THE NEW CZARS – Releasing on September 14, 2010, on Samson Records, is Doomsday Revolution, the debut album from The New Czars, which electrifies with an approach to making diverse and Heavy Music coexist together. To say that Doomsday Revolution is a storm cloud of Modern Rock/Hard Rock can be another way to describe this album. When a new Hard Rock or Heavy Metal band dares to be original, it’s like an anomaly these days. Doomsday Revolution does mix it up well with moments of Hard, Heavy and Industrial Rock. The New Czars take their mixed bag of music experience and do deliver a debut album that steers away from any same old mentality.
The New Czars do dare and succeed to set themselves away from the rest of the pack and that alone deserves a hell raising horns to the air. Regardless if The New Czars are a new band unto the world of Heavy Music, these are seasoned and talented musicians all the same. Greg Hampton, is no stranger to the Rock Music industry. Greg is the lead vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, lyricist and producer for Doomsday Revolution and he comes packing with impressive Rock ‘N’ Roll credentials. With wearing so many “hats” in getting this album to it’s final pressing, I can only marvel at the true spirit of Rock ‘N’ Roll Greg Hampton possesses.
Greg Hampton was a lead guitarist and songwriter for Alice Cooper’s concept album Along Came A Spider, as well as playing bass and keyboards amongst a variety of other things, on this macabre masterpiece from 2008. Greg also co-produced, mixed and played various instruments on Lita Ford’s 2009 comeback album – Wicked Wonderland. Greg, as with his band mates Paul Ill (bass) and David “Chilli” Moreno (drums), sound as if they have been doing this gig together for quite some time… only this is their debut album and three is not a crowd.
Let’s throw in the fact that a Rock Music legend, the likes of Adrian Belew of King Crimson fame, lends contributions to Doomsday Revolution on guitar and the credibility factor and peer respect for The New Czars only becomes more admirably real. It’s the blue collar and do-it-yourself Rock musicians that give rise to and/or expand on a non-trendy sound and vision, in which they want to share with the rest of the Rock community. Greg and his band The New Czars are doing just that with Doomsday Revolution, without any flirtation with the flavor of the month society.
Doomsday Revolution unwraps it’s heavy side with the Industrial edginess from Keep On Goin’. The hardened vocals and guitar licks of Greg Hampton simultaneously keeps this song moving at an addicting tempo. If this opening track is any indication of the music prowess that The New Czars are intending on releasing unto thine ears… then one best get ready. There are so many more muscular riffs, leads and solos to follow from Greg’s guitar throughout this album. No song style on Doomsday Revolution is immune from the imagination of his guitar playing. Confessions takes right over where keep on goin’ left off, with an almost maddeningly loud vibe that rises from this song. I envision a full scale implosion of my decades old stereo speakers, at any moment, while this song is being cranked to high.
The New Czars are not all about full-throttle and face to the pavement heaviness on Doomsday Revolution. Why Do U Have 2 Lie exhibits Greg Hampton vocally toning things down, amidst a mid-tempo Hard Rock swirl of sound. The old adage of “less is more” holds true with the lyrics of Why Do U Have 2 Lie, showing lyrics can be emotional and smart by not saying too much. Time Stops is an unexpected surprise on this album. Another mid-tempo ballad, Greg Hampton proves he can croon with a David Coverdale like accessibility. Melodic and hooky, Time Stops also incorporates a sitar for some Eastern World ambiance. The guitar solo more than helps Time Stops to stray away from feeling like a ballad, which is just another amazing musical element to an already amazing song.
Don’t Watch Me showcases some exemplary drumming from David “Chilli” Moreno, with spastic drum fills that coincide perfectly to this song’s anxiety filled lyrics. Greg Hampton let’s it all loose vocally, making Don’t Watch Me sound as an angst filled memoir from a paranoid soul. What separates Greg Hampton from being just another Heavy Music vocalist is his ability to adapt to a song’s theme, turning on and off degrees of emotion in his voice, in such a fantastic way it’s borderline uncanny.
The title track, Doomsday Revolution takes no prisoners with it’s Hard and Heavy Industrial mayhem, which comes across as The New Czars answer to their version of an anthem. Trust me, the chorus on Doomsday Revolution alone is enough to get the adrenaline pumping up the psyche-out meter. Only Dreaming is another ballad stopover, this time around the tempo is slow and unsuspectingly alluring. Greg Hampton could very well shun off the Hard Rock & Metal Gods and make his fortune as an unplugged crooner… only this is a musician who seems to revel in his Rock ‘N’ Roll diversity more than anything else and revel he should.
With 16 songs to digest on Doomsday Revolution, there are no dull moments. How could there be with such a fortified stack of diverse songs such as this? Be it Industrial, Rock, Hard Rock or slivers of Traditional Metal, you will hear it on this album. Just don’t stray too far away… for the Alternative and Electronica bug will be poking you on the back from the likes of Funky Detour. Yes… there is a “Funky” vibe happening within this song that sneaks and swirls it’s way through with subtle ease.
Obviously, I walk away with the impression that Greg Hampton strategically sandwiched himself between two skillful and time tested players in bass guitarist Paul Ill and drummer David “Chilli” Moreno. As it is in the world of professional sports teams… your only as good as your players and The New Czars have come to play.
I can’t resist to mention, that to my Metal ears, I can hear somewhat of an Ian Gillian poise and swagger in the vocals of Greg Hampton. A personal interpretation to the fullest extent of course, so convict me for being a lifelong fan of quality Rock vocalists and hearing what I do. I conclude, that after several thorough listens to Doomsday Revolution, I feel compelled to put Greg Hampton on the list of today’s current quality vocalists. To overlook Greg’s guitar play would be a travesty… really, he is that good.
If ever there was a surefire flag bearer for Music Appreciation 101, then it is Greg Hampton and his band The New Czars. Don’t be afraid to take chances, is what we are all taught from an early age. Greg Hampton has taken many very cool chances with Doomsday Revolution and from the sounds of it, he has come away unscathed. The totality of musicianship from The New Czars Greg Hampton, David “Chilli” Moreno and Paul Ill have left an undeniable impression on my ears, an impression that won’t evaporate for me anytime soon.
Fans of Industrial Rock/Hard Rock, Progressive Rock genres and Modern Hard Rock/Metal should strongly consider picking up Doomsday Revolution. Guitar enthusiasts are urged to take an earful of what Greg Hampton is playing on this album. Old School Metalheads who are looking for an alternative to single-based genres should be forewarned: you might just get hooked on what this album is all about.
* For more info on The New Czars, just click on the link below:
From left to right: Paul Ill, Greg Hampton and David “Chilli” Moreno.
The New Czars:
Greg Hampton – vocals & guitar
Paul Ill – bass
David “Chilli” Moreno – drums
* Adrian Belew (King Crimson) - contributing guitarist & Rock legend
Track Listing For Doomsday Revolution:
keep on goin’
why do u have 2 lie
don’t watch Me
brush with the devil
had 2 do it
THE NEW CZARS… A WHOLE NEW BREED OF ROCK.