on a classic Hughes intro vocal, a rocking chorus follows shortly thereafter - this track is almost an anthem that would say 'this is what the HTP sound is all about'. A quick mention of 'Against The Wall' which you'll find as the Bonus Track on the Japanese release - a thunderous 4-1/2 minute rocker with Akira Kajimara and JJ sharing a classic Thin Lizzy style riff throughout the song, again Vince di Cola is outstanding and includes some bombarding vocals by both Glenn and Joe.

In conclusion, there isn't really a duff track on the CD, but the one's mentioned above deserve special mention.

This album is definitely made to be played live and this is one show we wouldn't want to miss and is definitely a prime candidate for a live CD release and should be considered for a DVD package to capture what will undoubtedly herald some breathtaking live performances.

HTP has arrived folks!!

14/02/02: Dave Smith - Royal Hunt - The Mission - daves@wsieurope.com
Rating: 96
This album is awesome. If you like your metal, loud and melodic, then this is a must. There are 7 main tracks linked together by 6 shorter tracks to make 1 long track really. But every 'track' is different. Each track is a real gem, but check out track 2 - 'The Mission' and track 12 -'Days Of No Trust'

No self respecting Melodic Rock fan should be without this one in their collection!

06/02/02: STEVE TURNER - System Of A Down Toxicity - Stephen.turner@forbessolicitors.co.uk
Rating: 5
I noticed an earlier reveiw of this CD giving it a decent review and would just like to warn lovers of melodic rock that this is nothing of the sort. If your tastes are somewhat broader this may appeal but I actually demanded a refund ( and got it ). If you are looking for something different Blink 182`s latest CD combines rock, punk and melody to good effect.
ps the 5 was for the song Chop Suey which is as tuneful as the album gets.

05/02/02: Phil V - Dream Theater \"Six Degrees of Inne - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Killer!!!! Absolutely killer!!!!! i never thought Dream Theater could top their 2nd release "Images & Words" but SDOIT does it!!! I heard pieces of Genesis,Yes,Metallica,Pantera & Queen spread throughout this double CD all performed with Rush-like musicianship. Vocalist James Labrie gives his BEST performance on this release and ax master John Petrucci can play a Dimebag Darrell riff and then stop on a dime(no pun intended!!) and morph into Brian May all without skipping a beat. There's even some great acoustic work dropped in here and there. Keyboardist Jordan Rudess makes his presense known with some tastey synthasizer interplay with Petrucci and his piano playing on "Blind Faith" could be called........Robby Valentine-esque!!! It's THAT good!!! The production favors a very loud playback so crank it up and enjoy this masterpiece! The difference between this release and the last couple of Dream Theater albums???? This one has GREAT songs!!!!!!

04/02/02: scott - killer melodic - simpson0
Rating: 4
the new daysofthenew cd is awesome.

02/02/02: Smurf - Vanden Plas \"Far Off Grace\" - richard.moseley@sscs.org.au
Rating: 90
Vanden Plas are a german prog rock band in the vein of Dream Theater. This is their 4th cd, released in '99 (one coming out early 2002)and it is the goods. Lots of bands emerged after Dream Theaters "Images and Words" put prog back on the map but unfortunately a lot of them sucked in one way or another...usually bad vocalists..but Vanden Plas have really got it right on this cd. The singer (Andy Kuntz)doesn't sound as german as on previous recordings and they do a great cover of Dokken's "Kiss of Death".
Some great melodies and damn good guitar work....get it if you like DT...these guys aren't clones..and they are heaps cooler than Fates Warning and other prog bands out there...the songs won't alienate more straight ahead fans either.

02/02/02: Chris Tripoli - A Tribute To Journey CD - chrisandjentripoli@prodigy.net
Rating: 7
Been out of the loop for a little while ( my wife just gave birth to twins 1/11/02, so things have been a little busy)
But I just did a little catching up on Journey and I know the split with Sony is a big story now BUT....
as I was shopping for baby formula at WalMart last night, I browsed through the "J" section of the CDs and was shocked to find "A Tribute to Journey" CD copyright 2002 by Deadline music. I had always hoped for a CD like this but had absolutely no clue that one was in the works. Anyone else seen this yet or know of it?

Of course I bought the CD.
Made some time 2nite to relisten to each track and write down my impressions so here it goes...

Separate Ways: I think I would've like an even heavier opening beat to this one. Would like to hear a real heavy Metallica like or Staind like opening. A little too tame. Kelly Hansen does a nice job here with the vocals though. What's with the cheezy synthisizer? Someone's 1985 Casio?

Any Way You Want It: OK. I suppose when you make a tribute album you go one of two ways. #1 Do your best Steve Perry Imitation and play every note exactly like the record. #2 Do something completely different. This song is a poor attempt at #2. After the first line I thought "this could be cool" and I kept waiting for Alex Mitchell to kick it up a notch, hammer out a multiple octave jump, growl, scream, and break out of the rut this song starts in. No such luck. PS do not hold back your laughter during the "talking" part of the song.

Faithfully: I take this song very seriously. This is my absolute favorite Journey song. This is my wedding song. So...I was expecting to hate whatever was done with it. Much to my pleasure and surprise I think this is the #1 or 2 song on the CD. I like the raspiness in Marq Torien's voice. He gets to each note, some easier than others but thats OK by me. Shows some nice emotion. He really "sings" it. My only "negative" comment would be that he sounds a lot like Michael Bolton in a few phrases, LOL.

Don't Stop Believing: Cheezy synthesizer again! Music doesn't drive forward. Eric Dover's voice is fine, hits all the requisite notes, but again the vocals need phrasing. See music 101.

Open Arms: Another raspy voice in Jizzy and I like it. Sings with emotion, nice phrasing. I think he nails it pretty well.

Girl Can't Help It: Not a super big fan of this song in the first place, but I think John Corabi does a nice job with it. Chorus could've used a little more work. Don't need to here "the Journey sound" per se, but a better balance of harmony would've been nice. Again, I can't stand that cheezy synthesizer!

Only the Young: Mark Knight sounds like he is singing this one in his sleep. Every phrase trails off and is cut short. Sung too monotone. This song never GOES anywhere. BIG YAWN.

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin': Nice effort here from Chaz West. I like this one. His voice rises with the lyric. Enjoyed the growling high point. You feel like his baby girl done him wrong. With Faithfully, could be the #1 or 2 song here.

Wheel in the Sky: Torn on this one. Kelly puts out another nice vocal effort, but this song sounds a little too Europe "Final Countdown" to me. Anyone else hear this too?

Be Good To Yourself: The David Lee Roth reference was a good pickup. According to Andrew at melodicrock.com, Ralph Saenz actually fronts a Valen Halen tribute Band "The Atomic Punks". Imagine Diamond Dave singing for Journey? ... or not. I think this version is FUN in and of itself.

Who's Crying Now: Kory Clarke is trying too hard on this one. Voice really sounds thin on this one. Not horrible but one half-step up from bad.

Lights: Probably the most disappointing song on the CD. Stevie Rachelle just doesn't have the chops for this one. Bad matchup. Sounds like a high schooler singing the song at his junior prom. Trying to think of another Journey song I would've like to have heard him sing, but I don't want him singing ANY Journey songs. Sorry Stevie.

I know Andrew at melodicrock.com also isn't too fond of this production company. Apparently they pump out a lot of grade b and c tribute CDs. Still, I think its fun to own. I would rather spend $13 on this than $24 on the Essential CD with songs I already own.

Tracks and singers are as follows:
1. Separate Ways, Kelly Hanson of Hurricane
2. Any Way You Want It, Alex Mitchell of Circus of Power
3. Faithfully, Marq Torien of Bullet Boys
4. Don't Stop Believing, Eric Dover of Slash's Snakepit
5. Open Arms, Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate - Ratt
6. Girl Can't Help It, John Corabi of Motley Crue - Union
7. Only the Young, Mark Knight of Worry Beads
8. Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', Chaz West of the Jason Bonham Band
9. Wheel in the Sky, Kelly Hanson of Hurricane
10. Be Good to Yourself, Ralph Saenz of the Atomic Punks
11. Who's Crying Now, Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul
12. Lights, Steve Rachelle of Tuff

The "Band" is listed as:
Kyle Kyle (Bang Tango) Bass
Tracy Swider (Crush) Guitars
Danny Wagner (Warrant) Keyboards
Danny Parker (3 Penny Needle/Shake the Faith) Drums

Laughing to myself as I listened last night, thinking if this was an
audition tape for the new singer, who would I pick? Mabey a good question for future discussion. Needless to say (but I'm going to say it), after listening to the whole CD, I am ever so more thankful and appreciative at having Mr. Augeri at the helm, singing my future Journey songs. I have been a big Steve A. supporter from the start ever since seeing Journey live 10/30/98 at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Don't get me wrong, none of the singers on the CD are really BAD, but they do make Mr. Augeri's work "Shine" (sly Tyketto reference)

More soon! PEACE!!!
Chris Tripoli

01/02/02: Tim - BALANCE OF POWER-\"Perfect Balance\ - wprd220@adelphia.net
Rating: 100
I happened to run across a review of this band (Balance of Power,whom Ive never heard of) cd called Perfect Balance in which it was called a "Masterpiece". Most intelligent writers are very careful of using the word masterpiece so I decided to get the cd. I'll tell everybody right now that this is the best cd I've ever heard in my life! I dont care what type of music you like buy this cd it is absolutley amazing. Fantastic production. Amazing musicianship. The hooks and chorus's are amazing they will be stuck in your head all day. If you like melodic yet slightly progressive rock then do whatever you must to get this cd. If I had to compare this band to another I would say they are a cross between Queensryche and maybe Dream Theater, but I would be insulting this band if I did so because this cd is so far beyond anything any group has ever done. Balance of Powers "Perfect Balance" is worth its weight in gold and to call it a masterpiece is an understatement.

27/01/02: Jonny B - Artension \"Sacred Pathways\" - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
My first purchase of 2002, and man what an album! Vitalij continues to impress me with his hyperfast keyboard solos! He's like the Yngwie of keyboards, but without the annoying ego. It rocks! And major credit to Steve West for singing his heart out, and the rest of Artension for producing a kick-a$$ neoclassical album! Highly recommended to Ring of Fire and Royal Hunt fans, a real treat!

26/01/02: Jonny B - Silent Rage \"Shattered Hearts\&quo - froloth@hotmail.com
Rating: 75
I'm a big fan of 80's metal, and when I found out about the reissues of both Silent Rage releases through Z Records, I had to buy them (besides, 14 bucks each is cheaper than the 40 bucks each original was going for on eBay). However, when I buy a reissue, I expect a killer boost in the production as compared to the originals (a few bonus tracks would've been great too). But unfortunatly, I didn't get either. Both reissues are just straight from the press reissues with no new production boosts and no bonus tracks. Really both Silent Rage reissues are only for those who don't have a copy of the albums yet and need them to complete they're collection. People who already own the original copies of Silent Rage should not buy the reissues because there is no difference between them.

15/01/02: allie - SHAKIRA\'S LAUNDRY SERVICE - allievista456
Rating: 0
I JUST GOT THE CD AND HOLY CRAP THIS ALBUM ROCKS, I SAY WAY TO GO ITS ABOUT TIME SOME OF US TRUE SPANISH GIRLS GET SOME OF OUR MUSIC OUT THERE!!!!!!!SHAKIRA TRULEY ROCKS!!!!!

14/01/02: Susumu - Seventh Key - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 95
Mike Slamer known by City Boy and the Streets is again showing his art of songwriting, excellent arrangement and production in solo project of Billy Greer (Kansas), Seventh Key. I first encountered with Mike Slamer in his recent masterpieces “Metallic Blue” and “Slaves of The New World” under the name Steelhouse Lane. As Mike co-wrote most of the tracks, the sound of the band is mostly that of Steelhouse Lane. 80s fans may reminisce The Streets or Kansas around “Power” or “In The Spirit of Things” era. “When Love Is Dying” outstanding dramatic ballad is my #1 favorite of this album. “Every Time It Rains”, “No Man’s Land” are not by Mike but they are stellar tracks reminding me of Power era Kansas. Mike Slamer excellently adds current mainstream melodic rock edge to this album. During 90s Mike assisted some of melodic hard rock masterpieces. “Dr. Love” from “Double Eclipse” by Hardline is one of the finest examples.

Essential for melodic rock fans, highly recommended for Kansas, Two Fires, Hardline Night Ranger and Survivor fans. Also check Steelhouse Lane’s masterpieces.

14/01/02: Susumu - Journey: Greatest Hits - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 80
Journey's Greatest Hits released in 1988 still serves as great guide for music fans who know nothing about Journey. But as a melodic rock fan who already has some of their albums this compilation sometimes bores me. Maybe I will be more inclined for Essential Journey with more tracks. Compared with Survivor's Greatest Hits which features a song from their debut, Journey's greatest totally ignores early three albums which make this compilation a bit outdated. Also it heavily depended upon Journey's ballad sides featuring Steve Perry's great voice. To sell the album it might be inevitable. So the album represents the days when vinyl record has limit on the number of tracks. Enough said, all the songs included are really great. If you haven't heard of Journey, get this and you will surely be a new Journey fan! My request for extended version: One or two tracks from early albums and include Keep On Running and Rubicon then my rating will reach the ceiling.

14/01/02: Susumu - Brian Wilson: Imagination - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 88
Brian Wilson is known by the Beach Boys. So naturally Brian's solo album is mellow like Peter Cetera. But what makes this album special is its modernized arrangement. Your Imagination, South American, Keep an Eye On Summer is basically tinged with Beach Boys classic but with
more radio-friendly arrangement which makes the classic a brand new appeal to ordinary music fans. Dream Angel co-written by Jim Peterik is a nice example. This starts with impressive intro reminicent of Chicago and with nice ending part guitar solo. Overall songwriting is top level and if you also like Chicago/Peter Cetera styled soft, mellow rock you will love this.

06/01/02: ABEC - MISTER KITE - Upcoming band! - abec@europe.com
Rating: 9
Take a look at www.misterkite.net - and listen to the soundclips from
the first album from swedish band "MISTER KITE". I´ve had the opportunity to listen to the whole album and can truly say that I loved every minute of it. A fresh "new" sound from up north! Check it out! The album: "ALL IN TIME" - will be realeased early february, check www.lionmusic.com for forthcoming details...

29/12/01: .Phil V - City Boy \"Anthology\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 0
What a disappointment!! Don't be fooled by the title!! This is NO anthology. It sounds more like a collection of the more obscure City Boy tracks! How can you have an anthology without "Cigarettes", "Mama's Boy", "State Secrets", "Moving in Circles","Mr. Shoes", "Bloody Sunday", "The Man Who Ate His Car".....the list goes on!!! And to top the ommisions of the previously mentioned classics, the liner notes are short and inaccurate and the credits are totally bogus as well. I mean, Roy Ward came on board on the "Book Early" album!! According to the credits, he's on the first album and "Dinner at the Ritz" as well. I wonder if the band had any say in this release because it's really a let down. "5-7-0-5" sounds like it was recorded from an album because of a constant flutterring that apprears throughout the song. I think someone should call NMC Music and ask what they were thinking when they put this "collection" together. Has anyone EVER heard of NMC Music anyway??!! My advice, wait for an OFFICIAL release and save the $!!!

25/12/01: Phil V - \"Cockroach\" Danger Danger - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
A definite must have!!! Paul laine sings his ass off on CD- 1. The material sounds fantastic and the sound quality rates with the new releases of today. . Same songs on CD-2 but I don't think Ted(Poley) can match Paul's intensity. No offense to Ted but his versions tend to make the songs sound dated. Still, "Cockroach" is worth the price!!! Great disc!!!

24/12/01: LAWoman - Journey Live 2001 - lawomansjrny@aol.com
Rating: 5
Ok--this is not technically a CD, but you can burn a CD from the DVD (thanks to technology and Kevin Shirley) so it's close enough. To get right to the point--this concert ROCKS! Don't waste you time and money on that Journey Tribute Band CD when you can have the real thing.

If you want to hear uplifting music by five musicians at the top of their game having a blast and taking the audience along for the ride--Journey's new DVD/VHS is for you. Journey Live 2001 is 106 minutes of a live show filmed at Mandalay Bay in Vegas that contains Journey's classics as well as a couple songs from their latest CD, Arrival.

Journey has always been a band that is best live and they do not disappoint in this show. The sound is amazing--particularly on the DVD, but if you have your stereo system running through your VCR, the VHS of this show will make you feel like you are at the concert too. The rare versions of Fillmore Boogie and La Raza Del Sol alone are worth the price of the DVD. In Fillmore Boogie, Deen Castronovo's double bass drums together with Ross Valory's bass will rattle your china. Neal Schon proves that he has only gotten better over the years. Neal makes his guitar sing with that sweet, full voice that is distinctively his. He makes the most complex riffs look simple. Jonathan Cain shows he can not only write brilliant songs, but can rock out on the keyboards.

Then there is Steve Augeri. Steve has a playful stage presence and an amazing voice that will win over the coldest heart. He shows he can sing the ballads with beautiful renditions of Lights and Open Arms. He rocks out on Escape and Be Good to Yourself and he really shines on the blues numbers like Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'. If you love good music, great musicians, and want to spend 106 minutes feeling great, buy this DVD or VHS tape. These guys are simply the best.

22/12/01: scott pickett - blue oyster cult: curse of the hidden mi - sdpickett00@go.com
Rating: 7
If you are a fan of boc,you should pick this one up.Pocket is a surprisingly catchy tune,as is here comes that feeling again.This cd is not as hard as Heaven Forbid, but it does grow on you as you listen to it.

15/12/01: Susumu - Foreigner: Unusual Heat - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 83
This couldn't have called Foreigner. But with Lou leaving, the album has the consistency and it rocks and has lots of early Foreigner like rockers. When The Rain Comes Down, Moment Of Truth are my favorites.
But to be honest I don't think Foreigner fans find it appealing.
Particularly Foreigner fans who like 4 and Agent Provocateur will hate this album for sure. But ordinary rock fans who are new to the foreigner may enjoy more than die-hard fans.

15/12/01: Rumaldo - Angel Edge - vikings1@worldspy.net
Rating: 0
Greetings from Rumaldo of Angel Edge!


I'd like to let you know about a CD that you might want to consider picking up if you're a fan of melodic rock / metal or AOR. It's titled 'Angel Edge Revisited'. It has received quite a few favorable reviews! The songs pretty much resided in the top 5 to #1 spots in the various metal charts during the time the music was available at MP3.com. Cheers!

Rumaldo
http://www.mp3.com/angeledge


Here are just a few of many reviews the music received in the three short months it was available on MP3.com. and one printed in entirety.

http://www.electricbasement.com/review331.htm


http://www.metalprovider.com/metallives/mmimagessmall/angeledge/angel.htm

http://www.aor-europe.com/index2.htm At this site click the

Archives link, then A, then A2 to get to the review.

http://www.geocities.com/struttermagazine/NEWREVIEWS75.htm Scroll down

to get to review at this site

http://www.melodic.net/aor/page22.htm

Review by Lanman of Metal Vault

Right off the bat let me just say 'ANGEL EDGE' kicks ass!!! 1 minute into the first song 'Realm Of Darkness' and I immediately claimed this to be one of the BEST bands you never heard and it's a damn shame! You get a wide variety of Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, AOR, Melodic in your face ROCK music. What impresses me the most is how talented and diverse these guys are. I love the vocal style of 'Kenny Romero', I hear mixtures of Robert Fleischman (Vinnie Vincent) crossed with Greg Analla (The Seventh Sign) and even some hints of Judas Priest and Bad English. I don't know why 'ANGEL EDGE' didn't rise above the ashes but 'Revisited' is not to be second guessed. Founding member and guitarist Rumaldo Ortiz superbly delivers tight guitar oriented rhythms laced with blazing leads. A style very unique but a sound that you've heard before and one you never get bored or tired of. A style similar to that of Neil Schon (Journey). Rumaldo also handles the low-end and Eddie Garcia with sharp footwork, nicely carries the drive on drums. Production is keen and reminiscent of early 80's. One I love because it is pure and clean no studio tricks and for an indie release it's really good!

There is so much great stuff on 'Revisited' tons of great hooks, melodies, vocal harmonies, guitars, guitars, guitars I can't say enough. 'Realm Of Darkness' the hook laden driver that leads off this album and one of my favs is actually sung by Rumaldo Ortiz. A rhythm so incredibly entrancing, look at your speed odometer and see how fast your going... 'Will You Be There' another song where Ortiz handles the vocals, offers up yet another hard rockin' head bangin' rocker with a driving beat and great hooks. 'Headin' To Sound City' is the all instrumental rocker that allows you to hear the sonic musicianship of 'ANGEL EDGE'. As you delve deeper into the music 'Incessant Love, All A Game and License To Thrill' open the highway for 'Broken Hearts & Shattered Dreams and 'All That's Left'. There's plenty of power for every HARD ROCK fan on 'Revisited'. If this was released 10 years ago ANGEL EDGE would have been a platinum act. Fortunately the band is working on putting together new material. No doubt a top notch band. Check it out - you won't be disappointed. |A|
Lanman
METALVAULT
www.metalvault.com
metalvault@metalvault.com
AIM-metalvault roks
MSN-metalvault

08/12/01: Phil V - CREED \"Weathered\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
I don't know how they do it but every release is just a little better than the previous one. "Weathered" is Creed at their best, heavy and hook filled. Guitarist Mark Tremonti ,whoalso handles bass duties, is a huge reason why this album sounds so great. Just listen to the lead guitar in "Stand Here With Me". "Freedom Fighter", "One Last Breath" and current single "My Sacrifice" all grab high honors but the title track steals the show. Great songs and great musicianship equal..........you guessed it....a great album. The only clunker on the disc is the 8 minute plus "Who's Got My Back" which has some kind of chant reoccurring throughout. Not my cup of tea. But the rest of the CD deserves multi-platinum success.

01/12/01: Phil V - MESH Stl \"Lowercase\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
I had MTV2 on in the background a few weeks back and heard this really melodic sound coming from my TV. As I went into the room to check out who the band was, this awesome crunch of guitar kicked in and "Maybe Tomorrow" was in full gear. This song rocks!!! When an actual guitar solo came in, I was floored!! This is the bands first release and it contains some of the BEST melodic heavy rock around. "I Don't Know" opens the CD and hints of a crunched out STP. "Falling Into Me" has a little Fuel influence mixed in just because of the rhythm guitars and the tune "Contagious" really smokes!! "Little Star" starts off acoustic and then the heavy crunch overtakes everything and another gem is released through my speakers. Vocalist Scott Gertken knows how to sing and the layered backing vocals sound tremendous and hark back to the 80's classic bands!! The thing that really impressed me was the guitar sound. Heavy and way up in the mix. Check these guys out because they do have their own sound................. and that's very rare now-a-days!! (I found their CD on Amazon.com)

26/11/01: Brad - Toto\'s 1992 release \"Kingdom of D - bdame@snet.net
Rating: 97
I was a big fan of Toto in the '80s, but like with so many of these bands lost track of them in the '90s until redisovering them on the Internet. I have gone back and purchased all of their albums of the past 10 years--including the last one "Mindfields" on the day it came out in the states. Not until a few months ago did I pick up "Kingdom of Desire". My oh my what I was missing out on! This is the most rocking Toto album ever!

Steve Lukather is most well-known in this band for his amazing guitar work and his beautiful lead singing on Toto ballads. But for sure, on this effort--on which he does all of the lead singing--he is remarkable on all tempos of songs. Rockers like the lead-off track "Gypsy Train" , "Never Enough", and "She Knows The Devil" showcase that Steve is more than a ballad singer. "Don't Chain My Heart" is a fantastic anthem of sorts--one of the best this band has ever done. And of course there are a few great ballads on here. I will mention in particular track number 8--a song called "The Other Side". Of all the great Toto ballads I have heard over the years, this ranks right up there amoung the best--with its soulful vocals and yearning, heartfelt message.

All in all, however, the focus on this album is ROCK. This is one of the better obscure finds of the past decade from a once-popular band. This album should have been huge--it is truly one of the best albums I have heard in a long time. (I'm sure the record company screwed them on promotion of this album at the time--with grunge taking over the world at that time...I didn't know this album existed until at least a couple of years after it was out.) To me this is a must-purchase in the melodic rock arena. Wish I had supported it 9 years earlier when it actually came out. For sure, better late than never!

