With the double CD Rock For Japan AOR Heaven was one of the labels who tried to raise money after the quake / tsunami in Japan a year ago. One of the participants was Tommy Heart, he is now the man behind Help! For Japan, a 4-track single.
He hooked up with Don Airey, Leo Leoni, Neil Murray and Hena Habegger who laid down the instrumental tracks. The first version of the Beatles classic Help! is a piano ballad, Tommy Heart is taking over the lead, but get joined by several renown singers incl. Michael Kiske, Marc Storace, Tony Mills, Bob Catley, Andi Deris, Ralf Scheepers among others. The lead guitar parts are done by Cede Dupont, Leo Leoni and Kyoji Yamamoto (BowWow).
The second version features Tommy Heart on vocals and a guitar solo by Kyoji Yamamoto. This version not just offers a guitar solo, it's more guitar-based then the first one. Big backings give it a slight 80's touch and make one think one more time of Hear'nd Aid...
The guitar version features Helge Engelke (Fair Warning), Kyoji Yamamoto, Roland Grapow, Henny Wolter (Nitrogods), Cede Dupont, Robert R. Rodrigo (Airless) and Leo Leoni. I'm not a huge fan of instrumentals, but in this case it makes sense, coz the six-stringers get more space to shine.
Last but not least the extended version - which is only available on the CD version, not the download version -, it brings together all involved musicians. It also gives everybody a bit more space, so you get a great song, amazing singers and awesome guitarists.
But at the end of the day it doesn't matter which version is your favorite, coz it's about helping. And the different versions of this classic will fit into every music collection. Melodic rock fans shouldn't hesitate at all and just buy it, fans of the involved musicians should get it right away, too. Everybody else, help the people in Japan by buying this single! Money is donated to the Japanese Red Cross and the Japanese people still need help!
YesterRock just released a compilation Best Of Melodic Rock as double CD and DVD. I only have the CD tracks here, but the DVD tracks are listed below and it sounds like an awesome compilation. Sure, there are tons of compilations, but pretty often they have a few good tracks and the majority is average.
Long-time melodic rock fans will have a lot of these tracks on the albums, but if you haven't made your own compilation this will save you time to do it. Songs like the opener - Toto's Hold The Line -, Journey, Europe, Pretty Maids, Boston, Scorpions, Bad English and Alice Cooper are already classic tracks. Riot's Bloodstreets perhaps aren't one of the tracks you would name as a classic, but it isn't a filler! Same can be said about The Outfield's Voices Of Babylon, to be honest the name didn't ring a bell, but when I listened to the track, I immediately remembered it - and so it deserves to be on a compilation like this.
There are a lot more songs which would deserve to be on this compilation, so another volume of this high-class compilation would be nice...
CD 1 :
1. Toto - Hold The Line
2. Journey - Wheel In The Sky
3. Cheap Trick - Can’t Stop Falling Into Love
4. Europe - The Final Countdown
5. Loverboy - Turn Me Loose
6. Sammy Hagar - Give To Live
7. Grand Funk Railroad - We're An American Band
8. Molly Hatchet - Satisfied Man
9. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Travellin' Man
10. Danger Danger - Naughty Naughty
11. Pretty Maids - Love Games
12. Britny Fox - Save
13. Riot - Bloodstreets
14. Alice Cooper - Poison
15. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
CD 2 :
1. Boston - More Than A Feeling
2. Scorpions - Wind Of Change
3. Hooters - Satellite
4. Peter Frampton - Show Me The Way
5. Jefferson Starship - No Way Out
6. Bad English - When I See You Smile
7. The Outfield - Voices Of Babylon
8. Steve Perry - Foolish Heart
9. Extreme - More Than Words
10. Warrant - Heaven
11. Reo Speedwagon - Take It On The Run
12. Steve Lukather - Lonely Beat Of My Heart
13. Blue Öyster Cult - Astronomy
14. Firehouse - When I Look In Your Eyes
15. Kansas - Dust In The Wind
01. Toto - Hold The Line
02. Kansas - Dust In The Wind
03. Journey - Girl Can't Help It (Live)
04. Lynyrd Skynyrd - Travellin' Man
05. Britny Fox - Save The Weak
06. Pretty Maids - Love Games
07. Alice Cooper - Poison
08. Sammy Hagar - Give To Live
09. Danger Danger - Naughty Naughty
10. Europe - The Final Countdown
11. Riot - Bloodstreets
12. Molly Hatchet - Satisfied Man
13. Styx - Love Is The Ritual
14. Bad English - When I See You Smile
15. Warrant - Heaven
16. Blue Öyster Cult - Astronomy
17. The Hooters - Satellite
18. Steve Lukather - Lonely Beat Of My Heart
19. Cheap Trick - Can’t Stop Falling Into Love
20. Firehouse - When I Look Into Your Eyes
21. Scorpions - Wind Of Change
22. Extreme - More Than Words
23. Peter Frampton - Show Me The Way (Live)
24. Golden Earring - Radar Love (Live)
25. Steve Perry - Foolish Heart
On March 11th Japan was hit by a big one followed by a tsunami. This alone had a devastating effect on the country and it's people, but it got worse when news spread that Fukushima's nuclear power plant been damaged and a partial core meltdown was just the beginning of a series of bad news from Japan. Soon is was called a major accident according to INES. This revived the memory of Chernobyl in 1986. But that's just part of the problem, coz hundreds of thousands were homeless and in need for help. All around the world organizations like the Red Cross prepared to help the people of Japan. And Georg Siegl of AOR Heaven sent out an email to the artists he's working with asking them to contribute to a tribute sampler. With in no time the first reacted to his message and the result is now getting in stores - Rock For Japan. The money raised will be donated to German Red Cross on purpose to help Japan.
