Thursday, October 18, 2018

WHITE WIDDOW - Victory (2018)

WHITE WIDDOW - Victory (2018) full

Aussie classic melodic rockers WHITE WIDDOW are back with a new album titled "Victory".
Formed in Melbourne, Australia, in 2008 and centered around the Millis brothers Jules (vocals - ex Tigertailz) and Xavier (keyboards - two-time ARIA nominee) and guitar virtuoso Enzo Almanzi, with this new release celebrate the band's 10th anniversary.

Raised on a healthy diet of '80s arena rock and influenced by artists such as Survivor, Foreigner, Journey, Night Ranger, Starship, Dokken and Australia's own Rick Springfield, early in 2018 White Widdow re-entered the studio for their fifth album "Victory", and an album cover that throws back to the style of their debut.

"Victory" incorporates a strong pomp element in the songs along with White Widdow's traditional classic '80s AOR sound, the band allowing their influence of bands like Giuffria and White Sister to really come through.
Featuring over the top pompous keyboards, stacked harmony vocals from the Millis brothers and Enzo Almanzi's tasty solos throughout, this is another winner for fans of the traditional sound / style from the genre.
HIGHLY Recommended

01. Victory
02. Fight For Love
03. Second Hand Heart
04. Late Night Liason
05. Danced In The Moonlight
06. Love And Hate
07. Reach Up
08. Anything
09. America
10. Run And Hide

Jules Millis (vocals)
Xavier Millis (keyboards, vocals)
Enzo Almanzi (guitar)
Ben Webster (bass)
Gavin Hill (drums)



BONFIRE - Legends (2018)

BONFIRE - Legends (2018) full

To be released tomorrow in Europe, the 2-CD release titled "Legends" is a very special tribute album for all rock legends, who are involved in the BONFIRE & Friends Tour 2018. Indeed, this is The Soundtrack for the Bonfire and Friends Tour, featuring 32 classic songs re-recorded by Bonfire with the Bonfire sound.

All songs on this double CD are sung by Alexx Stahl and performed by BONFIRE, with the exception of the Puhdy's songs which were sung by Quaster himself.
This album was created in conjunction with the Bonfire & Friends tour. All the songs will be played on the tour but they will be sung by the original singers with Bonfire providing the power of the music as only they can.

Disc1 features '80s classics, from American legends such as Survivor or Toto, to European like Rainbow or UFO.
Disc 2 pay tribute to late '80s / 90s classic melodic hard rock songs, from Queensrysche to Steelhouse Lane, to House Of Lords, etc.

Special attention and care was taken to keep the integrity of the originals but also to have the updated Bonfire sound.
Terrific stuff.

CD 1:
01. Africa
02. Hold The Line
03. Rosanna
04. Man On The Silver Mountain
05. I Surrender
06. Stone Cold
07. Death Alley Driver
08. Black Masquerade
09. Burning Heart
10. Eye Of Tiger
11. Caught In The Game
12. Doctor Doctor
13. Lights Out
14. Rock Bottom
15. Child In Time

CD 2:
01. Jet City Woman
02. Silent Lucidity
03. Eyes Of A Stranger
04. Tears In The Rain
05. The First Time
06. Save Up All Your Tears
07. Hot Cherie
08. Dr. Love
09. Hallelujah
10. Rebellion
11. Heavy Metal Breakdown
12. Love Don't Lie
13. I Wanna Be Loved
14. King Of Dreams
15. Frei Wie Die Geier
16. Erinnerung
17. Alt Wie Ein Baum

Alexx Stahl (Vocals)
Hans Ziller (Guitar)
Frank Pané (Guitar)
Ronnie Parkes (Bass)
Tim Breideband (Drums)



ACE FREHLEY - Spaceman (2018)

ACE FREHLEY - Spaceman (2018) full

ACE FREHLEY is on a roll, and he’s ready to embark on his next musical journey with "Spaceman", his third solo outing in four years, and eighth overall. Amongst Ace’s post-KISS recorded output, "Spaceman might" be the closest link to his widely acclaimed 1978 solo record, both in spirit and execution.

First off, Frehley played all of the guitar parts on Spaceman, as well as bass on all but two songs. Longtime drummer Anton Fig, whose friendship with Ace began in that 1978 record, also appears on “Off My Back” and “Pursuit of Rock and Roll” (longtime collaborators Scot Coogan and Matt Starr also play drums on Spaceman).

There’s also a thematic, almost biographical, thread running through the album of a long life in rock ’n’ roll, although Ace admits it wasn’t intentional.
The first single “Bronx Boy” lays out Ace’s pre-KISS roots, running wild with an Irish street gang called the Ducky Boys. It might be his grittiest song to date, with an opening riff that lashes out like a switchblade.