17/11/01: paul - ozzy osbourne DOWN TO EARTH - paulkeanedw@eircom.net
Rating: 100
Teaming up once more with the excellent zakk wylde on guitar ozzy has given us an album that puts him back up there with the best in the business,from the opening song GETS ME THROUGH as seen on the kerrang channel right the way through to CAN YOU HERE THEM your love for the music ozzy has given us in the past will come flooding back ten fold,adding mike bordin on the drums and robert trujillo on bass, ozzy has assembled an excellent band around him once again,after the disapointing ozzmosis album a breath of fresh air has been pumped back into the ozzy catalogue,this is the ozzy album i have been waiting for since the excellent NO MORE TEARS album, a lot of the songs and guitar playing remind me of that album,well it's a definite thumbs up from me,well done ozzy and thanks for 55 or so minutes of pure pleasure , TAKE A CHANCE GUY'S WELL WORTH A LISTEN!

30/10/01: jonathan eriksson - MASI-ETERNAL STRUGGLE - drklrd14@aol.com
Rating: 10
wow...i bought masi's in the name of bach last year and i thought that he was now only devoted to classical music but i was wrong!!!
this new album is amazing! the thing that i find incredible is the blend of real cool and catchy tunes with masi's unbelievable technique..
it's always one or the other lately, even yngwie's last cd was great technically but songwise and production wise it was truly disapponting.
there are tracks like "crow haven's corner", "all i want" or highway to nowhere" that leave you breathless and speechless from a technical standpoint.
kyle michael is a great singer, reminds me of dio sometimes but he has his own style and complements the music perfectly.
oh yes...check out the last song,the instrumental...ah ah ah...it's so mind boggling to think that masi played all guitars,keys and bass on that tune and that the drummer actually could follw that.
definetely one of the best albums this year!
jon

21/10/01: Andy Hawnt - Gamma Ray- \'No World Order!\' - foreverguardian@yahoo.com
Rating: 10
first things first, I've been away from the melodic scene for a few years, and recently found myself yearning for something to set my pulse racing again. It hasn't happened with music in a long time, aside from the eclectic albums of devin Townsend. the mmod took me for some full-on power/speed metal, some real adrenaline-pumping stuff, but with enough melody to remain tuneful. Who better to turn to than Kai Hansen and the boys? 'Induction' slapped a big juicy grin on my face, and the glorious strains of 'Dethrone Tyranny' made me happy to be alive. makes a bloody change... I'd heard mp3 clips of the tunes, but nothing could have prepared me for such a masterful work of expertly crafted metal. the songwriting and playing have hit an all-time high, and i came away from the album salivating for the next. If you want some fantastic, full-on old-school metal that feels wonderfully fresh, check this CD out. highly recommended!!!

21/10/01: Susumu - Electric Light Orchestra: Zoom - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 86
Jeff Lynne is back after 15 years of long break. The new album Zoom is not just the repetition of what Electric Light Orchestra has been. It became more senile and matured and controlled than the ELO I knew.
Although first single Alright does not appeal to me so much, the rest smoke. Just For Love is Beatles styled nice ballad remnicent a bit of
Mr. Blue. Stranger On A Quiet Street starts R&B but gradually trademark ELO chorus overwhelms you. My #1 favorite. Easy Money is another nice track sounding like the combination of Roll Over Beethoven and late 70s ELO. ELO fans old and new will not be disappointed.

18/10/01: Magnus - MSG: Be Aware Of Scorpions - magnus.beronius@seb.se
Rating: 7
First I would like to point out one or two things....
I'm a die hard fan of UFO/MSG, got every record, as You all...
I'm always trying to be as objective as possible and by the years
I have become more and more fastidious when it comes to MSG.
I might be a little bit conservative in my "love" to MSG, I mean
those good old glory days.... Cry For The Nations, On And On...
Rock You To The Ground, Red Sky....

[I've only listened to the CD twice - "Two Times"]

Nuff said - The new CD, Be Aware Of Scorpions, ROCKS!!!!
There are no ballads on this CD, however You will find 'small'
ballads/parts within the songs... The sound is pretty heavy
and so is the bassplaying, specially in track no. 7 'Age Of Ice',
a pretty cool song. If we were lacking ending solos from
The Unforgiven/Covenant - we will find them on this CD.
Perhaps that's why MSG opens up with a furious ending
solo on the first track 'No Turning Back' - great! You'll also
find all those 'Schenker-trademarks' on BAOS, like his burred
guitarsound, small 'in-between-solos'. However I feel like the
solos are separated/isolated from the rest of the songs. The
solos are often very good, but they are not like in the song
'Looking For Love' [and many more, good old timer...].
Every track is not finished by an ending solo and I think
those tracks would have been better IF so, cos those
songs didn't really 'have IT'.... So far I've only discovered
two really hot/good tracks;
3. Fallen The Love
4. Because I Can
Great refrain/chorus and hard driven playing. Otherwise,
at the time, most of the remaining CD is pure Hard Rock with
small parts of sweets/candy.... but it does sound like MSG!

In my opinion I think Michael nowadays comes best in his "right place"
with UFO or when he's doing an Instrumental album. To me this
CD - SO FAR - is a rocker-album and will hopefully, probably,
grow on me........................ like the way I rediscovered
The Unforgiven! The Covenant album didn't need that at all.

18/10/01: Phil II - LIT\"Atomic\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
GOD!!! With the quality of the current releses, or lack of, this is a gem!!!

15/10/01: Steve - Joe Lynn Turner - Slam - Clements.clan\"tesco.net
Rating: 4
Oh dear, what a big disappointment. This is basically a Deep Purple / Rainbow album in disguise and not a great one at that. The song writing leaves a lot to be desired with no imagination at all. Akira Kajiyama (guitars) must have 'Learn to Play Guitar' written by Richie Blackmore as his sound and style is exactly the same as the great man himself. Kanny Kramme on drums is solid but adds nothing to the overall sound, lacking any imagination or versatility. Joe has sung with such great talents in the music business (check out Nostradamus - AWESOME!) why he chose these musicians I've no idea - probably cheap!. As for the songs themselves probably the best track on the album is Slam itself althought the lyrics are a bit 'dodgy' when you look at events of Sept 11th. This album really needs some big backing vocals and keyboards to fill the spaces. I hope the new project with the God himself Mr. Glenn Hughes produces something better than this solo effort and not another Purple/Rainbow trip!

15/10/01: kevin - Saigon Kick/ Bastards - www.k&jluhowy@westman.wave.com
Rating: 90
totally different sound but jason bieler still rocks. it is a very hard cd to find and the last of a great collection of albums put out by this group before jason left to form supertransatlantic, anothe awesome group. bastards put out by pony canyon was not well advertised and i must thank a metal magazine for finding it. but over all a greta disc, give a try and you will not be dissapointed at least i was. add this to your saigon kick collection if you do not have it.

01/10/01: Terry K. - COMPANY OF WOLVES--\'STERYL SPYCASE\&quo - terrygk2@juno.com
Rating: 100
For anyone that loves the classic straight-ahead rock approach of aerosmith/stones/early rod stewart/humble pie- these guys are just the thing to cure your longing for those 'good old days of rock!!'If you thought that the first(and maybe 2nd)Black Crowes c.d.s were kinda cool and dig that 'retro' vibe- then you HAVE ABSOLUTELY GOT TO OWN THIS ONE!!!From someone that has literally grown up through everything from the 60s to modern rock-take it from me-this one is a MONSTER of a rock and roll GEM!! there's no sense giving you a song by song run-down-they're ALL phenomenal!!Andrew's review is pretty cool and to the point-but I don't think that he quite gets across just how awesome this disc is!!(am I giving you a clue?)IT's just THAT good!!Buy it at ryfrecords.com-TRUST ME-you won't be disappointed!!And while you're at it-try and find their first one on Polygram from 1990-same story-simply GREAT rock and roll music!!

13/09/01: Troy - Vision 180, \"More to believe in\&q - eddo.smeer@wanadoo.nl
Rating: 90
Seemingly condemned to relative anonimity, the current A.O.R./melodic rock scene nevertheless continues
to sprout a host of talented performers resolved to stay true to this underrated style of music, regardless of
its' limited potential for commercial success. Recent exponent Vision 180 from the sunny state of California
baffle and bedazzle with this indepent offering, which can hold its' own with the finest big budget releases in
the genre. From an impeckable production job, through top-notch musicianship, up until and including its'
exemplary artwork design, this highflying duo's debut effort - not counting their 6 track demo - has the FAA
seal of approval stamped all over it, showing they have left no stone unturned in aspiring to come up with an
album that meets the highest standards of excellence.

Though influenced by a wide range of well-known heavy rock acts from the '80s and early '90s, few
listeners will fail to distinguish which band in particular served as their foremost source of inspiration.
Actually, no great leap of the imagination is called for in labeling Vision 180 a modernday version of Journey
in their prime (circa "Escape", "Frontiers" or "Infinity"), boasting a sound that has been upgraded to meet
contemporary requirements. It stands to reason that since Steve Perry & co have always been a significant
force in rock, many have followed in their footsteps. The mere fact that an increasing number of fellow
Journey adherents seem to have been making an impact off late, emulating their rolemodels either by chance
or intent, does not however warrant dismissing Vision 180 as yet another carboncopy. Although there are
those who would take issue with their apparent lack of originality (let the artist or band who can honestly
claim to possess a totally unique sound cast the first stone…), there can be no doubt as to the quality of their
music. At the very least they are on a par with the likes of The Storm, Hugo, Two Fires, Norway, The
V.U., or Finnish newcomers Urban Tale for that matter, while going a long way toward giving the late, great
Strangeways featuring Terry Brock a serious run for their money.

Opening the proceedings, "If this is love" sets the stage for a 59 minute rollercoaster ride that spells pure
auditory enjoyment for lovers of rock music in general, and the discerning A.O.R. buff in particular.
The first of a batch of 13 songs, it goes to the heart of what Vision 180 are all about and shows exactly
what to expect from this album, which was conceived over a two year period. Striking a perfect balance
between guitars, keyboards, rhythm section and an emotive lead vocal that is easily powerful enough to
drive its' point home, each track has an infectious chorus and abounds in spectacular melodies, custommade
for instant recall.
Singer/keyboard player/drummer Bobby Loux is one impressive discovery, his smooth, high-pitched voice
reminiscent of some of the best and brightest in the business (Kevin Chalfant, Hugo, Steve Augeri, Brad
Delp and, inevitably, Steve Perry are only a few of the names that come to mind) , while six-string wonder
Jason Wood alternates acoustic and electric guitars to maximum effect.(One of which by the way is a roland
GR guitar which was given to him by none other than Neal Schon of Bad English, Journey and solo fame !)

"I'm the one", which has a slightly rockier edge to it (no, this is not a Van Halen cover), and title track "More
to believe in" are both up-tempo cuts that develop along similar patterns. If there is any minor point of
criticism to be made, it's that many of the songs on offer appear to be played out at the same pace, "appear"
being the operative word.
Not so with "Will you remember me" though, a stylishly arranged, classic rock ballad with some beautiful
piano parts gracing its' quieter moments, keyboards courtesy of "affiliate member" Pat Wilkerson, who
co-wrote "You're all i ever need". All other songs were composed solely by Bobby Loux and Jason Wood
themselves, and recorded with a little help from their friends, such as bass player Johnny Holweg.

Due to the fact that a stunning level of artistry is maintained for the duration and none of the tracks fail to
deliver, pointing out the specific highlights is a tall order. At the risk of stating the obvious: every song has its'
own strengths, while most have an added touch of class or ingenuity which sets them apart from the rest.
Whether it be the unusual intro & theme to "What we're feeling", some delicate keyboard soloing throughout
much of "Waiting here for you" (on this occasion i believe the culprit tickling the ivories is one Jason Clay),
or the irresistible slow groove of semiballad "One heart", which would not have been out of place on
Journey 's "Raised on radio", each has its' defining traits that makes you sit up and take notice.
The expertly crafted "It's always you" (now there's a catchy tune with a capital C !) would make for an ideal
single release which given half a chance should be able to generate a lot of airplay. Then again, on this disc
there are a generous handful of contenders equally worthy of the privilege, one such animal being "Promises
under the sun" which fits the bill to a tee and has more of a mainstream rock feel to it (like Train for
instance).

Rather than opting for overt pomposity, or cranking up the volume for no other purpose than to blow
everyone's speakers, subtlety remains the name of the game on "More to believe in". While harmony and
backing vocals are more than adequately performed (by Gary Patrick, Chris Brightwell and the allegedly
amazing Susie Doucette) they are never overdone, and piano and synths especially are basically kept
low-key, although there are plenty of keyboard antics and sterling guitar solos to enjoy.
As the album progresses, one riveting song follows another in rapid succession. "You're all I ever need"
(with a deft, vocal-and-piano-only instrumental break) sees Jason Wood graciously stepping down to allow
Pat Wilkerson to do the honors on lead guitar. Vision 180 rock just a little bit harder here, as they do on
"Don't you be lonely" (clever chorus !), without losing sight of their exquisite sense of melody.

If for no other reason than sheer nostalgia, both high-energy tracks are among the most enthralling melodic
rock songs i have heard in recent years, since they continue to remind me of those all-time classic rock
anthems Journey were known for in their heyday (like "Only the young", "Don't stop believin", "Open arms",
"Ask the lonely"…for those among us who are old enough to remember). "Take me where you are" is yet
another solid, up-tempo track that is not quite as outstanding as the delightful duo of songs i just touched
upon, but only by a narrow margin.
Winding down at a more leisurely pace, the near-epic "By your side again" (running time: 6:24) brings the
album to a close in a somewhat uneventful but satisfactory manner, sporting some nicely flowing guitarwork
and a few sensitive piano passages to soothe the savage beast.

When considering that we're dealing with an unsigned band who have somehow managed to finance, write,
record, produce, master and promote this entire project themselves (hey, if you want it done right…), i can't
help but be in awe of their achievements. In more ways than one, "More to believe in" is the most
exceptional indie A.O.R. release i have come across since Bystander's "Not so innocent" (1985), back in
the good old days of the vinyl album. The whole package looks every bit as professional as a regular release
(booklet includes liner notes and lyrics !), and on the evidence of this sensational display of musical ability
and creative genius, i am sure they will be snapped up by a major label sometime soon. In fact, I have it on
good authority that they're already making some headway in this respect. Check out the next big thing…and
you too will subscribe to Fox Mulder's favorite slogan: "I WANT TO BELIEVE" !







07/09/01: phil V - \"Actual Size\" MR. BIG - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
This CD rocks!!! Nice to hear the boys put the ballads behind them......somewhat. There's stiff a few slower songs but there's plenty of hard rockers. "Lost in America", "Wake Up", "Suffocation" and "Cheap Little Thrill" rock like the MR. BIG of old and Richie Zito does a great job at the production helm. Still, I miss Paul Gilbert's shredding. No slam against Richie Kotzen but it would be nice to hear the power drill again or a full one minute solo with some major dive bombing. Kind of like what he does in Racer X. Still, this MR. BIG CD is very, very good!!

07/09/01: Phil V - SYSTEM OF A DOWN \"Toxicity\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
Okay, I know System of a Down may not be synonymous with melodic rock to most listeners but give this CD a chance and you'll be hooked. Largely due to..........the hooks!! Sometimes the songs end much too soon and another verse & chorus would be welcome but System of a Down are alot like Faith No More in the fact that they don't write standard songs. So be prepared for sonic mayhem!! "Prison Song" opens up the CD and really crunches it's way through your speakers and Serj Tankian's vocals cut right in and bring the tune to another level. Again, this isn't melodic rock in the standard sense, this is melodic/metal/nu-breed rock that has more in common with Drowning Pool & Mudvayne than Gotthard or Harem Scarem. "Chop Suey" is a scorcher and is the first single off the album and the last tune "Aerials" is a very melodic slab of metal and is the best tune System of a Down has ever done!!It's refreshing to hear a new release that doesn't have any rap or samples or turntable scratches on it. Just metal!! Loud, fast & heavy!!

01/09/01: Lazarus Contra - Alyson Avenus \"Presence of Mind\&q - pelivor@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
Female-fronted metal is hard to come by in the US of A, seen as how most of it is either in Europe on labels most American CD stores don't carry, or what was released in the states is mostly out-of-print. But when push goes to shove, you search desperately on the Internet and randomly start purchasing female-fronted bands that may even be slightly decent (for example, Alyson Avenue "Presence of Mind", and what do I get? Well...THE GREATEST FEMALE-FRONTED ROCK ALBUM OF ALL TIME!!!!! Of course, I only own 28 female-fronted CDs, but still, compared to what's been out there, this still stands as tops. Killer, crisp production; Awesome all-around, very catchy, and stays in your head all-day long. My personal favorite off the albums are "Free Like the Wind" (ranked #2 on my personal rock chart, behind "Through the Years" by former CITA band Guild of Ages) "Lost and Lonely" (#8 on my chart) and "Tell Me you Love Me" (#17). As for overall album, it ranks #1 as an album on my chart, completely blowing away previous champ Stratovarius "Infinity" by a large margin. As you know based on this review, I'm a big fan of catchy melodic rock and AOR, and only a moron would not have this CD in their collection. 50 plays and still not sick of it, Alyson Avenue "Presence of Mind" is the L.C. (stands for my initials) "Essential Purchase!" and it doesn't matter how dated this album gets over 10, 20, 30, even 40 years from now, it will be very tough to dethrone off my personal charts!

01/09/01: Lazarus Contra - Vixen \"Tangerine\" - pelivor@hotmail.com
Rating: 0
Well, it's been three years since the latest Vixen flop has been out, and I'm just reviewing it to remind you that IT SUCKS!!! I'd had been waiting so long for them to release a new a$$-kicking album in vein of their first two releases. And all I get is more of the same-old "Killer rock band converted into the US modern trends" bull! Let's just say that if I were to see them live during one of their promotional tours, I'd boo them off the stage if they played their new stuff, then remind them to go back to their old roots by telling them to sign the old Vixen covers. So how bad is this album? Well one year later they released a "Greatest Hits" compilation. And sure enough, nothing from "Tangerine". Go figure. So, last reminder. DO NOT buy this album!

28/08/01: Darrell - D.G.E. \"the Lost Tapes\" - Lozinsky@siast.sk.ca
Rating: 95
David has an excellent voice and the tunes are extraordinary. I do agree that the title should have been "Giuffria 3- the lost tapes" but who am I to say. This CD is so much better than the "Stranger from the Past" CD that David put out. The stand-out tracks are all the Giuffria played tunes and "Boot Hill Blues" is an awesome track. All I can add is please keep digging up "lost tapes" of Giuffria, House of Lords, or Angel; as they all are the best! Thanx.

24/08/01: Greg - Y&T Ultimate Collection - gregcarpenter@mac.com
Rating: 90
Y&T's Ultimate Collection is a great anthology release that gathers material from every phase of Y&T's career. The material is weighted to the early albums but also includes songs from their latest releases. The most important factor in my deciding to buy this collection is that the songs have been remastered, and the result sounds great. "I Believe In You" and "Black Tiger" never sounded better. I would give the CD a 100 if there had been an unreleased song or a more even distribution of tracks over the span of the band's career, but at 17 songs in length, there is plenty of great material here. A double CD with unreleased material would have easily earned this collection its "Ultimate" moniker and a 100 rating, but for a single CD, it would be difficult to beat this collection.

22/08/01: Susumu - Soul Doctor S/T - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 80
In fact this album has become better than I expected. Before The Night Is Over in particular is the excellent ballad scaring any of Fair Warning ballads. Foreigner cover Soul Doctor is fine as well.
Compared to Fair Warning, however, production and songwriting is a bit skewed but overall it shows the nice combination of Bonfire+Fair Warning styled German hard rock with Firehouse/Mr.Big edged straight American hard rock. Kind of nice bridgework before the next? Fair Warning release which will be a few years later at least, I am afraid...

21/08/01: phil V - BEAUTIFUL CREATURES s/t - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
I was wondering what happened to drummer extrodinaire Glen Sobel after his work on the last IMPELLITTERI CD. In my opinion,his drumming on that CD took it to the next level. Well, here's his new band BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. This is the hard rock release of the year!!! Vocalist Joe Leste sounds a little like GOTTHARD'S Steve Lee, "Dial Hard" era. The tunes kick major ass and are in the DIRTY LOOKS, GOTTHARD, GIRL vein but all very 90's. I also hear some GUNS'n'ROSES influences. The guitar sound is massive and Mr. Sobel's skin pounding makes this CD again, rise to a new level. There's no speed metal or power metal here, just hard and heavy, kind of sleazey, well written, well performed 90's rock with 70's and 80's influences. My picks are "1.A.M.", "Step Back", "Waste", "Kick Out", "Goin' Off" and "I Got it All"(VERY Dirty Looks-ish).And again, another new band that plays guitar solos................I see a trend starting!!!! Great CD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

14/08/01: Phil V - SINOMATIC s/t - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
A nu-breed band that has a heavier guitar sound and more in common with Stone Temple Pilots than SR-71. I noticed in the songwriting credits that Marti Fredrickson ,formerly of Megadeth adds some co-writing. The vocals are clean and layered, guitars bite and scream(yes,there's guitar solos!!) and the drums pound nicely. Josh Freese(Filter,Perfesct Circle) supplies drums on 6 tracks so that should give you some idea of the musical content.The current single "You're Mine" is getting tons of airplay in these parts(Northeast) and I hear at least two more singles,"Bloom" and "Tell a Lie" which has a huge hook. The production is really tight and all the vocals and instruments are right in your face. These guys should go far. Great CD!!!

03/08/01: Scott - Iron Horse - scottw@mfx.net
Rating: 95
Ron Keel doing southern rock?? Well let me tell you he pulls it off. Don't expect the screaming style vocals of Keel. It's in the same vain as 38 Special, only more rock n roll. You can go to www.metalmayhemmusic.com and download a mp3 and check it out for yourself. I just finished listening to my copy of the cd and it is just good old R n R. I would have rated it a 100 but it could have used one more fast paced song.

24/07/01: Phil V - AIRBORNE /Airborne - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 11
That's right......11 out of 10!!!! Rewind Records has taken a classic melodic rock masterpiece and made it even better!!!! How? You may ask?? The sound quality is superb!!! This release sounds better than most of the new stuff put out by the major labels. And songwriting like this does not exist anymore!!! "The Lady Knows Best","That's Where My Love Goes","Stand Up", "Optimystical" and "Wastin' My Time" are examples of impecable vocal harmonies, crunching power chords and tasteful keyboard textures. The songs just burrow their way into your sub-conscious and stay there! This is how melodic rock is SUPPOSE to sound!! Why Beau Hill never got the band back together again for a second release is anyone's guess. It's not too late though!!!:-)

21/07/01: phil V - Weezer \"Weezer\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Great melodic rock with a nu-breed sense!! That's what this CD offers up. "Don't Let Go" has a HUGE Beatlesque hook as does "Photograph" & "Knock Down Drag Out". But the heavy guitar crunch really pushes this album over the edge. Check out the bridge in "Hash Pipe"!! There's even guitar solos!!! The only reason I didn't give it a 10 was because of it's length.............28:34!!!! Way too short!!! But it's a quality 28:34!!

09/07/01: Steve Norander - Melodica-Lovemetal - snorander@fantasyent.com
Rating: 100



I don't know what to say...you and Gerhard have truly out done yourselves! I'm listening to this CD and I just don't know what to say...."Summer nights" came out great!!! As did "Head over heels" (I love the Keyboards in that, nice touch!!)..."I'll never break your heart" is just a killer song!!!!! Don't even get me started on "Crazy"..I love that song, you are singing your ass off!!!...Tony & You what a perfect combination!!! "Lovemetal"....Totally love the backing vocals and harmonies on this song!!!.and I just love the line "Spanish guitars strumming/Stevie Wonder saw that part coming/Such a cheap cliche" you rock!..."Broken Promises" & "Out of my mind" came out awesome as well!!! "Shake" I love the chorus and again you are just singing your ass off on it! "Keep on runnin"....This is a really cool song..The keyboards add a lot to it I love the backing vocals! ..."What Number are you?"....I love the guitar riff...Damn and again you are singing your ass off!!! "Click on another link, I don't care what you think"..I love it..."Gotta save yourself" Gerhard...you totally rock!!!!!!



