Saturday, July 22, 2017

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.1

V.A. - 0dayrox Advanced Releases August 2017 - Vol.1 full

Very close to August here we are with some fresh Advanced Singles, many from releases scheduled for the Autumn. Many news come from the ever fruitful Frontiers Music camp.
One of the most awesome upcoming releases is the debut of KEE OF HEARTS, a new band built around two true melodic rock superstars: Tommy Heart (singer of Fair Warning) and Kee Marcello, former Europe guitarist, with a line-up rounded out by Ken Sandin (ex-Alien) on bass. The first single 'The Storm' is top class Melodic / Rock AOR.

Oh my! There is a new ROBIN BECK album in the making. Entitled Love Is Coming, will be released on October 13th. The new recording sees her partnering with Clif Magness (Steve Perry, Avril Lavigne) who mixed and produced. Beck’s husband James Christian (House Of Lords) co-produced with Tommy Denander giving a hand. The first single “On The Bright Side” is simply delicious.
We have another single from the terrific KRYPTONITE debut, and the title track 'Unify' from Billy Sherwood (Asia), Guy Allison & Bruce Gowdy (the core of Unruly Child) WORLD TRADE upcoming album.

Frontiers have finally signed HELL IN THE CLUB, a killer hard rock / metal band that has staked a serious claim in the European scene based on a lot of hard work and the resumes of the members. There's a hot first advance in 'We Are On Fire'.
The label also announced the release of the self-titled debut of one of their latest UK signings: BIGFOOT. This is traditional killer hard rock combo with a punchy sound. The album will be released October 13, 2017.
Also from Britain, DIRTY THRILLS will release their first CD with Frontiers soon. This unique outfit are bringing back old school rock ‘n’ roll, while all the while applying their oh-so-appealing filthy edge to it.

THE POODLES are back with the brand new single "Love is Gone", the first release from the coming album Prisma which is due to be released in January 2018.
This band never stops to surprise me... this is a cover of electronic artist David Guetta. "We took on the challenge to do our version of a song from a different genre, one that is very different from our own", says lead singer Jakob Samuel.
And The Poodle's version rocks!

We have another strong single from DEGREED's upcoming album, the anthemic 'Burn! Witches Burn!' from SERIOUS BLACK new record Magic (August 25th via AFM Records), and MASTERPLAN first single from the new album.
Melodic progressive solid act SOUL SECRET will release their new album Babel soon, and listening to the first single 'What We're All About' it promises a lot.

Also UK super group CATS IN SPACE are ready for the release of their awaited new CD, first advance 'Mad Hatter's Tea Party' is just another showcase for this band's talent.
We have another track - the keyboard driven 'Time Of Your Life' - from Swedes RIAN debut CD to be appeared this week, and for the last, Melodic Hard wonders ECLIPSE have just put out the single 'The Downfall Of Eden', and as B-side there's the 'instrumental version' of the song exclusive to this release.
More to come...

01 - Kee Of Hearts - The Storm
02 - Rian - Time Of Your Life
03 - Robin Beck - On The Bright Side
04 - The Poodles - Love Is Gone
05 - Degreed - Save Me
06 - Kryptonite - Across The Water
07 - World Trade - Unify
08 - Soul Secret - What We're All About
09 - Bigfoot - The Fear
10 - Cats In Space - Mad Hatter's Tea Party
11 - Dirty Thrills - Law Man
12 - Hell In The Club - We Are On Fire
13 - Serious Black - Burn! Witches Burn!
14 - Masterplan - Escalation 666
15 - Eclipse - The Downfall Of Eden (instrumental version)

only at 0dayrox


LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered]

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] full

"Hot Tonight" is the only official LIONHEART album... until few weeks when the band will return after more than 30 years with a new, second CD. Meanwhile, let's enjoy their superb 1984's debut Remastered & Reloaded by Rock Candy Records.
A super-group of sorts founded by ex Iron Maiden Dennis Stratton, the band slowly made a name in the NWOBHM movement, but at the time of the recording of "Hot Tonight" they embraced a Melodic Rock / AOR sound & style.

Part of the legendary line-up featured on the ground-breaking Iron Maiden debut, within a year of its release guitarist Dennis Stratton found himself out in the cold.
Joining forces with one-time Liar guitarist Steve Mann (later of course to join the MSG ranks), bassist Rocky Newton (McAuley Schenker Group ) and original Tygers Of Pan Tang vocalist Jess Cox – we’ll gloss over the constantly changing drum seat for now – this new band of budding hopefuls (by then already christened Lionheart) set about writing a batch of songs that would attract the interest of promoters and labels alike.