“Pursuit of Rock and Roll” ticks off a list of rockers that made Ace who he is, including Little Richard and the Stones. Frehley also makes it clear that rock is truly all he needs: “So sick of looking at reality TV / and like the Beatles said, you gotta ‘Let It Be.’” “No need to worry, I’ll be home soon, ’cause I’m rockin’ with the boys,” Frehley sings on “Rockin’ With the Boys,” which tells the tales of life on the road. Ace says he wrote the original version of the song back in KISS’s heyday in the ’70s—if you listen closely, it could almost be seen as a rockin’ counterpart to the Peter Criss-penned KISS classic “Beth.”

Speaking of KISS brethren, let’s get back to those two songs on Spaceman that Ace didn’t play bass on. One listen of opener “Without You I’m Nothing” should be a dead giveaway. That mighty dinosaur growl of a bass tone belongs to Gene Simmons, who co-wrote that song, along with “Your Wish Is My Command,” with the Space Ace at Frehley’s home studio in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Frehley's re-connection with Simmons and fellow KISS vocalist-guitarist Paul Stanley (who joined Ace on a cover of Free’s “Fire and Water” for 2016’s covers LP Origins, Vol. 1) might be chalked up to the fact that Frehley has been sober for more than a decade (he celebrated 12 years of sobriety in September). Ace’s clean living no doubt has a lot to do with his productive streak, which began with the release of his top 20 Anomaly album in 2009, his top 10 Space Invader LP in 2014 (a first for any KISS member); and continues with Spaceman (a title suggested by Gene Simmons himself).

"Spaceman" is a lean-and-mean nine tracks, and includes what has become a trademark for any Ace joint, a cosmic instrumental. “Quantum Flux” is a classic prog ’n’ roll song from Frehley, with lush acoustics and twin-leads. Fans might also notice the song’s doomy outro, which nods to “Black Diamond” on KISS’s 1974 debut.
Highly Recommended

01. Without You I'm Nothing
02. Rockin' With The Boys
03. Your Wish Is My Command
04. Bronx Boy
05. Pursuit Of Rock N' Roll
06. I Wanna Go Back
07. Mission To Mars
08. Off My Back
09. Quantum Flux 6



GYPSY ROSE - Rosary Of Tears [1988-1991 Outtakes & Unreleased Recordings] (2018)

GYPSY ROSE - Rosary Of Tears [1988-1991 Outtakes & Unreleased Recordings] (2018) full

"Rosary Of Tears [1988-1991 Outtakes & Unreleased Recordings]" is a collection of Canadian melodic hard rockers GYPSY ROSE demos & outtakes most of them recorded in 1991, after their debut album 'Prey'.
These unreleased songs were supposed to be on the second album from the band that never happened.
Finally they are available to the fans for the first time ever.

This cult Canadian band originally recorded their first album on RCA/Simmons records in 1990, produced by Gene Simmons itself. The record sold pretty well, but the label dropped Gypsy Rose soon after.
The first 10 tracks here are pre-production tapes - pretty good sound quality - recorded to shop a new deal for their second album.
The three last songs are demos from 1988 and 1989, a couple of them home-made, but a good listen to check what the band was doing at the time.

A very good, talented group, this is material for collectors and fans of classic late '80s melodic hard rock.
Highly Recommended

01. 13 Engines
02. Only My Voice Came Back
03. Rosary Of Tears
04. Kicked In The Heart By Love
05. Safe With Me
06. All By Myself
07. 3 Sheets To The Wind
08. Banging On The Radio
09. It's The Way You Bite
10. Long Cold And Gone
11. Messing With Trouble
12. If Your Love Is Gone (Gypsy Rose Version)
13. Love On Two Legs

Micheal Ross - lead vocals
Brian Joyce - guitars, background vocals
Micheal Vaughn - bass, background vocals
Steve Thomas - drums, background vocals
Craig Van Gaver - guitars, keyboards, background vocals



GRETA VAN FLEET - Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (2018)

GRETA VAN FLEET - Anthem Of The Peaceful Army (2018) full

One of the youngest, most promising classic rock new band from the scene, GRETA VAN FLEET, got ready their full length debut "Anthem Of The Peaceful Army" to be released tomorrow.
Collectively written by all four band members, the ten original songs explore a variety of topics that include fresh starts, love, integrity, innocence, adventure, diversity and peace, the life cycle and its inherent responsibilities, courage, masked deceptions, revolution, and truth.

Blending classic rock, soul and bluesy hard rock, Jake’s blazing guitar riffs, Josh’s soaring, powerful vocals, Danny’s thunderous drums, and Sam’s swaggering baselines and keys create a menagerie of musical elements throughout.
"Anthem Of The Peaceful Army" was produced by Marlon Young, Al Sutton and Herschel Boone (The Rust Brothers) and recorded earlier this year at Blackbird Studios in Nashville and Rustbelt Studios in Royal Oak, Michigan.

01. Age Of Man
02. The Cold Wind
03. When The Curtain Falls
04. Watching Over
05. Lover, Leaver
06. You're The One
07. The New Day
08. Mountain Of The Sun
09. Brave New World
10. Anthem
11. Lover, Leaver (Taker, Believer)

Josh Kiszka – vocals
Jake Kiszka – guitar
Sam Kiszka – bass guitar
Danny Wagner – drums



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

LITA FORD - Out For Blood + Dancin' On The Edge [2-in-1 BGO Records digitally remastered]

LITA FORD - Out For Blood + Dancin' On The Edge [2-in-1 BGO Records digitally remastered] full

And here's the end of the requested LITA FORD classic albums, the very good two-fer CD digitally remastered BGO Records release including the Lita 1983's debut "Out For Blood" and follower '84 "Dancin' On The Edge".
Both albums show Ford's skill as guitarist and rocker, but she had to wait until later in the decade to score her first mainstream major hit singles.

Lita Ford's debut album "Out For Blood" is an interesting one. We are all familiar - more or less - with the Lita Ford circa 1988, with the singles ''Kiss Me Deadly'' and ''Close My Eyes Forever'' that pushed her to major stardom.
This debut LP is a far cry from the polished Melodic Hard Rock Lita put out in the late '80s to early-'90s. "Out For Blood" is raw hard rock / 'metal' as it was called back in 1983, with a feel similar to Quiet Riot or Twisted Sister.
However, Lita isn't that heavy but more hard rockin', and production on "Out For Blood" wasn't that stellar.
This modern remastering job turn things much better.

Musically, there are some real gems here: the kickin' title track ''Out For Blood'', the punchy ''On The Run'', and atmospheric midtempo ''Just A Feeling''. I'm surprised that ''Just A Feeling'' wasn't a big hit single, it's a great ballad that probably would have definitely been huge three or four years down the line.
It's obvious that these songs the building block that Lita will build her career on, the three aforementioned songs being a look into the future sound Ford would create.

Now seeing it in perspective, it is incredible how rapidly the 'sound' and production styles changed in the US Rock industry during the '80s. "Dancin' On The Edge", recorded only one year after, is a quite different beast. The sonics here are much more polished, the the overall feeling, more ear candy.
"Dancin' On The Edge" was produced by Lance Quinn, who also did Bon Jovi's first two albums.

The connection doesn't ends there; Ford's new back up band included skilled drummer Randy Castillo (who later played for Ozzy Osbourne and Mötley Crüe), but the rest are Bon Jovi-related cats.

Bass player is Hugh McDonald, who is currently the bassist for Bon Jovi but also recorded (uncredited) on various songs on the early albums, on keyboards there's talented Canadian Aldo Nova who also helped to shape Bon Jovi's early sound, and with the name 'Geoff Leib' appears the great Jeff Paris, providing a 'synthesizer background' for Lita's "Dancin' On The Edge", updating her sound according to times (1984).

LITA FORD - Out For Blood + Dancin' On The Edge [2-in-1 BGO Records digitally remastered] disc

On "Dancin' On The Edge" we get the smokin' single 'Gotta Let Go' and "Lady Killer" (both videos in heavy rotation on MTV), the great melodic / rocking title track, "Fire In My Heart", "Don't Let Me Down Tonight" and "Hit And Run", among the highlights.
Lita’s vocals are way more focused and powerful here. I think she also manages to somewhat establish her own guitar style as well.
"Dancin' On The Edge" reached No. 66 of the US Billboard 200 chart, and resulted in Ford's first nomination for Best Female Rock Vocal Performance at the Grammy Awards in 1985.

After all these years, hum, decades, there has never been any question with me that Lita Ford can sing and play some slick guitar licks. Any hard rock fan from this early '80s era who says they never played some air guitar to a Lita Ford album is, well, their nose is growing by the second. It’s time to come clean, my fellow Metalhead air guitar brothers...
On these 2 first solo albums Lita Ford really lets loose some melodic leads and cool riffs while not being shy of laying down some psyche-you-out solos.

LITA FORD - Out For Blood + Dancin' On The Edge [2-in-1 BGO Records digitally remastered] back

Regardless of anyone’s personal opinion to the contrary, Lita Ford's 2 first albums represents an important and historic chapter in US Metal and Hard Rock history, in my humble opinion.
Back in 1983, there wasn’t an abundance of female Rock vocalists out there… especially one’s that played some lean and mean guitar like Lita.

I took to Lita Ford from the onset and no, it wasn’t all due to her looking so hot (well, it did help). Hey, a hot blooded seventeen year old Metalhead in 1983 is gonna have his fantasy crushes and Lita Ford caused quite abuzz amongst my buddies too back then.
Heck, with the likes of Ozzy, Angus, Lemmy and Cronos staring at me from the pages of mags and posters back then, seeing Lita Ford grace an album cover was much more easier on my eyes!
Lita Ford, along with her former Runaways band mate Joan Jett, (and I can never forget) Pat Benatar, all made me realize those many years ago, that yes, girls can really… ROCK.
HIGHLY Recommended

You've seen it first here, at 0dayrox

Out For Blood remastered:
01 - Out For Blood
02 - Stay With Me Baby
03 - Just A Feeling
04 - Ready, Willing And Able
05 - Die For Me Only (Black Widow)
06 - Rock & Roll Made Me What I Am Today
07 - If You Can't Live With It
08 - On The Run
09 - Any Way That You Want Me
10 - I Can't Stand It

Lita Ford - lead & rhythm guitars, lead vocals
Neil Merryweather - bass, harmony vocals, backing vocals, producer
Dusty Watson - drums, backing vocals

Dancin' On The Edge remastered:
11 - Gotta Let Go
12 - Dancin' On The Edge
13 - Dressed To Kill
14 - Hit 'n Run
15 - Lady Killer
16 - Still Waitin'
17 - Fire In My Heart
18 - Don't Let Me Down Tonight
19 - Run With The $

Lita Ford - guitars, vocals
Hugh McDonald - bass
Randy Castillo - drums
Geoff Leib - synthesizer, backing vocals
Robbie Kondor, Aldo Nova - synthesizer



BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround - Bleeding Secrets [Japan Edition +2] (2018)

BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround - Bleeding Secrets [Japan Edition +2] (2018) full

Former Chicago Bill Champlin is about to release "Bleeding Secrets", the debut album from BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround, the combo formed with guitarist Gary Falcone (Kenny Loggins, David Foster) and Tamara Champlin. The Japanese edition appears today, including 2 bonus tracks.

"Bleeding Secrets" features guest appearances by Steve Porcaro (Toto), George Hawkins Jr (GIG, Chicago), Joe Porcaro, Will Champlin, Burleigh Drummond (Ambrosia), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger) and many more.
Seeing all these names involved you would think about a Wescoast AOR album, but "Bleeding Secrets" is not.
What we have here is a Classic Rock album, with pretty strong guitar riffs and of course, exquisite vocal harmonies and polished production.

Just check the powerful guitars and driving rhythm of the opening track, “Man vs. Machine”. There's some sort of Toto vibe from 'Falling in Between' era, and the connection doesn't end there as following song 'The Only Way Down' feature Toto's Steve Porcaro on keys. Great song.
' Love Knows' is one of the more AOR oriented tunes on the album, with a certain CWF (Champlin Williams Friestedt) feel, with Bill Champlin sounding greatly despite his age.

'Dreaming Of Chagall', with lead vocals by Tamara recall Chasing Violets, while 'They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To' makes justice to its tile, a pure '80s rocker with strong guitars, Bill's classic Hammond playing, and a terrific George Hawkins Jr. slap bass contribution. A highlight.

'Genius' is perhaps the only slightly Westcoast impregnated song on the album, very dynamic anyway bringing to mind Champlin's '80s solo albums.
The organic 'Light Up The Night' has some Eagles on it, while more Toto feeling comes with the title track, another strong rocker with superb pulse.
Japanese edition bonus tracks are worth to have: 'What Will Be' is pretty guitar driven rock song with all vocalists involved, while 'Popcorn' is a must listen for Chicago fans, especially their classic era.

BILL CHAMPLIN and WunderGround - Bleeding Secrets [Japan Edition +2] (2018) back

Bill Champlin never stops to surprise; at his 71 his creative flame still burns hot, his vocals are in very good form, and his band mates here perfectly fit into this new project to deliver a fresh, very enjoyable collection of songs.
Mostly Classic Rock oriented but including, of course, AORish melodies, soaring vocal harmonies and slick guitar riffs, "Bleeding Secrets" is one of the unexpected highlight this year.
Yeah, it's that good.
HIGHLY Recommended

01 - Man vs. Machine
02 - The Only Way Down
03 - Love Knows
04 - Dreaming Of Chagall
05 - Imaginary Friend
06 - They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To
07 - Fireships
08 - Evangeline
09 - You're Gonna' Love Someone
10 - Genius
11 - Light Up The Night
12 - Bleeding Secrets
13 - Limbo
14 - What Will Be
15 - Popcorn

Bill Champlin: Lead and Background Vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards, Synths, Programming, Hammond B3, Keyboards, Bass
Gary Falcone: Guitars, Lead and Background Vocals
Tamara Champlin: Lead Vocals on #4, 7, 9, 13, Background Vocals
Will Champlin: Piano, Keyboards, Synths, Programming, Bass
Steve Porcaro: Synths, Strings, Keyboards
Alan Hertz: Drums on #1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13
Burleigh Drummond: Drums on #3, 5, 8
George Hawkins Jr.: Electric Bass on #6, 10
Dean Cortez: Electric Bass on #3, 5, 7, 8, 12
Joe Porcaro: Percussion on #13
Paulie Cerra, Howie Shear, Terry Landry: Horns
Eduardo G. Del Barrio: Strings Arrangement
Kelly Keagy: Background Vocals



BE THE WOLF - Empress [Japan Edition +1] (2018)

BE THE WOLF - Empress [Japan Edition +1] (2018) full

Fronted by mastermind Federico Mondelli, BE THE WOLF are releasing today in Japan their third album titled "Empress", to appear in Europe at the end of the week. Big in Japan but not well known in the rest of the world, we already featured at the blog Be The Wolf's previous album with a positive review.
"Empress" is even better, musically more varied, drawing inspiration from '80s Melodic Hard Rock, some metal and AOR, all wrapped by an updated production.