Ted I'm really at a loss for words....I'm flabbergasted...in total awe of what you guys have done!!!! This CD just rocks!!!!

09/07/01: Tony - DON HOSLER/Boardwalk of Broken Dreams - tonb@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
WOW ! Has anyone heard this one yet ! I went to his website (www.donhosler.com) and previewed some clips and immediately bought the CD. Fantastic songwriting, great vocals, stellar harmonies: a great mixture of rocker,power ballads and mid-tempo tracks. Kind of sounds in the vein of Firehouse, night Ranger, and Journey with a little Bon Jovi thrown in for good measure. Check this one out-you won't be disappointed.

09/07/01: Don Hosler - MELODICA/LoveMetal - don@donhosler.com
Rating: 0
This is one of the best albums I have heard this year ! Superior songwriting, excellent vocals and harmonies-and on one song-"Crazy"-Ted Poley basically sings a semi-duet with TNT's Tony Harnell. This is awesome stuff, with lyrics everyone can relate to and choruses that will stick in your head. Easily the best thing Ted has done since his D2 prime. Long Way from Home was good (and not worthy of all the negative criticisms it got on its vocals) but this is top notch. This is proof that you learn as you go, and these guys definitely learned alot. Keep it up, guys. Stellar job.

07/07/01: Shadow - Great CD! Everyone should here this! - shadow24@tampabay.rr.com
Rating: 97
I just got this cd; it's called One Man's Trash by John Menagerie. At first I didn't know what to think of this guy. But I listened to the songs and I was just blown away! The website is http://john_menagerie.tripod.com I got there through garageband.com. These songs kick ass! Better than most stuff I've heard on the radio. Check it out!

06/07/01: Michelle - MELODICA~LOVE METAL - Shellgary@aol.com
Rating: 0
MELODICA, Congratulations on a job well done! Two thumbs up! Anyone out there who doesn't have it, GET IT!!!!! Excellent CD, job well done, you won't be sorry! ~Michelle from Pennsylvania, (USA)

06/07/01: Sajid Mausd - DREAM THEATER \"Scenes from a Memor - Johnmasud@yahoo.com
Rating: 10
Where do I start. This album has everything that progressive fans are looking for and more. This album is a story about a little who gets killed. You can compare this album with pink floyd's the wall or queensryche's operation mind crime. I can say enough to tell you guys to just go out there and get the album and see for yourself. You're going to love it.

20/06/01: GREG ALLEN BAUMGARTNER - GREG ALLEN NEWDAY CD WORLD REVIEWS ! - g4557@earthlink.net
Rating: 0
CHAT with Greg every Sunday at: http://communities.msn.com/GregBaumgartnersmusicandart 7:00 pm eastern standerd time. SINGER NEEDS BAND. Greg Baumgartner, g4557@earthlink.net Hard rock or melotic rock with a 2001 twist. Must be on the move with CD ready. Hello, my name is Greg Baumgartner. I am a singer/song writer. I have many songs and ideas that I have written. Here are a few songs from the CD for you to listen to. The songs are from my heart and life's experiences. Keep reaching for the stars. Much success. Greetings, Gabor Kleinbloesem Editor of Strutter'zine
NEW DAY-GREG ALLEN (DRAYGONE RECORDS)

This is a high quality CD from multi-instrumentalist (?) GREG ALLEN. Unfortunately I have no further info, but I can guarantee you that his CD 'New day' is filled with quality music. The 8 included songs have been recorded through the years at different places, but I believe Greg Baumgartner (his real name!) has done everything on his own. His vocals are very impressive and the guitar and keyboardwork is outstanding. Musically he is playing a mixture of AOR/Melodic Rock and Progressive Rock. I think his CD will appeal to many people. The album starts with the good semi melodic AOR rocker "Another day". Then comes a very impressive song titled "Life's journey", a fantastic semi AOR ballad. The uptempo progressive melodic rocker "War machines" follows and features some excellent guitarplay and has a quite stunning chorus. "Picture perfect" is not that good, but still a nice semi melodic rocker. Then comes one of the best songs on the CD, namely the wonderful AOR ballad "Lasting love" that is in the classic AOR Heaven style from bands like JOURNEY and METROPOLIS. Totally different is the following track "The promise", a progressive metal tune that didn't grab my attention, nothing alike the previous song. Things slow down on the calmer AOR ballad "Eye to eye", a song that sounds like the first couple of ALLIES (yes, the band with pop singer Bob Carlisle) records. Closing track "Love the children" is another gorgeous song. This final track is a great progressive melodic rocker with a big keyboardsound and has melodies all over the place, while the huge sound reminds me of ARENA meets SONATA ARCTICA! There is some very impressive material on the CD of GREG ALLEN (songs like "Life's journey", "Lasting love" and "Love the children"). More songs like those and Greg definitely must be signed with one of the labels over here. You really need to check out his music at: http://communities.msn.com/GregBaumgartnersmusicandart and e-mail him at: g4557@earthlink.net

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)

< HERE ARE SOME REVIEWS FROM FANS .> #1 VERY NICE INDEED !, I have to visit your site! i will be blowen away if I see anything other than high marks. this is a real singer. I can feel the control of the vocalist while the music paints a landscape of harmony. Right on! #2 GOOD VOICE. Great production and nice voice. #3MissKoppy Says... I loved this track! The vocals are more than excellent, what a great voice! The musicians in this band are way above average. Great Work Guys, I will defintely be following this band. Keep it up! #4 SUPERB PERFORMER Vocals are very 'Alice In Chains soundin', but the song is some what different and original. Good musicians playing here, and I like how the song starts 'in media res'. I'd just suggest to cut it of about a minute, preserving the guitar solo of course!#5 WHAT A JOURNEY! sounds like Journey..very nice. The song is nice and the singer sings it well !

#6 THERE'S ONLY TO TYPS OF MUSIC... in the world.. good and bad... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out which side of the fence this track lies on. #7 <<YOU GOTTA LISTEN>>!!! Wow! How come this isn't out already??? It's really goodl and the beat is cool. Keep up the great work and never give up! You'll get to your dream! #8 Potential for sure. A good vocal is hard to find. This song has a strong vocals. The instruments are fuzzy sounding. Usually it's the other way around. #8 GREAT VOCAL POWER !!!!!!!! Good vocal showcase tune. The singer is strong and sounds confident. Clear mix..excelent build up. Those high range notes are impressive. Cool Song! #9 SOUNDS LIKE AN 80'S BALLAD ! I didn't like when the really high notes were sung. Special Award: Smoochiest Love Song #10 Modern Styx I like the smooth male vocals. It sounds like a modernized Styx. This is a nice mid-tempo ballad. Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Mood #11 Good guitar and keys! i like it! this song rocks, nice guitar and key work! The vocals reminded me of Dokken or even Ronnie James Dio, very hard hitting and strong. Randy Rhodes in the guitar work. I really like this! Damn, you guys are good! Put me on the mailing list! No bad parts, very solid! - Peace Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Guitars, Drums, Bass, Keyboards/Organ/Piano, Production, Lyrics, Melody, Beat, Mood Special Award:Most Rocking Track

Reviewed by: Planet57 (rating: 91%) #12 Queensryche lives! This music is well constructed well produced and performed, however I can't get queensryche out of my mind! Extra Credit: Male Vocals, Production, Mood Special Award:Most Rocking Track

Reviewed by: TheBillyum (rating: 95%)


darlened8956 - Northford, Connecticut This reviewer is currently rated 96%






teddy_lightning - Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada This reviewer is currently rated 74%






Funelweb - Downey, California This reviewer is currently rated 94%





JStrop - Veguita, New Mexico




mczelda - Laval, Quebec, Canada




jellyfish - Toronto, Ontario, Canada




boontew - Buffalo, New York




michelegera - Castelfranco Veneto, Italy




MissKoppy - Flint, Michigan




joshman25 - Wakefield, Massachusetts



earaid - Great Bend, Kansas






16/06/01: Phil V - \"Beyong Good & Evil\" The - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Don't be fooled by the reviews saying this is a grunge album because that couldn't be further from the truth!! Yes, the album has a modern sound thanks to Bob Rock( ie. heavily compressed drums,occational distorted vocals,alot of bass etc.)but both the band and the songs sound unbelievable!!!
Picks of the lot are "My Bridges Burn","Shape the Sky","Rise","Breathe","Take the Power" and the ultra heavy "American Gothic". Billy Duffy's guitar tone and playing makes this album very special. His power chords are just that....POWER as are his leads!! It's so good to hear guitar solos again!! Ian Astbury scores a 10 as usual and Matt Sorum's pounding beats hit you over the head like a mallet. In my opinion, this is The Cult's best and most consistent release and that's saying alot. It's definitely the heaviest Cult album ever.........and that's a good thing!!!

10/06/01: Darren Preece - Styx ..Styxworld - dpreece@tinyworld.co.uk
Rating: 8
This release may of got more marks if there wasnt the annoying gaps in between songs. I always find live releases need the continuation of the crowd in between songs for continuity purposes but that slight gripe from me does not take away the quality of the bands material on offer.The band give us the live songs which did not feature on last years Arch Allies release and I prefer the songs on this release than those featuted on Arch Allies. Styx are now a rock band again and not a Dennis Deyoung fronted broadway musical and I for one am glad that the band are reproducing the energy of the early days, and you can just feel the chemistry on stage between each member.
Dont get me wrong Dennis Deyoung is a talent but the band have gone on to a different outlook on which direction Styx should take, i mean if Dennis was still in Styx this tour which has lasted two years and gone all over the world would of lasted four months and only included the states. Now my opinion on that is aired its time to review the tunes on offer here. Kicking of with the up tempo Paradise Theatre song Rockin The Paradise you are sent on a journey covering the bands earlier material ( no Brave New World songs here ) and songs from Damn Yankees (an acoustic exerpt High Enough ) and the awesome A Criminal Mind from Lawrence ( I was born to be in Styx ) Gowan. Other gems on offer are the bombastic Half Penny Two Penny a song that should of always been in the Styx set list, Sing For The Day the mandolin accompanied classic from Pieces Of Eight, and a fabulous thumping version of the 1990 Edge Of The Century song Love Is The Ritual where the most talented guy to come out of New Jersey ( yes that does include Springsteen and Bon Jovi ) Glen Burtnick takes centre stage. We also get the tried and trusted Lorelei,the epic Crystal Ball and the obvious hand waving, singalong classic Come Sail Away to close an album from a class band who have refound the thing missing in the latter stages with Dennis Deyoung......they are kicking serious ass again and loving every minute of it........now for a British tour guys ???????........

05/06/01: ady berry - New Found Glory - AdyB@mcmail.com
Rating: 10
New Found Glory - "Same" MCA 2000
It's not very often you hear a cd that totally turns your ideas and opinions of a particular genre on it's head but Florida quintet New Found Glory have done so, with an astonishingly good piece of Pop Punk which totally annihilates all the opposition (Blink 182 , Mest etc.). Put it quite simply, with the exception of ReadySexGo, this is easily the best alternative melodic rock cd of the year. Yes it's very Punk but whereas the other Pop Punk bands mentioned can only manage to muster a couple of great songs NFG have a cd full of 'em. 12 tracks- all infectious and highly melodic. Perhaps the best touching point would be Lit with more of a hardcore punk attitude. These guys show serious chart potential with the highly melodic likes of “Boy Crazy”, “Better Off Dead”,”Vegas” and the awesome “Hit or Miss”. Check ‘em out before they’re huge!
For any fans of Lit, The Offspring or Blink 182 this release is utterly essential. For the more adventurous amongst us it will prove to be one of (if not) the best releases of the year and like me will take some serious moving from the old cd player!

29/05/01: Phil V - Lions Share \"ENTRANCE\" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Killer CD!!!New vocalist Tony Niva makes a huge impression on all of the tunes here!!! This, in my opinion, is the best Lions Share album. The songwriting is superb and the production is also top notch. I noticed Tommy Denander's name in the credits as the keyboard engineer and the person who recorded this melodic hard rock opus and his influence is definitely felt throughout!! Lions Share sound more melodic on this release but still maintain their heaviness. It's also less prog than their previous efforts. "Mystery" is a great song that should put these guys on the map. "War Machine" is a real heavy tune that has an awesome chorus which doesn't surprise me since backing vocals are handled by Thomas Vikstron and Goran Edman!! "Believe" is another killer track that had a hook that you'll be humming for days after you first hear it. Guitarist Lars Chriss shines on rhythm and leads but his strength has definitely become his songwriting. Don't be fooled by the Death Metal cover artwork, this CD is one of the top 5 melodic hard rock releases of the year!!!!

12/05/01: RB - Marillion- Anoraknophobia - d.beuving@wxs.nl
Rating: 100
Worth the waiting!!
About 8 months ago the band asked their fans through the internet to participate in their new upcoming album.
Those who did got a thank you in a special way....
They saw their name printed in the album.(2 cd special edition, not for retail)
Anoraknophobia is a very good album of the "new" Marillion.
Listen to "this is the 21st century" and it speaks for itself.
For me the last song is the most interesting, called "if my heart were a ball, it would roll uphill".
This is where we really go back....
She was only dreaming........

and so do we!!!

17/04/01: Phil V - \"Live Insurrection\" HALFORD - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Oh YEA!!!!!!The Metal God lives!!!!!!!Some new tunes,some Priest classics and some studio demos that rock harder than anything Chimp Bizcuit or Korn(hole) have ever done.This is the stuff that should be on the radio and in regular MTV rotation.Rob's voice is like a fine wine improving with every turn of the calender and his band blows away everything that's out there!!! Yes,I liked the CD!!
Priest songs "Genocide","Tyrant" and "Beyond the Realms of Death" sound as fresh today as they did the first time I heard them.Maybe the stellar recording has alot to do with this.It seems to me, lately anyway, that live albums sound so much better than they used to and this is no exception!!Crisp highs,tight bottm end,no muddiness, no feedback and just enough crowd participation to make you remember this is a live recording.The new studio tunes shine also."Screaming in the Dark" reminds me of FIGHT era "Into the Pit" but just a little heavier, if that's possible. Hopefully Rob will keep this unit together for many albums to come because the rock world needs this..........desparately!!!!!!!!!!!

17/04/01: Daryl Scott - Mox Nix/ Axe Killer CD - bassdude30@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
Don't know if this is one is out yet but I got an advanced copy from a friend of the band. I remember when this one came out a few years back and could never find it on cd. Apparently Axe Killer Records has been putting out quite a few re-releases...The non store bought copy I received sounded pretty good. There were some songs at the end of the cd that weren't one the original album and they sounded pretty good...not as heavy as the rest of the album but very memorable.

The best tracks in my mind are "Reckless," and the opener "Fight Back." A few of the tracks sound a little dated but the majority of the disc rocks!

Don't know when the official cd will be out but I hope its soon.

Bassdude30@hotmail.com

18/03/01: Nick - YURI - DEMO CD - Nikammusic@thegowerspring.freeserve.c
Rating: 7
This set of demos from German band Yuri is pretty commerical orientated pop rock, I hear a whole list of bands in Yuri's music such as Bon Jovi 'One And Only Love', 'Always On The Run', 'Right From The Stars', the fantastic country rock shuffle of 'The King Has Lost His Crown' or the catchy pop rock of the Bryan Adams/Def Leppard influenced 'Goin Down', there's something on this disc for everyone to enjoy.
It really is good stuff, and very well produced and perfromed to. Listen very closely to the huge ballad 'That's Why I Love You' and I swear blind that this song is a deadringer for the Guns N' Roses classics 'November Rain' and 'Don't Cry', a very very powerful ballad with amazing vocals.
We then get to hear some laid back pop tunes similar to Henry Lee Summer and Robert Murcock on 'It's Me' and 'Someday',
whilst the only turkey on the disc is the song 'Hang Man'. I didn''t like this song so much as this song heads too far down the country road for it's own good and just sounds lifeless against the bands other material.
Fear not though as Yuri get back to their melodic roots on an excellent Bonfire/Little Angels influenced song called '2061 (Keep On Rocking)' whilst the last song 'Won't Be The Same Again' is a soothing ballad that ends the album in style really leaving you wanting more and more and more, in which case you start playing the whole damn thing over again. Yuri are a fantastic band worth checking out and you can do so by emailing them at www.yuri-stuff.com OR EMAIL : - me@yuri-stuff.com

15/03/01: Lee - 707 - Trip To Heaven - lebrad@telkomsa.net
Rating: 1
Firstly, this is not a true 707 cd - it's a bluesy Kevin Russell solo album masquerading as 707 and totally misleading. Where are the AOR melodies and huge choruses we know and love from the first 3 albums ? Where are the hooklines and lush keyboards ? Also, what does Andrew Mcneice mean when he says they've returned to their blues roots ? They never had blues roots, and were AOR throughout their Casablanca career !! Back to this album, there is one worthy track, called "Make Up Your Mind", which hints at former melodic glories, but leaves the listener truly frustrated, contemplating what the album should have sounded like. Kevin if you're reading this, I'm still a true 707 fan, and I ask you on behalf of all of us who were hoping for a melodic classic like Megaforce, please do a real 707 album soon.

14/03/01: Phil V - \"House of Cards\" SAGA - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Finally,after a few years of being buried in the mix, guitarist Ian Crichton gets to shine!!!And I mean shine!!!His fat chunky rhythms and searing leads push this SAGA album right up there with "Security of Illusion"(my personal favorite)!!Everything comes together on this release."Ashes to Ashes"is classic staccato beat, huge hook,swirling keys Saga."We'll Meet Again" gets my vote for best album track with an absolutely killer chorus and great lead work from Ian C."That's How We Like It" is a great rocker with that 80's ganged chorus vocal and the title track is another winner.And with all this talk of guitar,make no mistake,Saga still uses those great synth sounds to maximize the melodic potential of every song.Great songs,great playing,great production...............great album!!!!

28/02/01: Nick - ARABIA - 1001 NIGHTS (Z Records) - Nikammusic@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 9

Long Island’s Arabia play ambitious guitar driven melodic rock straight from the eighties. Songs like ‘The Heart Is The Lonely Hunter’ and ‘Dark Side Of Love’ bare comparisons to House Of Lords and other bands of this calibre.

‘1001 Nights’ is a gorgeous slab of solid melodic rock a’la House Of Lords and Dio, paticularly John Blaze’s vocals, which are very much like James Chrsitian.

‘Til The Day I Die’ kicks off with a stomping drum solo and great guitar licks and is pure melodic rock graced with a catchy chorus, if you don’t singlong to this song then you might as well as be tone deaf. One of the catchiest songs on the album.

The blusey orientated ‘So Tired’ hints toward Whitesnake, whilst ‘Runaway Renee’ is a lovely melodic ballad that echos memories of Whitesnake and House Of Lords.

‘I Wanna Be King’ once again heats things up and hits hard and then we get to hear ‘Waiting’ which is another killer stomping melodic rocker which will leave you humming along.

‘Mariah’ is an interesting track and perhaps my favourite of the album simply because the vocal and musical melodies flow spectacularly, an almost epic track that once again reminds me of House Of Lords circa ‘Sahara’

The last song ‘Brother Love’ didn’t convince me at first but ended up growing on me after repeated plays, the simply chorus and melody becomes quite attractive. The only song that didn’t work for me was ‘Love Me Do’, but with supreme melodic rock songs like ‘1001 Nights’ and ‘Mariah’ all eyes will be watching the future progress of Arabia with great delight. Possibly the melodic rock find of 2001.

19/02/01: Nick - DOMAIN - ONE MILLION LIGHT YEARS FROM HO - Nikammsuic@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 9
DOMAIN - ONE MILLION LIGHT YEARS FROM HOME

Wildely admired German melodic rock band who released three albums 'Our Kingdom', 'Before The Storm' and 'Crack The Wall' in the late eighties return with a persuasive new disc.
Guitarist Axel Ritt is the sole remaining member of the original line up. On this album he is joined by German singer Carsten Schulz, keyboard wizard Erdmann Lange, bassist Dirk Beckers and drummer Edgar Schmidt.
They say there is strength in numbers, together the new line up rocks and resembles Scorpions and Europe, such as on
illustrious catchy arena rockers like 'Move On', 'Can't Stand', 'New Horizon' and emotive power ballads like the gut wrenching hanky drainers 'When It Comes To love' and 'Wings Of Destiny'.
A couple of instrumentals are also thrown in - 'Gary-Boy' is an elgegant blues based piece whilst 'Fumble Fingers' results in a Mozart inspired neo-classical work out. Domain have delivered an exceptional album, songs like the title track are approached from an epical angle, but for the most part all the songs are powerful melodic rockers and power ballads performed in the classic 80's tradtion.

13/02/01: Marc Vanway - Marvelous 3 - Ready Sex Go - vanway@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
There's no point in looking for something bad in this CD. I've listened 100 times, and every time I listen to it I like it more. Perfect mayhems in a modern melodic rock, makes of this CD the best release of the year. I don't know anyone that have had listened to it and don't like it. Listen to me, or you buy it or you loose the best release of the year... so....

12/02/01: Nick - TWO PIECE PUZZLE - Nikammsuic@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 0
TWO PIECE PUZZLE - STUPID
INDEPENDENT


Female fronted five-piece outfit from Sweden who return with a great follow up to their highly respected batch of demos released earlier last year.

We get to hear six brand new songs which take the soft rock route a'la Robin Beck and Berlin. These new songs have much more finesse and character than the previous demos. A lot of thought has been put into the songs such as 'Love ain't enough', a classy catchy song which simply slays me every time I play it.

All the songs here are superbly crafted with a great production sound so it’s pretty damn ironic then that this ten-year-old band still remains unsigned. Why for God's sake? Some buttons need to be pushed here I think, as the labels are missing out on a fantastic band who have massive crossover appeal - so please do yourselves a favour and check them out. One of my favourite unsigned bands of recent years. Recommended.

http://www.tpp.nu/


09/02/01: Nick - SLAV SIMANIC - WATER OF LIFE - Nikammusic@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 9
Popular Canadian instrumentalist who has sat in on recording sessions with Mr.Big, Von Groove, Kiss etc..This debut cd for once left me totally bewildered and speechless. The last time I heard a guitar record that was this good was when Joe Satriani released 'Flying In A Blue Dream'.
It's so refreshing to hear an artist who is musically at peace with himself and who is not out to impress the punters with the Yngwie Malmsteen school of how many notes can I play in a second syndrome, and even when he does strech out, such as on the Dream Theater influenced 'Passover' it's performed in a subtle and elegant way that will just numb your brain.
Simanic's power takes the art of guitar composition to the next level, kinda like what Satch and Vai did in the eighties. Each song has terrific solo passages that simply take your breath away, check out the beautiful 'Living In Love', 'The Holy City', 'Resurrection Suite', 'Hero', and 'Water Of Life', Slav's wonderful technique and feel leaves a lasting effect that will stand testimony for other players to follow in the future.
Sitting amongst the glorious guitar melodies is a lone lush melodic vocal song called 'Days Of Ease' which is sung perfectly by ex Chain Reaction and current 24K vocalist Phil Naro.
'Water Of Life' is a cracking guitar album that shows no sign of fillers. Slav Simanic is currently recording a track for the Jason Becker Tribute cd "Warmth In The Wilderness" due out in the spring.
For more info email: - slav@latterrainrecords.com
Nick Baldrian

04/02/01: Nick - LOVERING - CALM BEFORE THE STORM - Nikammusic@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 8
LOVERING - CALM BEFORE THE STORM
MAPLE LEAF RECORDS

Lovering are on the wimpier side of AOR, alot of their material is ballad driven AOR/pop like the soft melody driven 'I'll Give Her My Love' and the emotive 'Faded Memory'. This song is great thanks to it's simple Journey influenced catchy chorus, however despite featuring a ton load of balladry dross, Doug Martin and Brian Lovering are a master song writing team and most of the material on this disc is excellently produced and performed, that can't be knocked.
The acoustic led 'You'll Win My Love' and uptempo pop of 'Fire In My Heart' both play in a smiliar vein to Mitch Malloy and then we get to hear one of my favourite tracks, 'Don't Turn Away'. Now this song is a very catchy keyboard driven AOR gem, which is a deadringer for FM and has radio potential.
Also check out 'Feel This Way' a fantastic big, big ballad similar to Jeff Healey's "Angel's Eyes", glorious stuff.
More class is perfectly performed on 'Nowhere To Run' and 'Forever' the former is a ballad which is more melodic based than the previous ballads, whilst the latter is classy AOR that will leave you humming along.
Lovering indeed have the potential to give AOR a really good name, but please next time guys please tear yoursleves away from writing wimpy love songs and concentrate instead on songs like 'Fire In My Heart', 'Forever' and 'Don't Turn Away'. Maybe then we'll have something that will truly be an AOR classic.
Nick Baldrian

30/01/01: Nick - PHIL VINCENT - TRAGIC (SONG HAUS RECORDS - Nikammusic_Productions@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 9
'Tragic' follows on from Phil's highly acclaimed Song Haus debut 'Thunder In The East'. This new piece of melodic plastic shows a maturity in Phil's lyrics, thus 'Tragic' come across as Phil's best album to date The opening track 'Stand Or Fall' rips open into glorious keyboard melodies, the song is dead catchy and Phil's voice reminds me of Geir Ronning from Prisoner and Dennis De Young. Phil's voice is much fuller and his range is sure to please the AOR masses

'Where Do We Go From Here' is a gut wrenching ballad, the songs piano intro starts off reminding me of John Lennon, the song has a really smooth edge to it, similar to Mark Free and Styx, the lyrics are really strong and meaningful, 'Where Do We Go From Here' is a lovely piece of molten soft rock and one of my favourite songs of this year. 'Cruel' is pure melodic rock filled with great hooks and forceful vocals, the guitar parts get quite heavy and once the chorus hits home you'd swear you were listening to Dokken.