What makes this sampler interesting isn't just the number of renown musicians, many of the songs are previously unreleased ones, some new recordings, some previously unreleased live recordings, so it's value for money. Take a look at the track list and if you find a few of your favorite artists, then don't hesitate to get your copy right now. If you don't know the majority of bands / musicians, but you love hard rock / melodic metal, then this is a brilliant way to discover new acts - and help the Japanese people.
No sense in going through every single track and everybody will dig different songs. Among my personal favorites are the tracks of Dan Reed, Harlan Cage, Doogie White / Pontus Norgren's cover of the Journey tune Message Of Love, Crown Of Thorns, Torben Schmidt, Kane'd, Royal Hunt...
I won't give this one a rating, coz even if not every song is a masterpiece everybody who contributed to Rock For Japan is doing something to help. And at the end of the day it's about personal preferences. So, help the Japanese people and get yourself a great compilation!
Tracklist Rock For Japan:
1. FM – Kissed (previously unreleased in Europe)
2. Tommy Heart - And I Know (previously unreleased)
3. Grand Illusion - Yumi's Eyes (previously unreleased, recorded during the 'Brand New World' sessions)
4. Harlan Cage - Sinner's Groove (new recording)
5. Fiona - Love Along The Way (new recording)
6. Dan Reed - I Don't Mind (previously unreleased, recorded during the 'Coming Up For Air' sessions)
7. Tony Harnell - One Way Ride (previously only released on a digital only, self-released EP)
8. Grand Design - Love Will Shine The Way (new recording)
9. Doogie White/ Pontus Norgren – Message Of Love (previously unreleased cover of the Journey song of the same name)
10. Hartmann feat. Tobias Sammet - Brother's (Live) (recorded live at the Colossaal, Aschaffenburg, Germany in 2009; this version previously unreleased in Europe)
11. Brian McDonald - In Too Deep (new recording)
12. Shotgun Symphony - The One (new recording)
13. Brett Walker - Good Enough (new recording)
14. Peter Beckett - Too Many Reasons (new recording)
15. Poison Sun - Russian Racketeers (previously unreleased; from the 'Virtual Sin' sessions)
16. Big Nature - One Way Ride (feat. Chandler Mogel from Outloud & Talon on vocals; previously unreleased)
17. Legs Diamond - Missing A Part (previously unreleased; from the sessions for the album 'Diamonds Are Forever')
1. Soul Doctor - You're All That I Want (Single Remix) (2011 shortened remix of the song which originally appeared on the album 'Soul Doctor'; this version previously unreleased
2. Crown Of Thorns - I Won't Wait (previously available on the compilation album 'Crown Jewels'; from the recording sessions of the album 'Crown Of Thorns')
3. Harem Scarem – Easier (previously unreleased song)
4. Robin Beck - The One (previously released on the 2011 album 'The Great Escape')
5. Torben Schmidt - Run Away (previously unreleased on CD)
6. Mark Spiro - Say Your Prayers (previously unreleased)
7. House Of Lords - Spirit Of Love (previously released on the album 'Demons Down')
8. Mitch Malloy - Anything At All (Live) (recorded live at Firefest 2008; previously unreleased on CD)
9. Dogface - Fired (previously unreleased)
10. Kane'd - Rock Against The D.J. (previously unreleased)
11. Royal Hunt - Back To Square (Live) (recorded live in Atlanta, USA in 2009; previously unreleased)
12. M.ill.ion - What I Want (previously unreleased; from the sessions for the album 'Kingsize')
13. Johnny Lima - Nowhere Left To Go (previously unreleased)
14. Tommy Denander - Where Is The Fire (previously unreleased on CD; feat. Mikkey Dee on drums and John Leven on bass)
15. Chris Laney - Coming Home (previously unreleased)
16. Bulletrain - Take Me To The Sun (previously unreleased on CD; from the self-financed EP of the band)
17. Subsignal – Wingless (previously unreleased demo version)
Towards the end of the year it seems more sampler get out every day, but Prophecy Productions isn't just recycling old songs and so this sampler is really something special, coz most songs are exclusively released on this sampler or some rare tunes. The artwork is one more time a beautiful piece done by Fursy Tessier (Les Discrets / Alcest).