Be The Wolf is Mondelli's beast; he does all the songwriting, vocals, guitar, co-produce and as graphic artist, design the band's artwork. He is also a member of power metal band Frozen Crown, but here with Be The Wolf the genres are the aforementioned above.
Only thing that I don't get, is the way the band is being marketed.

In the press sheet Be The Wolf claims 'influenced by bands like Scorpions, Skid Row and Kiss, being "Empress" a fast paced metal album, with many ‘high speed tracks’... (?)
Be The Wolf is definitely not metal or just fast. The music here basically has a traditional melodic hard rock foundation, with some heavier moments, but also AORish atmospheres and even poppy melodies.
So don't be fooled as well by the cover artwork, nice, but it could be taken as a metal product, and "Empress" is not.

The first three songs “Burn Me Out”, “Action”, and “Stallone” feature strong choruses and hook-laden melodies in the late '80s best melodic hard rock tradition.
“Burn Me Out” indeed has trepidation in its rhythm, but more in common with Y&T or Thunder than anything heavier, while “Stallone” (love the title) could have been part of any action movie from the early Nineties.
The track between them, “Action” is a genre-bending surprise starting with a mighty riff but unexpectedly morphing into a some kind of a new wave track straight out of the '80s. It's really interesting, and catchy.

"Thousand Years" is a modern hard rocker with a really infectious bridge / chorus, followed by 'You're My Demon Tonight' which bring to my mind early 2000's Scandinavian bands like Damned Nation.
"All Days I Missed" is curious as well; at the verses is quite modern rock, then the chorus is AORish '80s. Also convincing is the catchy "Move It" with its retro poppy feeling.

"Here And Now" is one of the more rocking songs on the CD akin Hartmann's first solo album, while semi-ballald "Jungle Julia II" includes a lite progressive touch, and again, is inspired by the '80s starting with vinyl LP scratch sounds.

BE THE WOLF - Empress [Japan Edition +1] (2018) back

Another surprise arrives with the Japanese edition bonus track; 'All Days I Missed (Electro Version)' is really different from the original, remixed and with added sequencers resulting into an almost 'Synthwave' version.
As you see, "Empress" is a mix of different melodic styles, at places quite original. Mondelli tries to deliver an entertaining product, varied, and succeeded for the most part.
Highly Recommended

01. Burn Me Out
02. Action
03. Stallone
04. Thousand Years
05. You're My Demon Tonight
06. All Days I Missed
07. Move It
08. Here And Now
09. Trigger Discipline
10. Jungle Julia II
11. All Days I Missed (Electro Version)

Federico Mondelli - vocals, guitars, synths
Marco Verdone - bass
Paul Canetti - drums



ARION - Life Is Not Beautiful [Japan Edition + Digipak bonus tracks] (2018)

ARION - Life Is Not Beautiful [Japan Edition + Digipak bonus tracks] (2018) full

The young Finnish melodic metal / power sensation ARION are back with a new album titled "Life Is Not Beautiful", released today in Japan including an exclusive bonus track, while European Digipak will feature 3 extra songs.
Arion has perfected their 'commercial power metal' here, with even more catchy choruses, some expansive arrangements and an overall huge production sound.

"Life Is Not Beautiful" is Arion's first album with AFM Records. Anyone familiar with this recording label generally knows what they’re going to get with one of their releases. While sticking to a genre you know and producing bands of a pretty consistent quality is no bad thing, it can be very easy for bands in the melodic/power metal field to sound all-to-similar to their compatriots, such are the typical features that fans of the genre expect.
Logically then, it is difficult for bands to rise above this sea of big choruses and luxurious hair and catch the attention of the discerning listener.

Arion have previously garnered attention with their second album, 2014s 'Last Of Us' (featured at 0dayrox), but then singer Viljami Holopainen left the band.
His replacement, Lassi Vääränen, has already proven highly capable on 2016s recording of lead single, 'At The Break Of Dawn (featuring Elize Ryd of Amaranthe)', resulting in nearly 3 million streams to this day and enhanced the young Finns' fanbase significantly.
But there is still a sense that Arion again have something to prove with this, their third album, "Life Is Not Beautiful".