'Illusion' is a very special song for me, a hugely inspiring piece or music to get the goosepimples standing on edge. It's a haunting piece of musical genius, beautifully played and sung, 'Illusion' is a very very perfect ballad that left me speachless!! I have never heard Phil's voice reaching such high notes, (I'd hate be this guys neighbour, you'd never get any sleep) the delicate piano passages really turn this song into something special and is my absoloute favourite of the whole album. I'm biased, this is just so beautiful, I'm gonna go out on a limb here, but this could possibly be one of the most original and best rock ballads of the last ten years. Sheer musical genius

'So Sad' is another ballad but isn't as good as 'Illusion', 'The Hard Way' shuffles along at a steady pace offering nice catchy rhythms and strong lyrics, then Phil plays another trump card in the shape of a new version of ''Life Is A Game', the chorus is very stong and reminds me of Bon Jovi's 'You Give Love A Bad Name', one of Phil's best songs. The next three songs 'Matter Of Time', 'Changing Faces' and 'Long Night' continue to rock out in this style, particularly 'Matter Of Time' which reminds me of Tommy Shaw, especially when fill hits those high notes

.'My Life' is a song worth paying extra attention to as this almost hits STYX territories and is another of 'Tragic's' best songs 'Hard To Say Goodbye' is another great song with lots of great keyboards and brilliant melodies and a gigantic chorus that you will sing along too for months to come. All the songs featured throughout "Tragic" are hot little buggers, yearning to be heard by the masses of music fans worldwide take a bow Mr.Vincent sir.

http://www.Songhausmusic.com or http://www.philvincent.com

Nick Baldrian

29/01/01: Nick - ANATOMIC - Nikammusic_Productions@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 9
ANATOMIC - IN FOR THE KILL

SUSPECT RECORDINGS

Californian Melodic rock band formerley known as Shy Tiger who released two albums in the mid nineties. As Shy Tiger they opened up for Bon Jovi, Nightranger, Ace Frehley etc.. creating a loyal following and much state side press for themselves.

"In For The Kill" is chockablocked with frantic no-nonsense powerhouse anthems like 'Deep End', 'Power Of The Heart', 'Goodbye Today', through to American AOR gems such as the supreme radio friendly 'Hate To Say Goodbye'.

Frontman Ryan Freeman has one of the most characterstic voices I've heard in years. Freeman’s diverse vocal harmonies make each song sound very exciting. He shines bright on the albums big power ballads 'Make It Real' and 'Livin A Lie' , the latter is the best of the two where Johnny Rowland's guitar work is more heated than on the clamer 'Make It Real'.

Only a couple of songs don't hold up, namely 'Drift Away'and the dark Pearl Jam inspired 'Out Of My Heart', which I found dull and lacklastre.

Thankfully the rest of the songs have platinum potential which is very rare these days, especially for a band without a record deal! The songs sound real and not manufactured and given to the likes of Bon Jovi, Def Leppard etc and you would have guranteed hits.

Anatomic bring back memories of the glory days of rock music, the band could (with backing) revive the disillusioned rock scene and establish a name for themselves internationally. All that's needed is the support of anyone who reads this review, so go and get this sucker now, pester your local record store to get in, tell your friends to buy it and demand that the radio stations play Anatomic and let's get this ball rolling again. It's down to you my friends, so make the right choice, trust me, you know it makes sense!! Recommended

www.anatomicrock.com

24/01/01: Phil V. - ANNIHILATOR \"Carnival Diablos\&quo - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Anyone familiar with Annihilator knows that Jeff Waters is the kingpin behind the name.A guitar virtuoso who writes some of the HEAVIEST riffs I've ever heard.This new album "Carnival Diablos" is the BEST Annihilator release to date,in my opinion.
New vocalist Joe Comeau(I think this is the same Joe Comeau that played guitar in Overkill) adds some real grit but maintains a huge melodic voice throughout.You get it all in this CD.Just the solos alone are worth the price of the album but the true surprise is the strong songwriting.The title track maintains a very heavy groove but the chorus sounds like something out of melodic rock heaven.Great track.Next tune,"Shallow Grave" sounds like vintage AC/DC complete with grave throated vocals and a riff that sounds like Angus wrote it."The Perfect Virus" takes a page out of Panteras "Cowboys From Hell" with an awesome blend of heaviest and speed.There's even a hidden track called "Chicken
and Corn",I think.Pretty heavy!!"Time Bomb" has vocals that remind me of Rob Halford and even a riff reminicent of Priests'
"Victim of Changes".I hope this is the one that puts these guys on the map!!!They deserve it!!

20/01/01: MBair - John Sykes--Nuclear Cowboy - y_and_t@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Despite the review, I picked up this CD. I actually really like it. Although there are some new sounds from John, in my opinion, they do not take away from the cd as much as I read that they would. Like Andrew said his voice is definitely there. I can still hear his guitar and they are still hard rock songs. The experimenting he did were not that extreme. I would rather listen to this disc than eighty percent of what is available now.

05/01/01: Nicky - TIFFANY - Nikammusic_Productions@thegowerspring.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 8
TIFFANY - THE COLOUR OF SILENCE
EUREKA RECORDS

In 1986 Tiffany had a massive international hit with her single 'I Think Were Alone Now' which ironically has stood the test of time, now at 29, red haired Tiffany returns into the spotlight with her first album in ten years - 'T.C.O. S.' proves that she was no one hit wonder, this is a beautifully crafted stylish pop/rock album produced by renowned singer/songwriter TIM FEEHAN, who has co-written the majority of the songs and also helps out with b/vocals throughout the thirteen tracks, thus offering comparisons to Feehan's own solo material, whilst Tiffany's vocals bare comparisons to Amanda Marshall, The Corrs, Shania Twain and Alanis Morrisette, so the overall feel of the album, is quality hook-laden power pop with a modern twist, that should satisfy fans of all musical genre's.
The albums hits off with 'Open My Eyes', which would be an obvious choice for first single, Tiffany's vocal harmonies have an almost southern edge whilst the hooks really grab your attention.
The chorus on 'Piss U Off' is very infectious, almost like The Corrs crossed with Alanis Morrissette, then Tiff pours her heart out on the enchanting piano-led ballad 'If Only'.
There are so many wonderful songs on this album - check out 'Ciannamon', 'All The Talking', and 'Butterfly'. Tiff's sexy vocals turn the aforementioned songs into perfect commercialised pop/rock songs with modern flavours a'la Alanis Morrisette etc.....'The Colour Of Silence' is a VERY mature album which will suprise you all, welcome back Tiff. Recommended.
Email:- hkampf@solters.com or http://www.eurekarecords.com or http://www.tiffanymusic.com

03/01/01: Mike - Sytx & REO Speedwagon--Arch Allies - mikeybear68@hotmail.com
Rating: 55
After seeing the Styx-REO Speedwagon tour twice as it rolled back & forth across the country, I was quite excited to hear they were going to put the bands together on a CD set. While the concept was a good one, the actual product was disappointing. Don't get me wrong--the sound quailty of the live show was great, but the track listings could have been better. First of all, the shouldn't have included each band performing the songs seperately that they performed together (great idea & execution in itself). Also, there was at least one song from each band that was obviously missing which each band performed. "Everything is Cool" is the song that Styx lead off each show on thr tour with & is (in my opinion) the best song on Brave New World. The energy & feel of it live was a great way to kick off the shows & would've been the best track to start the CD with as well. REO's biggest ommission was "That Ain't Love," one of the bands best songs performed live. The combination of Kevin Cronin's acoustic & Dave Amato's live guitars on stage is really electrifying. Those two songs should have been put into the track list, pulling out the band's individual performances of "Blue Collar Man" & "Roll With the Changes." Also, they should have put only one jam session track on each disc, with "Blue Collar Man" on Styx's disc & "Roll With the Changes" on REO's disc. Aside from that, though, it was really enjoyable to be able to relive the concert experiences earlier in the year & would be enjoyable for fans of both bands who missed them on the road last year.

26/12/00: Susumu - Velocity"Impact" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 97
This is one of the greatest finds of the year. If I hadn't known this website nor have‚hnoticed avex track, I might have had no way of knowing such a great rock band exists at all.@It is fun rock but not overly pop. It reminds me of early Loverboy, Dawn Patrol of Night Ranger. Every track is gem piece and perfectly produced. If you are MHR fan it is a must buy.

15/12/00: Phil V - RACER-X "Superheroes" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 95
Paul Gilbert is an AMAZING guitar player.If you liked the last Racer-X album then you're gonna love this one.Killer tracks like "Let the Spirit Fly","Dead Man's Shoes","Time Before the Sun" and an awesome cover of Blue Oyster Cults' "Godzilla" all make for one rockin' CD.What
a guitar tone!!!!!!You've got to see the insert to fully appreciate these guys' sense of humor.Rocer-X ROCKS BIG TIME!!!!!

12/12/00: Kevin - Paul Rodgers "Electric" - kc41860@aol.com
Rating: 95
I loved this CD the moment I plopped into my CD player. Paul's vocals are outstanding and every song on this disc is solid(if not outstanding). If you're a fan of bluesy rock then you should make a point to pick up this disc. "Drifters" is the only song which received substantial air time on the local rock stations but several of the songs are as good, if not better than that one. "Conquistadora"(the last track) is a classic(IMO). There's no filler on this disc...a very strong effort from one of the greatest voices in the history of rock!

03/12/00: Brad - Velocity/Impact - bdame@snet.net
Rating: 98
Velocity is a band that I found out strictly via the Internet. They were compared to '80s bands such as Night Ranger, a very favorable comparison for sure. I ordered the album off of their web page after listening to a couple of samples of their songs. Nearly three years later, this album continues to amaze me. If it has been put out, say 12 years earlier, it definitely would have been a HUGE hit. It is melodic rock at its best. For a band that didn't even have a "major" record contract, the production is amazing. The first two tracks, "You Don't Amaze Me Anymore" and "Riot Goin' On" flat out rock. The 3rd track, "Supernatural Lover" is an incredible mid-tempo anthem. Track 5, "Janine", is the big power ballad that absolutely smokes. Track 7, "More Than Tonight" is another amazing ballad, while track 8--"Love Is Dangerous"--is another powerful rock anthem. The other tracks are also excellent melodic hard rock tracks--there is not one throwaway in the bunch. I have also heard the track "Stay" off of a future Velocity album by downloading it off of MP3. If the rest of the album sounds like this--all I can say is WOW!! While we definitely have to keep up on the artists that "built" this genre of music--such as Sammy Hagar, Night Ranger, and Def Leppard--I will say that if there is any justice that this band should be the next big thing. They are based in California (I live in Connecticut), so no one outside the west has had much exposure to them. I can only hope that they "make it big" before long, as I would love to hear more albums as fantastic as their "Impact". A must buy for melodic rock fans!!!!

02/12/00: ASTRA - ACOUSTICA by MELODICA - Astra_Blue@talk21.com
Rating: 97
Having seen Ted Poley play at the Gods on NOv 4th, I wasn't in the least bit surprised by this cd. A lot of people panned the studio album LONG WAY FROM HOME, but this one is absolutely brilliant. Melodica achieve what they wanted to here, you get the feeling that the guys are sitting on your sofa playing just for you. The tracks are from the first MELODICA cd with a little BONE MACHINE thrown in for good measure. Then you get three unheard tracks, including the title tack of the forthcoming LOVEMETAL album (due out in Spring 2001). Ted doesn't put a foot wrong vocally here, so all of his fans would be idiotic not to get it. For details on how to buy this acoustic rock gem go to www.nowandthen.co.uk
The next album promises to be a killer, so until then go get this album and ENJOY!!!!!!

17/11/00: Brian - PRETTY MAIDS "CARPE DIEM" - TYTAN3k@aol.com
Rating: 10
Brilliant as always! The boys are back and "Carpe Diem" in my opinion is the best album they've recorded since "Sin-Decade" way back in '91. After listening to this CD numerous times, over and over, I am amazed that worldwide success still eludes them. This band should be HUGE! It is a bloody shame! Anyway, anyone familiar with the Maids will find plenty to love about "Carpe Diem." This is a huge "bells and whistles" album (pretty much like all their albums - they very rarely skimp on production or songwriting)everything is BIG and in your face. The amazing thing is that this band can shift gears so effortlessly...there's literally something for everyone here. From the driving power metal of "Violent Tribe," "Until It Dies," and "Poisoned Pleasures," to the thick hard rock crunch of "Tortured Spirit," "Wouldn't Miss You," and "Invisible Chains" and straight through to the beautiful AOR of "Clay," "Unwritten Pages," and "For Once in Your Life," this CD cannot help but satisfy even the hardest rock critic. I've always described the Maids sound as a cross between the hooks, background vocals, and melody of Def Leppard and the driving riffs, pounding rythms, and genius solos of Iron Maiden...if this sounds like your bag, pick up a copy of "Carpe Diem" now! Definitely their best CD in ten years, my sleeper pick of the year, and a testament to a band still going strong and continuing to make unbelievably kick ass music! Long Live The Maids!!!!!

17/11/00: Phil V - "Carpe Diem" PRETTY MAIDS - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Awesome CD>This band can switch gears so easily it's frightening!!One tune is pure power metal("Violent Tribe") then they're in melodic rock territory("Unwritten Pages") then there's a great hard rock tune("Wouldn't Miss You") and then back to some crankin' metal("Carpe Diem").It's amazing!! And all this is done without sounding forced or strained."Invisible Chains" charts Foreigner territories with just a little heavier attitude.This whole album smokes from begining to end.
The vocals are so well done,the guitars bite,crunch and shred their way through every song and the tunes are all well written gems!!What more can I say?.........Nothing!!!My pick of 2000!!

12/11/00: Phil V - "The Dark Ride" HELLOWEEN - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
I was never a fan of speed metal so I was aprehensive about checking out "The Dark Ride" by Helloween.Man, what a surprise!!Only 4 of the 12 tunes are fast numbers.The slower heavier songs are what I prefer and there's a bunch of great heavy metal/melodic hard rock on offer here."If I could Fly","The Departed","I Live for Your Pain","Escalation 666"(Where they tune down real low!!),"Mirror Mirror" and "Mr Torture" are all great slabs of hard rock with shredding guitars and
awesome vocals by Andi Deris.The solos are very impressive and the production was handled by Roy Z.....say no more!!!!!!!

08/11/00: Susumu - Captive Heart"Home Of The Brave&quo - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 73
Maybe this is the least known artist Jim Peterik(formerly Survivor) collaborated. Captive Heart is a Chicago band sounding like 80s pop hard rock band. They got highly appreciated by European melodic rock fans when it was released in 1996. I really like their rock style which reminds me my favorite band Survivor. As an album they are barely commercial. Still need something to get their presence known such as their original sound not the repetiton of 80s rock masters.
Tracks are quite fine. My favorite is Over Me Over You which is upbeat midwestern pop rock. I hope they restart and produce a new album. Now the timing is not bad for the bands like them.

08/11/00: Jimmy Jack Smack - REINGOLD " Universe " - twilightimages@netzero.net
Rating: 100
This is THE BEST Melodic Rock release in the last 5 years. End of discussion. The proof is 12 tracks of pure musical bliss. When most releases today (especially a bands first) sound like cleaned-up demos,
it's refreshing to hear a professionally produced disc like this one.
Goran Edman puts on the greatest vocal display since Talisman released
" Humanimal " (Jeff Scott Soto). Songs like "Over Loaded", "High Roller" and "Killer On The Loose" (NOT the Thin Lizzy classic) will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping again! The ballad "No More I Love You" is beatifully played and The Voice of Mr.Edman is without par by anyone singing today. It's a damn shame that Mr. Malmsteen replaced this gem of a vocalist, becuase after losing Soto,
Edman, Turner AND Veresca, it makes me wonder what's up with the Swedish guitar God. Do yourself (and your neighbors) a favor and buy
this CD, it shows exactly how good Melodic Rock could (and can...) be.
Let's just hope that Reingold releases more of this high quality that is sorely missing in a lot of newer releases.
Take care everyone.
Remember... this is THE BEST release in the LAST FIVE YEARS!!! By it now and rejoice!

01/11/00: Laura - Rick Sprinfield "Greatest Hits - Al - LauraNthezoo@aol.com
Rating: 0
Rick's new CD is awesome and is like a mini concert in my living room!

31/10/00: lori - Rick Springfield ALIVE CD - rowdy5678@hotmail.com
Rating: 100
This is absolutely the best work of a live cd i have heard. also it is a limited edition containing 2 cd's, on the 2nd cd are demos of the 1979 Working Class Dog album, plus 3 unreleased 1983 songs and a 25 minute video clip is embedded in the cd #2. these cd's are numbered & signed by Rick. a treasure to own.

24/10/00: Susumu - Hooters" Nervous Night" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 90
It is definitely classic 80s pop rock masterpiece. From this album And We Danced, Day By Day, All You Zombies and Where Will The Children Go became U.S. hits. But as a album it is really fun pop album from start to end. Besides their hits I like Hunging On A Heartbreak a lot.

20/10/00: Erik westervelt - Brutal Planet - erik5150vh@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Legendary death/glam rocker Alice Cooper is angry everyone, and look out. Seriously!. Since the early 80's Alice Cooper has been pumping out albums and tours when the mood the suits him. That mood over this period of time has generally been one of a man who has been comfortable in shoes. Middle age, family life and especially golf had been creeping up on Alice for some time now and with only 1989's Trash serving as a reprieve to a man who had obviously become more comfortable being Vincent Furnier than Alice Cooper...Somewhere between sobriety, golf tournaments and talk shows though, something happened to Alice. On his latest album Brutal Planet, Alice Cooper sounds amazingly vicious, trendy and in tune with the times all at once. It's easily his best work in 11 years and even Trash can't match Brutal Planet's intensity. After years of deliberation or simply writing him off, longtime fans finally have a chance to rejoice again. Especially over the news that Cooper has a major tour in the works reminiscent of his theatrical stage extraveganzas of the 70's...Precious few times in the history of rock much less the year 2000 in which classic heavy metal resides more comfortably on the shelves than on the turn tables (and I do mean turn tables) has an artist the age of Alice Cooper come through so convicingly or immediate. There are no flaws on Brutal Planet to speak of and the songs, centered around Cooper's disillusionment with modern day society at large, are some of his absolute best. That's not to say any of them will become hits, 50 year olds don't have hits especially with the content on these cuts. But Brutal Planet the album does have the chance to move quite a few units and inspire as many listeners and musicians if given a chance...The album rocks viciously with numerous hooks that give it the kind of intensity lacking in sensible hard rock music at the moment. Unlike the Trash album which was a patched together backing band behind a lead singer unsure of his own musical ventures and personal direction, Brutal Planet was well planned, tight and reveting from start to finish. Producer and co-songwriter Bob Marlette helps develope each song and gives them just enough polish to sound up to date (this isn't the 70's after all) but doesn't strip each cut of its raw energy and vitality. Similarly, Alice Cooper's voice sounds its best in years and the backing singers and musicians do a more than competent job in keeping Cooper's music and vision clearly audible throughout...The opening cut and title track start off things just perfectly with a huge instrumental kick and a great set of hooks. "Wicked Man" also soars with the lyrics "I am a vicious young man" and "I've got every kind of chemical pumping through my head, I read Mein Kempf daily just to keep my hatred fed". "Sanctuary" is another gem and the hooks in "Pick Up The Bones" are instantly memorable. "Blow Me a Kiss' will surely become another conerstone in Cooper's catolgue as he sings "blow me away, I'm in my room, I'm Dr.Doom, I'm not me, I'm someone else". Lyrics like that and those also featured on the synical tongue and cheek thriller "Gimme" (also the first single) keep the album impressive and gripping. "Gimme" in particular was a good choice as the leadoff single because the instrumental jolt alone is enough to give an entire class of even the most syncial classic rock listners and teenaged Limp Bizkit fans the goose bumps..."Eat Some More" is the clumsiest of the rockers yet even it has some good social commentary. "Take It Like a Women" is another excellent tune with quite a nice melody to and "It's The Little Things" with its punk edge and reminiscent lines like "welcome to my nightmare, no more Mr. Nice Guy" is another gem. The lyrics show Alice Cooper in a reflctive kind of mood and they are both a vivid reminder of Cooper's historic past and a possible look into the future of hard rock. The album closer "Cold Machines" also stands out if only as an excellent example of the kind of song Marylin Manson has been shooting for all of these years...The music, the songs and especially the vision of Alice Cooper serve as a reminder of the passion and power that can still be found on a terrific rock album and that's just what Brutal Planet is.

13/10/00: Mick Powell - Harem Scarem/Last Live - Mickdoo22@aol.com
Rating: 2
This is just a HORRIBLE record! All the energy and edge you would expect from Harem Scarem is long gone. This is lame in everyway! The new studio tracks are limp, lifeless ripoffs, with no edge at all! This is NOT Harem Scarem Last Live...rather Rubber First Live. I have seen many people commenting on the new Rubber sound being in the vein of Marvelous 3. I have the new M3 album, and Rubber doesn't compare to the raw, edgy, attitude M3 has. It's really ashame Harem Scarem would abandon a good thing to instead sound like a half-assed college party band going through the motions.

10/10/00: koogles - Steve Walsh- Glossolalia - progrocknerd@aol.com
Rating: 0
I was a little concerned when this came out- that I would be Walsh-ed out- what with Kansas' recent comeback CD still in heavy rotation on my stereo. Surprisingly, "Glossolalia" and "Somewhere to Elsewhere" (Kansas' best album since their 1977 "Point of Know Return") are in two separate musical time zones! Walsh is a creative bull in a post-industrial china shop with this one. Experimenting with styles, textures and sounds, Walsh comes across avant-garde and refreshed. This is only his second solo album and, on this, Walsh actually sounds younger and more animated than on his uninspired, fatigued "Schemer/Dreamer" album from 20 years ago! This is what keeps prog rock moving ahead, a resistance to the old working models that have been already recycled enough. Walsh epitomizes the true spirit of the genre and his forward-thinking solo CD underlines his importance as both a pioneer and a visionary.