It didn’t take too long to figure out that the rasping growl of Cox wasn’t suitable for the commercially slanted songs they were coming up with, and after auditioning a number of different singers (including Lautrec’s Reuben Archer) they eventually settled on session man Chad Brown. Possessed of a soulful, passion drenched melodic ard rock voice, Chad’s classic vibrato fitted the mood perfectly.

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] booklet

Thanks to Nigel Thomas (former manager of Joe Cocker and Spooky Tooth) the band scored themselves a US deal with CBS, and in the spring of ‘84 decamped to Los Angeles to record their debut album "Hot Tonight" under the guidance of producer Kevin Beamish.
A household name thanks to recent mega platinum successes with REO Speedwagon, Beamish was the perfect choice to help Lionheart mould their friendly Melodic hard rock / AOR sound, and when "Hot Tonight" duly emerged several months later they made no apologies for the distinctly American sheen it conveyed.

Indeed, despite its British origin, Lionheart's debut is built on the songwriting and production standards of American melodic hard rock.
Boasting a surfeit of strong hooks, multi-layered harmonies and impetuous keyboards, tracks like the hugely infectious ‘Towers Of Silver’, the audacious ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ (resplendent with its pompous keys), the fizzing ‘Wait For The Night’, brooding ‘Nightmare’ and spirited title track ‘Hot Tonight’ all showcased a band that would surely go all the way.

LIONHEART - Hot Tonight [Rock Candy remastered] back

Lionheart's "Hot Tonight" is a cult classic, for years out of print and never officially released on CD until this Rock Candy Records remaster.
Most songs on this album open on staccato keyboards (and I love this) in a pure mid-80s AOR fashion, followed by a pumping rhythm section, sharp guitars, and the melodic, clean vocals plenty of harmonies.
There's a colorful booklet in this Rock Candy reissue including never seen photos provided by Steve Mann himself, and a complete essay about the band / recording plus previously unknown details.

01 - Wait For The Night
02 - Hot Tonight
03 - Die For Love
04 - Tower Of Silver
05 - Don't Look Back In Anger
06 - Nightmare
07 - Living In A Dream
08 - Another Crazy Dream
09 - Dangerous Dream

Chad Brown - lead vocals
Dennis Stratton - guitars, backing vocals
Steve Mann - guitars, backing vocals, keyboards
Rocky Newton - bass, backing vocals
Bob Jenkins - drums



Friday, July 21, 2017

EUROPE - The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse] (2017)

EUROPE - The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse] (2017)  full

Today July 21 Swedish hard rock institution EUROPE are releasing on various formats their unique 30th Anniversary performance of The Final Countdown from London's legendary Roundhouse. "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show - Live At The Roundhouse" celebrates the multi-platinum album's triple-decade success.

The band played the album in its sequential entirety at a series of selected cities in 2016, with London's most historically venerated venue playing host to an exceptionally special night on November 12, 2016.

Curiously, this concert not only celebrates "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary" (played entirely) but first, Europe played their newest album War Of Kings, also complete. This what you got on disc 1.
Europe work their way through the album flawlessly, track by track. It is a good opportunity to hear and watch the band perform effortlessly - showing everyone the reason that they have had so much success for more than 30 years.

Then on disc 2 we have the famous record... there is no other song in the world that has catchier synth sounds than title track ‘The Final Countdown’. It continues and we are taken through a Europe timeline from 2015 to 1986.
Europe play through the album that brought them their true fame and fortune in track order. It’s so pleasing to see the crowd singing along, hands in the air and smiles on their faces. Crowd participation with the older age group is often very hit and miss - however, this crowd are generally doing Europe proud.
Then again, how can you not sing along to songs like ‘Carrie’ and ‘Cherokee’?

The sound quality / picture is top notch. Legendary guitarist John Norum delivers a guitar tone which has such clarity and punch. This is accompanied perfectly by the heart-melting vocals of Joey Tempest. It doesn’t matter so much that he can’t quite hit all of the high notes that he used to. Regardless, he has still got it, inside and out.
Ensuring that I can keep my air keyboard up to scratch is Mic Michaeli. He’s supplying that universal 1986 keyboard sound that the album just would not be the same without. To complete the original The Final Countdown line up is drummer Ian Haugland and bassist John Leven.

More than nostalgia, "The Final Countdown 30th Anniversary Show [Live At The Roundhouse]" in fact display the quality of this band that after more than 3 decades still rocks among the best.
Europe rocks, and this concert Rocks.

Disc 1:
01. Hole in My Pocket
02. The Second Day
03. Praise You
04. Nothi' to Ya
05. California 405
06. Angels (With Broken Hearts)
07. Days of Rock ‘N’ Roll
08. Children of the Mind
09. Rainbow Bridge
10. Vasastan
11. Light it Up
12. War of Kings

Disc 2:
01. The Final Countdown
02. Rock the Night
03. Carrie
04. Danger on the Track
05. Ninja
06. Cherokee
07. Time Has Come
08. Heart of Stone
09. On the Loose
10. Love Chaser
11. The Final Countdown (Reprise)

Joey Tempest - lead vocals
John Norum - guitars, backing vocals
John Levén - bass, backing vocals
Mic Michaeli - keyboards, backing vocals
Ian Haugland - drums



PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017)

PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017) full

British progressive metal group PROSPEKT have a shiny, textured album on their hands with new album "The Illuminated Sky" released today. We were already impressed with the advanced track featured in one of our Advanced Releases compilations, but now after listening to the entire record it's safe to say this is one of the 'albums of the year' in this genre.

And Prospekt's genre or musical style straddles the fine line between classic melodic metal and prog, which should satisfy any desire for powerful vocals, virtuosic guitar soloing and pristine production sound.
The '90s ushered in a new age of prog metal when bands like Dream Theater and Symphony X expanded on what acts like Fates Warning and Queensrÿche had started in the '80s.

This new brand of prog metal was more deeply rooted in technicality while still writing good hooks. This led to many bands springing up in the '90s who essentially sounded a lot like Dream Theater.
UK’s Prospekt would have fit right in during the '90s, and while there's DT, Tesseract and alike influences, they sound pretty much their own.

“The Illuminated Sky” not only marks the return of Prospekt (this is their 2nd effort) but it also sees a change in the line-up. New singer Michael Morris has the range needed for the type of music that Prospekt play. A what a set of pipes!
There's also a new keyboardist in Rox Capriotti who as well works as 'orchestrator' alongside founder, guitarist extraordinaire Lee Luland.
The results are impressive.

Among my favorites is the title track which showcases the band’s incredible playing while still being catchy, and the busy 'Beneath Enriya' which sounds like a lost Symphony X track with that big sound along with piano parts I associate with Michael Piniella.

PROSPEKT - The Illuminated Sky (2017) inside

'Titan' is another highlight with some Tesseract perfection to it, driven by meaty riff and relentless attack with very good rhythm section arrangements and keys. 'Alien Makers Of Discord' is winner too with several time signature changes and a great Greg Howe guest solo.

Prospekt aren’t reinventing the wheel here but they make it roll quite awesomely. All guy's musicianship is top notch, and the power but at the same time melodic vocals easily sell the songs.
“The Illuminated Sky” is a sharp tech prog metal album in the way Circus Maximus, Dream Theater and alike USED to sound in '90s. Prospekt are very classy regarding this particular sub-genre / era.
And very good at it.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Ex Nihilo
02 - The Illuminated Sky
03 - Titan
04 - Distant Anamnesis
05 - Beneath Enriya
06 - In The Shadows Of The Earth
07 - Alien Makers Of Discord (featuring Greg Howe)
08 - Cosmic Emissary
09 - Akaibara
10 - Where Masters Fall (featuring Marc Hudson)

Lee Luland - Guitars and Orchestration
Rox Capriotti - Keyboards and Orchestration
Michael Morris - Vocals
Phil Wicker - Bass Guitar
Blake Richardson - Drums and Percussion
Special Guests:
Greg Howe - guitar solo on Alien Makers Of Discord
Marc Hudson - vocals on Where Masters Fall



UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017)

UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017) full

Not only that the summer period is the time of the year that’s filled with festivals and open airs, it also feels like quite some bands releasing live albums as we speak: UNISONIC are releasing today "Live In Wacken".
It’s a busy year for Kai Hansen – his Thank You Wacken live solo album appeared fw weeks ago, and then a month later one of his bands, Unisonic, release their live album, also recorded at Wacken, and of course he’ll be busy preparing for the Helloween Pumpkins united tour.

If you haven’t listened to Unisonic before I’d urge you to check 'em out as it reunites two Helloween legends, Kai Hansen and Michael Kiske. The band's studio albums are excellent and this live one is nothing short of spectacular.
Unsurprisingly it’s been recorded and filmed at Wacken – not only have the band members played there in the past with Kai Hansen being a regular performer since the start of the festival, but the setup Wacken have in audio facility is second to none.

UNISONIC - Live In Wacken (2017) back

Unisonic's "Live In Wacken" is a killer release – the CD is great to listen to (and I’ve listened to it a lot already), and when you’ve got a bit of time to spare then sitting and watching the DVD is great.
Hearing how good Michael Kiske’s voice is even after all these years and that combined with the playing of Kai Hansen and Dennis Ward's skills, it's a pleasure to listen to here.
Unisonic is a beast of a band, one of the best you can get out there.
A fantastic live release.

01 - Venite 2.0
02 - For the Kingdom
03 - Exceptional
04 - My Sanctuary
05 - King for a Day
06 - A Little Time
07 - Your Time Has Come
08 - When the Deed Is Done
09 - Star Rider
10 - Throne of the Dawn
11 - March of Time
12 - Unisonic

Michael Kiske - lead vocals
Kai Hansen - lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Mandy Meyer - lead & rhythm guitars
Dennis Ward - bass, backing vocals, producer, engineer, mixing
Kosta Zafiriou - drums, percussion



Thursday, July 20, 2017

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017)

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) full

We have the pleasure to listen today the advanced press copy of ALICE COOPER's new album "Paranormal" to be released next July 28. This Digipak 2-CD Edition includes a bonus disc with 2 new songs written & performed by The Original Alice Cooper Band plus carefully selected live recordings of Alice's classics.

Cooper worked with longtime producer Bob Ezrin on "Paranormal", and as previously reported, rounded up an assortment of famous friends to chip in, including U2’s drummer Larry Mullen Jr., ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons and Deep Purple’s Roger Glover.
Reflecting on the album’s title, Cooper said, “This is not a normal Alice record. Bob and I decided, no theme this time — we’re gonna make a record of things that just get us off, things that we like. And it might go in a lot of directions.”

"Paranormal" opens with its title track and a continuous drum roll of an introduction with bursts of guitar pave way to the introduction of Cooper’s familiar vocal, albeit slightly more subdued and tame than some of his past musical output. Some criticism has been aimed at the man himself for the quality of his voice in recent years: circumstances that cannot be escaped due to naturally aging.
Here, however, Cooper’s voice sounds as good as it ever has, despite adopting a softer approach of course in comparison to what has come before it.
'Dead Flies' immediately follows as the second of the album’s tracks, and again is able to utilize cleverly morbid lyricism and incorporate it into melodic hard rock, which could be interpreted as Alice Cooper’s biggest talent as a musician and a songwriter.

'Fireball' leads the listener even further down into the album’s musical output, and again this song manages to retain the band’s famous style while still discovering new avenues in order to stand on its own and have its creative prowess be viewed clearly.
'Paranoiac Personality' start out quite psychedelic in its immediate moments, it soon bursts into the familiar classic rock mood that Copper has become known for.
'Fallen in Love' mark the record’s halfway mark, possibly deceiving you into thinking that it is a ballad, but the track is just another great song on an album full of great songs so far.

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) discs

'Dynamite Road' races from its opening moments all the way to its conclusion with words of excess, debauchery, violence, criminality and everything else that you would expect from the heavy metal scene of the 1970s and 1980s. With blistering musicianship and one of Cooper’s best vocal performances perhaps on the entire album, this is a highlight and a song you should definitely enjoy.

'Holy Water' accurately presents the showmanship of Alice Cooper as one of the greatest and most influential entertainers in the history of the music business, and this song is an obvious statement of intent that he desires to retain that position for years to come.
The inclusion of instruments that are not typical of this kind of music and the ability to make them work alongside the traditional guitar/bass/drum set-up again is evidence of the talent of the Alice Cooper band. This song just reeks of the sort of atmosphere that makes classic rock brilliant, making it one of the album’s best.

'Rats' and 'The Sound of A' bring ‘Paranormal’ to an end, featuring the same sort of old-school rock-driven style (under a number of different guises, be that fast-paced or more melodic and softer) that has made the songs before them on this album so musically entertaining.
It’s safe to say that if you’ve enjoyed everything up to this point, then these last two songs will definitely satisfy your appetite for well-produced classic rock music.

The extra disc delivers two delicious surprises; 'Genuine American Girl' and 'You and All of Your Friends', 2 new songs written & performed by The Original Alice Cooper Band: Cooper, Dennis Dunaway, Neal Smith and Michael Bruce.
And you have here very well recorded live versions of 'No More Mr. Nice Guy', 'Billion Dollar Babies', 'School's Out' and more.

ALICE COOPER - Paranormal [Digipak 2-CD Edition] (2017) back

The legend of Alice Cooper as a musical force especially when it comes to rock music cannot be overstated, and this album genuinely succeeds in showing why still to this day he and his band is one of the best to have ever done it.
While not as instantly classic as the records he produced in his golden era decades back, ‘Paranormal’ should in years to come be recognized as one of Alice’s greatest efforts, and is an album that demands your attention.
Highly Recommended

CD 1 : Paranormal
01 - Paranormal (feat. Roger Glover)
02 - Dead Flies
03 - Fireball
04 - Paranoiac Personality
05 - Fallen In Love (feat. Billy Gibbons)
06 - Dynamite Road
07 - Private Public Breakdown
08 - Holy Water
09 - Rats
10 - The Sound of A

CD 2 : Bonus Disc
New songs written & performed by
The Original Alice Cooper Band:
01 - Genuine American Girl
02 - You and All of Your Friends
Live In Columbus:
03 - No More Mr. Nice Guy
04 - Under My Wheels
05 - Billion Dollar Babies
06 - Feed My Frankenstein
07 - Only Women Bleed
08 - School's Out



SHY - Unfinished Business [remastered + bonus tracks]

SHY - Unfinished Business [remastered + bonus tracks] full

In 2002, after twelve years lead vocalist Tony Mills left the band, nobody would have guessed that premier British AOR act SHY would come up with a superb masterpiece to rival - and indeed exceed in many ways - their classic '80s record Excess All Areas. Well, they did it with "Unfinished Business".
Not so long ago Z Records released this remastered version including 2 bonus tracks, recently reissued again.

"Unfinished Business" is - and will be - the most complete Shy album ever, not only one of their best but in the entire British AOR / Melodic Hard Rock history.
Yes, it's that good.
This album has it all: excellent songwriting (in many ways superior to Excess...) brilliant melodies, catchy choruses and superb musicianship. Each track is plenty of rich keyboard layers supplemented by sometimes killer, sometimes exquisite melodic guitar work, an agile rhythm section and soaring vocal harmonies to die for.
This is for sure one of the best recordings Tony Mills has been involved in.

Apart from all these excellent attributes, Shy's great merit here resides in their ability to capture the late '80s vibe like no-other.

Trying to choose a favorite is useless. All are killer-no-fillers exceptional keyboard / guitar driven diamonds of smooth AOR and top class Melodic Rock.
On this Z Records remastered reissue we have as bonus two alternate, rawer versions of "Breakaway" & "No Other Way".

"Unfinished Business" was recorded with a limited budget at hand, production & mix is not the best in the world. This welcomed remaster solve many sonic aspects, but honestly, the real important thing here are the songs, and all are top class.
This is one of those CD's that makes your album collection richer. Shy's "Unfinished Business" is a timeless AOR / MR gem, one that regularly visits my player for a new spin.
A Must.

01 - Skydiving
02 - Change Of Direction
03 - Breakaway
04 - Mary-Anne
05 - Communicate
06 - Heaven Tonight
07 - Whole Lotta Feelings
08 - Storyline
09 - Can't Stop Lovin' You
10 - No Other Way
11 - Breakaway [Alt. Version]
12 - No Other Way [Alt. Version]

Tony Mills: Vocals
Steve Harris: Guitars
Roy Davis: Bass
Paddy McKenna: Keyboards
Bob Richards: Drums



BLUE MURDER - Blue Murder [Rock Candy remaster]

BLUE MURDER - Blue Murder [Rock Candy remaster]  full

BLUE MURDER self-titled album not only it's one of the best appeared in glorious year 1989, but also one of the best remasters ever done by Rock Candy Records specialists.
Founded by superb guitarist John Sykes in 1988 after being fired from Whitesnake by David Coverdale, Sykes took the reins of his destiny in his hands. He returned home to England, where his mother and stepfather have a studio in Blackpool.