If you have listened to Arion’s previous album then you might be surprised at the harder, punchier sound that is heard through "Life Is Not Beautiful". The same melodic sympho / poppy power metal sound is there along with all the trimmings, but the guitar sound is rawer, the drumming is more intense and Vääränen’s vocals have a gravelly edge and power that his predecessor was lacking.
But don't be fooled; each track here is cleverly crafted to be a potential hit at Rock radio.

For those who like a clean and pure vocal delivery there is the arena-worthy chorus of 'Through Your Falling Tears' and the gentle meandering of 'Last One Falls'. But it is the battle cry of 'Unforgiveable' and the damning bluntness of title track 'Life Is Not Beautiful' where Vääränen really shines, channeling a power and energy that is apparent even through all the vocal layering and other studio wizardry that has been done to give it that ‘big’ sound.
Despite the vocal talent on display all instruments have presence, especially the keyboards / synths which carry the 'easy listening' nature of the songs.

Musically speaking, introductory instrumental 'The End of the Fall' sets the tone nicely with an orchestral crescendo that could easily introduce a great cinematic epic movie and will send fantasy and superhero fans into fits of delight.
All of the following tracks continue this musical imagery. The song titles / lyrics are not stereotypical of the genre, and it's a plus. Rather than being about battles and dragons, mountains and long-lost love, some of the lyrics address more current themes and give you something to think about long after the pummelling riffs and melodies have initially grabbed your attention.

ARION - Life Is Not Beautiful [Japan Edition + Digipak bonus tracks] (2018) inside

Of course, there is also a ballad: 'Through Your Fallen Tears', a tale of love doomed to end as the protagonist approaches their ‘twilight years’. The chorus is huge, with the vocal melodies flowing over layers of acoustic guitars, strings and brass. But just when you think the song is over, a final chorus starts in a higher key.

Arion's "Life Is Not Beautiful" is another step forward for this young band. The style, song structures and melodies are hardly revolutionary, but when this kind of modern easy listening metal is done well, damn does it sound good.
The riffs and drums combine to create an earth-shaking backdrop over which the various orchestrations and Vääränen’s vocals can soar.
The Japanese edition includes as bonus track a different of their hit 'At The Break Of Dawn (Psylla Remix)', while the European limited Digipak features 3 tracks of previous album Last Of Us, re-recorded 2018 with Väräänen vocals.
Highly Recommended

01 - The End Of The Fall
02 - No One Stands In My Way
03 - At The Break Of Dawn (feat. Elize Ryd)
04 - The Last Sacrifice
05 - Through Your Falling Tears
06 - Unforgivable
07 - Punish You
08 - Life Is Not Beautiful
09 - Last One Falls
10 - At The Break Of Dawn (Psylla Remix)
10 - Last Of Us (2018 Version)
11 - Seven (2018 Version)
12 - I Am The Storm (2018 Version)

Lassi Väräänen - Lead Vocals
Iivo Kaipainen - Guitars, Backing Vocals
Arttu Vauhkonen, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Gege Velinov - Bass, Backing Vocals
Topias Kupiainen - Drums



Tuesday, October 16, 2018

LITA FORD - Stiletto [BGO Records digitally remastered] (2017)

LITA FORD - Stiletto [BGO Records digitally remastered] (2017) full

As requested, more LITA FORD remastered albums from the '80s / 90s, and now it's time for the really good "Stiletto". After the success of her previous album 'Lita', Ford's career got somewhat of a boost, both creatively and commercially. On "Stiletto", again the input of hit producer / songwriter Mike Chapman is an asset.

Chapman, known for his work with everyone from Sweet to Scandal, liked his rock commercial, slick and hook-laden -- adjectives that definitely describe "Stiletto".
"Stiletto" is one of Lita Ford's better CDs, and the second in a trilogy she recorded during the Eighties / early Nineties (the others being 'Lita' and 'Dangerous Curves'). Lita has always considered herself primarily a guitarist, and she doesn't disappoint: her guitar lines always showcased an impressive talent.
While this album is not that guitar-driven - it's a 1990 release, with polish and accessibility all over - it reveals Lita as a very good rock&pop vocalist as well.

"Stiletto" is a focused and enjoyable disc of glossy-produced songs ranging from sweaty rockers like "Cherry Red," "Bad Boy" and one of my favorite Lita Ford track ever - "The Ripper" - to the eerie ballad "Lisa" (a heartfelt tribute to her Mom) to a cover of Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed" , very well done.

Title track "Stiletto" is another winner for me: midtempo AORish with atmosphere, sexy vocals and that 'so 80s' chorus. "Aces & Eights" is another strong number, some kind of a mix between Lita's hard rockin' first solo album with the late '80s melodic hard rock including 'mysterious' synths.