Best track: "Heart Attack"

10/10/00: koogles - JOURNEY Arrival - progrocknerd@aol.com
Rating: 0
I was worried when Journey went with Steve Augeri because, listening to Tall Stories and Tyketto's "Shine", I wasn't convinced he had the Steve Perry schtick down as well as the Hugos and the Kevin Chalfants of the world. Listening to "Arrival" assures me that the present and future of Journey is in good hands. This CD's best at its quieter moments: the uptempo, harder stuff isn't up to the band's usual standards. Then again, when you've got AOR classics like "Stone in Love", "Anyway You Want It", "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)", "Only The Young" and "Don't Stop Believin'" in your catalog, anything will invariably fall short. People may complain that this album doesn't rock hard enough, but Journey's strengths on 1996's "Trial By Fire" shaped up to be their slower and mid-tempo material. By going with what works best, Journey has created the finest AOR album of 2000.

Best tracks: "All The Way", "Lifetime of Dreams", "Loved By You"

29/09/00: Tim - Steve Walsh (Kansas' vocalist) - closetchronicles@hotmail.com
Rating: 10
Wow! With the recent release of the AMAZING Kansas CD "Somewhere to Elsewhere", one would think that things couldn't get much better for Kansas fans (a peculiar breed of die-hards to begin with!). Along comes Kansas' vocalist Steve Walsh with a solo CD (entitled "Glossolalia") that just knocks the socks off of any startled listener!! Sounding more like Nine Inch Nails than Kansas in places, Walsh's voice sears with such raw emotion and angst that it's nearly frightening! Co-produced with Magellen genius Trent Gardner, Glossolalia shows an entirely different side of the animated Kansas frontman...one so dark and foreboding that you can't help but get drawn into the various themes that permeate the album. Dream Theater watch out; your match in musicianship may be found in this amazing release! Fans of Kansas will LOVE this CD (after getting over the initial shock of styles) and fans of NIN, RATM, and others would be well served to find this disc and give it some serious playing time on their sound systems. Both Steve Walsh's "Glossolalia" and Kansas' "Somewhere to Elsewhere" are on the Magna Carta label.

26/09/00: ady berry - Marvelous 3 - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 10
Marvelous 3 - ReadySexGo (Elektra) 10 out of 10
Simply buy it- there's no point in reviewing the tracks on this cd as they beg to be listened to. I cannot see anyone who likes AOR and melodic rock not finding themselves gobsmacked by the likes of "Beautiful" (Melodic rock track of the year?), the awesome "Radio Tokyo","My Little Head""Get Over","I'm Losing You","This Time","I could change" and "Grant Park".
The Marvs have released a consumate cd which will become the benchmark for many modern melodic bands. With this release they appear to have dropped the trademark Steve Millerism's of the first two cd's in favour of a more straight ahead rock/metal sound and that will appeal to virtually all melodic rock fans. This cd is an absolute gem and encompasses everything of what we love about melodic rock- fantastic songs and songwriting performed flawlessly.
Poll for Best Melodic rock cd of the year?You're kidding aren't you?

17/09/00: Susumu - PANTERA:Reinventing The Steel - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 81
This is the most heaviest rock album I have ever encountered. Their rock style is almost alien to me. To easily get into this album maybe you have to listen to Metallica or Inpellitelli at least once. It's sort of death metal but they can still got talents so that this album will not be a piece of junk. Sound is very consistent and tight and with a bit of repeated listen I got a bit addicted to their beat.
If you are familiar with gothic or death metal you will sure to love this album. Worth a bit of try if you are curious.

12/09/00: Phil V - Pontus Norgren "Damage Done" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Awesome melodic hard rock with great vocals by Mats Leven and scorching guitar licks by Pontus himself.The production is great as well giving each individual instrument their own space without drowning out the vocals.The songs are filled with hooks and bursts of guitar shredding but not overdone like alot of current releases."Down & Out","Brand New Start","Losing My Religion","As the River Run","Time" & "Lonely People" are top notch MHR.One of this years best releases.It's so nice to hear tasteful melodic guitar solos:-D

08/09/00: James Muir - Brian McDonald - Wind it Up - james@sunergossoftware.com
Rating: 97
WOW! All I can can say (without using profanity) is WOW! This probably the best overall album I have heard in five years. This album has brilliant songwriting and stunning production. I thank God for melodicrock.com and chance I had to get exposure to such a fine piece of work.

I purchased House of Sharkira III, Raine, and Dreamhunder along from AOR and I can definitively declair that this is unquestionably the best of the four. The inside cover indicates songs written from 1988 to 1999 and it shows. You have to respect an artist who will wait until a song meets a certain standard before placing it on an album and releasing it. And that is obviously the case with this album. Every single song is excellent. And that's no BS. My personal preferance is for tracks 7 - Rythm of Money and 8 - Somewhere on the Highway. But WOW...

04/09/00: Teresa - Lazy Jane - Lancia1010@aol.com
Rating: 0
I just picked up a Lazy Jane cd from their web site (quick turn around time!) From song number one to song number eleven, this album just ROCKS! The vocals are out of this world...the singer has a beautiful voice that hits some of the highest and lowest notes I have heard. They sound kind of like Tesle meets Guns and Roses and the Black Corwes....and Triumph!!! This cd drew me in and rocked my ass off! I totally recommend this to everyone who loves melodic rock, it is a must have! Got to their site lazyjane.com and check them out, you will thank me!!! Teresa

27/08/00: ady berry - wheatus - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 11
Wheatus - Wheatus (Columbia Records) 11 out of 10
Like Fountains of Wayne,Lit,Enuff Z'Nuff? Forget 'em 'cause there's some new boys in town!!Ten tracks- Ten Anthems- no fillers.This is without doubt one of , if not the best, pop rock albums that's ever been released.Hard to nail down musically, Wheatus sound like Lit crossed with Alanis Morissette (I kid you not!) with that lyrical off the wall sense of humour that Fountains of Wayne have. Don't ask me how it works but it does!Comprising of Brendan and Peter Brown ,Rich Liegey and Phil Jiminez ,Wheatus have definitely upped the stakes with this infectious pop classic.
"Teenage Dirtbag" is the teenage anthem that will not leave your head ever, with Brendan Brown declaring "I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby. Listen to Iron maiden with me". Elsewhere we've got "Leroy" with it's early '80's Rick Springfield guitars underpinning some wickedly humourous lyrics. The smile factor continues throughout with some superb hooklines and incredible catchy choruses.It would be pointless to review every single track on this cd - it's just that good that it deserves a listen. I have no doubt that with decent airplay this album would be a platinum seller in many countries.
Undoubtedly best pop rock cd of the year- by a mile, and it will definitely be top of many lists.Utterly Essential.

13/08/00: Loiner - four day Hombre - steven.willis@lineone.net
Rating: 10
Four Day hombre are a Leeds based 5 piece band featuring 2 guitars, 2 lead vocals, bass, drums, keyboards and plenty of charisma. they combine emotional heart-wrenching power and noise with a natural pop instinct for melody and song which instantly screams classic in all the best senses of the word.With sublime harmonies and a sound that careers between the extremes of Bell & Sebastian, Supergrass, FNM, Counting Crows & Mansun, their incredible, energetic and cathartic live show led one reviewer to write "It was like an emotional enema".

11/08/00: Phil V - HALFORD "Resurrection" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 12
That's right 12 out of 10.It's that good!!!I can'remember the last time I bought a CD with so many great tracks on it!!!!Bruce Dickinson even appears on lead vocals on one track!!!Roy Z produced it,Rob sounds better than he ever did,his band is f#%$ing HEAVY and the songs are killer.What else do you need??

07/08/00: Phil V - BLAZE Silicon Messiah" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
If Blaze sang like this in Maiden they might not of dumped him.He sounds awesome on "Silicon Messiah" and his band is heavy as hell.Reminds me of a slower Overkill."Ghost in the Machine" is stellar as is "The Hunger".A pleasent surprise ,this release!!The best thing about it is the tunes.A didn't think Blaze had it in him,but man was I wrong!!

07/08/00: Phil V - ROB ROCK "Rage of Creation" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
As I listened to song #2 "The Sun Will Rise Again" I had to check the credits to make sure Bruce Dickinson wasn't singing lead on this track!!!Wow,what a voice this guy has! He should have taken the vacated spot in Maiden instead of Blaze but hey,Bruce might have never come back if Rob had stepped in.Roy Z handles the guitars so the Dickinson comparison evolves even further with Roy also handling production.I must admit,I was expecting a mellow outing but this CD never stops bludgining you over the head with massive riffs,double bass kicks & screaming(yet melodic) vocals.This CD will not disappoint Impelitterri fans and might gain a few more who like the heavier stuff.Favorite tracks:"Streets of Madness","All I Need","Media Machine"(both with Jake E. Lee on lead guitar) & "Never Too Late".This is a definite must have!

05/08/00: Bob H. - TOTO Mindfields - thebladerunners@aol.com
Rating: 95
This is the long-awaited follow up to TOTO IV...believe it or not this album is superior to TOTO IV...Bobby Kimball's voice is as strong as ever and Luke and the boys have matured into finely crafted musicians resulting in the best TOTO album ever...tough call from a Joseph Williams fan but giving credit where due...best tracks on the album are Caught In The Balance, Spanish Steps and Mindfields.

Bob H.
San Jose, CA

30/07/00: Everville - MATTADOR - jurgh@chello.nl
Rating: 95
Just grabbed it out of my closet where it had been hiding for several years. This is a deffinative must hear for all fans of bands in the vein of House of Lords, White Sister and Refugee.
MATTADOR is from south America (Mexico or Peru-don't have the album here now) and as far as I know "Save us from ourselves"is their only release.....but a breathtaking Awesome one!
Even in Dutch Aardschok magazine they got rated well over 90 points out of 100. If anyone is still looking for a band as those Gods mentioned before....then deffinately check out this band.
The album kicks off with HIV/Fear and doesn't let you breathe until the last song after over 50 minutes.....A bombastic journey with crunchy guitars, great vocals and a powerfull boosting rythemsection, backed up by massive keyboards......just giving it all!!!!!
A fine masterpiece for those searching for something proven to be succesfull.......ENJOY!!!!!

29/07/00: ToNY PhOnY - Blue October "consent to treatment& - BigspreeBB@netscape.net
Rating: 9
Theyre a ban i have never heard of until thursday and they r already my new most favorite band! they have a very high tempo but melodic beat with most songs, showings a resemblance to bands like third eye blind and silverchair. but some songs are hard, taking the next step. thyre lead singer is different from most male lead singers, because he uses so much feeling in his song that it gets you addicted. this album has 2 thumbs up from me, and that hasnet happened often. trust me on this, go get their album, you wont be dissappointed

29/07/00: ToNY PhOnY - Blue October "consent to treatment& - BigspreeBB@netscape.net
Rating: 0
Theyre a ban i have never heard of until thursday and they r already my new most favorite band! they have a very high tempo but melodic beat with most songs, showings a resemblance to bands like third eye blind and silverchair. but some songs are hard, taking the next step. thyre lead singer is different from most male lead singers, because he uses so much feeling in his song that it gets you addicted. this album has 2 thumbs up from me, and that hasnet happened often. trust me on this, go get their album, you wont be dissappointed

20/07/00: APB - Raine - abanas@wgeld.org
Rating: 95
This CD is so good that it doesn't stand a chance in hell of ever getting played on the radio. So buy two copies, one for the house and one for the SUV, because this one will hook you fast. The first time I heard "2 AM" I was really surprised at how well the song was arranged. Very creative, and without a hint of 90's psycho-babble. There are a lot of guest musicians playing key roles, including lead guitar. I guess they will have to rely on session musicians if they ever play out. (Its sort of like Mike Slamer and Steelhouse Lane; Slamer plays everything and writes all the songs, but he's not really in the band. Wadupwidat?)

10/07/00: Phil V - House of Shakira III - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
I read three reviews of this disc and they were all less than flattering.So I went out and bought it to hear for myself and,as usual,I was pleasantly surprised.Good melodic hard rock with multi-layered vocals and crunching guitar.Most of the other reviews mentioned bad production as a concern(does anyone use equalizers anymore??!!) but it sounds good to me.4 or 5 killer tunes here and definitely their best release to date.

27/06/00: Phil V - RAINE "Peace" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 0
Here's the breakdown:
Vocals:10 Guitars:10 Songwriting:8 Production:8
The drums are a little too far back in the mix for me but the vocal work and guitar work are very, very impressive.

26/06/00: Antonio Channels - John Taglieri-Leap Of Faith - acanalesm@jazzfree.com
Rating: 9
Wow!. What a great album we have here!. This is for all AOR ultra-quality lovers. "Leap Of Faith" is an album of 1.) songwriter, 2.) musician and 3.) producer. Something like Desmond Child did in 1991 with his fantastic "Discipline". Personal and genial. First song "Leap Of Faith" is a fantastic rock song with Jon Bon Jovi style in his voice, the album starts incredible. But, you listen the next song "Shangri-La", probably the best song in this album and one of the best mid-tempo rock song I've heard this year. Production is fantastic in all songs. Then, we can find two excellent ballads "Reason To Believe" and "First Night" with John singing marvelous. Perhaps, the only thing negative (in my opinion) is that there are too many ballads in this album....but the songs are so goods...

"I Found You" is another great piece of acoustic-rock-party and "The Two Sides Of Love" is AOR song like Bon Jovi sounds with a fantastic guitar work and solo guitar. "Can't You See" is a power-ballad very emotional like "One More Tomorrow", where John sings duet with Michelle Taglieri, I love duets and I love this song, too. Then, the rhythm picks up with the next songs "High Road" and "Hold Me Close Tonight" and the album ends with "Need To Hear", probably the best ballad in this album...is fantastic!!, and "Here Without You".

Definitely, "Leap of faith" is a fantastic AOR album with excellent production and with an artist (John Taglieri) who is songwriter, producer, vocal, guitar...and what more?, But…and most important…all things that he does, he does very, very well. Probably the surprise of this year. One of the compositors to the future in the melodic rock. Sincerely, fantastic.

21/06/00: Susumu - TWO FIRES "Two Fires" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 85
It is enjoyable and entertaining rock release. Kevin's songwriting skill has improved tremendously from Eye Of The Storm album. He also acquired some skill to make his voice shine a lot more. Overall it is again tried and trued Journey styled rock but since it became much solider than the last one my rating is a bit higher than Eye Of The Storm. Rivers of Destiny is masterful track and one of the best Jim Peterik tracks I have heard in recent years and this track alone will convince you that you get the price for your money. Among the rest of the tracks Summer Of Love stands out. Piece of My Heart, Surrender and Never Stop Loving You are fine tracks. It is entertaining because the tracks are familiar but that is the weak points as well.
To become annual Top 10 level there must be something more to strike you. Recommended for 80s AOR rock fans.

19/06/00: Ben Omhart - John Taglieri -- LeapOf Faith - Omhart@musesmuse.com
Rating: 95
Not only do I like John's clear voice, but his song construction is almost
classic. 'Shangri-la' is as close to Journey as you'd want to get without
risking copyright. 'Reason To Believe' is a cross between Air Supply and a
song that's on the tip of my tongue, but it's not going to come to me, so I
will press on. 12 songs and 50 minutes of rock and better than good pop.
'Leap of Faith' is the title song, with a backing of Brian May-like guitar
fun. It could use a minute or 2 longer to jam, esp. with those wild drums
banging on. Though the lead song is my least favorite when compared to
those that follow it. If they played this kind of stuff on the radio more,
I would listen to radio more. Yeah, I'm caught in the old scheme of
pop/rock which says you have to give the listener A GOOD TUNE and
production so clean you could ___ off it. I'll be keeping this CD and
listening to it for pleasure. Screw doing the rest of the reviews.

18/06/00: Susumu - RAINE"Peace" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 95
I am glad that melodic rock still wins modern rock such as Matchbox 20. Great album well balanced in commercial appeal, quality and performance techniques appealing rock connosiors. Rainmakers is a great opening which lures you into melodic rock kingdom. I Am and Everytime are fine tracks. Lost Angeles is Steve Perry leftover but nice choice. My second favorite track. What I'd Rather Be is suited for single cut and has potential to become a great hit if properly played on radio. Good album for rock fans to grasp what ideal MHR is.

18/06/00: Phil V. - AT VANCE "No Escape" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 7
I don't know why most of the new bands that come out today insist on that heavily compressed drum sound.That's my major gripe with the album.If they(the producers) had let the drums,especially the snare breathe a little then my rating would be higher.Everything else sounds good.The vocals are very impressive, as is the guitar playing, but it too suffers from massive compression.The two covers are very obscure choices."S.O.S." by ABBA and "Logical Song" by SUPERTRAMP are given the heavy rock treatment and done fairly well but the original material lacks some kind of characteristics that set it apart from the rest.4 or 5 great songs and these guys will be on the map.

16/06/00: Susumu - Matchbox Twenty "Mad Season" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 93
Believe me, this can be one of the few hit chart albums that I can give the score above 90. Sounds like 70s pop rock. Songwriting and production is superb. Recommended tracks are Last Beautiful Girl
If You're Gone, Mad Season, The Burn, Bent, Bed of Lies. I am glad current rock is heading toward the right direction. Some of Matchbox fans will surely like Vaughn, Danger Danger or Enuff'Z Nuff.

10/06/00: Susumu - Enuff'Z Nuff "10" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 89
This is the first Enuff'Z Nuff album for me but I liked this album instantly and made me want to buy the old ones. They are refered to
post-Beatles rock group. My honest impression is their sound is Beatles plus Aerosmith, Deep Purple, Danger Danger and Cheap Trick.
Wake Up reminds me of Aerosmith's Dream On(is it sort of sequel song for that classic track?) There Goes My Heart is pure-pop rock and one of the best track of this album. Suicide is Paul McCartney like melancholic song. All Right is my favorite track made me feel like I were in the 70s. Holiday is dramatic rock track and I am sure MHR fan will like this a lot. Bang On is speed rock track.
Overall it became quite a good album because of solid production. Songwriting is great as well. They deserve superstar status in the U.S.

10/06/00: Bob - Sean Abbott Band "Atomic Invasion&q - gigrite@aol.com
Rating: 0
Hi All
If your a rock guitar fan then you don't want to miss the debut CD from the Sean Abbott Band "Atomic Invasion" you can read the latest reveiw from LA and access the bands web site at
antimusic.com click on F.U.C.U link band of the month.

ENJOY
gigrite@aol.com

05/06/00: Dave Palmer - SWIRL 'Out Of Nowhere' - dpalmer@infowest.com
Rating: 86
"I love debut albums. Doesn't it seem like if the band is good, their first album really rocks?? Swirl's debut is no exception. I had the chance to catch this band live before I heard the album. I was sold on the music in a big way.

'Out of Nowhere' is a feast for the ears. There are 13 tracks total on the album. The album starts out rockin' with 'Shades of Red' and continues from there. The band performed the classic 'Stand by me' that lead off their own track 'Sail Away' which is a lighter side of the band, but definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album.
I personally liked 'Nellie' quite a bit. Most bands are not daring enough to incorporate elements like violin's. 'Nellie' contains a mid-section of violin that enhances the song in a big way. My favorite track of the album is 'Cold December'. The vocal
arrangements are extremely cool. The track builds into a crunch session with great low end from the rhythm section. Duane, the guitarist really rips on this one. Another favorite is the title track 'Out of Nowhere' with it's big choruses.
This album wins big start to finish

Production sounds very good for an indie release. Try this on for size.Carlos Cavazo of Quiet Riot produced and Matt Thorne from Rough Cutt engineered this disc. You definitely can't go wrong working with big names like these. The results are great. The release does not have an insert booklet so don't feel like you were cheated if yours doesn't come with one. This is a great release so don't let that detract from purchasing this album.

I really recommend this release. Tight songs and great production from a bunch of great guys who really know how to get it done. I'm eagerly anticipating a new release after hearing this one. If you have problems finding it, get in touch with me and I'll help."


My Rating 86/100

Dave
Heavy Metal Resource

SWIRL web site
www.swirlatice.com

05/06/00: Susumu - At Vance "NO ESCAPE" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 92
At Vance is a German metal group led by Olaf Lenk adherent of Yngswei Malmsteen which made two Centers albums and a solo.
Their music is based on metal with classical flavor seen in Stratovarius and Yngswei Malmsteen. With Mike-Reno-like vocalist Oliver Hardman, this rock band will draw much more attention than their predecessors from ordinary rock fans like me around the world. This album was picked by Masao Fujiki of BURRN , a big Survivor fan, as No.1 album of 1999. It became a small hit in Japan mainly because of covers such as Eye Of The Tiger, Money Money Money(Abba), Shout(Tears For Fears) and Antonio Vivaldi's Four Season--Summer.
But their original music is great as well marked by excellent songwriting and vocals and guitar. All For One And One For All written by Oliver Hardman is my No.1 favorite track. Lost In Your Love is Loverboy style rock ballad. Power and Glory is Fair Warning style power pop rock. I am sure wide range of MHR fans will enjoy this album. Only extra track version can be recommendable.

03/06/00: dankan - Iron Maiden - Brave New World - dankans_word
Rating: 100
Finally something to remind us what the god time was from the 80's.Dickinson is bringing the era of the past with a mix of new stuff. Yes this is the original IRON MAIDEN.

23/05/00: Geneo - the Donnas-"SKINTIGHT" - strangeways62@hotmail.com
Rating: 3
The all girl band the Donnas take things into their own hands on this
impressive second outing. This CD motors along from start to finish, and is packed with hard rocking tunes that you just can't get out of your head. Check out the driving title track, as well as "you Don't Wanna call," and the ominous "Searching the Streets." Candy coated love to the girls in the Donnas! Nice cover of the Crue's "Too Fast For Love."

22/05/00: KAOS FAN - NIGHT RANGER -ROCK IN JAPAN LIVE - CELTICCROAT@HOTMAIL.COM
Rating: 98
Boy does this smoke! In my estimation Night Ranger are THE BEST melodic rock band doing the rounds and although I own all their albums I never have up till now owned a live cd. Well this 18 track bonanza has everything. Two smokin' solos - Brad's being conventionally great and Jeff Watson's being a study in speed metal playing ala Malmsteen. All your favourites are here - Sister Christian, ...Rock in America, Touch of Madness and a rousing version of When You Close Your Eyes that will have you stomping your feet and singing in the shower. And for a slow ballad you can't beat the plaintive Forever All Over Again(off the excellent Neverland album) which even for a slow song has killer guitar in it. These guys should be bigger than they are but frankly I don't mind because I'm one of the privileged.BUY IT!
ps And the Japanese crowd goes off as usual!

22/05/00: Phil V - Kharma "Wonderland" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
If you're a fan of Styx,Survivor,Journey,Foreigner & even Jethro Tull you'll love this CD.Goran Edmans' multi-layered vocals are supreme and the songwriting shows its influence on its sleeve without blatantly ripping anyone off.Truely a fine album.

16/05/00: Phil V - Impellitteri "Crunch" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
WOW!!!What a molten slab of melodic power metal this is.And the title of the album is EXACTLY what you get......CRUNCH!!!!!New drummer Mr. Sobel has studied well at the alters of Dave Lombardo & Tommy Aldrich!
This isn't prog-rock but HEAVY HEAVY rock.Melodic vocals by Rob Rock & the lightning speed of Chris I. is all well and good but what sets this apart from all the other MHR releases is the SONGS!!Not a clinker in the bunch.A definite must have!

15/05/00: KuuppaQ - MICHAEL MONROE - Life Gets You Dirty - kuuppaq@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Good news for M.M and Hanoi Rocks fans in the States! Michael Monroe has finally released his latest "Life Gets You Dirty" also there. Also "Peace Of Mind" has been released just recently. But let me tell you something about "Life Gets You Dirty". IT ROCKS!!! If you ever liked Hanoi Rocks or are familiar to Michael's prior work, this is a must! I've been fortunate enough to see M.M live 'cause I live in Finland where he also lives at least for now. The man hasn't changed in 15 years. He's doing moves that would make Dave Lee Roth jealous and his gigs are 2 hour rock trips to hard rock heaven. The same attitude shows in his record and tracks like Just Because You're Paranoid, What's with the World, Since When Did You Care and a cover "Little Troublemaker" are just amazing. Find it, buy it, enjoy it! I know I did! To find out more about Michael and what he's been up to lately go to his website www.michaelmonroe.com

14/05/00: Jeff Maxson - Brian McDonald 'Wind It Up" - jmaxson@uswest.com
Rating: 95
I have waited forever for this one and man was it worth the wait. I just listened to this CD for the first time and my first impression is that with Reb Beach rockin out on guitar, especially on the tunes "When the lightning strikes" and the title track "Wind It Up", this will be one of my faves this year. The production is excellent - from the great background vocals to the Def Leppard drum stylings, I love everything about this one. The ballads are definitely heavy hitters and there is a cool bluesy tune "Just a heartbeat away" where Reb Beach plays some great riffs ala B.B. King. Highly recommend it!