And so the first disk kicks off with the acoustic short track Hoestmelankoli, a beautiful acoustic tune by Vàli. Let yourself be carried into reverie with intense, atmospheric tune. A highlight is Empyrium's The Days Before The Fall which shows that they still know how to write great tunes and which make fans hope for a new album of Empyrium. Ainulindalë present a symphonic tune called A Year Of Silence sticks out due to the Gregorian-inspired backing choir. But it's also Engwar's emotional vocals. Great tune by the French! Next in line 2 tracks of Les Discrets, then Musk Ox, but somehow the album shows a homogeneity some albums from bands don't show. The songs are well-chosen and it's obvious that someone put a lot of effort into creating a unique sonic experience. Many tracks are instrumentals and the ones with vocals stick out. One of the highlights is Havnatt's Dagen Og Natta which gets ennobled by Cecilie Langlie voice. Dornenreich's Dem Wind geborgen kicks off with spoken words, but then acoustic guitars and a violin gives the song something special. One of my favorites and I would say a highlight, but it seems that this sampler has just highlights! At least disk one didn't offer any mediocre song or filler. Will CD2 have some? I doubt it. So let's talk about disk 2 now! A young band called Nhor is kicking off, the first impression is a good one. Guess, we will hear more of them soon. The following track is an old one, Ulver's Synen, a track many fans were looking for. The song was released in 1997 on a sampler and fits perfectly among the new songs by colleagues. Let Neun Welten, Tenhi and Bauda enchant you. A track which sticks out is Lönndom's Språnget Ur Ursprunget with whispered words accompanied by acoustic guitar. Very simple, very intense. The closer is Syven with How Fare The Gods?, a quite heavy tune with a threatening atmosphere at the opening part, later the atmosphere becomes solemn due to the ecclesiastical vocals.
Fans of eerie music and neo-folk will welcome this compilation, coz it shows some of the best bands with exclusive tracks. And gives one the chance to discover some bands, one might not listened to yet. I highly recommend this double CD to all fans of neo-folk and nature-inspired tunes.
Track list CD1:
1. Vàli: Hoestmelankoli *
2. Empyrium: The Days Before The Fall *
3. Nest: Summer Storm (acoustic) *
4. Nebelung: Ich würd es hören *
5. October Falls: Viima *
6. Ainulindalë: A Year Of Silence *
7. Les Discrets: 5 Montee Des Epies *
8. Les Discrets: Apres l'Ombre **
9. Musk Ox: Solstice *
10. Havnatt: Dagen Og Natta *
11. Dornenreich: Dem Wind Geboren
12. Vàli: Haredans I Fjellheimen *
Track list CD2:
1. Nhor: Upon The Wind Its Wings Beat Sorrow Into The Stars *
2. Ulver: Synen **
3. Neun Welten: Pan *
4. Tenhi: Kausienranta
5. Bauda: Ocaso (acoustic) *
6. Orplid: Stille (Demo) **
7. Nucleus Torn: Krähenkönigin III
8. Lönndom: Språnget Ur Ursprunget *
9. Syven: How Fare The Gods? *
SOAL is a platform for artists who release their albums on their own, but offers a good promotion and even more important a good distribution. After 2 years they decided to release a 'nice price' sampler to introduce the bands to the metal heads. Some songs are already releases while others are previous to upcoming releases. Bands like Cripper (Life Is Deadly) and Presto Ballet (One Perfect Moment - a previously unreleased tune), Kottak and German heavy metal outfit Gun Barrel metal fans already know while AnsoticcA and Chainfist try to establish themselves.
Death and thrash metal fans should check out Skanners, Damnation Defaced and Hatred. With the live recordings of Trouble's Plastic Greenhead and Gun Barrel's Bombard Your Soul heavy metal fans get something special while Hartmann's Suddenly (single version) is a hard rock song and represents the softer side of this sampler. Crack O Dawn takes you onto a sonic roller coaster ride. Black Rain has spoken words passages where the vocals almost inaudible, but then they head into a fast, riff-based part with growls and clean vocals. With AnsoticcA a female-fronted metal band gives with I'm Alive a preview of their upcoming album. Pharao present classic heavy metal with an 80's vibe while the last tracks are really heavy ones and are more interesting for fans thrash / death metal.
Amazon.de has the album for 5,99 € and even if the price might be different in your local CD store, it should be still a bargain. You get 18 bands, 18 tracks and sounds vary from extreme metal to hard rock.
Parity Boot - Into Nothing
Cripper - Life Is Deadly
Skanners - Flash Razor
Trouble - Plastic Greenhead (Live in L.A.)