After extensive jam sessions including numerous musicians such as legendary drummer Cozy Powell, great shouter Ray Gillen (of Black Sabbath and later Badlands) and Tony Martin (who, ironically, replaced Gillen in Black Sabbath) briefly worked with Sykes for a possible band line-up.
However the consensus from all those involved with Sykes, including friends, musicians and A&R executive John Kalodner (commissioned by Geffen Records who signed Blue Murder) was that no one they auditioned as lead singer could match the guide vocals Sykes recorded himself on his Blue Murder demos.

Sykes decided to scrap his search for a vocalist and handle the vocal duties himself, completing the band with two terrific cats; Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra) on drums and Tony Franklin (The Firm, Whitesnake) on bass.
The album that Sykes, Appice and Franklin recorded is nothing less than spectacular.
Taking his guitar playing a step beyond his work with Whitesnake, Sykes produced edgy, fluid and explosive guitar rhythms. His solo work on the record is awe inspiring. No one can miss the legato phrasing and vibrato of John Sykes.

BLUE MURDER - ST Rock Candy Remastered & Reloaded (2013) full inside cover

The surprise to us all was the voice. No one expected Sykes to be able to stand out as a lead vocalist. Citing Coverdale, Glenn Hughes and Phil Lynott as influences, John Sykes found himself learning the trade from two of rock’s greatest vocalist. His thick British accent gives his vocals a smooth, sensual vibe.
No longer standing in the shadow of Phil Lynott or David Coverdale, Sykes stood on his own as lead vocalist in his own right.

The fret-less bass playing of Tony Franklin highlighted the bass guitar as an instrument. Gone was the straight ahead playing of bassists of the genre to be replaced by harmonic, rolling sounds that were unfamiliar to the listeners. The opening track "Riot" is a prime example of the unique sound and style of Franklin.

With a resume that dates back to the late '60s, Appice set the foundation for heavy drumming. His unique style provided the back bone for Blue Murder's music with bone-crushing fills and rolls. Appice's playing lays the baseline for Franklin's bass grooves and Sykes' guitar mastery.
Simply put, every track on this album ROCKS.

There is some controversy with this Rock Candy edition. Many rabid fans of Blue Murder and collectors purchased the CD because in the press sheet, on the back cover and the inside booklet there's listed as track 5 the song 'Cold Harbor', not included in the original 1989 release. It looked as a previously unreleased track.
Truth is it was a typo, a print mistake, such song never existed. The CD features the original 9-track sequence.

BLUE MURDER - Blue Murder [Rock Candy remaster] full back cover

Apart from that, this Rock Candy remaster of "Blue Murder" is awesome, punchy, pristine and clear.
This is a great opportunity to re-discover this gem in its full sound dynamics, and if you never heard the album, to purchase this little gem eyes closed.

01. Riot
02. Sex Child
03. Valley Of The Kings
04. Jelly Roll
05. Blue Murder
06. Out Of Love
07. Billy
08. Ptolemy
09. Black-Hearted Woman

John Sykes - lead vocals, guitars
Tony Franklin - bass, background vocals
Carmine Appice - drums, percussion, background vocals



ADAGIO - Life (2017)

ADAGIO - Life (2017) full

Seven long years have passed since ADAGIO's last album, and now rejuvenated with a fresh line-up they are ready to release "Life" next month.
In a peripheral sense, much has changed in Adagio’s world this time. The previous record from the French progressive / metal / classical outfit featured the vocals of Christian Palin, proving to be his sole outing with them.
"Life" is built around the commanding presence of Kelly ‘Sundown’ Carpenter, an American who once sang with them in Japan and had a touring spell with Firewind.

Fundamentally, though, their path remains focused. The album is dominated by sweeping orchestral arrangements, bedecked in the staccato riffs of founder, guitarist and guiding light Stéphan Forté.
The guitar solos especially are genuinely very impressive – in their near decade between albums Adagio clearly, haven’t let their ability slip. To its credit, the album also manages to fill songs that are nearly 8 minutes long without getting too repetitive or simply making the already lengthy instrumental sections even longer.

Two further new faces, drummer Jelly Cardarelli and violinist Mayline Gautié, add to the exceptional levels of musicianship. Life’s loose concept is an exploration of fear, joy, sorrow, love, pain and ecstasy and Adagio revel in its weightiness, the title track clocking in at more than nine minutes long.
New singer ‘Sundown’ Carpenter is a wonderful discovery and unless he should use them as a stepping stone, Adagio seem poised for a career upturn.