14/05/00: Susumu - REO Speedwagon "Good Trouble" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 33
Good Trouble is between their two masterpieces Hi Infidelity and Wheel Are Turning. First time I hear this album, it doesn't impress so much and now I am hearing and much much worse than I thought. This is one of the worst MHR releases ever. Keep The Fire Burning is not bad but even the best track lacks some glare comparing with least impressed track of Hi Infidelity. Back In My Heart Again and Let's Be-Bop is tolerable listens. But why this album became such a junk? First Production is faulty. Arrangement of songs sounds so random that each songs ending up deadening the others. Sound balance became so lax. Kevin Cronin's voice is mellow in nature so lax production make it unbearingly so. If only Kevin learned from Jim Peterik at that time...It is not Hi-Infidelity but this one which hurt REO Speedwagon's reputation as a rock artist. Their 1984 album, however, was great they learned from mistakes. Just rest this album in peace.

11/05/00: Mick Powell - Brian McDonald- "Wind It Up" - Mick_powell@ibis.com
Rating: 58
I must admit...when I listened to the MP3's of this album, I was excited to receive this one. But man.. what a HUGE dissapointment. The first thing that strikes you on first listen, is the cheesy drum machine sound. VERY weak. These tunes are not altogether bad...but they could benefit bigtime by real drums. Because of the druma machine sound, and the simplistic programming, the CD lacks dynamics and drama. Brian has a good rock and roll voice, but it's hard to get to through the sometimes overdone, multi layered harmonies, and GOBS of compression. For anyone into Def Leppard, Aldo Nova, Autograph etc.. this album will probably be right up your alley. Unfortunately for me, I can't get past the low budget production.

07/05/00: Susumu - Survivor"Caught In The Game" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 87
Caught In The Game is a good album representing the best of Dave Vickler era of Survivor. But it didn't succeed commercially. Caught In The Game is a grand scale rocker and good opener excellently representing what the album is like. But for those who do not like this track will not love the whole album. So the choice of this track as a first single was their biggest mistake I think. Jackie Don't Go is impressive power ballad with intricate background keyboard. I Never Stopped Loving You is a Ever Since The World Began style ballad but personally I got more impressed than Ever... It Doesn't Have To Be This Way is upbeat rocker with a bit of melancholy. My No.1 favorite of this album. Ready For The Real Things starts nicely but as a whole lacks vital hooks which should be their trademark. Half-Life sounds a bit boring ironically living up to its title. Slander is a killer rock. One of the best heavy track of Survivor indeed. Santa Ana Winds, great dramatic and impressive.

Now that Jimi Jamison reunited with Frankie Sullivan, I just hope he will revive this masterful work which could become great source for live. If either Caught In The Game, I Never Stopped Loving You, or It Doesn't Have To Be This Way fail to impress you just avoid it. Best tracks I Never Stopped Loving You and It Doesn't Have To Be This Way can be found in Finest Selection anyway.

02/05/00: SteveC - BulletBoys - Burning Cats and Amputees - stevec899@aol.com
Rating: 94
Terriffic greatest hits album. If you're a die-hard BulletBoys fan, don't even bother reading this review, just go get this disc NOW. If you're not a BB fan, then chances are very good that you won't like this disc either.

As a fan, I waited WAY too long for this disc, and when it was announced that there would only be ONE new song (cover of Herman's Hermits "I'm Into Something Good" - VERY good cover BTW) I must admit that I was disappointed. I bought the disc anyway and was damn pleased to hear that ALL of the songs were re-recorded in 1999.

In other words, the WHOLE DISC is actually NEW. A lot of the songs rock even harder now than the original studio versions, and there is more improvisation all the way around. The album is fun, four to the floor rock and roll, and the guys sound better than ever. The new version of Tom Waits' "Hang on St. Christopher" completely kicks ass.

It's a shame that the Clepoatra/Deadline label distribution isn't too great - a lot of people don't even know this disc is out.

Bottom line: If you see this disc, BUY IT, or better yet, order it online.

01/05/00: Susumu - Survivor"Premonition" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 89
Survivor's second album "Premonition" is the first Survivor album which carries the very sound that we are familiar. Their self-titled debut album is a good album with a bunch of great rock. But the album as a whole sounded too varied to grasp the image of the band. Kind of a Know-it-all all hits collection pop rock band. They failed to impress a large number of music fans and I think it was Jim himself who was not satisfied with the album. But with this album they surely acquired the banner something unique and impressive.

Part of the reason this album became excellent probably came from Jim's collaboration with Sammy Hager's solid rock track "Heavy Metal". It was in 1981, the word heavy metal was still not a household word. I can imagine JP' mumbling heavymetal, heavymetal...while producing this album and he was confident that style of rock would dominate.

A light of Thousands Smiles served as a prophcy as the word premonition was taken from the lyric of this track. Take You On A Saturday is one of the highlight of this album-- very tight heavy track which might overwhelm die-hard Kiss fans.

But what Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan tried to do in this album is to create the style of Heavy Metal not for rock's sake but with mass appeal. With the mission on their shoulder Survivor as we know it finally launched and the album became a small success in the U.S. with excellent tracks such as Chevy Nights, hits like Poor Man's Son, and Summer Nights. Recommended for all Survivor fans, 80s heavy metal rock fans, Sammy Hager fans, and Europian MHR fans.

25/04/00: Susumu - Steelhouse Lane"Metallic Blue" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 91
I just bought this album yesterday and found myself hooked this one. No doubt it will become one of my favorites. Compared with Slaves of the New World however Metallic Blue lacks glare Slaves has. But overall it is quite a masterpiece and I respect Mike Slamer and Keith Slack who made this wonderful dream project a success. Metallic Blue is a great opener and one of the best Steelhouse Lane tracks. Still is the most commercial track and Best Years of My Life is one of the best Steelhouse Lane ballad! If you like Slaves buy this one without hesitation.

25/04/00: ALEXANDER SIEDLER - Magnum - On a Storytellers night - LXS@firemail.de
Rating: 100
I didnt know much MAGNUM before but thsi albums kills EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ALL songs are pure MHR; simple song structures but great songs! From the ass kickin´ Just like an arrow to on a storytellers night; the ballad les morts dasant, Two heart to Last dance every song a KILLER! Lyrically brilliant transported by Bob Catley´s voice, Tony Clarkins fine guitar work and Keyboard passages in the songs every song is a masterpiece of ROCK! BUY IT!

ALEX

19/04/00: Glenn Cip - My Picks - 4JED@ids.net
Rating: 0
Here's my melodic rock picks:"Blind" Prisoner-Great songs,great guitar-work and great vocals(rating 9) "
"Thunder in the East"Phil Vincent-Great songs,great production,great vocals(ratink 9)
"4"Fair Warning-Ditto(rating 9)
"Ark" Ark-These guys can play but it's a little too prog for my taste.The vocals are awesome and sound like Coverdale but the songs lack that really melodic hook to reel me in.(rating 5)
""Stronger Than Death" Black Label Society-Zak should have hired a vocalist because that is the weak link here.He tunes way down low for this opus but the solos shred!(rating 6)

18/04/00: Greg Eller - Big Bad Wolf s/t - lepfreak@intecnet.net
Rating: 10
In my opinion, this the greatest hard rock release since who only knows when. If you like Def Leppard, you'll love this. Everybody thinks Danger Danger is so good. Well, NOT sorry to say, this blows away anything they have done. I can't pick just one standout song because they're all unbelievable. My personal favorite is probably "Crystal"; just a killer somewhat heavier ballad. Some people really do not care for ballads, but hey......a good song is a good song. Who cares!!! All I can say is check it out. You will not be disappointed.

14/04/00: Susumu - Journey"Trial By Fire" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 93
Trial By Fire I believe is most underrated Journey album. It is easy to say this is Steve Perry and lacks rock edge. Steve Perry's vocal is convincing as ever, and Message of Love rocks!! And Can't Tame a Lion is great pop rock which should have become Top 40 hit. Ballads are excellent as well. Just giving a few example such as When You Love a Woman and When I Think Of You might be enough to say it. Comparing with Eye Of The Storm this album is far and far better. If you are Journey fan or not this album should be given fair attention.

08/04/00: Phil V. - Pantera "Reinventing the Steel" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
If you're a Pantera fan,you'll love this album.If you're not a fan you might take to this release because of Phil A.'s vocals which are much more melodic than they were on the last 2 albums.He actually sings on many of the songs.Abandoning his signature bark for a much more pleasing tone.Dimebag is...well,Dimebag.His riffs are from planet Mars.How he bends the strings like that and keeps his guitar in tune is beyond me.Maybe that Whammy pedal is the culprit!!Heavy,aggressive,brutal...that's what Websters defines Pantera and this album is nothing less than that.AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!

25/03/00: Susumu - Survivor"Finest Selection, The Sear - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 97
If you are a fan of Survivor this compilation is a must. It is pity Japanese label which produced this melodic rock masterpiece could not have given a thought that this album will be wanted outside Japan. I hope melodic rock labels such as Now&Then, MTM, REH buy distribution right from the Japanese music company(Pony Canyon International) so that rock fans all over the world who love the AOR/MHR of 80s will be getting this.

I think this is one of the best rock compilations ever done in the world. It is the good example of how compilation should be made.
Compared with their official compilation of 93 this compilation have much more advantages.
1.Focusing On What The Artist is Best On Doing.
Compiler knows very well what Survivor is best at which is well shown in the choices of songs such as:
IT'S THE SINGER NOT THE SONG: ordinary comiler who just focus on hits will never have chosen this one. But I believe this one is one of the best rock tracks they have ever made.
LET IT BE NOW: one of the surprises for long time Survivor fan! He try to get the best of Dave Vicker's blues flavored vocal. Cool Track.
EVER SINCE THE WORLD BEGAN: I am so glad this track is included. But this is one of their best ballads isn't it?
REBEL SON:It is one of my favorites. Great up-tempo rocker with a few wonderful surprises.

2. Track Order
For the first time Eye of the Tiger is not the opener! EYOT is great song for sure but Survivor is not a one hit band. In the same way the choice of Burning Heart as fifth track and Eye of the Tiger 9th, I Can't Hold Back the 11th and Search is Over the 18th (last). First Night as opener is a great choice !

It is true this compilation misses hits such as High On You, Is This Love, and Caught In the Game, but I am sure this album will be your longtime companion.

24/03/00: Derek - PC 69-Sonic Dynamite - tooloud4u@earthlink.net
Rating: 95
Once again, Pink Cream 69 delivers an in-your-face sonic delight. From the deceiving intro into the catchy-as-hell Seas Of Madness this album rocks. The standout track is Lord of Illusions. I have found this to be one of the most addictive songs I have heard in years. I was barely into the first minute of the track before I had already switched on the amp, grabbed the guitar and was annoying the neighbors.

15/03/00: William A. - Randy Rhoads Tribute - Wga212@aol.com
Rating: 9
I'm not a 'tribute album' kind of guy but this thing rocks!!!!!!
Sab Bach handles vocals on 3 songs,J.L.Turner has 3,Rob Rock & Mark
Slaughter have two each.Guitarists are Kane Roberts,Jake E> Lee,George Lynch,K.Yamamoto,Chet Thompson,Dimebag from Pantera,Roy Z.,Al Pitterelli & Chris Impellitteri.WOW!!!!!!That's alot of talent on one album so it's not surprising that this CD really kicks ass!!!"Flyin'High Again","Crazy Train" & "I Don't Know" are the favorites.Mr. Bach sings these three and does the Ozz proud I reckon!
Randy Rhoads is remembered very nicely with this release!Joe Lynn Turner sounds great.His version of "Over the Mountain" is faithful to the original.I noticed all the vocalists get the "Ozzy" vocal treatment of triple or quadruple layering in the mix.That's a good thing because it really makes the tunes sound like the originals.A fine release.

13/03/00: Todd - Jaded Heart IV - kisspsycho@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
What a surprise this was!!Jaded Heart have put out some "O.K" releases without being great but "IV" is definately them right on their game.This album would wet the appetite of any lover of stadium hard rock.From the opener "Live And Let Die" to the Phil Collins cover "Easy Lover",this album has got it all.Great vocals from Michael Bormann,a real tight rhythm section,solid guitar work,BIG choruses and a MAGNIFICENT production from Bobby Barth.This will no doubt be one of the best releases in the next 10 years."When You Here The Thunder","Ain't No Perfect World" and "Way Back Home" are the highlights.

12/03/00: Susumu - FAIR WARNING "FOUR" - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 99
Fair Warning is No.1 rock band in the world. Just listening to their latest album proves it. What they achieved in this album is likened to the alpinist who tries to conquer the peak which has never
reached by anyone.
Every rock bands from Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Def Leppard...desperately struggled to make the great rock album which has power but melodic and palpable. Fair Warning made it so naturally such difficult task!
The album starts with Heart On The Run, swishing sounds apparently from Japanese swords and shakuhati flute lures you into the world of
Fair Warning. Followed by straight-rock track Through The Fire,then Break Free, pop rock which can easily climb up to Top 10 in Billboard Chart. Forever is gutchy and impressive, and nice ballad, and Dream !
My favorite track with energy and speed which make me want to play it over and over again. I fight is upbeat mighty song. From Time Will Tell to Night Falls series of pop-rocks. I almost forgot they are hard rock band...Then Wait!! Yes, perfect timing for this heavy track. In Japanese edition special bonus track Still I Believe, beautiful song, thank god I am in Japan! Then final track For The Young. I lost words...Am I in heaven?
"Four" will definately expand the fan base, and will go down in history.

12/03/00: Phil V. - PC69 "Sonic Dynamite" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
If you liked "Electrified" you'll like "Sonic Dynamite".All the elements of great melodic rock are there.Multi-layered vocals,heavy guitars,tight rhythm section and great songs.I must admit that it takes about 3 songs for the album to "kick in". But by the time "Lost in Illusion" comes on, there's no denying that this release is near the top of its class.

20/02/00: Todd - Jaded Heart "IV" - kisspsycho@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
This was a surprise!!Definately Jaded Hearts best effort to date by far.Two things that really stand out on this album are the quality of the songs(the finest songs they've ever written)and the production.
Michael Bormann sings his heart out and Bobby Barth has done a great job behind the board.From the opening track "Live And Let Die"(which starts off with a very interesting intro) to the Phil Collins song "Easy Lover" this album rocks from start to finish."When You Hear The Thunder" (one of the best rock anthems ever written),"Ain't A Perfect World" and the beautiful ballad "Way Back Home" are worth the price alone.Without a doubt one of the best hard rock releases in the last couple of years.GREAT!!!!

18/02/00: Kevan Scott - Pretty Maids-Anything Worth Doing is Wor - etscott12@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
I just received this CD but my listening so far has gotten me over the "getting used to it stage". I think that any Pretty Maids fans out there would like this album. I have always liked the great guitar riffs that appear on P.M. album's. This CD is a little different. The riffs didn't hit me as hard at first. I'm starting to notice them more now though. The chorus's are pretty good also. A lot of the songs have "hooks" in them. You'll find yourself singing the songs to yourself later on when you start to get familiar with the CD. I'm still getting used to the specific songs, but I don't regret buying the CD.

14/02/00: Dennis Regan - Perpetual- Rude awakening - whenlightsgodown@hotmail.com
Rating: 8
Perpetual-Rude awakening
I recently bought this album from mp3.com. 9 blazing instrumentals and one with vocals. Flawless playing and some heavy shredding I think. For all of you who likes guitar-metal this is really a gem. Any fans of Yngwie Malmsteen or John Norum must love this. You should check it out for yourselves at:
http://www.mp3.com/perpetual
Maybe the production could have been a little better but the songs are really good.

24/01/00: therockstar - The Sundowners - s.bullins@amus.com
Rating: 10
Hey dude...The rating on that Sundowners review I sent in yesterday should NOT be 0... put in 9 if you could... 0 sounds like I didn't like it...

24/01/00: ady berry - wheat - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 8
Wheat -"Medeiros" 1997 & "Hope And Adams" 1999
What the hell are a band like Wheat doing here in Melodicrock.com? On first appearance US Indie Rock band Wheat have about a much in common with the likes of AOR and Journey , as Journey have with Slayer. On close listening that's not quite true. What they have got is dark, brooding but beautiful melodies, catchy hooklines and great songs.
First listen to Wheat and you realise that there is certainly more to their music than image- melodies are the lynchpin of all their songs- check out the gorgeous "Summer", the band weave acoustic with electric guitar almost effortlessly in a ballad that carries you away. "Karmic Episodes" has that great chugging riff , pared down to a minimalist sound, that drags you in. "Death Car" is great rock with a hookline that sticks in your head forever.
"Hope and Adams" continues in a similar vein, with it's gorgeous , pared-down acoustic melodies and probably the love song of the ' 99. "Don't I hold you" is their tortured ballad , reminiscent of U2's "With or without You (without the much touted production values) and has top ten chart status written all over it. "No one ever told me" with it's lazy laid back back vocals catches you off guard and sticks in your head for days. Elsewhere songs creep up and take you by surprise with their laid back choruses. There's no over production on any of Wheat's songs- in fact they are left to stand on their own two feet and at times I'm the first to admit that this doesn't always work. Sometimes Wheat try too hard to be different- "More than you'll ever know" just doesn't work- and is a aural mess of a catchy pop song. But when it does there are some memorable melodic rock songs that are certainly different.
If you're looking for the next Survivor clones Circa. 1986 and you don't want anything else you can forget this review. Forget you ever saw it. If you're a fan of the Gin Blossoms , Goo Goo Dolls or any of the NWOPR (New Wave of Pop Rock - Marvellous 3, Fountains of Wayne,Merrymakers etc.)then you'll find plenty to interest you in both these releases. Sure Wheat aren't an AOR band or even a conventional melodic rock/heavy rock band but anyone with an ear for a wonderful melody and great rock songs will find something below the surface that is very reminscent.

23/01/00: therockstar - The Sundowners-Self titled CD 1998 - thesundowners.iuma.com
Rating: 0
Those who are not from around the North Carolina/South Carolina area of the US may not be familiar with the power pop/rock band The Sundowners. But now is a great time to get to know them, before they literally sky-rocket into music industry visibility.

The band can be examined through Streaming Real Audio files and free MP3 files at their website:

http://thesundowners.iuma.com

Here's the band described in the best way possible:

It’s 2000, and The Sundowners are overdue. Since their forming in 1996, the Charlotte, North Carolina quartet have glimpsed an expanse of gigs from Nashville, Tennessee and back again. But most of the group’s early life was spent churning out rock/pop gems in their hometown studio of choice, Pauly’s Hotel of Huntersville, NC. And justly so. The Sundowners’ emphasis on concise songcraft, gripping choruses and lyrics delivered from the heart add up to relevant music for those who still believe that rock is alive and well, and still has something to say.
Their sound combines many influences.
Traces of 'Live at Budokan'/'In Color'-era Cheap Trick-esque hooks can be detected, along with a modern take on the hard-hitting, tape-saturating guitars of Guns 'N Roses. The raw, emotional spirit of U2 could be considered a contributor to The Sundowners sound, along with a little bombast, borrowed from the love of Queen. But all of these aspects are enclosed in The Sundowners' own original musical package, that remains very fresh and edgy. The Sundowners have gladly included many reminders of your love of rock music. Echoes of those reasons you played air guitar in front of your mirror are hidden in guitarist Jeff Vogel’s amp reverb. The feeling of being hoarse after singing your lungs out with your stereo cranked are brought on by hearing vocalist Todd Harlan’s infectious melodies. Bassist Ron May and drummer Strother Bullins’ tight grooves make a firm foundation for your tapping feet. And while listening to The Sundowners, you keep looking around for a fast car to jump into, and a long stretch of road to fly down while blasting their tunes. That’s what The Sundowners are all about.
So if you get the "windows down/distorted speakers/driving somewhere, driving anywhere" scenario, you’ll get the music. Better overdue than never, I guess. Rock should be thrilled to finally have them.

(a brief sundowners’ history lesson)
Back in the spring of ‘96, Todd and Jeff, who were in another band at the time, found themselves without a drummer before a show. Understanding their dilemma, their opening band agreed to let their drummer fill in for the show. The drummer was Strother, and it was a show not soon forgotten. During the next year, Strother recruited his bandmate Ron to began rehearsing with Todd and Jeff.

The Sundowners were born. Soon after their rehearsals started, attention was turned to recording their first CD. All recording was done at Pauly’s Hotel, and was then mastered at the renowned mastering facility, Masterfonics, in Nashville. The Sundowners are currently recording their second CD at Emerald Entertainment’s The Tracking Room in Nashville, Charlotte NC's White Room Studios and Pauly's Hotel, in between gigging and continuously writing. Even in its’ uncompleted state, the new material is turning many heads. The next release in due in Spring of 2000. Watch for them to perform in your area of the world.

The self-titled 1998 release is a good introduction to the band, their songwriting style, and overall musical outlook. But it is by no means their best work...their best is yet to come...

The album they are currently finishing for Spring 2000 release (and for shopping to major US labels) will be packed full of undeniable hooks, rocking riffs, and a glimpse inside the full gamut of their musical range and songwriting abilities. Two pre-production demos of new songs, (Turn You Around and The Letting Go) are available for free download on their website as well. While these two songs are far from the best to be on the new Sundowners record, they give a good indication of the solid band unit that they have further developed into.

The current 1998 release is available for purchase at The Sundowners website, as are the MP3 and Real Audio downloads. As a melodic rock fan, you owe it to yourself to check these guys out before the rest of the world inevitably catches on to their infectious, original style of rock and roll.

http://thesundowners.iuma.com

28/12/99: Phil V. - Ken Tamplin "Brave Days of Old" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
I was not familiar with Ken Tamplin or his band Shout.But after listening to BRAVE DAYS OF OLD I am now a fan!!!His voice is awesome.
The credits are sparse but I can assume Ken is also the guitar player.And quite a talented one at that.His solos are fast,melodic & thrilling,to say the least.NEVER STOP opens the album.Good hook.The second tune RADIO BIKINI was not my cup of tea but when you listen to the very faithful cover of Rare Earth's I JUST WANT TO CELEBRATE, you reAlize how good this guy is.BORDERLINE is another stellar song.I can't tell if these songs are reworked or brand new,like I said the credits are very few and far between but the album is a very pleasant surprise.Wait 'till you hear the cover of FREE RIDE to close the album.Great vocals & guitar.This is a keeper!!

26/12/99: Rainbowe - King Of Hearts -- 1989 - rainbowe@my-deja.com
Rating: 9
Great album. It's nice to have another album with Tommy Funderburk in my collection, and having Kelly Keagy on it too makes it even better. A good, solid album; I can't imagine too many folks being disappointed with it.

10/12/99: Phil V. - Jaded Heart "IV" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
Four words....ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!!Bobby Barth brings out the best in these guys.I was actually disappointed when the album ended!!!What a choice of cover tunes,"Stone Cold" & "Easy Lover".Both are given an extreme hard rock treatment.Like I said,album of the year...no question!!

17/11/99: William Arnold - Phil Vincent "THUNDER IN THE EAST&q - Wga212@aol.com
Rating: 10
5 albums in 3 years!!!!!...let me rephrase that...5 GREAT ALBUMS in
3 years!!!!!! Just signed(FINALLY) to Song Haus Music, Phil Vincent carries on his patented melodic rock riffage sprinkled with synths &
other keys, all brought together by POUNDING drums and THROBBING bass lines."Friend or Foe" opens the album with nice quiet synth strings & piano and just when you thought it was safe to turn up the volume heavy guitars,bass & drums kick in and take you on a glorious ride.Awesome tune."When Love is Gone" & "Guilty" carry on the hard rock melodic journey.The songs are outstanding,the production is crisp & clear,the musicianship is stellar. Take into account that he plays ALL the instruments himself & it's amnazing that it's taken him this long to get signed!! And make no mistake,there's NO DRUM MACHINE churning out repetative beats, there's a REAL person playing the drums which puts this release way ahead of any other one man band release.At this pace I wonder if Song Haus is ready for the customary two albums a year that Phil is known for. Any way, back to the album."Into Temptation" reminds me of Pink Floyd,The Beatles & Dokken all rolled into one."Fooling Yourself" is heavy as hell and has a GREAT chorus."Trying to Lose You" is as good a power ballad as I've heard!!
"Keeping Distance" has some great double bass drum work and the guitar solo is impressive.By all means,get this CD,you will not be disappointed!

07/11/99: Phil V. - DREAM THEATER "Scenes from a Memory - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
AWESOME!!!JUST AWESOME!!!THIS IS THE ULTIMATE DREAM THEATER ALBUM!!!
No need to review it song by song.Just take my advice....BUY THIS DISC......IT'S AWESOME!!!!

24/10/99: Phil V. - Dokken "Erase the Slate" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
If melodic rock is to make a successful comeback,Dokken is a very important piece of the puzzle."Erase the Slate" confirms they're back!!No alternative crap here.This is the HEAVIEST Dokken has EVER sounded.And vocalist Don Dokken has never sounded better."Change the World","Maddest Hatter","Voice of the Soul" ROCK like a mutha and "Who Believes" brings to mind the Beatles on steroids.This album is a true KILLER.BUY IT!!!!!

16/10/99: Phil V. - SAGA "Full Circle" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
Whenever I buy a Saga disc,I expect to hear "The Security of Illusion
II",referring to my favorite Saga album "The Security of Illusion"."Full Circle" tries but doesn't fully succeed.And it's not the music that's not up to par, it's the lyrics.A little too sappy!Some of the riffs("The One") are killer and Ian C. has a huge guitar sound but it's the lyrics that maybe could've had more of an edge.The vocals also needed a little more attitude.I gave it an 8 because I'm a fan.If you're purchasing a Saga disc let it be "Security of Illio

15/10/99: Phil V. - SAGA "Full Circle" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
My favorite Saga album is "The Security of Illusion".That said,every subsequent release is measured by that standard of excellence. "Full Circle" is close.The band sounds tight as ever, but some of the lyrics don't fit the tone of the music. For instance,"The One" opens with a HUGE guitar riff that had me salivating.The music is killer but when Michael Sadler sings "Why do I still dream about you?" in the context of such heavy riffdom it just doesn't fit."Night to Remember" suffers from the same problem.Great riff,o.k. lyrics.It's not bad,it just takes some getting used to.Best songs on the album are "Time Bomb"(everything fits perfectly),"Remember When" & "Follow Me".Don't get me wrong,this is a very good album,but with Saga you expect a GREAT bu

13/10/99: Phil V. - Millenium "Angelfire" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
As a huge Eyewittness fan I expect anything Ralph Santolla puts out to be of the highest quality. My expectations were correct!! "Angelfire"
is an album full of heavy...no wait a second....HEAVY!!! melodic rock.
I would give anything for his guitar tone!! Fat,crunchy riffs scream out of the speakers' midrange while Todd Plant soars through the tweeters!! The bottom end is as solid as I've heard on a compact disc.
But let's not forget the most important aspect of any album....the songs!!! "Beyond the Pain","Angelfire","Bound for Glory","Remember" &
"The Color of Night" are truly spectaculiar. Notice the Beatles inspiration in the melodies but don't be fooled, this is no disc full of ballads, this is a HEAVY,HEAVY melodic rock masterpiece.Oh yea, did
I say it was HEAVY!!

05/10/99: Phil V. - Pete Sandberg "Push" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 10
"Push" was a very pleasent surprise indeed.Not only do you hear vocalist Pete Sandberg but also Bad Habit guitarist Sven Cirnski.Sven
writes most of the material on the album and his guitar playing is phenomenal throughout. The solos alone make you wonder if he has two extra fingers on his fret hand!! His presense raises the level of

every song."Save Our Souls","Believe","Self Control" & "Respect" are
sheer masterpieces. Sandberg's voice has never sounded better.The production is clean & heavy and all instruments occupy their own space in the sonic spectrum.This is the album of the year, in my estimation.Check it out.

05/10/99: Phil V. - A.C.T. "Today\'s Report" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 8
A.C.T. have a sound that I'd describe as a cross between City Boy & Dream Theater. They write songs in the City Boy vein but perform them in time signatures synonymous with Dream Theater. These guys can play!! Some of the tunes, like "Grandpa Phone Home" are a little too
weird,but if they stay in the 'rock' mode, they really show their strengths.Guitarist Ola Andersson's shredding is very reminicent of John Petrucci & Vocalist Herman Saming sounds like a Jon Anderson=
Lol Mason hybrid. Tomas Erlandsson has definitely studied at the Neil Peart Drum Academy.These guys are tight!

I'm really looking forward to the next album.Hey guys, some constructive criticism: try some straight ahead 4/4 tunes next time. We know you capl

04/10/99: Michael - MR. BIG "Get Over It" - mjmiddleton@yahoo.com
Rating: 8
After hearing that Richie Kotzen replaced Paul Gilbert in one of my favorite bands, I was overwhelmed with excitement. Not only was I going to hear one of my favorite bands again, but now it was with one of my favorite guitarists and singers (Richie Kotzen). Getting this CD took some searching unfortunately as it is not available here in the US. I finally found it at Virgin Megastore for under $20.00 which is good for an import. Anyway, after my first listen I was very pleased with a few songs right away (Static, Hiding Place, Superfantastic, How Does It Feel & Mr. Never In A Million Years). Overall there is a more bluesy overtone from Richie's input. The songs I enjoyed the most were the ones that Richie clearly wrote or co-wrote. These songs have a little more edge to them than the ones written by Eric Martin and longtime co-writer Andre Pessis, who shows up on a few songs.

Here's a song-by-song breakdown:

1. Electrified: Uptempo, bluesy rocker that deserves a better mix. Great song, bad engineering. Nice solo by RK.

2. Static: One of the best songs on the CD. Written exclusively by Richie, this song features him on co-lead vocals with Eric Martin. Nice blend with the two of them. Should have happened more often on the CD.

3. Hiding Place: Heavy, slow dirge-like rhythm. Almost Soundgarden in its feel. Very cool Richie solo.

4. Superfantastic: Very catchy tune. Good choice as a first single. I'm sure this will be monstrous in Japan. Unfortunately the garbage that's hip here (Limp Bizkit, Korn, Kid Rock) is nowhere near the level of this tune and sadly it will never be heard on the radio here. Best Eric Martin tune by far.

5. A Rose Alone: Mid-tempo bluesy tune. Nice Telecaster tone from Richie. You can definitely hear the single-coil pickup in this one. The tune itself is so-so. Decent chorus though.

6. Hole In The Sun: Also a so-so song. Better pre-chorus than the chorus. I will give credit to EM's vocal part.

7. How Does It Feel: Another favorite song of mine right now. GREAT CHORUS. This should be the next single without a doubt. Very catchy tune. Like "Superfantastic", I couldn't get this one out of my head.

8. Try To Do Without It: This song also has a very cool chorus. Not quite as good as "How Does It Feel" or "Superfantastic", but nevertheless it's a very good song. Very melodic and catchy.

9. Dancin' With My Devils: Can you say, "Stevie Ray Vaughan reincarnated"? This song is very influenced by SRV, in a good way. Definitely Richie's songwriting shining through here. Awesome tone, awesome tune. Just awesome.

10. Mr. Never In A Million Years: This is one of the best Mr. Big songs I've ever heard. The production on this one almost makes up for the rest of the album's lack of RK's vocals. This song could easily be a Free tune. Eric Martin's vocals sound very much like Paul Rodgers here, moreso than ever before.

11. My New Religion: Nice Eric Martin tune. Cool lyrics and melody. Liked this one live when I saw them recently. Could be another single.

12. Water Over The Bridge (bonus track on Japanese CD): Forgetable. I can see why this isn't on the non-Japanese release. Not a terrible song, just average and semi-cheesy. With such great songs before it, I was a little let down that this was the closer.


Overall this CD is very good and definitely worth getting for any Mr. Big fan. If you're a Richie Kotzen fan, especially his vocal stuff, you will love "Static" but, like me, will probably be disappointed in the production of this CD. The mix of the background vocals totally buries RK and should have highlighted him a little more. It's as if he's not there most of the time. The guitar playing is very tasteful and appropriate for the tunes. If you're looking for shredfest, go elsewhere. The rest of the band is in fine form and I look forward to new stuff with these guys. Let's hope Richieoe

03/10/99: Phil V. - Saxon "Metal Head" - pvrox@ids.net
Rating: 9
Biff & the boys have never sounded better.New drummer Fritz Randow adds a heaviness that was non-existant in previous albums. The BIG difference here is the lack of really fast songs. In their place are 10 songs that rock hard and carry very catchy melodies throughout. Saxon are back, and they mean business. "Metal Head" is a scorcher!!!

08/07/99: Matt - THE WiLDHEARTS - Tokyo Suits Me - matric@pdq.net
Rating: 100
With live albums, many bands stick to the traditional formula and leave little
room for surprises, but with "Tokyo Suits Me", from The Wildhearts, you
get all the energy, vibe and attitude these four lads can muster.

Fronted by singer, lyricist and guitarist Ginger, The Wildhearts have a few official albums
under their belt but fell victim to more unofficial releases by greedy record companies and
others with good intentions. The band's best offer was the release of CD singles with two
or three unreleased b-sides tagged on as an added bonus. They always do something
special for their loyal fans.

Their debut album, "Earth vs. The Wildhearts", was released in 1993 and was a prime
example of hard-rock ear candy, a 12-song opus that broke
all the conventional rules of musical political correctness
and put the band on the map. Two years later, the aptly
titled "P.H.U.Q" climbed to the top of the U.K. charts at No. 6
with the tagline, "Contains language that some people may
find offensive, even though they use it themselves."

Controversial, daring and dangerously different, The
Wildhearts could have been the next big thing, but by refusing to follow the bullying of
clueless record companies and keeping true to their diverse musical style, they became a
cult sensation throughout the United Kingdom and Japan. When The Wildhearts finally
toured Japan for the first time in 1995, the band became as big as The Beatles, but only
on an international level. Few people heard their diverse style of music in the United
States.

The Wildhearts brought a refreshing sound back into a stale music scene, a la Nirvana,
but this time around, the music was extremely catchy, aggressively upbeat and melodic.
The Wildhearts are a unique hit-making machine because they combine the best elements
of pop, rock, country and heavy metal, and blend them together to create the ultimate
musical mix.

"Here it is, our only official live album," Ginger says in the liner notes. "It ain't pretty and it
certainly ain't glossy; we'll leave that to the Americans."

"Tokyo Suits Me" kicks off this tradition with one of the band's biggest hits, "I Wanna Go
Where The People Go" from P.H.U.Q., the ultimate sing-along song with a great chorus.
Other tracks like "Nita Nitro" and "Everlone" fire up the proceedings with razor-sharp
crunchy guitar riffs and sweet infectious melodies. "Caffeine Bomb", "Nothing Ever
Changes But The Shoes" and "Suckerpunch" hit the rowdy crowd like an uppercut from
Mike Tyson and keeps them screaming for more.

"29 X The Pain" heals all wounds with creative lyrics that pay homage to various rock
bands -- lost heroes of misspent youth. One in particular is the late Kurt Cobain, with "I
want to be here once again / I'm gonna miss Kurt Cobain / like 29 X the pain." This time
around, Ginger changes the content with "I'm gonna miss you all, Japan" an ode of
sentiment to Tokyo, a place where The Wildhearts were always welcomed with open
arms, and by the sounds of Tokyo Suits Me, it was a comfortableug

07/07/99: McMack - Great White - "Can\'t Get There Fro - MikMack
Rating: 8
Great White - "Can't Get There From Here"

Great White fans who love Jack Russell's voice will love this album. Jack's voice takes center stage for practically the entire album. The other band members provide the foundation and each gets the opportunity to shine in selected points throughout. But, make no mistake; this album was built around the tremendous vocal talents of Jack Russell (and the classic Great White hooks big enough to catch a shark for which the band is named). I could use a bigger dose of Mark Kendall (What can I say? I named my son after him.), but this album is too strong just the way it is for me to complain.

As a huge fan of the "Psycho City" album, I admit I was hoping for something along those lines - big, thick, heavy, bluesy, gut-wrenching songs. I didn't get what I hoped for, but "Can't Get There From Here" is so good that I don't even care! I guess I shouldn't expect the vibe of "Psycho City" from guys who are obviously living life from a more positive perspective these days. The vibe of "Can't Get There From Here" is one of classic, straight-ahead, sing-along rock and roll. And I've been singing along ever since I put it into my CD player!

Jack Blades' production (not to mention his songwriting and background vocals) had a positive effect on the band. The album has a fresh, live feel that past Great White albums have not had. The songwriting is flavored with unmistakable hints of Jack Blades. Great White has always been able to write the big hook, but this album is chock-full of them, bigger than ever.

The songs -

Rollin' Stoned - A classic rocker in the mode of some of the "Hooked" rockers, kicked off by Audie and Sean, then add some dueling guitar licks and Jack's "All right, yeah!" and Great White is back and ready to attack! This one is getting some great radio exposure (5 night champion and counting here) and it's no wonder people are digging it. It's catchy! I love Audie's drum fill that transitions the solo section to the chorus.

Ain't No Shame - Primed to be the second single as I was told by Jack and Sean, this song is already one of my favorite Great White songs. It's kind of like an "Easy" with a "rockier" feel. You cannot listen to this song's chorus without singing along. Some great vocal work by Jack here - when he sings "To walk the path, the path of life alone…so alone" his vocal prowess is clearly featured. The man can sing.

Silent Night - A poignant, acoustic-driven ballad with Michael taking lead guitar duties. Looking back and reminiscing on a long, lost love…

Saint Lorraine - Quickly becoming one of my favorite tracks on the album, this one is a solid rocker with a catchy chorus. Some great background vocals behind the chorus and a down-n-dirty Kendall solo add to the strength of this song. A possible single if radio continues to be so rock friendly?

In The Tradition - A short, but sweet acoustic Jack Blades tune with some orchestration (keyboards, I assume). I love the rich, full sound of the acoustic guitars in this one. Some great background vocals as well. Not bluesy like House of Broken Love, but the same sentiment.

Freedom Song - A great anthem about the freedom of life on the road. I initially thought the simple, opening guitar lick would take this song a different direction. Not anything I can put my finger on, but when I realized it wasn't taking that direction, the song struck me the wrong way. Now that I've gotten that out of my system, however, I think it's one of the better sing-along songs on the album. I love the line, "Met a girl in California, she asked me if I would stay," and also the "Whooaa, whooaa's" as the song rides out.

Gone To The Dogs - Probably the most unexpected song on the album. This one is a hard, fast, driving rocker. The guitars drive, the bass drives, the drums drive and the vocals drive. A very different song for Great White, but it works.

Wooden Jesus - Along with "Rollin' Stoned" and "Hey Mister," another that I heard live long before I got the album. This one stuck in my head months after hearing it. It's a solid rocker with a catchy chorus. It goes over a little better live, I think. The album version loses some of the raw, gritty, blues that the song delivers live.

Sister Mary - Maybe the "prettiest" song Great White has ever done. I think I'm still a bit partial to "She Only," but "Sister Mary" is in the same league. About the one perfect love who makes everything else not matter. Just a beautiful, mainly acoustic song with some electric Kendall in just the right places.

Loveless Age - A perfect blend of pop rock hooks with traditional blues. Starts slow, smooth and bluesy and works up to the big-hook chorus...then back to the slow burn... Some nice keyboard work by Michael and, of course, since it's a blues song, Kendall gets his time in the spotlight. Great solo.

Psychedelic Hurricane - Kind of a dark, moody song with a hint of psychedelia as the title would suggest. I've heard the term 'Beatlesque' used to describe it and I can't really be more descriptive than that other than to say the chorus hits harder and heavier than most Beatles songs I know.

Hey Mister - Have I mentioned a favorite yet? I think maybe I have, but this song is right up there. Has a great beat, a great groove (driven by a rolling bass line) and some emotional blues work from my man, K. Jack shows his diversity by singing most of this one in his lower range. One of the most lyrically meaningful songs they've ever done also. Kind of makes you think.

The Good Die Young - As a bonus track to the Japanese release, this song is no throwaway. Recorded by Dokken as a bonus track to their "Dysfunctional" release, this one has the feel of the dark side of Dokken. "My World" at a slower pace and not quite as raw. It rocks pretty hard and adds nicely to the album as it counteracts some of the album's mellower songs.

My first impression of the album was that it was in the mold of "Sail Away" with a few rockers thrown in for good measure. After having listened to it for almost a solid month, I don't categorize it that way. The mellower, acoustic songs are obviously reminiscent of the songs on "Sail Away," but this is an album too strong and diverse on it's own merits to be compared to an album with such a constant mellow vibe. "Can't Get There From Here" shows what many of us have known for years, that Great White can deliver at both ends of the spectrum (from "Sister Mary" to "Gone To the Dogs") and everywhere in between.An

05/07/99: Troy - Slaughter - Back To Reality - strangeways74@hotmail.com
Rating: 9
I wont go into some long drawn out speech on what I think of the new Slaughter, but in this reviewers opinion, its the best thing theyve done since their debut album.

Back To Reality couldve been Back To Our Roots, its old school rock n roll, much better than their previous album Revolution. I have a hard time finding a bad song on here, except maybe the extra unlisted tune, Shufflin.

New guitarist Jeff Blando has given Slaughter a new and much better sound. I always found Slaughter to be lacking on something, never being able to place my finger on it. Well, now I know what it was...Tim Kelly. He was a great guitarist, but to me I couldnt hear him growing or expanding as a player. Mr. Blando adds a new excitement to the band, something that puts this album over the top.

If theres one thing I love about Slaughter, its that they never strayed from what they started out to be. Theyve kept the faith and weathered the musical storm of the past 10 years. Back To Reality will go down as one the best Slaughter albums of all time.
Dont wait, this is a must have cd!

29/06/99: Romeo Juliano - It\'s true... - romeo.juliano@cybergal.com
Rating: 100
Dear Melodicrock.com staff,

I'm a 21 years old boy, I'm from Brazil but I use to live in Rome (Italy) since i was just 8.
I'm a brother of metal, hard rock and all the melodic rock, without exclusions....
I saw Sarah's message right now, and I means....Sarah said the truth...I also have the Hell's Web demo tape and I'm really sad knowing they don't have a contract yet...the demo I got in my hands is probably a full version of Sara's one, it contains other songs really really strong the set list is:

Another day: Power song mid tempo in three parts (7:45).
When the Children Cry: it reminds me to Dokken at all.
Once Again: My favorite one, guitarist Scott sings.
Renegades: Speed up to 1000 but melodic like no other.
Want you touch me: The Scorpions rules in this one.
Gathering the fire: Acoustic ballad, Scott sings.

Robert Stiny (Lead Vocals) reminds me to Geoff Tate in some tracks...high voice but full of passion..
Alex Mark Scott has an approach to the guitar that is just tremendous...I think he's a disciple of George Lynch surely..
The bass line...togheter with the drumming, create an engine of thunder and lightning...

I think it's a crime to forget about guys like them!
I wonder how it's possible they don't have that damned contract they're looking for....
Maybe I can get a copy to you for free...I don't think the band would me to die if I'll do it...it's only marketing....

Anyway! Great vocals, incredible guitars touch, a band to know...I wish themll

29/06/99: Sarah - Hell\'s Web - sarah@yahoo.com
Rating: 90
Hell's web is an Italian band (and it seems not so listening to this tape)that plays a pure hard rock / metal classic genre following the steps of the oldest Dokken (Under Lock & Key)with a maturity that is original of the 90's. The tape Hell's web sent to us contain only two songs...but it's enuff to us to recognize tha band has all the cards to play the big game of rock and roll.
Since the first notes of "Another Day" we understand Hell's Web has the great sound of a four pieces band, screaming guitars and sublime vocals makes it all to believe, a mid tempo song, melodic and epic at the same time...
The second track is a ballad "Once Again"...nothing to say about it...one of the best and romantic song I ever heard to.
The band is composed by Robert Stiny at the lead vocals, Alex Mark Scott on the guitars, Dave Maltagliati on the bass line and Rob Brugnaro at the drum...all the band members play and sing at the same time, creating good chorus and big harmonies to dream over...
Check out this band...
If you want to contact them...write to HELLSWEB@HOTMAIL.COM...
BYE SARAH..

22/06/99: beau - dakota moon - bmanikoth@hotmail.com
Rating: 96
If Boyz II Men could (would) play their own instruments they would be Dakota Moon; amazing lead and harmony vocals blended into beautiful ballads with a hint of rock/funk/blues. Incredible debut album! Worth every cent out of $12.99 (plus tax, of course!). All that's really missing is perhaps more electric guitars. Keep an ear out for thei next release. Rating: 96%rv

18/06/99: v. fetterman - SINNER Judgement Day - harpo@epix.net
Rating: 10
If you haven't heard this one yet, shame on you. It's available on Saraya Recordings in the U.S.. This disc absolutely kicks ass. If you love 80's power metal, this disc is for you. This is the best collection of fist pumping heavy metal and power ballads I have ever heard. And I'm a fan of both. If you can't find this in your local record store, call Impulse at 630-529-3070. It's only about $13, but don't let the price fool you. I don't work for Impulse, but I want every metal fan who hasn't heard of this disc to give it a try. Trust me, you won't regret it. Any SINNER fans out ther p

15/06/99: hardrock johnny - DOKKEN-ERASE THE SLATE - hardrockjohnny@hotmail.com
Rating: 99
DOKKEN Has made an awesome comeback with ERASE THE SLATE! it is an apt title as you should erase your slate of memories of the disapointing shadowlife. dokken cranks it up and never looks back starting with the hard driving first and title track, this is followed with the brilliant CHANGE THE WORLD. Don conjures up memories of back for the attack and tooth and nail on this 0ne. overall, the band shows much more energy on this release than they have for many years. the guitar solos are back as REB BEACH formerly of winger, infuses the new songs with melodic yet virtuosic hooks. even diehard Lynch fans will enjoy his work here. I was lucky enough to get a copy two weeks in advance and have been playing it nonstop. even if ,like me, you (almost) gave up on them after Shadowlife, Dokken will win you back with this release. not one bad song! even Crazy mary with Mick singing is awesome! if you pick this up you wont be dissapointed. DOKKEN IS BACK!

14/06/99: v. fetterman - PRIMAL FEAR - harpo99@epix.net
Rating: 10
AWESOME disc. Available in the states on Nuclear Blast. I've had this one for well over a year now and I still play it as much now as ever. Incredible vocals by Ralf Scheepers of Gamma Ray. Great crunching riffs and melodies. They remind me a little of Judas Priest in their glory days. Matt Sinner has formed a great band here. If you love fist pumpin', head bangin' metal then check these guys out

14/06/99: v. fetterman - loudmouth s/t - harpo99@epix.net
Rating: 8
Very good disc. Has sort of an 80's feel to it. Great catchy head bangin' beat. Very polished sound. Tracks 3-4-7 are my favorites

29/05/99: P.J. - Concert Reviews - dominion7@yahoo.com
Rating: 0
This month I would like to add a couple concert reviews. I will be attending
the Chicago/Doobie Brothers show here in Indianapolis, as well as the
Ted Nugent/Night Ranger/Slaughter/Quiet Riot show. I would like to give my feedback
on how the bands are staying alive, and most important, can they sound
real LIVE! Chicago/Doobies are later this month, Ted and friends are
July 2. I'll let you know how they went.

19/05/99: andyb - Skunk Anansie-Post Orgasmic Chill - andyb@one7245.freeserve.co.uk
Rating: 10
OK, what the hell are SA doing on here, you may ask? Because, my friends thay have produced the best nard rock album I've heard in bloody years, thats why.

The single, Charlie Big Potato was the attention grabber for me, but good as that is, it does get better...and better. It rocks, it's moody, it's in your face but it drips with red hot hooks and melody that left me stunned the first time I played it-and still does now. Skin has a voice that lulls you in with it's frail beauty one minute, then scares you to death the next as shes spits out some pretty hard hitting stuff.

It's all good, but the first 8 songs are pure perfection, the pick being 'We Don't Need Who You Are'.

6 weeks ago, I would never have dreamed I'd be into these, now, I can't get enough. Along with Threshold 'Clone'.. far, far away the bt

18/05/99: William Basil - ROBERT MURDOCK - "Don\'t Quit Your - docksidemusic@worldnet.att.net
Rating: 8
The Retro 80s sound of Robert Murdock, dubbed 'The Alternative to Alternative", has received this rating from many European on-line music magazines including Strutter'zine from Holland. Also received this rating from listeners in NY/NJ/PA area of the USA on WPST's "Unsung Heroes" artist spotlight, and has been receiving accolades from as far south as Chile, South America. Robert weaves descriptive imagery and intelligent storytelling with soaring melodies- a R'N'R recipe combining a dash of Bryan Adams with a pinch of Bruce Springsteen, sprinkled with the Beatles and Journey.

Visit http://home.att/~docksidemusic/RMurdock.htm to find out more about the new sensation in theS!

30/04/99: Peter Coates - Phil Naro - peter.coates@reac.com.au
Rating: 75
PHIL NARO - TEN YEAR TOUR
Interplanet Music IP10300

A journey back in time covering the ten years between 1988 and 1998, this album provides an enlightening, and at times stunning insight into the varied career of Phil Naro. With 15 tracks, from four distinct bands, the album does not hang together naturally. However, it does give a faithful picture of the man, and all the bands have his songwriting and vocal talents in common. It is all previously unreleased material from 24K and Empire, the bands before Naro and the “Press Play” album, other versions of the Naro band, and from Phil’s work with Distant Cry.

1998 - Distant Cry - a Toronto band with whom Phil had worked for a couple of years as a side project after they lost their vocalist. ‘Ephemeral’ opens the album strongly with guitar and organ reminiscent of Deep Purple, and Phil’s trademark harmonies soaring over the whole thing. ‘Jessie’ follows in similar vein, and then the soulful ‘From the Bottom of my Heart’, written with Alex Masi.



1996 - Naro - in the years immediately after the “Press Play” album, Phil teamed up with John Rogers from Brighton Rock, and along with Naro drummer Roger Banks and 24K bassist Chris Cambon recorded a number of demos with John Bianchini producing. ‘Equilibrium’ is a foretaste of what was to come with Blood Red Flower, with moody guitars and intricate drumming providing a backdrop for the catchy chorus. There are some great moments in ‘Jokes on You’, but the production lets it down a little, and ‘Every Now and Then’ provides an acoustic and vocal interlude.

1992 - Naro - the tracks recorded prior to “Press Play”, produced by Tom Lord-Alge. ‘Body and Soul’, the quirky ‘Hashimoti’ and ‘I Can’t Win’ demonstrate all the hallmarks of the Naro touch - punchy rhythms, solid guitars, strong lead vocals and slightly ethereal harmonies.

1990 - Empire - a short-lived project with the aforementioned John Bianchini on guitar. ‘Cashin’ In’ is a straightforward rock song with a great hook to the chorus and a neat solo. The production shows itself up a little – maybe the 8-track format wasn’t so hot! ‘Fight’ is about as heavy as Phil has ever been in terms of the urgency of the song, but it still sounds more like Rush or Triumph than Judas Priest.



1989 - 24K - the first recording band Phil was involved with, and shortly being resurrected with a new album in partnership with the original guitarist, Mladen (Von Groove). Produced by Eddie Kramer, ‘I Got a Line’ is my favourite track on the album – it has everything that I always loved about “Press Play” and all the demos that I heard. ‘Hell of a Woman’ could have come off the first VG album despite the very 1980’s lyrics, while ‘Is This What Love is All About’ is a power-ballad that allows Phil to really let rip in a slightly rougher style. The final track ‘Searchin’, is from 24K’s first demo recorded in 1988, and suffers from a dated keyboard sound, although still has the Naro touch.

Overall, this album will have limited appeal given its nature as a compilation showcase for a talented and hard-working journeyman vocalist / songwriter. For those who enjoyed “Press Play”, this gives an insight into the makings of the band behind it, and it will certainly provide an introduction to the upcoming 24K album, being released later this year. Phil has kept this apart from the Blood Red Flower project, which remains very much alive, and the wider release of “Ten Year Tour” could help stimulate interest in that album. This has more than just curiosity value.

15/04/99: Ann McLaren - Double Eclipse/Have It Your Way - annmc@ibm.net
Rating: 0
Double Eclipse, made up of vocalist/bass player Phil Hackney, his
identical twin Alan on drums and Mikael Johannesson on guitar, is not an
easy band to categorise. Even the cover of their debut album "Have It
Your Way" gives nothing away - no witches and warlocks or traditional
heavy metal symbols here, just a rather tasteful graphic of, not
surprisingly, a double eclipse. So what is the band then? Heavy metal,
hard rock, melodic rock, AOR? The answer could well be "have it your
way", as it's an eclectic mix of all of them. Nowadays when reviewing a
new band it's become customary to compare them to well-known artists as
a guide, kind of "if you like so-and-so then you'll like this." So who
do Double Eclipse sound like? They sound like Double Eclipse and noone
else - and this is what sets them apart from the rest and, given the
right exposure, promises them a bright future. There are 10 self-penned
tracks on this album and not an "oh, that sounds just like...." in
sight, which although extremely refreshing, not to mention highly
unusual these days, makes writing a review a somewhat difficult
business.

The album opens with an up-tempo hard rocker, Soul Stealer with a great
singalong chorus and plenty of substance and keeps up the pace with
Sally, another rocker but more guitar-driven this time. Heaven Help Me
proves that the band are equally at home with a ballad with an
impressive performance by Phil Hackney, one of those rare singers able
to inject true emotion into a song. You Took It All is a real "ear
worm" with a great hook followed by Throw It All Away, one of the darker
numbers on the album which concentrates strongly on the rhythm section
and gives drummer Alan Hackney plenty of scope to strut his stuff.
Isolation is a classic. Whilst sounding nothing like Whitesnake's Crying
In The Rain it's the same kind of emotion-laden epic ballad that just
cries out to be played live. The AOR Need Your Love contains a classy
guitar solo and is followed by the title track Have It Your Way which is
also the heaviest track on the album, complete with wailing guitars and
thunderous drums. The pace slows down again with For The Lonely, a
haunting, melancholy number that shows that Phil can sing up in there
in the stratosphere with the best of em. The delicate acoustic number
Will You Be There? closes up the album and features the twins singing in
harmony.

After recording the album Double Eclipse were immediately snapped up by
the British Now&Then label but sadly the release schedule of more
established artists meant that the band's debut album would not have
seen the light of day until late 1999 and so by mutual agreement they
parted company and Double Eclipse reverted to their original plan of
releasing it themselves. For sheer diversity and originality Have It
Your Way comes highly recommended to lovers of rock music in all its
many shapes and forms. Sound clips and ordering details can be found on
Double Eclipse web site on http://www.thirt772.demon.co.uk/Thirt772/Indextm

09/04/99: adrian berry - Marvellous3-Hey! - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 11
Following on from wonderful "Math and other problems". Marvellous 3 would have to do a lot to prove to me that inspiration does indeed strike twice. I was not disappointed- this is rock music of the highest calibre, a Cheap Trick for the '90's. All wrapped in a freshness and vitality that reminds me of other early '80's melodic rock acts ( The Outfield, Taxxi, Rick Springfield etc.).
Highlights? hell, there are so many it's hard to choose but maybe "Freak of the Week" (a cross between The Outfield and Elvis Costello!) is the real killer. " You're so Yesterday"and "Write it on your hand" are not a million miles away from criminally neglected Adam Schmitt (check out the Rick Springfield influenced album -"World so Bright" and "Illiterature"), "Until You See" and "Indie Queen" have a definite Enuff Z'Nuff/ Beatles vibe,and then there's the poignant "Mrs Jackson" , with it's beautiful melodies and crunching guitars (reminiscent of Harem Scarem circa "mood swings") ."#27" has that early '80's pop vibe and a hookline that could drag a Great White in! "Over Your Head" ( Butch's homage to Steve Miller's "The Joker", crossed with Guardian) is another commercial monster in waiting. Butch Walker's lyrics are as sharp, witty and vindictive as ever (" I spend a lot on the clothes that I got/cuz all the geeks that I meet, they all look kooler than me"- Freak of the Week ) - 3 minute bitter-sweet stories of love and denial , all held together by the most wonderfully diverse melodies and hooklines, topped off with some great guitarwork.
The perfect American pop rock album and already my album of the year -tt

08/04/99: Sebi - PRETTY MAIDS - Anything Worth Doing Is W - Journey@galaxycorp.com
Rating: 95
Wow, this album blew me away. I never heard much of this Danish band before, but now I will!
Strong Hard Rock tunes and melodic anthems mixed with some softer ballads, the kind of music the heart
of an AOR freak beat faster. I can tell you guys - BUY IT !!!
Unfourtunatly I don't have the time to review each track, but I must at least review one:
Track 11 on the album, "Loveshine" combines all the qualities you want to hear from a good AOR track.
An anthem-like Guitar intro followed by great melodic and vocal lines.
Wow. Great.
The Vocals sometimes remind me a little of Def Leppard although the guitars appear more powerful with the Maids.
By the way cover's got a cool design.

Once more BUY IT !!!Ne

03/04/99: Julian - Charade - S/t - frontlines@burwood.starway.com.au
Rating: 95
What we have here in my egotistical opinion is the best album of 1998
Charade are the nucleus of moonlighting Jaded Heart vocalist Michael Bormann
and former Bonfire/Pretty Maids/Sinner/Demon Drive guitarist Angel Schleifer
,these two wrote played and produced the entire CD.What you get musically is
as you can imagine a mix of Jaded Heart and prime time Bonfire ala "Fireworks"
From the opening track "Call my Name" to the closing "Heaven" you get
nothing but sheer melodic rock bliss.The only drawback to this CD is
that it is a Japense only release currently and only clocks in with ten tracks
which is a little dissapointing considering the import price you'll have to pay
to get it.But if your like me and love Jaded Heart/Bonfire style Arena AOR then
the price is worth it! Available on the Avex/Bareknuckle Label Cat No.AVCB-66038.

03/04/99: BB - SO - BRASS MONKEY - bbarwell@telerama.com
Rating: 10
Rising from the ashes of aor legend FM, so (steve overland) returns
with fm member pete jupp to provide one of the most refreshing cds of
1998. it's regrettable that i have yet to see any mention of this
release still. it is simply one of the most rewarding releases i have
yet to hear. reminiscent of the first fm release, but with a nod to
motown and the beatles in terms of melody and musical arrangement.
songs such as "follow in your footsteps and "hole in my life" are so
unforgettable that you will wonder how this has escaped so many
qualified listeners. please do yourself a favor and search out this
japan only (i believe) release. i dare you to disagree.

02/04/99: ady berry - Beaucoup - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 10
Originally released as a 5 track ep in 1984- it wasn't until 1987 that Ohio based foursome Beaucoup finally released a full record on Amherst records- and what a record it was! Astonishing harmonies intermixed with pompous/ hi tech keyboards to create an incredible album. From the start Beaucoup set their stall out to be something special , the title track mixes awesome harmonies with the highly emotive vocals of Frank Amato , all driven by the perfect keys of Dennis Lewin. 9 tracks- 9 killers, from the out and out classic americana of " born and raised (on rock n roll) " to the heart wrenching of "somewhere out in the night" and "still in my heart" (west coast heaven) , the guitar driven "sweet rachel" (hints of Chicago with the horns) , the incredible pomp intro of "I'll never stop" and finally the hard edged "hold on me"(reminiscent of the Aviator cd, yeah that good!) there are no fillers on this album, just outstanding AOR songs.
Interestingly when interviewed by Boulevard magazine a few years ago Beaucoup were still a going studio concern with the possibility of more demos . MTM could certainly do a lot worse than sign these guys#

02/04/99: ady berry - The Marvellous 3- Math andd other proble - adyb@mcmail.com
Rating: 10
Fans of Cheap Trick , Guardian and Enuff Z'nuff will die when they hear these guys! The best power pop you'll ever hear- period. Just catch the likes of "the last sleep", "valium" and "katrina". Musically it's a rock hybrid, but of all the best, there's a nod to the 'stones, a tip of the hat to Cheap Trick and even a hint of John Kilzer from this Atlanta threesome , all held together by Butch Walker's wicked sense of humour and clever lyrics, "the way she's lookin at me, I think she wants me to be/ the guy that always gets shot in every movie you see".
Quite simply head and shoulders above t r

06/03/99: Julian - PAIN - S/T - frontlines@burwood.starway.net.au
Rating: 85
Hear is a review that was actually inspired by another review on this
site of Emerald Rain's "Broken Saviours" by Brian Powell.After reading
Brian's reveiw I felt the need to reach into the CD collection and
pull out Pain's self titled debut CD released on the Japanes label
Alfa/Brunette back in 1995,why this CD you may ask? Well that is who
Emerald Rain used to be.The Cd is leaps and bounds better than what
we have on offer on the "Broken Saviours" CD and it has an origional
flavour to it that the Emerald Rain CD does'nt.Pain is Heavier and
not cliche at all.All the lyrics are from the thinking man's
perspective and the vocal talents of Murray Daigle are much easier to
see as the production is nothing short of spectacular.The harmony
vocals are there and they are the only real Scarem influence ,but the
music on this CD is much more intellegent and that makes this album
a much more suitable direction for these guys.I can understand that
they have tried to go for a more melodic feel on the Emerald Rain
CD but seem to have comprimsed some crediblity in doing so,as good and
as needed as cliche music can be sometimes(Intruder! Message!)Pain's
origionality was also good and needed.And to Brian,if you would like
a tape of Pain let me kw.

27/02/99: beau - DAKOTA MOON - bmanikoth@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
these fellas sing better than BOYZ II MEN and plays their own instruments. 13 great songs filled with amazingly layered harmonies!

27/02/99: John Watson - LEGS DIAMOND "Uncut Diamond" - ERNDOR@mathrock.u-net.com
Rating: 0
Legs Diamond recorded these demos in 1979 and the twenty year wait for the release of these songs has been worth it! Far better than "Firepower",the band were unable to get a deal at the time (to make it their fourth album) so it was shelved. Having had tapes of these songs for all these years,my greatest musical wish (to have them officially released) has been granted. You need look no further for the album of the decade.

17/01/99: SAM - AOR Music - luv80snite@aol.com
Rating: 100
I am just making a comment to every one who listens to AOR....Thankyou Europe and Japan for keeping melodic rock alive...i am very disappointed that the USA feels AOR sucked and that alternative 90s music has a place in this world and i apologize that the Usa wont give real music a chance anymore. I applaud everyone of you for keeping the spirit of 80s real music alive... Please E-mail me i would love to hear from anyone who loves AOR... and to the guy who runs this website you rule man!!! E-mail me......

09/01/99: APB - Bad Habit - Adult Orientation - abanas@wgeld.org
Rating: 92
Bad Habit's "Adult Orientation" CD has made me a big fan for a lot of reasons. First of all their tunes are very melodic and the arrangements are well thought out. Secondly, the muscianship is right on, and lastly, the production is excellent. I am not an audio engineer but I believe the term "separation" is appropriate here; that is, the sounds of each instrument a very well defined, particularly the drums which are fantastic. "Miss it when its Gone" is my favorite tune and "Hard Rain" is also a great song. The mix of slow and upbeat songs is just about right. It's not a GenX or Slacker psycho style CD, just a good solid rock effort that I think most people would really enjoy. If these guys are any indication of Swedish pop/rock in general I will have to check out more of their bands

08/01/99: Eduardo Rocha - RED DAWN - Never Say Surrender - eduardor@credicard.com.br
Rating: 9
This is what I call good AOR stuff. Fantastic keyboards, amazing melodic, excellent guitars and vocals. For those who do not have this masterpiece, do not hesitate: buy it now!

04/01/99: Alex - Strangeways-Native Sons - Txungo@clientes.euskaltel.es
Rating: 98
Nunca habia oido nada de este grupo,lo compre porque me lo recomendo el chico de la tiendo a la que suelo ir a comprar todos los cds
Lo pinche en mi cadena y...¡Dios existe!.Si no lo tienes comprealo,si ya lo tienes vuelvelo a comprar por si uno se te rompe.
Adolfo,si eres de España,mandame un E-Mail ,asi podremos charlar sobre buenos grupos.

03/01/99: DZ - Jimmy Lawrence/"The World Is Round"/ - Donna@loopexpert.com
Rating: 95
This is an excellent cd and is in the vain of many of my favorite aor artists. It reminds me a little of Bon Jovi but with more diversity. It has great songs and is very melodic. It is among my favorite of the year. I hope we hear more form Jimmy Lawrence in the future.

02/01/99: Adolfo - Sebastian Bach & Friends - j059480803@abonados.cplus.es
Rating: 98
Impresive live album with all the classic Skid Row tunes and several new songs. ¨The most powerful man in the world¨ will be a huge hit for the Seb. fans.
R. Scarlet inmense with the guitar.
Thank you Seb. for keeping the flame on.

01/01/99: Mick - EMERALD RAIN - BROKEN SAVIOURS - Mick_Powell@ibis.com
Rating: 40
I have to establish up front that I am a HUGE fan of the band Harem Scarem.
So naturally, when I read a review of Emerald Rain"s "Broken Saviours" CD
comparing it to Harem Scarem"s best two albums, "Mood Swings" and "Voice Of Reasons",
I rushed to get my hands on a copy of "Broken Saviours".
This is the perfect example of "there is no accounting for taste". In my opinion,
there are absolutely no similarities between the two bands. Harem Scarem"s music features
intelligent lyrics, hook layden guitar work, huge vocals, and outstanding production.
Emerald Rain "Broken Saviours" does have the HUGE wall of sound guitar sound, but unfortunately,
lyrically, and musically, the best word to describe this CD is cliche". This would have been a
good CD in the early 80"s, but it"s all been done before, and much better! The musicianship is
quite good throughout, but the album lacks character, and is screaming for at least ONE strong,
memorable song. I had high hopes when this came in the mail, but unfortunately, "Broken Saviors"
end up in my "what was I thinking?" pile along with RTZ"s "Lost" (perfect title), and "VH3".

18/12/98: Rich - Review-Change of Heart - R.J.HOUSECHILD1@STUDENT.DERBY.AC.UK
Rating: 8
Change of Heart - S/T.
I first noticed this band at the gods "98 in Wigan England. A sound that reminded me od F.M and Heartland. They played a storming set and I soon was after the album. The first thing that I noticed was that it wasnt as heavy as the live set , with the guitars much lower in the mix and keyboards brought more to the forefront. The songwriting is superb throughout, a nice mix of uptempo rockers and heart wrenching ballads, classy AOR at its finest and a big suprise to learn that the band are from Britain (wey - hey!). The finest song on the album has got to be "Dont walk away" which is a heavy ballad(?) and has an excellent verse that prepares you for the atmospheric laid back chorus. The structure to the ballads on this album take a different route to most in this genre in that there are verse-chorus-verse-chorus and then fades out on the guitar solo with no final heart pulling chorues to hammer the melody home. This said, it is a refreshing AOR album that still manages to sound like a classic whilst never sounding dated.If AOR is youre thing and youre looking for new talent cuz youve worn out all youre classic Journey, F.M. and that Signal album, get this as its the best thing out of Britain since Ten. Hope they get the push by the record company that they deserve.

18/12/98: Rich - review: heavens edge - r.j.housechild1@student.derby.ac.uk
Rating: 10
Heavens edge: Some other place" some other time.
Wow, this is totally cool. I am realatively new to this genre, listening for about 4 years now and never thought that I would ever see a time when albums released were this good. The opener really makes the hairs ont he spine stand on end. "rock staedy rock" has got to be one of the finest melodic rock track written in ages, the brilliant guitar work and driving riff, and a vocalist that just demand s youre attention. This one reminded me of classic tracks like Tyketto"s "forever young" and Firehouses "all she wrote", and will join my all time favourites. The next track up is the title track and is the one song on the album that does nothing for me, the melody just drifts along without a sense of direction and is often subjected to "skip button" treatment. Next is"jacky", another outstanding tune reminisent of prime Firehouse without the shreiking vocals. Absoloute magic. The rest of the album comprises of excellent good time rockers and some atmospheric ballads. One other point to note that if you laike late 80"s glam, melodic the track "Backseat Driver" is a must. Great guitar work and totally out dated vocals which may embarrass some, this brings a smile to the face everytime and is sure to be a dancefloor hit. A monster album, my favourite of 1998. Winner!!!

18/12/98: Rich - review:Restless - r.j.housechild1@student.derby.ac.uk
Rating: 8
Restless: Alone in the dark.
An album that didnt initially appeal to me as the guitars didnt seem loud enough and the lead vocal seems a little out of tune at times. After a few listens though, these minor details are forgotten and the songs really seem to shine. Once forgot about trying to find an instant classic I found some of the best tunes that I have heard all year. The opener "Guilty" is a nice driving rhythm harking back to the glory days of melodic rock with its catchy chorus and excellent harmonies. After reading the inlay notes I realised that this album is actually made up of demo"s dating back to early 90"s that the band used to try and get a deal. It was something of a classic among demo/rarity collectors. The final song on the album, the ballad "Willing" is perhaps the finest aor ballad that I have ever heard. Again it took a while, but the melody soon lodged itself into my head. The musicianship on this song is excellent with great use of synths and harmony vocals, surely another classic that will never get the recognition that it deserves. The song that really does it for me is the mid-tempo "Leaving You". It has one great chorus, complete with "woah-woah"s make it sound a little like Bon Jovi in their prime (i.e. Slippery). All in all, an album that may take a little time to get into but it is well worth it, especially if smooth keybords, brilliant vocal harmonies and cool guitar playing is your thing.

18/12/98: Rich from Britain - Pink Cream 69 - r.j.housechild1@student.derby.ac.uk
Rating: 10
I picked up this album not knowing anything about the band or not hearing any of their previous work. All of the british aor/melodic rock press were raving on about it so I thought that I had better check it out. It was a monster from the off. The first track "Shame" is a fast paced melodic rocker with a strong 90"s vibe ala danger danger "4 the hard way". The next track "Stranger in time" has a heavy guitar with excellent vocal melodies that just makes you give that air guitar a damn good thrashing. The rest of the album follows in this vein, with hand "Hand Over The Fire" being the only song that doesnt appeal to my melodic tastes as it boarders too closely to thrash style metal. This was one of the biggest supprises of the year and after constant listening just seems to get better and better. If you like danger danger "four the hard way" im sure that youll love this as it sounds new, fresh and heavy whilst holding some of the best melodic vocals that ive heard in ages. Certainly in my top 5 for "98.

16/12/98: MANU - BAD HABIT \"Adult Orientation\" - Emmanuel.Degryse@utc.fr
Rating: 86
This is another great AOR album, I"ve bought a few weeks ago. Most of the songs won"t leave your head for a moment. I sometimes regret its lack of power: I would like it to sound like the first two tracks do. The two last songs are really beautiful, and end a brilliant album.

15/12/98: Manu - INTRUDER \"Dangerous Nights\" - Emmanuel.Degryse@utc.fr
Rating: 91
This album has really shook me (What a sound !!!). Most of the tracks on it are future classics: a must have for any AOR fan !!!

13/12/98: robin - MIDNIGHT SUN - roblove11@aol.com
Rating: 100
this band put out one of my favorite aor cd"s of all time (another world)-great production, great vocals, excellent melodies-this is the sound that defines 90"s aor. while these guys may be lost amongst the various bands who release cd"s every month, midnight sun belongs up there-way up there.

11/12/98: ADOLFO - CHICAGO 25 - j059480803@abonados.cplus.es
Rating: 92
Drop your older christmas albums and try with this.
Traditional songs with the special Chicago touch.
Super, but no for metal-heads, and I like Iron Maiden too.

09/12/98: Adolfo - MISTIC HEALER - j059480803@abonados.cplus.es
Rating: 90
Mark returns with a fantastic CD a la Drive She Said. Maybe some old songs and it smells, but great music for Hard Rock fans.
Good cover, good production and good voice.


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