LITA FORD - Stiletto [BGO Records digitally remastered] (2017) back

This remastering from BGO edition is nice, resulting in clean, crisp sound quite similar to a LP and fixing the pretty flat output of the original CD release.
A true '1990 production' melodic hard rock album, Ford's "Stiletto" deserve a place in your collection.
Highly Recommended

01 - Your Wake Up Call
02 - Hungry
03 - Dedication
04 - Stiletto
05 - Lisa
06 - The Ripper
07 - Big Gun
08 - Only Women Bleed
09 - Bad Boys
10 - Aces & Eights
11 - Cherry Red
12 - Outro

Lita Ford – guitar, vocals
David Ezrin – keyboards, synths
Don Nossov – bass
Myron Grombacher – drums, percussion
additional musicians:
Pablo Calagero, Richie Cannata, Barry Danelian - horns
Mike Chapman, Tim Lawless, Ozzie Melendez - backing vocals
Ralph Schuckett - strings arrangements



RYAN ROXIE - Imagine Your Reality (2018)

RYAN ROXIE - Imagine Your Reality (2018) full

Vocalist, guitarist & songwriter RYAN ROXIE is best known as ALICE COOPER'S long-time lead guitarist and collaborator. He has also worked with Slash & Gilby Clarke, Electric Angels, and been a member of Classic Rock Award nominated band, Casablanca. Roxie has had an impressive ride so far, but it was time for "Imagine Your Reality", his first official solo release and sees him joined by other noteworthy musicians, including a collaboration with Cheap Trick's Robin Zander on the track 'California Man'.

Says Roxie: "Cheap Trick were a major influence in my musical upbringing. Both Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen have joined us onstage at Alice Cooper shows in the past and have always been the most quintessential rock stars. In my opinion Robin Zander's voice IS the definition of Rock 'n' Roll, so having him guest vocal on California Man definitely ticks a box off my 'greatest moments in rock 'n roll' list'.
"With this album I think we kept the spirit and power of the 3.5 minute rock song intact as well as keeping the dream of guitar-driven music alive and well. I can't wait for people to experience my reality."

Well, Roxie delivers what promises; "Imagine Your Reality" is a song-format record as it used to be. There is no overblown filler here, what you get is 10 songs that are straight to the point, mostly weighing in at under 3 and a half minutes and all featuring some great guitar work, as you would expect.
“Big Rock Show” is the required indeed 'big rock song' to open the album, then from the nice and sleazy groove of “Over and Done” through to the cover of Coldplay’s “God Put A Smile Upon Your Face” there is a great mix of songs on offer.

RYAN ROXIE - Imagine Your Reality (2018) disc

Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander joins the fun on a rendition of their “California Man”, transforming it into the ultimate vintage-vibed, top down, drive in the sunshine, rock n' roll anthem.
“Uh Oh Song” grows from a simple opening to almost perfect pop-rock. Then you have the dark and dirty riffage of “Nevermind Me”, and a song that kind of explains itself “To Live and Die In LA”.

Also among the albums tracks is a 3 song section that lifts “Imagine Your Reality” above most other new albums I’ve heard this year.
“Me Generation” could easily fit in to Alice Cooper’s stage show, “Look Me In The Eye” has an almost Beatles or Enuff Z' Nuff feel to it, whilst “Hearts In Trouble” features an original riff and I can imagine it working well in a film, it reminds me of Dogs D’Amour for some reason, but yet sounds nothing like them.

RYAN ROXIE - Imagine Your Reality (2018) back

Ryan Roxie has created an album here that will be hard to date looking back on it as he has embraced little bits of the musical past and put it together in a solid and very enjoyable 10 songs.
All musicians involved are stupendous, such as Glen Sobel (Jeff Scott Soto, Alice Cooper), production is clear and the feel-good vibe is all over.
Highly Recommended

01 - Big Rock Show
02 - Over and Done
03 - California Man (feat Robin Zander)
04 - To Live and Die in LA
05 - The Uh‐Oh Song
06 - Me Generation
07 - Look Me in the Eye
08 - Hearts in Trouble
09 - Nevermind Me
10 - God Put a Smile Upon Your Face

Ryan Roxie (guitar, vocals)
Jon Bordon (bass)
Kristoffer Folin (bass, drums, backing vocals)
Tommy Henriksen (bass, backing vocals)
Glen Sobel (drums)
Anton Korberg (drums)
Steven Antonopooulos (drums)
Robin Zander (guest vocals)



CRISS SEXX - Unreleased And Unplugged (2018)

CRISS SEXX - Unreleased And Unplugged (2018) full

Singer / songwriter CRISS SEXX got started in music in 1991 as a bass player in his first band Sexx Action (inspired by an L.A. Guns favorite plus an extra "X"). Sexx Action released a modest, two-track demo tape in 1991. In 1993 Criss formed Bang Bang Rock... This band released two demo tapes, "Easy Target" (1994) and "Spit Back & Smile" (1995).