ADAGIO - Life (2017) inside

Alongside Adagio's dynamics with elaborated progressive arrangements, there are also some 'classy' classical music sections - a trademark from this band - especially some intros which are some of the best bits of the entire album.
‘The Grand Spirit Voyage‘ in particular has a great build up in it, although here it would have been nice for it to lead to something more impactful than a prog instrumental section.

"Life" is a solid comeback album from a band that made a considerable impact during the last decade playing this blend of '80s rock, prog, metal and classical.
This Adagio 2017 feels focused, wit a very well recorded & mixed new record that will please fans of this genre.

01 - Life
02 - The ladder
03 - Subrahmanya
04 - The grand spirit voyage
05 - Darkness machine
06 - I'll possess you
07 - Secluded within myself
08 - Trippin' away
09 - Torn

Kelly Sundown - Vocals
Stéphan Forté - Guitar
Franck Hermanny - Bass
Mayline Gautié - Violin
Kevin Codfert - Keyboards
Jelly Cardarelli - Drums



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD - Lay It On Down [Cars & Guitars Edition] (2017)

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD - Lay It On Down [Cars & Guitars Edition] (2017) full

"Lay It On Down", the ninth album from five-time Grammy nominee and critically acclaimed guitarist KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD, is out August 4 on Concord Records / Provogue. This is the "Cars & Guitars Edition", a digipak including a book with photos and a bonus track.
"Lay It On Down" is Kenny's first album of new material in quite a while (2014’s Goin’ Home was a homage to the greats) and there's a feeling that for this one, the renowned Hot Rod Racer – Shepherd’s hobby – did everything at full throttle.

Nothing is off limits in this new Kenny Wayne Shepherd album.
Perhaps because he worked with a load of new writers (as well as some long-standing collaborators), perhaps his new producer Marshall Altman changed things up, but whatever, “Lay It On Down” lays it all out and takes the music to places it hasn’t been before.

It bursts out of the blocks with huge dollop of confidence. “Baby Got Gone” is a crunchy, punchy rocker. Coming complete with a brilliant hook, as openings go, it is right up there.
It says much for the stellar quality of this album, however, that it soon finds itself eclipsed. “Diamonds And Gold” a funky, soulful strutter with a horn section is a timeless classic.
Indeed, it seems everyone likes the vibe so much, they are at it again with “Nothing But The Night”. Darker, but drenched in wonderful organ, it drips with lust.

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD - Lay It On Down [Cars & Guitars Edition] (2017) booklet

Not a record to be pinned down, the title track is off exploring laid back American roots. One of a few with obvious Nashville (where it was recorded) influences, if anyone bought singles anymore this would be a million seller.
The “anything goes” air here means that this followed up with “She’s $$$” which has the drunken mood of the honky tonk come last orders, and further with a heart-breaking ballad “Hard Lesson Learned”.

“How Low Can You Go”, is a cheeky bluesy rocker. “She took the house, she took the car, she threw my clothes out on the front yard” sings Noah Hunt. The track sees Shepherd really cut loose, with a fine solo.
Louisiana native Shepherd isn’t necessarily the type of artist you associate with intensely personal songs, but there’s a feeling that the wonderful “Louisiana Rain” might mean more to him than most.

This incredible – and incredibly varied – collection closes with “Ride Of Your Life” and when the hook “oohh baby, we’re gonna get a little wild and crazy” hits you’d best believe it is not a request. It’s an order.
This Cars & Guitars Edition includes as bonus a beautifully reworked title track on acoustics and relaxed mood.

KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD - Lay It On Down [Cars & Guitars Edition] (2017) back

Kenny Wayne Shepherd has built a solid reputation with some very good albums throughout almost 25 years, but “Lay It On Down” is a true career high.
This record is a perfect snapshot of exactly what Bluesy rock 'n roll should be in 2017. And there is no one better at it.
Highly Recommended

01 - Baby Got Gone
02 - Diamonds And Gold
03 - Nothing But The Night
04 - Lay It On Down
05 - She's $$$
06 - Hard Lesson Learned
07 - Down For Love
08 - How Low Can You Go
09 - Louisiana Rain
10 - Ride Of Your Life
11 - Lay It On Down (Acoustic Bonus Track)

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - guitars, vocals
Noah Hunt - lead vocals
Jimmy McGorman - keyboards
Chris Layton - drums
Kevin McCormick - bass

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