Presto Ballet - One Perfect Moment
Hatred - Ratter Of Hell
Hartmann - Suddenly (Single Version)
Damnation Defaced - The Beast Must Die
Kottak - Scream With Me
Crack O Dawn - Black Rain
Gun Barrel - Bombard Your Soul (Live At The Kubana )
Chainfist - Free Me
Discreation - Liberation
Sapiency - Good Time To Lie
AnsoticcA - I'm Alive
Pharao - On The Attack
Hatenation - Countdown
Musica Diablo – Betrayed
Interesting tribute of Remedy Records dedicated to W.A.S.P., one of the biggest band in the world. Everyone knows that their first album was one of the biggest masterpiece worldwide, but in this tribute (on two CDs) we can find songs from every W.A.S.P. albums, and this is a good thing because we can hear many facets of this band with different interpretations done by these cute bands. This double cd tribute cover the period from the W.A.S.P. first single Animal until their album Helldorado, including their concept Crimson Idol.
We can find versions very similar at the original like Killahead (well-) performed by Warhead or On Your Knees by Ingrimm, and personal versions of these songs like Fiese Sau by Kneipenterroristen (this is Mean Man in German version) or the goth-rock version of The Rock Rolls On performed by Gwyllion. A lot of bands and emotions to discover in this tribute album...if you like W.A.S.P., don't miss this tribute and listen different points of views of immortal tracks!!!
01. V8 WANKERS - Helldorado
02. TORMENT - I Wanna Be Somebody
03. WARHEAD - The Manimal
04. 5TH SONIC BRIGADE - Teacher
05. KNEIPENTERRORISTEN - Fiese Sau
06. GWYLLION - The Rock Rolls On
07. WYLDFYRE - Blind In Texas
08. THE RUGGED - The Idol
09. ABIGAIL - Take Me Up
10. THE CLAYMORE - Chainsaw Charlie
11. CUSTARD - 95 N.A.S.T.Y.
12. LONEWOLF - The Torture Never Stops
13. ADORNED BROOD - Neutron Bomber
14. BLACK DESTINY - Wild Child
15. TRAGEDIAN - Sleeping (In The Fire)
01. TORMENT - Animal (Fuck Like A Beast)
02. WARHEAD - Killahead
03. GODS OF HATE - Arena Of Pleasures
04. BLACK DESTINY - L.O.V.E. Machine
05. 5TH SONIC BRIGADE - Hold On To My Heart
06. THE CHUCKIES - Ballcrusher
07. HAZY HAMLET - Rebel in the F.D.G.
08. AGAMENDON - The Headless Children
09. FIRE - Hellion
10. VYKYNG - School Daze
11. INGRIMM - On Your Knees
12. TRAGEDIAN - Doctor Rockter
13. COLD CLOURS - Forever Free
Legendary German metal band Running Wild finally anchors and put the ship to rest. After 30 years Rolf Kasparek decided to call it quits and their show at Wacken 2009 was the final act, the goodbye show of the Hanseatic pirates. Since the 1980's the band was quite successful, especially in Germany, and delivered countless albums which their fans call classics. Personally I think that their first 2 albums - Gates To Putgatory, Branded And Exiled - are the best Running Wild released, but that's just my opinion and has nothing to do with this review. I don't want to comment about all the critic Rolf had to face the last couple of years, coz this man was doing what he thought is best and he was the captain of Running Wild and responsible for their success. The compilation is a kind of farewell where 31 bands pay homage to Running Wild, songs from all chapters of the Running Wild career are performed by a large variety of bands. Unfortunately the the first albums are only represented with one song which shouldn't please die-hard fans. Therefore you get a lot more songs from their last 4 albums on CD2, btw the double CD is sold for the price of one CD! Its quite interesting to see known bands like Suidakra, Powerwolf, Chinchilla, Motorjesus and Deadlock next to quite unknown acts like Satanochio, Seven Seas, Halor and Overtures. And several countries been represented e.g. Romania (Magica, Satanochio), Columbia (Thunderblast, Witchtrap), Argentina (Skiltron), Brazil (Hellish War) as well as Germany and the US (Ravage, Withering Soul). An interesting mix, even it the quality level is differing, but that you find on almost every tribute album / compilation. Some former band members are featured and join bands for their tribute song. Preacher joined Thunderstorm for Welcome To Hell. And guitarist Majk Moti supports Burning Point at Gods Of Iron 90 - overdone version.I think every Running Wild fan will have favorites and discover versions which aren't too close to the original... Deadlock offer When Times Run Out in a electronic version with loops and samples plus female vocals. This one differs a lot from the original, so be aware of this new interpretations! Several bands stayed close to the original, but rearranged the song and so get closer to their own sound.
My resume: On the 2 CDs every Running Wild fan should get satisfied with traditional covers and some more unconventional ones. A great compilation honoring Running Wild.
Powerwolf - Riding The Storm
Fate - Soul Vampires
Orden Ogan - The Battle Of Waterloo
Esenia - Resurrection
5th Sonic Brigade - Angel Of Mercy
Satanochio - Siberian Winter
Deadlock feat. Jürg Theiler - When Time Runs Out
Skiltron - Ballad Of William Kidd
Motojesus - The Rivalry
Suidakra feat. Axel Römer & Matthias Zimmer - Marooned
25 & Alive - The Finest In Hard Rock And Metal
(Steamhammer - 2009)
The year 2009 was a tough year for the renown label and distributor. After they signed a deal with Sony their future is looking bright again. To celebrate their 25th anniversary SPV is offering the metal fans a compilation, a double CD labelled 'Ich zahl nicht mehr!' which was their way to mark releases as 'nice price'. The compilation title 25 & Alive - The Finest In Hard Rock And Metal is quite promising and if you take a look at the track list, then you'll realize they keep this promise. At CD1 you get mainly bands which were on Steamhammer - but also some which been distributed by SPV only - and offers bands like Accept, Kreator, Moonspell, Sodom, Destruction and Evergrey. And with Engrained they present a new band and a previously unreleased song called Sweet Vampire Girl. Their punk'n'roll sounds fresh and will get some interest. At CD1 you also get 2 live songs - Gamma Ray with I Want Out and Sodom with their classic Ausgebombt. Additionally you'll get a re-recording of Saxon's Princess Of The Night.
Disk #2 slows down a bit and so you get some excellent hard rock. Again they offer some live tracks, this time it's: MSG with Armed And Ready, Dio's Stand Up And Shout and Rose Tattoo with Bad Boy For Love. Another re-recording is Molly Hatchet's Beatin..The Odds and a rare song from the German band Steeler (Chain Gang). My resume: a great compilation with more then 100 minutes of music. Fun to listen to and a trip back in time. And all this for little money!
Sound Of Mystery Vol III (DVD)
(13th Street - 2007)
Sound Of Mystery Vol 3?! Reminds me of something... Oh right, the double CD! And now it's time for the DVD! Almost all songs on the DCD are on the DVD with video clips. There are just a few differences between the track list of the DCD and the DVD.
There isn't that much to tell... I think it's quite logical to release a DVD with the clips of the CD compilation, coz there are always to groups - the viewers and the listeners.
There are different opinions about video clips and some like them, others not. A video clip should have a story and should be linked to the lyrics - in my opinion. Unfortunately many video clips - like on this DVD compilation - are just some posing in some place and so it gets quite boring - at least that's what I think.. That most bands just pose in front of a blue screen is a logical consequence, coz it's cheaper and you can easily add any location / surrounding. But some like these clips....
In a nutshell, a nice DVD, but not a must-have.
This sampler is really value for money! For a few bucks you get 2 CDs with more then 40 songs and a DVD with 29 clips! Take Action! is a campaign to support YAH! hotline in the US and many bands support this project with their songs and live on tour. And so both CDs start with a public service announcement on the importance of helping others from committing suicide and how this service could help. Part of the retail price is donated to this helpline.
Musically this compilation offers pop rock, emo rock, alternative, metal and hardcore. Some bands are already well-known, others are quite unknown. Many will know bands like In Flames, My Chemical Romance, It Dies Today, Rise Again, Kaddisfly and Into Eternity, others can be discovered through this compilation. Its great that so many bands joined in to Take Action! But why not present unreleased tracks? Wouldn't that be more intersting for music fans? Anyway, the variety of bands and sounds is interesting for viewers of MTV2 - here you will also see a commercial for this compilation.
The DVD shows 29 clips which you might haven't seen on TV. Some clips - like the ones of Anti-Flag and Into Eternity - are dealing with problems many know and which might lead into a crisis. But video clips you can see on TV, so why not adding some live clips from previous Take Action! tours?
Too many songs to go into detail, so let the music do the talking!
01. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - PSA (public service announcement)
02. My Chemical Romance - This Is How I Disappear
03. Emery - The Ponytail Parades (Acoustic)
04. Scary Kids Scaring Kids - Drowning
05. Senses Fail - Calling All Cars
06. Taking Back Sunday - Miami
07. Cute Is What We Aim For - There's A Class For This
08. All Time Low - Coffee Shop Soundtrack
09. Paramore - Emergency
10. Meg & Dia - Monster
11. Drive By - Accidents
12. Escape The Fate - Not Good Enough For Truth In Cliche
13. The Bled - The Last American Cowboy
14. A Static Lullaby - Hang 'Em High
15. Drop Dead, Gorgeous - Daniel, Where's The Boat?
16. He Is Legend - Mushroom River
17. In Flames - Come Clarity
18. It Dies Today - Reignite The Fires
19. Into Eternity - Timeless Winter
20. Misery Signals - The Failsafe
21. Fear Before The March of Flames - Taking Cassandra to the End of the World Party
01. Rise Against - PSA (public service announcement)
02. Rise Against - Amber Changing
03. Anti-Flag - This Is The End
04. The Casualties - VIP
05. No Trigger - Bust Tropical
06. Strike Anywhere - Instinct
07. The Falcon - The La-Z Boy 500
08. The Briggs - Don't Care
09. These Arms Are Snakes - Horse Girl
10. Heavens - Patent Pending
11. So They Say - Break The Silence
12. Crash Romeo - Life Camp
13. Self Against City - Ready And Willing
14. The Hush Sound - Wine Red
15. Damiera - Via Invested
16. Paulson - Ultra High
17. The Spill Canvas - The Dutch Courage
18. Kaddisfly - Campfire
19. Copeland - Control Freak
20. The Honorary Title - Untouched & Intact
21. The Secret Handshake - Don't Call
22. Lakes - Indian Lover
01. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - PSA (public service announcement)
02. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus - Face Down
03. Emery - Studying Politics
04. Scary Kids Scaring Kids - My Darkest Hour
05. A Static Lullaby - Hang 'Em High
06. Kaddisfly - New Moon Over Swift Water
07. Senses Fail - Calling All Cars
08. Hellogoodbye - Here In Your Arms
09. The Matches - Papercut Skin
10. The Early November - Hair
11. Valencia - The Space Between
12. Meg & Dia - Monster
13. Tokyo Rose - Spectacle
14. Murder By Death - Brother
15. Heavens - Patent Pending
16. Anti-Flag - This Is The End
17. Set Your Goals - Mutiny!
18. Strike Anywhere - Instinct
19. Funeral For A Friend - History
20. The Bled - The Last American Cowboy
21. Every Time I Die - The New Black
22. Underoath - In Regards To Myself
23. Into Eternity - Severe Emotional Distress
24. The Human Abstract - Crossing The Rubicon
25. Walls of Jericho - A Trigger Full Of Promise
26. Divide The Day - Vegas Baby Vegas
27. Zao - My Love, My Love (We've Come Back From The Dead)
28. Terror - Lost
29. Converge - Eagles Become Vultures
Sabbath Crosses (Tributo a Black Sabbath)
(Delanuca Records - 2004)
Usually I'm not a big fan of tribute albums, but a tribute like this gives one the chance to discover bands. In this case all bands are from Argentina and I guess outside Argentina most bands aren't much known.
the album kicks off with War Pigs played by Nativo. A modern heavy version with some air-raid warning in the beginning. Not that I expect someone singing like Ozzy Osbourne, but singer Fernando Podesta is the weak spot. Perhaps it's only the mixing, coz the vocals are too much in the back and the drums are too dominant... No bad cover, but the best cover I ever heard of this song Pride & Glory did live. Next is Heaven And Hell by Rata Blanca singer Adrián Barilari and his solo band. His solo band is offering melodic / symphonic metal and that also influenced them on this cover version. Impossible to top a singer like Ronnie James Dio, but as Adrián Barilari sings this one in Spanish - beside the line Heaven And Hell - it gets a special sound. A very good, symphonic version of this track which should encourage to listen to his 2003 self-titled solo album.
Totally different is TV Crimes of Plan 4 which is heavy thrashy metal with growls. With Magika's Anno Mundi return to melodic heavy metal. Guitarist and singer Juan Pablo Kilberg (ex-Renacer) sounds a bit like Johnny Gioeli of Hardline / Axel Rudi Pell's band... No Stranger To Love is presented from one of Argentina's most famous bands - Rata Blanca! Here the Porteños are joined for this one by none other then Glenn Hughes during a live show where they recorded this track. No doubt, this cover is outstanding!
The Argentine Sauron bring back some heaviness with Zero The Hero. Their sound is doom metal, the raw vocals of Pato Larralde fitting to their sound and especially during the chorus it has some party feeling. Horcas are presenting Children Of The Grave - feat. former singer / guitarist Andrés Gimenez of A.N.I.M.A.L. who's sharing vocal duties with Wálter Meza (ex-Jerikó). Partly they duetting, but aren't 100% unisono. Beside that Horcas' version is enjoyable. A bit thrashiger is O'Connor's Supernaut. It seems that they recorded this one live - incl. a short drum solo - which explains that the sound can't keep up with the studio recordings of the other bands. But it ain't bad at all - not just sound-wise. In a fast melodic metal version Beto Vázquez Infinity present Die Young. As BVI work with a male and a female singer this version is even more interesting, even if Paolo Tieffemberg is just adding her voice here and there. The main part is done by Vero Áuidi. Last, but not least Los Natas offering Paranoid. The trio is known for their stoner metal in their home country and so this one is a bit closer to the original then some other versions you find on this disc. But what makes this song special is Ozzy Osbourne's vocals - and here they can't keep up with the original. Anyway, a good one.
I can recommend this album to all fans of heavy metal - a good chance to check out some bands. But Rata Blanca's cover with Glenn Hughes and also Beto Vázquez Infinity's version of Die Young are worth spending money on this one!
This is the 3rd benefit album for SEKA, a project which helps traumatized women and children from the former Yugoslavian countries. On the CD are details about the benefit and the project. More information about the project you find at: www.seka-hh.de. Musically there is a large variety from singer / songwriter stuff to blues rock, country rock, folk and more. Several songs are exclusively done for this compilation, two songs are rare radio edits. Another good reason to buy this album. The large musical variety makes this one interesting for rock music fans as well as singer / songwriter ones. I think that there are also bands which can be discovered, coz there aren't just big names. Take a look at the track list and learn about this compilation. This album is worth spending money, not just for benefit reasons!
Lonesome Bob - In The Time I Have Left
Caitlin Cary - Shallow Heart, Shallow Water
Shawn Sahm - Suspicious Eyes
Naked Raven - Anything (1)
One Bar Town - Hotel New Hampshire (Part 2) (1)
Jerry Joseph & The Jackmormons - Three Mile Island (1)
This is the first ever DVD collection of Relapse Records, the home of extreme music. On the DVD are 16 including new clips, unreleased ones and some which are hard to find. The menu is easy to handle, you can choose all or do a selection. In the selection part sequences of the clips show with the band name and the title, when a track selected the album cover and the release date were shown, then the clip starts. In the DVD case inlay the tracks are listed and there they have also listed the directors of the clips, probably interesting for some fans... As usual for music DVDs this is code-free.
The collection gives a good overlook about the musical span of Relapse Records. For details see a list below. Very interesting is the clip of the Australian Alchemist. The clip for First Contact is very interesting and has a psychedelic touch. Other clips are not new, but haven't been seen in TV often, coz bands like Uphill Battle, Benümb and Brutal Truth aren't mainstream. Other clips - the Amorphis clips and Unsane - are also released on the bonus DVD which came with the last release on Relapse. Musically there is everything from dark metal, psychedelic heavy metal to melodic death metal, noisecore and hardcore. Mainly this is interesting for fans of extreme metal, but also for open-minded. A good chance to discover new bands.
This compilation is a label sampler of Relapse Records. On this DCD the label presents well-known bands as well as new signings.
Kicking off with Alabama Thunderpussy's Moto-Ready which is a heavy rocker. An interesting track. But that's just one I want to name. On the two CDs are 45 tracks which include bands like: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Nile, Neurosis, Suffocation, Cryptic Slaughter, Bongzilla, Dying Fetus, Mortician, Nasum and many more.
The compilation which is a 'Nice Price' one gives a quite good look over the labels signings in metal and extreme music. Sure, you won't like every single track, but ther are quite a few new bands which are worth listening to, like: Mastodon, Dysrhythmia and High On Fire.
Perhaps I should mention that The Dillinger Escape Plan track Destro's Secret is a live version. Every other song is taken from some studio release.
This is a collection 'of eclectically extreme music aimed to infect your ears and pollute your mind!' to quote the label information sheet.
If you are interested in extreme music and open to learn about new bands and discover some more stablished ones, get yourself a copy of this sampler!
Frog Pest Fore - Magna Carta Sampler 2002
(Magna Carta - 2002)
The label Magna Carta has the claim to release first class prog rock and metal mostly of known musicians, but always of very talented ones.
There are quite a few releases so far and this sampler is a collection of songs from their current releases. 15 songs to learn about their artists which includes tracks of e.g. Shadow Gallery, Magellan, Steve Morse Band, Niacin, Trent Gardner, Mullmuzzler (the project of Dream Theater singer James LaBrie) and Jordan Rudess' solo album (keyboarder of Dream Theater) and many more.
Check this out and learn about some great new releases! Reviews of some of this albums you'll find here in our review section!!!
Tribute albums are a kind of trend the last couple of years, but this is a different thing! A double album which is not a collection of songs of the Spanish band Baron Rojo. For about 2 decades the Spanish band Baron Rojo is an essential part of the Spanish metal scene and influenced almost every Spanish metal band. The most important albums of the 'red baron' are Larga Vida Al Rock'n'Roll and Volumen Brutal. The Spanish metal unfortunately never got really known outside Spain and other Spanish speaking countries due to the fact that the band stick to their native language. Now 19 bands - most from Spain - covered the songs of this two influential albums (see listing below). With Rata Blanca at least there is also an Argentine band giving tribute to the pioneers of Spanish metal. Personally I like this idea, coz I always liked Baron Rojo, even if many might never heard of this band. If you like Spanish bands like Tierra Santa, Mägo De Oz and Easy Rider - to name the most known ones - then you should get yourself a copy of this album to learn about their roots and to discover the songs of a great band.... Baron Rojo!
Another tribute album... This time a tribute to Led Zepplin. Their songs are classics and covering this band is a challenge, coz their music has a special sound and atmosphere... Magic.
On this CD you find 12 essential songs of rock history written by the British rock legend Led Zepplin. The first track is Kashmir which is covered by the Brazilian band Angra. Their version is a little heavier and they do well, even if I miss the certain something which made the original special. And it ends with the Italian band White Skull who close the chapter with their ultimate Led Zepplin classic Stairway To Heaven. Between these songs bands from allover Europe paid their tribute to Robert Plant, Jimmi Page and his mates. A track list you find below. At least I can say that there are some interesting cover versions; if you like cover versions and tribute albums, buy this one. If you are a little sceptic about cover versions, give it a try. You have to have courage to cover this legendary band and so not every try is successful... Decide yourself!
Pink Floyd Tribute - Pigs And Pyramids
(Musea - 2002)
This isn't the typical tribute album were a number of bands recorded cover versions, this on is different! Billy Sherwood and Bob Kulick gathered more then 30 musicians for this project who in different line-ups recorded some of the classic Pink Floyd tunes. Others they asked and denied to take part might regret this yet....
The two initiators also produced the album which has 11 of the most outstanding or successful songs of the prog rock pioneers. On the back cover you can find with the titles also the line-up which recorded it. I don't want to mention every single track in this review. The album starts with Another Brick In The Wall Part II which is definitely a great tune and very good performed by singer Fee Waybill (The Tubes), guitarist Ronnie Montrose, bassist Mike Porcaro (Toto) and drummer Greg Bissonette plus an additional rhythm guitar played b Bob Kulick. A little heavier then the original, but in my opinion no good choice to start with. On the slow tune Us And Them the vocal part was take over by Jeff Scott Soto (Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman, Humanimal) while the he was backed up by bassist Jimmy Haslip drummer Pat Torpey (ex-Mr. Big) and saxophonist Scotty Page who is part of the touring line-up of Pink Floyd! A very atmospheric song which in my opinion lives from the saxophone part and the smooth vocals and got completed by Sherwood's keyboard and Kulick's guitar. Another hit of Pink Floyd was Money which is here sung by Styx man Tommy Shaw who is joined by guitarist Ritchie Kotzen (Poison), bassist Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel and Bozzio Levin Stevens), drummer Mike Baird (Journey) and saxophonist Edgar Winter. Through the vocals the song get a touch of the Styx sound. Very interesting in my opinion, even if the saxophone part don't convince me at all... A matter of taste, I think. On Have A Cigar the Kulick brothers play guitar while the bass is played by Mike Pocaro and on drums is Greg Bissonette again. The song is sung by Toto singer Bobby Kimball. And last, but not least there is Breath (In The Air) where Sherwood and Kulick took part beside singer Robin McAuley (MSG and Grand Prix), Jeff 'Skunk' Baxtor (The Dobbie Brothers) on guitar, on bass Ozzy Osbourne band member Phil Soussan and on drums none other then Kiss skins man Eric Singer. Great musicians who cover songs of one of the most influential bands of the last decades. A different kind of tribute, but definitely interesting for all rock and prog metal fans!
The Sanctuary Records Group bought the rights from Neat Metal and is now re-releasing a lot of old - early 80's stuff - including some compilations like this. On the 2 CDs you find a lot of rare stuff and unknown bands. The only known band is Venom and probably Raven. Some others might ring a bell for fans of that days music. But for the majority of metal fans won't remember bands like Sabre, Jess Cox, Saracen, Tobruk and Tyson Dog, to name just a few. This what influenced many musicians later and so it's interesting to listen to these bands after awhile again or to discover the predecessors of nowadays metal. To talk about certain songs makes no sense, coz most won't know them at all. But the variety ranges from hard rock like Emerson to Venom who are the most extreme band on this compilation. But one track has to be mentioned, the cover version of Born To Be Wild done by Raven and Udo Dirkschneider (singer of Accept at that days).
I can just recommend to get this CD to everybody who likes the early albums of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and other NWoBHM stuff. Beside that to every metal fan who is interested in the beginning of metal!
More and more movies use nu metal tracks for their soundtracks, so do The Scorpion King. Opening the enhanced CD with a track from Godsmack which is called I Stand Alone. Perhaps the CD is opened by Godsmack because their singer Sully Erna was involved in the realization of this sound track.
Anyway, this is a collection of the hottest nu metal and college rock acts, some are already known, some might become known by the masses (see track list below).
The multi media section offeres the trailer for The Scorpion King as well as a huge photo section and some screen saver. A nice bonus! Handling ispretty easy and nice done!
Tribute To Helloween - The Keepers of Jericho
(Arise Records - 2001)
Aren't we all glad that there are so many tribute CDs these days? We never get enough CDs, right? Well, I never really been a fan of these tribute album, but The Keepers Of Jericho is making me speechless! The low quality of these covers shows only the excellence of Michael Kiske and his mates. None of the bands just get close to the spirit or flair of Helloween. Only one songs sticks out, coz Luca Turilli has an excellent singer with him and this makes me wonder why this guy isn't the singer of Rhapsody. My advice, don't spend the money on this album, get yourself a copy of the originals - if they aren't already part of your collection!