In 1998 Criss Sexx decided then to invest in the recording of a "more pop sounding style" professional demo, but one thing was still there - the Glam Rock image. However, he always felt he was a Rock And Roll singer.
Criss’ next adventure would be a Glam band a la early Poison, Pretty Boy Floyd and Tigertailz, and to sound as sleazey as L.A. Guns and Mötley Crüe. The band was called Bastardz. Bastardz would record an EP, but musical differences tore the band apart.
What did come out of the collaboration was Criss’ first solo album, appropriately called "Bastard Barbie".

During the past decade, Criss Sexx formed Nympho. Their debut album, "V.I.P. - Very Indecent People", was released in North America. Nympho had a second album called "Alone In The Dark" which was released in Europe.
Nympho had four promo videos off the "Alone In The Dark" album in 2013: "I'll Come Running","Rock Me Hard", "Dreams Are Not Enough" and "Alone In The Dark".
With little money in the pocket, Criss Sexx had the crazy idea of trying to get special guests from bands he had grown up listening to to be on his next​ five new songs.

Criss met Gerry Laffy guitarist and founding member of the early '80s Glam Rock band Girl. It was the right time for Criss to ask Gerry if his band could cover a song he wrote, "Money And The Magic". Gerry Laffy agreed right away, and that was the kickstart of Nympho's third album.
The hardest part was convincing guitarist Gerry Laffy to guest on his own song. After a couple of months, Gerry finally gave in, agreeing to play an outro solo on "Money And The Magic".

In 2014, the "Not That Innocent" album was released. It was a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs and wrong turns. While talking to a fan she and Criss started talking about acoustic albums. She asked him if he had ever thought of recording an acoustic album. He told her he would love to, and she told him she could fund these recordings.
By the end of 2014, Criss Sexx had written, arranged, recorded and produced his second solo album, "Acoustichaos".
The album was released digitally only (until now).

In early 2017, Nympho was history and Criss Sexx did not want to give up on his career. Not after so many years of hard work, so he decided to finally work again on his "Acoustichaos" solo album.
Criss Sexx had a crazy idea of gathering enough people from different parts of the world to be featured on a promo video. "Weird" was the chosen track, and fans / friends from England, The Netherlands, India, Brazil and the US were on it.

Last October, Criss Sexx started talking with FnA Records anf they asked if there was any unreleased material he had recorded... but the only unreleased stuff he had in his archives were different, unreleased mixes of songs that had been previously out on Nympho's "Innocent" album, and a few other songs that didn't make it on his first solo album, "Bastard Barbie".
Additionally there were a handful of tracks that either featured '80s rock stars or were written by '80s rock stars.

Those mixes, which were unreleased in the US until now, can finally see the light of day. These great songs, "Burnout Heart", "Money And The Magic", "Doin' Fine" and "Not That Innocent", feature a stellar guest line-up of Jimi Bell (House Of Lords), Johnny Lima, Gerry Laffy (Girl), Jesse Damon (Silent Rage), Kane Roberts (Alice Cooper) and Tony Mills (Shy / TNT) and songs written by Ted Poley of Danger Danger (“Missing You”) and Mike Tramp of White Lion written (“Have You Ever”).

CRISS SEXX - Unreleased And Unplugged - Acoustichaos (2018) front

Also included are tunes that didn't make it to Criss’ first solo album - "What Comes Around Goes Around", "Feel Your Love Tonight", "Heal My Broken Heart" and "Starting All Over Again" - off the unreleased Snow album, a band we was part in the past.
In addition, there's also the complete "Acoustichaos" solo album, available for the first time on CD.
So enjoy this ride between 2005 and 2017, Glam Rock and Acoustic Melodic Rock titled "Unreleased & Unplugged".

01 - Burnout Heart (with Jimi Bell & Johnny Lima)
02 - Money And The Magic (with and written by Gerry Laffy)
03 - Doin' Fine (with Jesse Damon)
04 - Not That Innocent (with Kane Roberts & Tony Mills)
05 - Have You Ever (from Acoustichaos - written by Mike Tramp)
06 - Missing You (from Acoustichaos - written by Ted Poley)
07 - Try Again (from Acoustichaos)
08 - Weird (from Acoustichaos)
09 - When It Comes To Loving You (from Acoustichaos)
10 - If There's A Place In Your Heart (from Acoustichaos)
11 - Don't You Know (from Acoustichaos)
12 - How Dare You (from Acoustichaos)
13 - It's You (from Acoustichaos)
14 - Last Night Together (from Acoustichaos)
15 - Thank You For Who You Are (from Acoustichaos)
16 - What Comes Around Goes Around (Demo 1995)
17 - Feel Your Love Tonight (Demo 1995)
18 - Heal My Broken Heart (Demo 1995)
19 - Starting All Over Again (Demo 1995)
20 - A Message From Criss Sexx 2018



Total Pageviews

Unique Visitors
View My Stats

  © Blogger templates Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP