Page 16 of 21 FirstFirst ... 6121314151617181920 ... LastLast
Results 226 to 240 of 302

Thread: My CD Reviews!

  1. #226
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Adrenaline Mob
    Omerta
    Elm City Music / EMI - 2012
    http://www.adrenalinemob.com

    Take two titans of metal and mix in some heavy rock rhythms and smoking hot guitar licks and you've got the start of a pretty good album.

    Yes, ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Symphony X singer Russell Allen (who produced the album with Mike Orlando) have a bit of work to do on selecting a few more quality songs or lyrics, but overall this was a pretty sweet heavy rock album.

    Things start off with the first single from the album, the anthemic "Undaunted". The song fires you up right away and I like the way Allen uses his more gruff sounding vocal style here. It dares you to step up, so you can be knocked right on your butt.

    Allen's vocals didn't stay with the gruff style throughout the whole album, there were songs like "Indifferent", "All On The Line" and "Believe In Me" that found him singing much clearer.

    I really liked the album closer "Freight Train". The chorus to the song comes off a bit choppy, but listening to the song in its entirety, that is by design.

    "Down To The Floor" was a very aggressive track. And the lyrics made the song sound like something NASCAR might consider for a highlight package.

    The closest thing to a ballad type song is "Angel Sky". It is mainly in a midtempo groove but for an album that is all guns blazing, this is the respite song.

    I had problems with two songs on the disc. The song "Psychosane" had a great rhythmic vibe but the song came off as trying to hard in the performance to live up to the song title. I liked the music to "Feelin' Me", but while I'm am not opposed to swearing in song lyrics, the inclusion of them in this song didn't work for me. It came off as posing instead of being "real". The feeling of being challenged worked in "Undaunted" but here it sounded amateurish.

    Singer Lizzy Hale made a guest appearance on the song "Come Undone". Her vocals and the overall construction of the track elevated the song immensely. Very heavy with a slightly operatic feel to it.

    Oh, and Mike Orlando played all the guitar and bass tracks for the disc and did a fantastic job.

    It's not a grand slam home run type of debut album, but I think this ends up being a pretty solid release and for me at least, it whets the appetite for more. I only hope that this project turns out to be more than a one off release.

    The band certainly provides the adrenaline. It's a heavy rock cornucopia that gets your blood pressure up.

    GRADE: A MINUS
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  2. #227
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Sledge Leather
    Imagine Me Alive
    Metal Up Records - 2012
    http://www.sledgeleather.com

    For years, ex-Chastain vocalist Leather Leone was among the missing of the music world. Then she made a guest appearance with the band Sentinel Beast and suddenly she was BACK!

    Reuniting with her former Rude Girl bandmate, drummer Sandy Sledge to form The Sledge Leather Project. A lights out performance at the 2011 Keep It True festival in Germany further whetted the appetite for new material from Leone et al. (A DVD of that performance is forthcoming).

    The culmination of the fan's and band's desire is Imagine Me Alive.

    And alive this album is!

    The title track kicks off the album with a hard charging rocking vibe. Leone shreds vocally and the musicianship of Sledge, guitarist Matthias Weisheit, keyboardist Scott Warren and ex-Dio bassist Jimmy Bain is top notch.

    There are 6 full-length tracks split up with 5 smaller numbers that are mainly instrumentals. They range from the slow burn of "Torch", a song which is done to sound like a classic LP with all the cracks and pops to "Illusions Opus 1" that reminded me of a Fates Warning instrumental. That one was good.

    I liked the track "The Guy Upstairs Lied" though in the middle of the song, the vocals seemed to get a bit muddied in the sound mix.

    "Her Father's Daughter" featured a very heavy methodically paced song until the last 1/4 of the track where things pick up. It leads into a piano reprise (performed by Sandy Sledge) that was outstandingly beautiful.

    "A Taste of Night" was okay but it felt kind of flat to me. However, I really loved "The Lost Forgiveness". The song featured a gothic inspired keyboard sound that made it sound so much heavier.

    The stand out track however on the album is "One Glimpse". It starts slow, with just Leone's vocals with a spare piano musical soundtrack before picking up with a sweet guitar line running throughout the remainder of the song. The vocal performance reminded me of the slow material performed by Udo Dirkschneider. By that I mean, it is a hauntingly stark arrangement yet the sharp edge she is known for remains constant at the same time.

    It's been a long time "along the battlefield of life" in waiting for some new material featuring Leather Leone. Imagine Me Alive was well worth the wait and still manages to make me want even more.

    A welcome return indeed!

    Grade: A MINUS


    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  3. #228
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Eliza Gilkyson
    Roses At The End Of Time
    Red House Records - 2011
    http://www.elizagilkyson.com

    I've had this CD in my listen to pile since Christmas and now finally got around to it.

    The most recent studio album from folk artist Eliza Gilkyson is both a real and musical family affair.

    The album is produced by her son Cisco Ryder, who also plays drums on the CD. Her brother Tony wrote the song "Death In Arkansas" and played acoustic guitar on "Vayan al Norte". It's the only song on the album Eliza didn't write. As for her musical family, label mates John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky make guest vocal appearances.

    The album opens slowly with the song "Blue Moon Night". I loved Gilkyson's vocal performance on this song. The aforementioned "Death In Arkansas" is slightly more uptempo with a bouncier feel to the vocals.

    I really liked the midtempo number "Slouching Towards Bethlehem". Meanwhile, the song "Belle of the Ball" had lyrics that seemed almost menacing at times. I definitely believe I could be reading too much into what I was hearing though. "Vayan al Norte" was slower in feel and a decent song. At least until the Spanish lyrics kicked in. While her website has the English translation, not speaking the language the song lyrics are in hurts my enjoyment of the song.

    My favorite song on the album was the faster paced "2153". A pointed set of lyrics and a vibrant performance really sell this song.

    I've been a fan of Eliza Gilkyson's for a while now and I love her ability to be a storyteller in her songs. She has a wonderful voice that she can shade to get whatever mood she is trying to convey. This remains true on this album.

    Grade: B PLUS

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  4. #229
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Kim Richey
    Wreck Your Wheels
    Thirty Tigers - 2010
    http://www.kimrichey.com

    I'm a long-time fan of Kim Richey. She started out as a top songwriter in the country music genre. As a solo performer she's gone from country music to adult contemporary. She's also a captivating live performer. She knows how to craft a story within the confines of a 3 1/2 minute song as well as anyone. She has a wonderful voice that I love to hear every time I hear her sing.

    And that's why this album is so very very disappointing. Other than the title track, there was nothing that I really took away from the disc that would make me try to sell others on it. She co-wrote all of the tracks with "outside" writers and that kind of gives it the feel of a one off album project where she is the guest star not the main attraction. While Richey herself sounds in fine voice, the lyrical content left me cold. There were a couple of instances where the music gave the album a brief spark of light, but those moments were few and very far between.

    Grade: D

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  5. #230
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Ronny Munroe
    Lords of the Edge
    Rat Pak Records - 2011
    http://www.ronnymunroe.com

    If you go back and read my review of ex-Metal Church singer Ronny Munroe's first solo album ( Review Link Here ), I think it is pretty obvious that I wasn't as enthused about that CD as one would hope to have been.

    There is no such problem with the Lords of the Edge CD. From the first moments of the disc when "Just Breathe" explodes out of the speakers to the final bluesy / western notes of "Goodbye To The Black", this album is far and away superior to The Fire Within.

    Munroe wrote and produced this album with Stu Marshall, who appears on guitars. Also making guest guitar appearances are Queensryche's Michael Wilton and Savatage's Chris Caffery. And they don't go to waste. The guitars are fast and furious coming on strong when needed and laying back on the album's few quiter moments.

    Munroe's vocals are superb and the lyrical content is much more focused this time around. Uptempo rockers like "Full Circle", "Pierced By The Maiden" and "The Fear Of What's To Come" sizzle while "Still Alive" slow burns as the album's nearest thing to a ballad. The aformentioned "Goodbye To The Black" opens with a spartan blues rock vibe before kicking into high gear as a raging rocker.

    The album also includes nice audio or topical touches. The song "Let Them Feed" is a song about the zombie apocalypse that opens with a news broadcast clip announcing that the dead have come to life. One of my favorite cuts on the album is "Touched By A Demon" which carries an epically dark vibe in the opening while a maintaining a methodically plotted pace throughout the course of the song.

    There's nary a false step on the album and frankly, this is the album Ronny Munroe should've made the first time around. I'm glad he got it just about completely right this time. (As a side note, the cover model for the album's photos is Munroe's daughter.)

    Long Live Lords of the Edge!

    Grade: A MINUS!
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  6. #231
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Overkill
    The Electric Age
    Nuclear Blast Records - 2012
    http://www.wreckingcrew.com

    The new album from Overkill features ten tracks written by the duo of vocalist Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist DD Verni. For my money, the best album that the band ever did was The Years of Decay. It ranks up there for me as one of the best thrash albums ever. So with every album judged against that standard, this album has a lot of expectations from me to live up to.

    The album opens with a staggering drum salvo from Ron Lipnicki then bursts into a full throttle shredder with the song "Come and Get It". For the most part that description aptly describes the entire album. The song sounds like the musical soundtrack for an advancing bloodthirsty horde.

    "Electric Rattlesnake" was the first song released from the album (see video clip below). The fast paced track features vocalist Ellsworth spitting out the vocals so fast that you almost can't keep up with what he's saying. The song slows down during the final quarter of the song but then kicks the shred factor back up to close out the song.

    The song "Wish You Were Dead" reminded me of the classic Overkill track "I Hate" in regards to the song lyrics. That's a good comparison for those that might be wondering what I mean by that. Meanwhile, the tempo of "Black Daze" can only be described as a musical romp. I liked the phrasing of the vocals in the chorus.

    "Save Yourself" was a sizzling aggressive number. The cut "Drop The Hammer Down" was slightly slower for most of the song but the trade off for less speed was a heavier sound that was both musically and lyrically dense.

    "Blitz" really shines vocally on the blitzkrieg attacking track "All Over But The Shouting". "Good Night" opens with a slow acoustic guitar intro then goes off on a vicious audio assault, which was just the last in a series of amazing fretwork displays from guitarists Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer.

    I had two nitpicks with the album. The first was a minor one. I'm one that likes to, on first listen, read the song lyrics in the CD booklet as each songs unfurls. On a few of the tracks, the lyrics in the booklet didn't match up with what was being sung. The slightly bigger issue I had was the song "21st Century Man". While I liked the pacing of the song the lyrics didn't resonate with me at all.

    While there was a period of a few albums where I didn't like the band's output, the last couple of releases have been excellent. Overkill is a vastly underrated band that carries true metal pride to this day. For me, they'd be in my own version of The Big Four instead of one of the recognized members of that particular club who beyond a few songs I never found all that interesting.

    The Electric Age becomes the third straight outstanding release from the band. It shreds terrifically and while it doesn't top The Years of Decay, it does acquit itself quite nicely. "Come And Get It" Indeed!

    GRADE: A MINUS!

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  7. #232
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Lita Ford
    Living Like A Runaway
    SPV/Steamhammer - 2012
    http://www.litafordonline.com

    While you might say "Don't call it a comeback" since this is the second album since Lita Ford's return to recording and performing, given the absolute atrocity that was the album Wicked Wonderland, I'm confident in saying that THIS album is a true Lita Ford release. The other one was more a guest vocal appearance by Ford on an album that was an ego trip for her now ex-husband Jim Gillette.

    Living Like A Runaway is a soul baring look into the life Ford dealt with supposedly living a blissful happy life on an island with her ex and her two sons. It was quite as blissful as we were led to believe.

    The version of the album I got was the limited edition one. It comes with a poster and two bonus tracks.

    Ford wrote or co-wrote 9 of the 12 tracks on the album. She covers Elton John's "The Bitch Is Back" as the album's closer and brings a far more revved up rocking sound to it than the original song. There's also "A Song To Slit Your Wrists By" that was done by Nikki Sixx. Sadly, I didn't get into that song much at all. While I liked the heavy rock vibe on "The Mask", I didn't like the effects used on the vocals during various parts of the song.

    The album might snarkily be referred to as "The Divorce Album" but you'd be missing out if that's all you took away from the listening experience. This CD features much more of a raw and gritty aggressive sound than her most successful album Lita.

    The anger in her writing and playing was highlighted and enhanced by guitarist Gary Hoey. He was a huge factor in the making of this album. He produced it, played guitar, co-wrote 5 of the songs and wrote "Relentless" on his own. He also played bass and helped with the arrangements. And yet despite his heavy investment, this doesn't come off sounding as if Lita was a guest on her own release again. Hoey is a phenomenal guitarist in his own right and though he does have some solos here, the album spotlight is on Lita Ford as it should be.

    "Branded" was a rocking way to open the disc and "Hate" was a very dark track. As you might expect, some of the songs are autobiographical in their lyrical content, particularly the title track and "Mother". The latter song is dedicated to her two sons, the heartbreak in the lyrics and peformance so deeply in evidence.

    "Relentless" was written by Hoey, but the lyrics ring solidly enough that you might mistake them for another tale from the life of Lita if you didn't read the album credits.

    The rockers "Asylum" and "Bad Neighborhood" are excellent, but for me the stand out track on the album is without a doubt "Devil In My Head". It's a kick ass rocker with a set of lyrics that blew me away.

    It's been a long time coming, but Lita Ford is definitely back and raring for more. Check out Living Like A Runaway for yourselves and I think you will find quite a suprisingly good rock and roll CD.

    GRADE: B PLUS
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  8. #233
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Reverence
    When Darkness Calls
    Razar Ice Records - 2012
    http://www.reverencemetal.com

    I found out about this new band and their debut album via a news posting on the Blabbermouth.net website. The thing that caught my eye was the band's drummer was none other than ex-Savatage drummer Steve "Dr. Killdrums" Wacholz.

    I ended up buying the CD through the band's website and looked forward to checking out what they had to offer.

    Unfortunately I was left with an overall sense of disappointment after the CD ended. There is some good material on the album but I wasn't overly enthused about a lot of it.

    The album was chock full of rocking tracks but I found that singer Todd Michael Hall's vocals were a bit too high pitched for my tastes in some of the songs.

    The good was good and the lackluster stuff was just so flat and uninteresting I don't know that there will be many repeat plays for this disc.

    I liked the intro for "Too Late" a lot and the song was good overall. The song "After The Leaves Have Fallen" is one of the slower tempo songs and has an interesting set of lyrics.

    The best track on the album is undoubtedly "Bleed For Me". It's very fast paced with a chorus made stronger by the big backing vocals employed on it.

    You can check out the video for two of the better songs below.

    I was hoping to really love this CD because of the tie to my favorite band Savatage, but this is average AT BEST. I think the band could've done so much better. And the vocals need to be a bit lower in the stratosphere.

    GRADE: C MINUS
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  9. #234
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Unisonic
    S/T
    Armoury Records - 2012
    http://www.unisonic.de

    Two former members of the German power metal band Helloween, singer Michael Kiske and Kai Hansen, have reunited to form a new band in Unisonic.

    I initially became aware of this new group when I saw a video clip of the band performing the Helloween classic "Future World" live in Japan. I was stoked to see that Kiske sounded so good. While he has been active in various projects (SupaRed, Place Vendome, Revolution Renaissance etc), he's not been actively touring for quite a while.

    The album reflects both the metal aspect that fans have been clamoring to hear from Kiske, but other material is more of a straight forward rock and roll type of style. For the most part, it all works.

    The band, when called upon to shred, is fantastic. They also slow the pace with equal aplomb.

    The album opens with the title track "Unisonic" that serves as a kind of introduction to the band. It rocks from beginning to end with the twin guitars of Kai Hansen and Mandy Meyer. The more operatic vocals from Kiske are in evidence here.

    While not quite as fast, the still uptempo "Souls Alive" changes to a slightly lower vocal register for Kiske and the lyrics have some real depth to them.

    I mentioned a more rock and roll vibe to some of the tracks. "Never Too Late" is a good example of this. The song starts out with a paced tempo but picks up the pace over the course of the song. The song "Never Change Me" does the same thing and the vocals start out low until the chorus when Kiske lets his voice soar to the heavens again.

    I didn't care for "King For A Day" or "I've Tried". They were just mediocre songs in my book.

    The band took a different tack towards the power ballad. They crafted a song that left out the love song cliche and instead took it much deeper in "No One Ever Sees Me". I was pretty blown away by how good this song turned out.

    The fast paced "We Rise" is another stand out song with pure power ripping through the speakers.

    The band's live cover of another Helloween classic "I Want Out", turned out well as the album closer. Selfishly, I would've preferred the "Future World" live cut to be included as an audio track but it was nice to have any live cut on the disc.

    I've been a fan of Kiske's work with Helloween for a long time and while I've checked out some of his other projects and solo work, this type of band enviornment is where I think he shines best. The entire band has done an admirable job of setting the stage for what I can only hope is more albums to come.

    GRADE: B PLUS




    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  10. #235
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    My latest CD review is now up at Pop-topia.com

    Steve Harris - British Lion

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  11. #236
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Geoff Tate
    Kings & Thieves
    InsideOut Music - 2012
    http://www.geofftate.com

    With all the brouhaha going on about the dismissal of Geoff Tate from Queensryche after 30 years and the subsequent legal battles, I have to admit that I've been soured a bit with the actions of EVERYONE involved.

    When Geoff Tate announced he would be releasing his second solo album, my immediate reaction was "Good Gawd! I hope it isn't a complete clusterfuck like his first solo release."

    Sometimes when I listen to a disc for review, I might listen once and have a solid idea about what's going on. Sometimes it takes more than one listen. In the case of Kings & Thieves, it is a good thing that I listened more than once.

    After the first listen, this album was going to be consigned to the fiery pits of hell for being atrocious. But upon listening twice more, I found that there was actually some good stuff here. In announcing the upcoming release, Tate said that it would be a real rock album. He wasn't kidding. There is nothing here that resembles metal, but that doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of good songs.

    The CD opens with the song "She Slipped Away", a nice little uptempo number that gets the album rolling. "Take A Bullet" was decent, if a bit repetitive with the chorus.

    The uptempo songs "In The Dirt" and "Say U Love It" left me shaking my head and wondering what happened to Tate's lyric writing ability. A line from "In The Dirt" that reads "Rides me hard like an exercise machine" seems beneath him. And while I'm not opposed to S&M imagery in general terms, his idiotic sounding lyrics in "Say U Love It" felt predatorily creepy. I felt the need to take a shower (and not in a good way). What happened to the man who wrote "The Lady Wore Black" and this verse:

    "In the distance I saw a woman
    Dressed in black with eyes of grey
    She wore her pain like a shackled spirit
    Eternal life was her debt to pay"

    The midtempo track "The Way I Roll" came off lyrically like he was responding to both his former Queensrych bandmates and/or his doubters. "Tomorrow" simply dragged on too long, while "Waiting" closed the album with a very slow pace and far too much repetition.

    Tracks 7 - 10 is where Tate really picks up the pace a bit, saving the album from complete disaster.

    "Dark Money" (lyric video below) rants about the political system and the screwjob it does to the people. Generally I wouldn't be interested in the topic but after a few listens I got into it both musically and lyrically.

    "These Glory Days" was a good track, very uptempo. "Change" started out slow paced but well done. The soaring orchestral like backing music gave the song more "emotional" heft. The song picks up the tempo about 2 1/2 minutes in with the guitar solo. I liked the chorus of "I don't want to change the world, I just wanna change me". The brief appearance of piano in the song was a nice touch.

    The best song on the disc was "Evil". It's the one that comes off as the most hard rock or metal sounding. It was just a well crafted romp.

    All in all, surprising as it may seem to those who have been disappointed one time after another with the most recent Queensryche releases, Kings & Thieves turned out to be a solidly done CD that had 6 out of 11 tracks that made the album well worth checking out.

    GRADE: B MINUS
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  12. #237
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    My latest CD review is for the Doro CD Raise Your Fist. You can check it out via this link.

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  13. #238
    The Dark Knight Returns DonC's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    The Cleve
    Posts
    13,792

    Default

    I need to get my iTunes account straightened out. I want to get like seven of the last eight CDs you've reviewed.
    Free your soul and let it fly....

  14. #239
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    Good to know, I can help you get excited about some new music. I've got 2 more CDs to review for the year.
    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

  15. #240
    RIP Ronnie James Dio Deathstroke's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    16,287

    Default

    My review of the Accept CD Stalingrad is now up at this Pop-topia.com link.

    I'm on Twitter

    "I can't complain. I got to be Jim Morrison for the first half of my life, and Ward Cleaver for the second half." - Warren Zevon.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •