Κυριακή, 30 Νοεμβρίου 2008

AXE- V (1997)


Axe were a very promising band of the late 70's early 80's. In that period they released 4 albums of which the best is ''Offering'' from 1982. Unfortunately in 1984 they disbanded after a tragic car accident that caused the death of guitarist Mike Osbourne and the serious injury of guitarist/singer Bobby Barth . Barth revived the band in the 90's and in 1997 they released ''V''. Surprisingly this is their best album! Barth no longer singed lead, but Bob Harris did a great job replacing him. The songwriting is high level throughout the album. Check out tracks like Magic in your eyes, Sting of the rain, Anyplace on this highway is home, Battles (remake from their debut album). Anthems that will stick in your mind. The melodies are really touching. Listen for yourselves.

ENJOY!!!

LETHAL- Programmed (1990)


The golden era of US power metal ended around 1990. But not before one of the greatest albums of all times was released. Lethal unleashed their powerful, intelligent, melodic music and left everyone astonished. Few albums sound as heavy as this one. Almost every song opens with a smashing riff and leads to a killer chorus. Singer Tom Mallicoat shines like a diamond. He is up there with the very best like Tate, Midnight, etc. I really mean it. Just perfect. The lyrics are really well written and thought provoking. Production is flawless. One of the very few albums I rate with 10/10 and still listen to from beginning till finish after all those years. If you don't have it it's really a shame. Top priority!

ENJOY!!!

Τρίτη, 18 Νοεμβρίου 2008

DIONYSUS- Excalibur (1990)


How about a journey to a land far away? I don't know much about Korean heavy metal, but I do know there were a couple of great bands over there and one of them is Dionysus. After many melodic posts this heavyweight album is a good treat for headbangers. Like Japans, Koreans too seem to have been influenced by Malmsteen's guitar playing. Still Dionysus sound heavier, especially in their fast songs. The solos are really insane, pure paradise for Malmsteen lovers. The title track is heavy as hell with soaring vocals and great solos. Other great songs include Charnel castle, a fantastic instrumental piece, Lost souls, a powerfull and emotional ballad, the pomp monster Songs of Liberty and a semi-ballad, The confession of a condemned criminal. Usually bands from the far east can drive you away with their vocals but I don't think that's the case here. Though as usual you can't always tell whether the guy sings in English or not, his voice sounds great. Also note that the production is first class. Ambitious, inspired, well executed.
ENJOY!!!

CROWN OF THORNS- Crown of thorns (1993)


Crown of Thorns started their career with a really hard rocking album. And it was the best effort they ever put out. Their later works lack the power of this one. You can find two editions, one from 1993 and one from 1995, called ''21 thorns'', which includes a bonus cd of live material and demos. That second cd isn't really worth having, except that it contains one of their best songs, The rain, so I ripped the debut album and added The Rain. What you get here is the very best songs of the band, like the anthem Dying for love and the powerful The healer and Winterland.

ENJOY!!!

Κυριακή, 9 Νοεμβρίου 2008

RED DAWN- Never say surrender (1993)


What can I say about this album? Most of you propably already know about them, especially if you are into melodic hard rock and AOR. Red Dawn were the brainchild of David Rosenthal, keyboard wizard of Rainbow fame (he was part of the band during the Straight between the eyes- Bent out of shape era). Together with singer Larry Baud (formerly of USA and Network), guitarist Tristan Avakian (Mitch Malloy), Chuck Burgi on drums (ex Rainbow too) and bassist Greg Smith (ex Alice Cooper) he created a band of great potential. Unfortunately the year was 1993 when the album was released so you can understand why there was little chance of success and why it was actually released through a japanese record label with no follow up album . What we've got here is a very strong songwriting team, a keyboard virtuoso, a singer that makes your jaws drop and a phenomenal guitarist. All combined to deliver timeless songs. I've not yet met a single person that didn't love that album. Only one filler in here, the rest is from very good to unbelievably great! If you would like a comparison maybe House of Lords would do, but only their very best songs can match these guys!

ENJOY!!!

Κυριακή, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2008

PROPHET- Pophet (1985)


The first album of Prophet was a fusion of many styles. Based on AOR and melodic hard rock their sound expands to progressive/pomp rock. As in most albums of that style keyboards play a fundamental role adding to the complexity of the song structures. Vocal duties are handled by no less than three of the band's members, and one of them is Ted Poley (who of course would later front Danger Danger), who actually is the drummer of the band! Still the highlight is the voice of a gifted but underrated singer, Dean Fasano. Passion, melody and lyricism run throughout the album. Street secrets is a perfect example of the prog/pomp side to Prophet, while Away from you has all the AOR hit potential ever needed to make a band big, though Prophet never had the luck required to make it big. Slow down is a wonderful ballad, if Tommy Shaw had been singing it it would be in the lips of millions, even though he couldn't have done a better job. All in all another must have album for your collection...

ENJOY!!!