Archive for heavy metal album review

SCORPIONS “FACE THE HEAT” – AN UNDERRATED & CLASSIC 1993 ALBUM REVISITED!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock 'n' roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

SCORPIONS - Back on September 21, 1993, the Scorpions released Face the Heat on Mercury Records. This was studio album #12 from this beyond legendary Heavy Metal Band. On June 19, 2010, Best Metal Buddy, Scott Coverdale slid his Face the Heat CD into his Mercury SUV CD player… as we embarked on our journey to the 2010 M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, Maryland. Scott was not the least bit bashful at playing Face the Heat extremely LOUD on our ride and I was NOT complaining. This is one highly underrated Scorpions album, quite possibly due to it’s being released back in 1993… when Heavy Metal was supposed to be a hurtin’ and dried up genre and scene. (Yeah, right, whatever).

The opening track – Alien Nation, is one absolute powerful and thunderous listening experience of Scorpions Heavy Metal. The rhythm section alone is high octane/psyche-you-out detonation to the maximum level. Alien Nation is easily one of my favorite Scorpions songs ever recorded and I’m sure Scott feels the same way too. If there was to be that one Scorpions song that seemed to set the Metal tone on that ride to M3, it’s certainly Alien Nation. Metal be thy name can this song lift my mood to an unreal high.

Under The Same Sun is another standout song on Face the Heat. This song is a power ballad, one that is inspirational and yes… emotionally uplifting. The basic theme of this intelligent and melodic song is: if we all live under the same sun, then why can’t we all live as one? Yes, a philosophical question does rear it’s mighty ethical head from Under The Same Sun, only it is an almost magical thought to digest.

There is a hidden track at the end of Face the Heat and it does not appear until a few minutes after the CD comes to a close. One must keep the CD on play and not hit the stop button in order to hear this Rockabilly style song from the ever iconic Scorpions. Yes… it’s a Rockabilly song, taken from the mold of the historic and also legendary Queen and their classic song – Crazy Little Thing Called Love. When my ears first became introduced to this hidden track, it was around ten years ago, right around the time my twin daughters were born. I can actually recall that moment I first heard this song… it was as if I discovered a real gold nugget alongside a river bank!   Truth be told, it only took me about seven years to discover this hidden track! I had owned Face the Heat since it’s year of release too, never knowing about the hidden track for so long. Gee Metal whiz.

Face the Heat proved to be a winner of a choice for Scott Coverdale to choose for our ride to the 2010 M3 Rock Festival in Columbia, Maryland. It was great to become reacquainted, once again, with a true classic of a Scorpions album. The overall heightened and Arena Style, Heavy Metal sound on Face the Heat is what makes it so memorable for me. This Scorpions album is not as “modernistic” as some “professional” reviews have alluded to over the many years since it’s release, in my Metal opinion.

If you have never listened to Face the Heat, I urge your doing so, especially if you are a new fan to the Scorpions. I am not endorsing Face the Heat as the greatest Scorpions album of all time, what I am endorsing here is a Scorpions album that should garner the attention and respect it so justifiably deserves. Any fan of Old School, 1980′s or 1990′s Heavy Metal should appreciate what the Scorpions created with Face the Heat - a quality album of melodic Heavy Metal songs. This CD is readily available just about everywhere online… from Best Buy to Amazon.

* Metal Odyssey Notes: This Face The Heat CD I have always owned, is an original American release pressing. Therefore, I do not know if this hidden track is found on any imported version or re-mastered re-release. I do not know the title of this hidden track, it is not found anywhere within the liner notes of Face the Heat, that I own. If anyone out there knows the title of this hidden track, please comment it!

Scorpions as they appeared on Face the Heat:

Klaus Meine - lead vocalist

Matthias Jabs - lead guitar & rhythm guitar

Rudolf Schenker - rhythm guitar, lead guitar & backing vocals

Ralph Rieckermann - bass

Herman Rarebell – drums & percussion

Track Listing for Scorpions – Face the Heat:

Alien Nation

No Pain No Gain

Someone To Touch

Under The Same Sun

Unholy Alliance

Woman

Hate To Be Nice

Taxman Woman

Ship Of Fools

Nightmare Avenue

Lonely Nights

Stone.

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METALMEISTER – A 1996 METAL BLADE RECORDS, COMPILATION OF UNRULY & EXTREMELY HEAVY… METAL!

Posted in black metal music, death metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal songs, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

METALMEISTER – Released back on July 23, 1996, on the legendary Metal Blade Records, this compilation of fifteen songs is a molten fireball of Metal Music! Fifteen bands, all signed to the Metal Blade Records label, (as of 1996), are featured on Metalmeister. From Cannibal Corpse and GWAR to Armored Saint, Metal Blade Records never put up any boundaries when it comes to Metal Music… and they still don’t. Metalmeister may be out of print, alas, I have seen numerous new copies for sale at Amazon.com for slightly over $1 U.S.!! That’s one meager buck for a heavy swath of Metal, Metalheads!

The one track on Metalmeister that isn’t heavy at all is Fall-Dark Waters by Decoryah. It’s quite an atmospheric song, reminiscent of The Alan Parsons Project. (!) Believe me, that is my most honest Metal opinion I have of this song. Plus, as a mellow bonus, this song clocks in at 7:16 too. I am not dismissing myself from ever listening to this song ever again, it’s just that it does not “fit in” with this Metalmeister compilation at all. In case you are wondering… Decoryah was a dark/ambient Doom Metal band from Finland, releasing two albums, two EP’s and two demos from 1992 to 1997. My Metal research has found this band broke up in 1997.

Wretched by The Crisis is just that, plus it sounds like the Pop Rock Band… Hanson going all Death Metal on my brain. I really don’t know of any other songs and or albums from The Crisis, this is just my Metal opinion on the one song from them, heard straight from Metalmeister.

Thankfully, the track immediately following this Wretched song is Here In After by Immolation. (Phew), Immolation does a Metal brain good, especially after listening to a Metal? song that leaves me bewildered. The song Here In After is Immolation NOT fooling around… this Death Metal Band always delivers the heaviest of goods to my ears. Metal be thy name.

Meat Sandwich by GWAR is… vintage… GWAR. There is something about these unearthly beings that makes me listen to them, with the upmost Metal curiosity. Meat Sandwich is as entertaining lyrically as it is Metal groovy.

Meat Sandwich can be found on the RAGNAROK album, released back on October 24, 1995, on of course, Metal Blade Records. Here is what the RAGNAROK album cover looks like:

Well, I covered my least liked songs first… then Immolation and GWAR saved the Metal day… now for the really cool Metal… step in Armored Saint. Creepy Feelings is listed on Metalmeister as previously unreleased material and from a 1989 demo tape. This was 1996 when this album was released, thus Creepy Feelings was very much a previously unreleased track of the time. Fast forward to March 7, 2000, when the Armored Saint album – Revelation was released… Creepy Feelings was included on it. This song is a killer… a melodic and hard driving force is Creepy Feelings with John Bush vocally at his finest.

This is what the Revelation album looks like:

I also posted a review for Armored Saint – Revelation back on July 24, 2009. You can read it if you like, by clicking the link below:

Armored Saint – “Revelation” brings forth Heavy Metal intensity

Psychotic Companion by Galactic Cowboys exhibits flashes of Thrash, Funk Metal and Heavy Metal commercial accessibility. One damn decent band was Galactic Cowboys, a cool song to have in this Metalmeister mix of Metal candy.

Blue Suit, Brown Shirt by one of Thrash Metal’s best non-limelight bands – Sacred Reich, is as hot as a blow torch firing straight up from hell. This song lasts 2:27 and it alone is worth the $1 and change you will pay for this Metalmeister CD. Mercyful Fate appears with Into The Unkown and is always worth a half dozen repeat listens… for me. King Diamond… ’nuff said. Into The Unknown is from the 1996 Mercyful Fate album… you guessed it… Into The Unknown.

Here is what the Into The Unknown album cover looks like:

Track Listing For Metalmeister – A Metal Blade Compilation:

Mummified In Barbed Wire - Cannibal Corpse

Psychotic Companion - Galactic Cowboys

Blue Suit, Brown ShirtSacred Reich

Into The UnknownMercyful Fate

Meat SandwichGWAR

The Enemy Inside - Six Feet Under

She Said - Skrew

Scorched EarthWardog

Here In After - Immolation

Wretched - Crisis

Before Today, Beyond TomorrowDesultory

The CurseAncient

Kill Yourself For BusinessUnited

Fall-Dark WatersDecoryah

Creepy FeelingsArmored Saint

* I received this Metalmeister CD as part of a “Christmas present stash” from Best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale… thanks buddy! This CD has proven to be the Metal gift that keeps on giving.

* Metalmeister - A Metal Blade Compilation was produced by Brian Slagel.

LONG LIVE METAL BLADE RECORDS!

Stone.

RED FANG – 2009 “RED FANG” DEBUT ALBUM IS STONER METAL COOL

Posted in cool album covers, doom metal music, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal songs, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, scary album covers, stoner metal bands, stoner metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 6, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

RED FANG – released their debut, self titled and full length studio album on March 31, 2009. Red Fang plays meat & potato’s Heavy Metal… they are for all Metal intents and purposes – Stoner Metal. It’s been essentially a year since this Red Fang album was released, amidst the ever growing and popular Stone Metal crowd of bands. Where Red Fang takes a different approach is in the grooves… instead of just laying down the heavy riffs and thunder thump rhythm, these songs really groove along very effectively. A solid example is Bird On Fire, if this song can’t make you move then something is terribly wrong. Red Fang is a giant riff party, with all the retro heaviness to go along with it.

On Good To Die, the guitar leads jump out at me with the celebration of old school vibes. The tempo changes on this song gel together very well, a standout song that harkens back to the day when Hard Rock was transforming into Heavy Metal. Humans Remain Human Remains begins with a simple riff, this opens the door to the molasses thick rhythm section that embodies all the brooding beats I come to expect from quality Stoner Metal. The vocals never get lost in the background, nor do they ever fade off during any verses. What is admirable about the vocals on Red Fang is the lack of shouting or incoherentness. Red Fang seems to take the vocals just as seriously as the heavy music… both definitely compliment each other.

When I first heard the opening track, Prehistoric Dog, the realization set in that Red Fang is serious about their Metal craft. Prehistoric Dog is one of the finest Metal songs I have heard, that would be considered recent. Sharks and Wings Of Fang are two songs that are really standout, with their fired up tempos and borderline punkness it’s a reminder as to what the Bon Scott era AC/DC had accomplished so damn well. Yes, the heavy is woven within the songs on Red Fang, still it is the attitude that gives these same songs the hard smack and personality, that comes across as original.

Fans of High On Fire, The Sword, Saviours and early era (1970′s) Heavy Metal should grin and raise their fist to the air upon listening to Red Fang. The Metal word needs to get out about Red Fang… and this album needs to be played loud for your cranky neighbors to hear. Upon listening to the remainder of Red Fang, I realized this is a Heavy Stoner Band that won’t be flying under the Metal radar for too much longer.

RED FANG IS:

Maurice Bryan Giles – guitar/vocals

David Sullivan – guitar/vocals

John Sherman – drums

Aaron Beam – bass/vocals

Track Listing For RED FANG:

Prehistoric Dog

Reverse Thunder

Night Destroyer

Humans Remain Human Remains

Good To Die

Bird On Fire

Wings Of Fang

Sharks

Whales And Leeches

Witness

* Red Fang was released on Sargent House – (an Indie label)

* Red Fang formed in 2005 and hail from the cool U.S. city of Portland, Oregon.

* Red Fang did self-release an EP, in 2007 – Red Fang Tour EP 2, 5 songs are on it, four of which appear on their full length. Suicide is the only song from this EP, that does not show up on the debut full length album. The songs on the Red Fang EP are: Prehistoric Dog, Reverse Thunder, Night Destroyer, Suicide, Humans Remain Human Remains.

It was this RED FANG album cover that caught my Metal attention at first. I gave it a very brief listen at my neighborhood fye, liked what I heard immediately and the rest is Metal history.

Stone.


ROB ZOMBIE – “HELLBILLY DELUXE 2″ BLASTS WITH HEAVY METAL, HORROR AND DIRTY FUNKY COOL!

Posted in 1990's heavy metal music, album covers, Album Review, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2010, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2010, heavy metal songs, heavy metal vocalists, horror metal, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 28, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

ROB ZOMBIE IS BACK. HELLBILLY DELUXE 2 was released on February 2, 2010 on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud Records. If change was in the air, Rob Zombie has not smelled it. Rob Zombie has not even nibbled on the flavor of the month either. Thank the Metal Gods for the fact Rob Zombie has not undergone any self serving and self righteous soul searching with music. What Rob Zombie has created with Hellbilly Deluxe 2 is not the pre-packaged usualness of Heavy Metal. The funky heavy origins of White Zombie will always be hanging out in Rob Zombie’s albums… and why the hell not? Rob Zombie did have a valid Heavy Metal career before his name alone lit up the Metal marquees. Horror themed lyrics, funky grooves, sensational and at times bizarre sound effects, are once again the norm with Rob Zombie. Thank the Metal Gods for that.

If Rob Zombie were to come out with an album that featured acoustic ballads and songs that promoted saving the environment, I would most likely feel like the end was near for certain. Hey, string arrangements are heard on Hellbilly Deluxe 2, (courtesy of Tyler Bates), on The Man Who Laughs. This is the one song where each band member contributed to the writing of it’s music. The string arrangements are chilling, eerie and horror soundtrack material, what else would you expect? Rob Zombie makes any musical idea that comes to his Metal mind sound very cool, once it becomes a song. The percussion and drumming skills of Tommy Clufetos, creates a nightmarish image of one running away from whatever evil entity is chasing them, in my Metal interpretation. At 9:44, The Man Who Laughs is a Rob Zombie nightmare of an epic… which is a Metal compliment.

Werewolf Women Of The S.S. is about telling the truth behind Hitler’s diabolical plans to create a race of super women. Whoa. Now, that is subject matter that I would never, ever, in a million Metal years come up with myself! This is reason #1,000 as to why no one can touch the horrific and melancholic imagination of Rob Zombie. As a bonus, John 5 plays some shades of surf guitar that makes this song all the more surreal. Burn takes it to the Funk and Roll level, the kind of song you want to jump up and down to, in a dark field under a full moon. All Metal kidding aside, Burn really makes me feel like jumping up and down. Piggy D on bass and Tommy Clufetos on drums makes Burn thunder thump, like an invading band of gargantuan aliens from space, taking over a 1970′s disco.

Sick Bubblegum is Rob Zombie and his band accentuating their trademark heaviness with all of it’s non-stop and invitingly corrosive lyrics. This is Rob Zombie Heavy Metal… thank you Mr. Zombie for creating it. You have to look to the living legend of Horror Rock and Horror Metal himself, Alice Cooper, to get an understanding as to why this style of Heavy Metal is so non-negotiable. If you like, you buy and you listen. Rob Zombie has had no problems with people liking or buying over the years… shock and awe sells.

Throw in a clear fact that Rob Zombie has assembled an incredible band behind him… John 5 makes these songs scream Heavy Metal with his creative licks. Jesus Frankenstein is as hair raising as the title suggests, the haunting intro that has more darkness than a remote underground tunnel, John 5 lending a lead that seems to signal the apocalypse and an intermittent chorus of “All hail Jesus Frankenstein”, makes for the embodiment of Horror Heavy Metal legend.

Rob Zombie and John 5 are quite the dynamic Metal duo, I can literally hear the spontaneity that these two must bring to the recording studio, in these songs. (Rob Zombie and John 5 wrote each song, with the exception of The Man Who Laughs, as I noted above). This is Rob Zombie, Hellbilly Deluxe 2, with no artificial or superficial parts or extremities. This album is an eleven part Horror Film for my ears, with Heavy Metal that realistically carries it’s own weight with creativeness that Rocks and lyrics that shocks. Rob Zombie has returned once again… and that’s a sigh of Metal relief.

Stone.

* The sub-title of Hellbilly Deluxe 2 reads: Noble Jackals, Penny Dreadfuls And The Systematic Dehumanization Of Cool

* The liner notes of this CD are unreal great, they are vintage Rob Zombie, from the art and photography to the type fonts as well. Plus, these liner notes unfold to a large poster of Rob Zombie too! Perfect for framing and mounting on your dining room wall.

Track Listing For Hellbilly Deluxe 2:

Jesus Frankenstein

Sick Bubblegum

What?

Mars Needs Women

Werewolf Baby!

Virgin Witch

Death And Destiny Inside The Dream Factory

Burn

Cease To Exist

Werewolf Women Of The SS

The Man Who Laughs

STEELHEART – “TANGLED IN REINS” ALBUM FROM 1992 IS A HEAVY METAL GEM!

Posted in 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's hair metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, album covers, Album Review, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, melodic heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

STEELHEART – released Tangled In Reins on July 10, 1992 on MCA Records. Cutting to the Metal chase here, holy crap, is this a profoundly great Heavy Metal album of 10 songs! In makes absolutely no sense to beat around the Metal bush, when describing my true feelings towards this Steelheart album. Yes, Steelheart back in ’92 can very well be labeled as a Hair Metal band, with Tangled In Reins being called a Hair Metal album. The inner and outer cores of this album cries out just one universal sound and feel for me… Heavy Metal and it is a gem. The all-encompassing power and memorable songs I hear on Tangled In Reins is pretty darn close to Metal sanctity.

A Metal truth is that I never owned or listened to this Steelheart album until recently. (The early ’90′s were very lean years for my wallet). My best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale landed me this CD… along with his enthusiastic Metal accolades of it as well. Thanks Scott, this CD is quite an indulgence. It just seems like the first half of the ’90′s had some real deal Heavy Metal albums released back then, coming across the ones I missed out on years later is better late than Metal never. Metal buddy Scott and I both conclude… Steelheart’s first two albums are just victims to their time period of release. From 1990 onward through that entire decade, Heavy Metal had an upward battle to fight for any mainstream or positive critical attention. As I always say, Heavy Metal never went away back in the ’90′s, it only silently grew stronger.

In my most humble Metal opinion, Steelheart knew how power ballads were to be written and played for Heavy Metal. Not to come across as redundant, yet I am the ever fickle – ballad critic. Two ballads exist on Tangled In Reins: All Your Love and Mama Don’t You Cry. I don’t hesitate a micro second to put down Heavy Metal power ballads, from any band… ever. These two Steelheart ballads are creme’ de la creme’ of how I want them to sound and come across. Both ballads burst at the emotional seams, still they are loaded with hard-edged and melodic grooves. Miljenko Matijevic has an uncanny, God-given ability to hit the high notes and does not whine away in stereotypical ballad fashion.

Tangled In Reins kicks off with Loaded Mutha and this mutha Rocks with all the delectable, good times heaviness I could ask for. Chris Risola on lead guitar, serves up the licks that makes this song just jump out and come to life. Love ‘Em And I’m Gone lends itself to that carefree, single and party time lifestyle, which has been so well documented in Heavy Metal songs over the decades. This song may not be relevant to me lyrically at my point in life now… still I don’t care, it Rocks! Long live fun Heavy Metal songs! Electric Love Child has a catchy Heavy Metal title and the song itself is even more so. Listening to Electric Love Child makes me appreciate Steelheart as one of the finest and most underrated Heavy Metal bands from the early ’90′s. Steelheart has all their Metal cylinders in sync on not just this song… on the entire album as well.

In Metal summation, Steelheart exercises their potent and muscular Metal abilities and skills at a very high level on Tangled In Reins. This Steelheart lineup played like an extremely tight and content unit on this album, giving every indication from the song lyrics to the lively and free spirit feel of the musicianship. Tangled In Reins is just a must listen from the early ’90′s, an album to revisit on a continuous basis. A powerful Heavy Metal album, to simply state: Heavy Metal never sounded so damn good… Tangled In Reins has reined me in for keeps!

I believe Miljenko Matijevic is an extremely gifted vocalist, knowing he still has his Steelheart band out and running around the globe is a testament to the quality and integrity of the music he represents. Plus, one of these days I’m gonna get my hands on some of that Steelheart coffee! Check out for yourself, the latest news on all things Steelheart, (and the coffee too), by clicking on the link below:

STEELHEART – Official Website

STEELHEART, as they appeared on Tangled In Reins from 1992:

Miljenko Matijevic – lead vocals & piano

Chris Risola – lead guitar

Frank Di Costanzo – rhythm guitar

James Ward – bass guitar

John Fowler – drums

* Jeff Scott Soto – appears on backing vocals

LONG LIVE MILJENKO MATIJEVIC AND STEELHEART!

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED – DEBUT ALBUM IS FULL BLOWN METAL!

Posted in Album Review, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2010, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2010, heavy metal musicians, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, power metal albums, power metal bands, power metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Charred Walls of the Damned released their self titled, debut album on February 2, 2010 on Metal Blade Records. Cutting to the Metal chase here, my ears are telling me Charred Walls of the Damned are not just a supergroup, they are an excellent Metal Band… period. There are many shades of Power Metal found within this debut album from Charred Walls of the Damned. How many dozens of American bred Power Metal Bands can you name? Europe outnumbers America in the Power Metal category, thus anytime a North American band even sounds remotely close to Power Metal, it peeks my Metal interest. That is why I am rather excited that founding member and drummer, Richard Christy, decided to embark on an Old School Speed Metal meets Power Metal adventure like this band. Shaking loose from the confines of The Howard Stern Show to create a legit and convincing Metal album is what Richard Christy has done. After listening to Charred Walls of the Damned several times, I’ve come to the Metal conclusion that Richard Christy could probably quit his day job. Then again, it’s not too shabby a gig, to be part of The Howard Stern Show either.

Richard Christy and Tim “Ripper” Owens played together as members of Iced Earth, from 2003 to 2004. Bass guitarist Steve Digiorgio has built his Metal legacy as a founding member of Sadus, while also playing for Death, Testament, Iced Earth and Autopsy… there are a few more, yet the Metal point is made here. Throw in the fact that Richard Christy was also the drummer for Death, from 1996 to 2001 and you have Metal credibility oozing from the Metal seams here. Legendary Metal producer Jason Suecof takes the helm on guitar and of course, producing Charred Walls of the Damned. It is in my sincerest Metal opinion, that Tim “Ripper” Owens does not have to look upon himself as ever being that other lead singer for Judas Priest… never again. Charred Walls of the Damned spotlights the Ripper’s vocals, while he clearly magnifies the power and emotion of each song with Metal conviction.

Truly, an album that has no dog for a song is rare during any era of Metal Music. Charred Walls of the Damned is just that album… from Ghost Town to Fear In The Sky, the unrelenting Metal assault that is unmistakably power charged, comes at you like an out of control heat seeking missile. Jason Suecof demonstrates his guitar appreciation with unreal great confidence and clarity. The Metal leads, riffs and solos rage throughout Charred Walls of the Damned, Jason Suecof can play. If I sound over zealous about this debut album, it’s that I’m only extremely psyched that these four Metal players have combined their skills and minds to deliver a quality Metal product.

Overall, these songs are built on speed, blended with the Power Metal vocals of Ripper and thunder struck by Steve Digiorgio on bass and Christy on drums. Charred Walls of the Damned teamed up to tinker with the traditional brilliance’s of Metal. Oh, did they tinker… the end result is the Metal parts are just as great as the Metal sum with their debut album. I really hope this is just the beginning of a long line of albums, from this “new” Metal Band they call – Charred Walls of the Damned.

For more about Charred Walls of the Damned, click here: Charred Walls of the Damned – myspace music page

CHARRED WALLS OF THE DAMNED – Track Listing:

1. Ghost Town

2. From The Abyss

3. Creating Our Machine

4. Blood on Wood

5. In a World So Cruel

6. Manifestations

7. Voices Within the Walls

8. The Darkest Eyes

9. Fear in the Sky

McAULEY SCHENKER GROUP – “SAVE YOURSELF” 1989 ALBUM REVISITED

Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1989 heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, hard rock bands, hard rock music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal videos, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 1, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

I have forever and always will be an admirer of Michael Schenker, the lead guitarist of The Michael Schenker Group, McAuley Schenker Group, UFO and of course, an original guitarist for the Scorpions. Michael Schenker has also released numerous albums through a solo career and side projects. McAuley Schenker GroupSave Yourself, was a choice Metal pick of mine today… I reached for this CD and let it’s Heavy Metal engulf my ears. Released on October 25, 1989, Save Yourself was an instant Metal favorite for me since it’s release. Always the impeccable Metal guitarist, Michael Schenker, through his signature sound, is such an amazing standout figure in the history of Heavy Metal… in my Metal opinion. Is this the greatest Michael Schenker guitar led album ever? Not necessarily, yet Save Yourself does come across with it’s melodic Metal power – amazingly well for my liking. This is an album that I have never grown tired of, nor ever will. Is Robin McAuley my favorite vocalist on a Michael Schenker album? No, Gary Barden is, that is not an insult to Robin McAuley, it’s just my personal choice. I really like the vocals of Robin McAuley, Old School and never overreaching.

Metal Odyssey Warning: There is NOT one bad or sub-par song on Save Yourself, in my Metal opinion. Seek out this album and listen to it at your own Metal risk… you just might find yourself liking this album a great deal.

I Am Your Radio is a prototypical 1980′s Heavy Metal anthem. With its heavy stomping and power driven rhythm section, accompanied with a backdrop fused with all the electrifying guitar leads and riffs you can ask for… throw in a climactic solo for good Metal measure too. Can this song be construed as ’80′s corn dog? Not in my Metal mind… especially when this song is played LOUD, like it was meant to be heard. What We Need is an engaging Heavy Metal song, strong vocals from McAuley and muscular guitar licks from Schenker abound. Shadow Of The Night is rich with it’s Heavy Metal chorus, a true ’80′s melodic anthem, a sing-along for MSG die hards!

There Has To Be Another Way is the lone instrumental on Save Yourself. This is not Michael Schenker showing off, no ego is prevailing here… just a bitter sweet sound of emotion being spoken from his flying V. (As fine of a mellow/Metal guitar instrumental I’ve ever heard). Get Down To Bizness has the attitude and flamboyancy that late 1980′s Heavy Metal was so notorious for. Combine the vocals and solo of this song and you have a molten ball of Heavy Metal, raging with all the greatness of this era’s heavy music. Anytime is a power ballad THAT I EQUATE TO HEAVY METAL GREATNESS. That is correct… a ballad that I revere!! Wow, there really are Heavy Metal ballads that get Metal recognition on Metal Odyssey after all! Simply put, Anytime with it’s lyrics, melody, tempo and complete musicianship… is an all time favorite song of mine… period. Anytime gives me salamander bumps up and down my arms and across my face, each time I hear it. (Don’t repeat this to anyone… you all MUST Metal promise!).

Bad Boys gets the adrenaline flowing on high, it’s not a knock you out song, it’s just a song that has bite with raw undertones. Besides, Michael Schenker makes good on his guitar solo on Bad Boys, regardless of how shortened it is. Save Yourself as the album opener, opens with Michael Schenker letting it be known he is THE guitar god on this album and with his band. Save Yourself is arguably the heaviest song on this album. Take Me Back is the last song on this album, it is almost like Robin McAuley and Michael Schenker wanted to save one of the best for last… for Take Me Back IS one of the best songs on Save Yourself. A commercially accessible song is Take Me Back, still it is Heavy Metal with Michael Schenker leaving his signature – guitar stamp of approval all over it. Steve Mann, not to be ignored, plays alongside Michael Schenker on this album and my ears hear his credibility throughout, both on guitar and keyboards.

Check out and listen to the power ballad – Anytime… this song just gets better for me with each listen:

McAuley Schenker Group as they appeared on Save Yourself:

Michael Schenker – lead guitar

Robin McAuley – lead vocals

Steve Mann – guitar and keyboards

Rocky Newton – bass guitar

Bodo Schopf – drums

Track Listing For Save Yourself:

Save Yourself

Bad Boys

Anytime

Get Down To Bizness

Shadow Of The Night

What We Need

I Am Your Radio

There Has To Be Another Way (instrumental)

This Is My Heart

Destiny

Take Me Back (bonus track)

Save Yourself was originally released on Capitol Records.

KROKUS – “ALIVE AND SCREAMIN’” IS A HEAVY METAL FIND ON VINYL!

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's live heavy metal albums, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1986 heavy metal albums, 1986 heavy metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, hard rock bands, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1986, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal records, live heavy metal albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal bands, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

KROKUS – Alive and Screamin’, on vinyl and in mint condition, with it’s original album plastic still covering it… there it was, on one of my recent Heavy Metal hunting expeditions, sitting in an antique mall screamin’ for me to buy it. Five bucks I shelled out to bring this vintage, Old School Heavy Metal album home with me. Five bucks. This great Krokus album was opened by someone in the past, still, the vinyl and original inner sleeve itself is mint! Plus, as a Metal bonus, it plays just fine! I deliberately went to visit this antique mall for a find … a Metal find that is. It’s not as if there are truck loads of vintage or current Heavy Metal albums and memorabilia at this antique mall, not in the least. I really have to scour the goods, peruse the aisles and sniff out the Heavy Metal from where it is hiding. It’s good times for me, searching for Heavy Metal albums or anything Hard Rock/Heavy Metal related at these kind of places. I’m a nostalgic Metalhead, always was, always will be. Finding and collecting the Heavy Metal vinyl I once owned or never owned is a natural Metal high for me, especially when I land them mint and cheap! As long as I have a turntable or two to play these albums on, the Metal enjoyment shall carry on long after the purchase.

Alive and Screamin’ marked the first live album released by Krokus. Overall, this live album has fantastic sound quality, a very well produced live album. This live Krokus album proves for me, to be an Old School and heavy warm-up to the new upcoming Krokus albumHoodoo, that is set for a February 26, 2010 release! What a heavy duty way for Alive and Screamin’ to start off, kicking into Heavy Metal gears with Long Stick Goes Boom, Krokus sets the tone for the remainder of this live album, they made the statement a long time ago… that they came to kick some Heavy Metal ass.

Stayed Awake All Night and Eat The Rich sound unreal great, with all of the heavy and live elements happening, it’s psyche you-out city! Metal truth be told, I really had a blast revisiting Alive and Screamin’… I actually spun this album on the turntable four times in a row! No skips or crackles… just a real mint album I found here. I actually wonder if this album was ever played in the past at all. I’m playing this album on a regular basis, loud too!

Headhunter is certainly the heaviest Krokus song on Alive and Screamin’, an all-time favorite Krokus song of mine too. Another Metal truth be told is: I actually like the live version of Midnite Maniac better than the studio version. Often times it happens this way for my Metal ears.

Screaming In The Night proves to be a quintessential Heavy Metal ballad, of historical Krokus importance. To this very day, I cannot get enough of Screaming In The Night, this song just seems to flow in it’s heavy uniqueness. Marc Storace on vocals sounds terrific on each song, the same can be said for each member of Krokus on Alive and Screamin’. Fernando Von Arb and Marc Kohler on guitars just  seem to ignite these classic Krokus songs.

Krokus, as they appeared on Alive and Screamin’:

Marc Storace - lead vocals

Fernando Von Arb – lead guitar

Mark Kohler - rhythm guitar

Tommy Keiser – bass guitar

Jeff Klaven – drums

* Alive and Screamin’ was recorded live in the following cities: Amarillo, Texas, Cincinnati Ohio, Baltimore Maryland, Poughkeepsie, New York and Toronto, Canada. (Source: liner notes on the inside album sleeve).

Track listing for Alive and Screamin’:

(Note: Krokus studio album from where song originated in parentheses)

Long Stick Goes Boom - (One Vice At A Time)

Eat The Rich - (Headhunter)

Screaming In The Night - (Headhunter)

Hot Shot City - (Change Of Address)

Midnite Maniac - (The Blitz)

Bedside Radio - (Metal Rendez-vous)

Lay Me Down - (Alive and Screamin’)

Stayed Awake All Night - (Headhunter)

Headhunter - (Headhunter)

* Lay Me Down was the first time this song appeared on a Krokus album.

* Alive and Screamin’ was released in October of 1986, on Arista Records.

* The front cover of Alive and Screamin’ was created by world renowned illustrator – Les Edwards.

* I really, really, really, dig the front cover album artwork of Les Edwards – that is one evil looking vampire. If it’s not a vampire, then it is one vile and evil looking dude that I would not want to encounter in a dark alley. Metal be damned, this evil face sincerely reminds me of my old High School chemistry teacher as well. I wouldn’t want to encounter a vampire or my old H.S. chemistry teacher in a dark alley either.

JUDAS PRIEST – “PAINKILLER” ALBUM FROM 1990 STILL EXPLODES METAL FEROCITY

Posted in 1970's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's metal bands, Album Review, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, guitar legends, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1990, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock music, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

Ferocity: the quality or state of being ferocious. That is what I hear each time I crank up Painkiller from Metal legends – Judas Priest. Painkiller was released on September 3, 1990, on Columbia Records. Yes, the 1990′s was ushered in with quite a Metal explosion with this album. Consider that it was 1990, twenty years ago when this amazing Metal album was first released. My Metal point is this: if Painkiller was to have been released today, there is more relevance in it’s Metal in 2010 than ever before, encapsulating everything that is fast, heavy and hard about Metal Music. Honestly, if Painkiller was released in 2010, it would be an enormous candidate for my #1 Heavy Metal album of the year. However, the reality is that Painkiller is an album from the Metal past, only it seems to still have more of an impact on me than I could ever imagine. This was the 12th studio album from Judas Priest, (if you are to consider the 1978 U.K. release of Killing Machine, basically the same album as Hell Bent For Leather, only it is minus The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Pronged Crown). I am not reluctant to state, that this Judas Priest album is arguably the heaviest and fastest album in their catalog. Despite my abhorring the Grammy’s, Judas Priest was nominated for best Metal Performance in 1991 due to Painkiller.

The two songs on Painkiller that standout for me, which are easily two songs I can listen to every day of my life, repeatedly, are: Painkiller and A Touch Of Evil. My inner Metal struggle as of late, is knowing that A Touch Of Evil is my single most favorite, Heavy Metal song of my entire Metalhead life. Why is that an inner Metal struggle for me, you ponder? Well, due to the fact that I simply cannot believe I actually know this is the song! Plus, it did not dawn on me until recently… maybe sometime before the holidays of 2009. I will tell you this though… it is a really cool Metal feeling when it hits you and the realization kicks in, that you finally know that this is THE song. Could A Touch Of Evil ever be replaced by another Metal song as my lifetime favorite? Maybe. I’ll know when it hits me. One thing is guaranteed though… it would NEVER be a Daughtry song.

The song Painkiller is for all Metal intents and purposes… Thrash Metal. I applaud the fact that Judas Priest showed the world that yes… Thrash Metal is in their forte. All ten songs on Painkiller are immense, there is no weak link to be found. The re-release of Painkiller has two bonus tracks: Living Bad Dreams and Leather Rebel (Live). Both of these songs are great for me, still, I don’t see how a “live” bonus track ever fits into a studio album to begin with.

With Painkiller being the last studio album with Rob Halford at the vocal helm, (until the 2005 Judas Priest release – Angel Of Retribution), it showed us die-hard Metalhead followers of Judas Priest that we shall never take anything for Metal granted. Tim “Ripper” Owens is a fine lead vocalist, (taking over lead vocals on 1997′s Jugulator and Demolition from 2001), still there is only one Metal God, one original lead vocalist for Judas Priest… Rob Halford. During Rob Halford’s departure from Judas Priest, Fight became his very own Metal creation… a band that I uphold highly and find extremely thrilling. I did blab and brag about Fight one time… you can check it out by clicking the header below:

Fight was one incredible Metal band!!

Recently, the 2009 release – The End Of Tomorrow from Ravage, paid tribute to this Painkiller album and Judas Priest by having in it’s track listing… the cover of Night Crawler. Ravage did a fabulous Metal job at covering Night Crawler too. In 1990′s retrospect, yes, I would without hesitation, point right at Painkiller as being a top ten Heavy Metal album of that decade. Those of you who do own Painkiller hopefully understand my excitement over it… those of you who do not own Painkiller just yet, well, you are missing out on one damn incredible Judas Priest album for sure, in my Metal opinion.

Judas Priest:

Rob Halford – vocals

Glenn Tipton – guitar

K.K. Downing – guitar

Ian Hill - bass guitar

Scott Travis – drums

Painkiller was produced by Judas Priest and Chris Tsangarides.

Track Listing For Judas Priest – Painkiller:

Painkiller

Hell Patrol

All Guns Blazing

Leather Rebel

Metal Meltdown

Night Crawler

Between The Hammer & The Anvil

A Touch Of Evil

Battle Hymn

One Shot At Glory

Re-release Bonus Tracks:

Living Bad Dreams

Leather Rebel (Live)

LOUDNESS – 1991 ALBUM “ON THE PROWL” BULGES WITH MELODIC HEAVY METAL

Posted in 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal guitarists, 1990's heavy metal songs, 1990's metal bands, Album Review, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, hair metal bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1991, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands 2010, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1991, heavy metal music from japan, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, japanese heavy metal, melodic heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

I listened to the 1991 album from Loudness today - On The Prowl. Alright, I actually listened to this album three times today. It’s that melodic driven Heavy Metal that gets me every time. Well, any quality Metal gets me every time it seems. My best Metal buddy Scott had landed me a copy of On The Prowl, he has great taste in Heavy Metal… I guess that is why we have tolerated each other for over two decades. For anyone not in the know about Loudness, they are a Japanese Heavy Metal Band that formed back around 1981. Thank you Japan. This is a darn good album, it plays out in three parts for me, with the first three songs Down ‘N Dirty, Playin’ Games and Love Toys being true to the core Hair Metal. Secondly, there is a power ballad, Never Again, which stands alone on it’s sole purpose to make the girls weepy. (I am not the power ballad guy… and this is the umpteenth time that this statement appears on Metal Odyssey). Nevertheless, Never Again is a good song, with lead vocalist Mike Vescera singing his emotion filled lungs out. (Mike Vescera is the lead vocalist for 1980′s Heavy Metal warriorsObsession. A great band is Obsession… without question, great. Obsession is alive and well in 2010 too… with Mike at lead vocals. You can check Obsession out by clicking here: OBSESSION – Official Website

Mike Vescera was also the lead vocalist for Yngwie Malmsteen, from 1994 to 1995. Recently, while discussing Heavy Metal with my buddy Scott, (usually a daily experience), we went from talking about Loudness and Mike Vescera to Obsession to Yngwie Malmsteen… realizing that yes, they are all absolutely Metal connected. Heavy Metal is a closely linked world… one big Metal family tree, it often times seems.

Where was I? I unintentionally went Metal astray while explaining the Mike Vescera Metal affiliations… oh yeah… the third part of this Loudness album! That being there are songs that are straight up Heavy Metal – Deadly Player, Take It Or Leave It and Girl are just the way I like ‘em, real hard and heavy. The last song, Find A Way, is a muscular and melodic ending to an overall very strong Heavy Metal album from Loudness. I must add that the musicianship of Loudness on this album is excellent. Akira Takasaki is a welcomed Metal listen on lead guitar, coupled with the sensational vocals of Mike Vescera and On The Prowl is an early 1990′s Heavy Metal standout. Don’t hesitate to get ahold of On The Prowl, the Heavy Metal that Loudness unleashes with these songs are worth owning. Add the Metal fact, that the relevance these songs carry into 2010 is quite irrefutable as well.

Long Live Loudness! Click here to get tons of Loudness info: Loudness MySpace Music Page

Track Listing For Loudness - On The Prowl:

Down ‘N Dirty

Playin’ Games

Love Toys

Never Again

Deadly Player

Take It Or Leave It

Girl

Long Distance

In The Mirror

Sleepless Night

Find A Way

SCORPIONS – “SAVAGE AMUSEMENT” 1988 ALBUM FLASHBACK

Posted in 1970's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1988, heavy metal bands, heavy metal bands from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1988, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, power metal music, rock music, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Scorpions. Scorps. Thank you very, very, much Germany. How much Metal praise can I really give this band without sounding too smoochy? Since 1972, the Scorpions have created twenty plus albums, (both studio & live), etching out an undisputed place in Heavy Metal history… better yet, Rock history. I have numerous favorite albums from the Scorpions, one such album is Savage Amusement, released back in 1988. O.k., this album leans towards commercial appeal… quite frankly, I don’t give a crap. The songs on Savage Amusement are solid and laced with quality from every Metal angle. I can never resist listening to Don’t Stop At The Top repeatedly and very loud. Savage Amusement has the late ’80′s Arena Rock atmosphere encompassing each song, a sound that is so identifiable to that decade. I am currently listening to Savage Amusement while I write this post… I am starting to get psyched out at the moment… We Let It Rock… We Let It Roll is playing right now… excuse me please while I go and play some spastic air drums.

Alright, I’m back, man that song is a Metal kick for me. You know, when I go off playing air drums while I am sitting at a red light in my car, people look at me with such amazing disgust… go figure. Nothing beats the privacy of your own home for letting loose with Heavy Metal… Scorps Metal too. When music, Heavy Metal Music, can affect my mind and soul like this Savage Amusement album can, it reminds me how great it is to be alive. Listening to this album reminds me of the day I bought it on vinyl back in 1988. I bought this album along with Sevent Son Of A Seventh Son by Iron Maiden. If I am not mistaken, both of these albums were released the same week back in 1988. I remember walking into my graphic design class, (at Northwestern Connecticut Community College), with both new albums under my arm… one damn happy Metalhead I was that day. I was showing off both of these albums to my fellow classmates like they were baby pictures in my wallet.

Saying this once again – I have never been the huge fan of Heavy Metal ballads. However, the Scorpions always know how to do a Heavy Metal ballad right. Believe In Love is one Heavy Metal ballad that gives me those Metal duck bumps up and down my arms. Klaus Meine… his vocals are insanely unreal great. When Klaus Meine sings a ballad, he does so with profound emotion, nothing sounds fake about it. Rhythm Of Love is another powerful Scorps song for me, one that received plenty of FM airplay back in the late ’80′s too. I remember daze, I mean days, when I used to cruise to this song… with little cares in the world to ruffle my Metal feathers. It just seems that a great album like Savage Amusement will always stand the test of time… that is what elite musicianship does, weaving through the decades and sounding better with each listen.

Thank you Scott for hooking me up with this classic Scorpions album, I now finally have it on CD.

Track Listing For Savage Amusement:

Don’t Stop At The Top

Rhythm Of Love

Passion Rules The Game

Media Overkill

Walking On The Edge

We Let It Rock… We Let It Roll

Every Minute Every Day

Love On The Run

Believe In Love

Scorpions, as they appeared on Savage Amusement:

Klaus Meine - lead vocals

Rudolf Schenker – rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Matthias Jabs – lead guitar, backing vocals

Francis Buchholz – bass guitar, backing vocals

Herman Rarebell – drums, percussion, backing vocals

BLACK ‘N BLUE – 1988 ALBUM “IN HEAT” AND BLACK ‘N BLUE… TODAY!

Posted in 1980's hair metal albums, 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, current heavy metal bands, Hair Metal, hair metal albums, hair metal bands, hair metal music, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1988, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1988, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal music, old school hair metal bands, old school heavy metal, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I made a rediscovery of a Heavy Metal band and album. Black ‘N Blue is the band, In Heat is the album. Just last week, I was in my 2000 Ford Tauras running errands. Realizing that my urge to hear some Heavy Metal was peaking, I began to rummage through the car glove compartment for some cassette tapes… that is cassette tapes – you just read. Understand that I was not rummaging for a cassette tape while I was driving, the car was in park. This car of mine does not have a CD player, (back in 2000, the auto industry was not regarding CD players as part of any standard equipment, obviously). So, instead, my trusty 2000 Ford Tauras has a built in cassette player instead. That is… a cassette player – you read. I have not listened to this Black ‘N Blue cassette for quite some time, so it proved to be quite a cool listen.

While I have listened to In Heat a few times since last week, I cannot help but be grateful for not getting rid of my Hard Rock and Heavy Metal cassettes. Quite a bit of titles are rather pricey on CD nowadays, being imports or out of print altogether. In Heat is selling for around $27 on Amazon Music as an import CD… now that is reason enough for me to hold onto this cassette and play it on my car stereo and combo home stereo – until it wears out. Gee whiz… import regardless, sometimes the prices out there for Heavy Metal CD’s border on the outrageous.

Black ‘N Blue released In Heat back in 1988, I do remember seeing their videos on the MTV rotation… and of course, Headbangers Ball. Call Black ‘N Blue a Hair Metal Band or just good ol’ Heavy Metal, it makes no difference to me. This band made an album that is loud, melodic, riff and groove laden and infused with every flamboyant aspect of late 1980′s Heavy/Hair Metal. While I listen to In Heat, the thought comes to my mind of just letting it’s good time sound and feel take over any negativity that is currently weighing in on me. The Metal pluses are numerous with In Heat, here is a breakdown of why I feel this way:

#1 Reason why Black ‘N Blue and this album, uh, cassette Rocks hard is – Tommy Thayer on lead guitar. KISS was in his future then… who would have predicted that?

#2 – Genes Simmons produced In Heat. Believe me, you can tell… song structure and power.

#3 – Jaime St. James on vocals. He doesn’t whine when he sings and the flamboyancy and bad boy image of Heavy Metal just resonates from his voice. In other Metal words… a classic front man.

#4 – There are no sappy songs to be heard on In Heat. Stranger is about as close as it gets here… and I really like this song, a power ballad that, uh, Rocks.

#5 – Each song is saturated with enough hooks and grooves that it is flat out – ridiculously great.

#6 – Did I mention Tommy Thayer on lead guitar?

#7 – It’s all about the songs, man. Infectiously good songs all, on In Heat.

#8 – How can I not get enthusiastic about a song as good as – Get Wise To The Rise?

In a Metal nutshell, In Heat should be considered as a late 1980′s Heavy Metal listening experience of dual guitars, anthems and power slick songs. Riffs abound on In Heat… for all of you riff addicts out there. Woop on guitar proved to be no slouch either. Patrick Young on bass guitar and Pete Holmes on drums make for a dominant rhythm section, very good at what they do on In Heat. Listening to Black ‘N Blue on In Heat, gives me the impression that they had a real good time making this album. Hopefully that was the case.

If you are looking for a patented good time Heavy Metal album… well then it is In Heat. Black ‘N Blue made a name for themselves for sure, rediscovering their sound again and listening to In Heat makes this Metalhead… Metal content.

Track listing for In Heat:

Side One:

Rock On

Sight For Sore Eyes

Heat It Up! Burn It Out!

Suspicious

The Snake

Side Two

Live It Up

Gimme Your Love

Get Wise To The Rise

Great Guns Of Fire

Stranger

* Check out Black ‘N Blue’s official myspace music page: Black ‘N Blue – MySpace Music Page

Black ‘N Blue is currently planning to finish and release a new album, titled: Hell Yeah!

Look For This New Black ‘N Blue Album In 2010!

The current 2009 Black ‘N Blue band lineup:

Jaime St. James – vocals

Jef Warner – guitar

Patrick Young – bass

Pete Holmes – drums

Shawn Sonnenschein – guitar

This is what the Import CD cover of In Heat looks like . My cassette front cover only has the band logo that you see in this import version, (no band photo).

EXODUS “LET THERE BE BLOOD” – A TRIBUTE TO THEIR VERY OWN THRASH METAL LEGACY

Posted in 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1985 thrash metal music, Album Review, cover songs, current thrash metal music, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, guitar legends, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school thrash metal music, spooky album covers, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music 2008, thrash metal today, vintage thrash metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

The Exodus album Let There Be Blood, (released on October 28, 2008), is a complete cover album of their very own debut release from 1985 – Bonded By Blood. Exodus is from a select group of Thrash Metal Bands, considered by me to be one of the originals who were instrumental in shaping and defining the Thrash Metal genre. I have been listening to Exodus since their debut, this band has had their share of ups and downs, just knowing they are still around making music is a great feeling for me. Let There Be Blood is dedicated to Paul Baloff, the original lead singer for Exodus, who passed away from a stroke in 2002. Gary Holt, the life long guitarist and leader for Exodus, states very clearly in the liner notes of this CD as to why Bonded By Blood was covered in it’s entirety with Let There Be Blood. To paraphrase Gary Holt, he states these songs are his lifetime connection to Paul Baloff. He also states “no way can you replace Bonded By Blood.” As Gary Holt sees it, people can discover the original Exodus lineup from 1985 and their Classic Thrash Metal debut album, by listening to Let There Be Blood.

I never needed to be convinced that covering Bonded By Blood was a great idea by the current Exodus lineup, many bands have recently been doing the same thing lately as well. Foreigner and Journey are perfect examples, both of these Hard Rock titans have issued a full greatest hits CD recently, that spotlights their current lead singer and lineup. Exodus has paid a tribute to not just an album of songs, Bonded By Blood was and still is an important Thrash Metal album, one that represents a time period of the birth and creation of the prolific Thrash Metal genre. Paul Baloff was not the run of the pack Thrash Metal vocalist either, he was unique in keeping his voice from overpowering the song… I have never heard another singer like him since, truly irreplaceable.

Rob Dukes, the vocalist for Exodus on Let There Be Blood also is quoted in the liner notes, “this (Let There Be Blood) was recorded for fun, not to replace the original. The origninal (Bonded By Blood) will always be there and will always stand the test of time.” Plus, Rob Dukes refers to Paul Baloff in the most sincerest and reverent way. True class acts are Gary Holt and Rob Dukes, for the way they expressed themselves through these statements, found in the liner notes of Let There Be Blood. With Tom Hunting on drums, Exodus has two original members playing on Let There Be Blood.

I have read some pretty despicable and mean spirited album reviews over the years… from guess who? Answer: professional overpaid music critics who do not listen to the albums they review! Instead, their idea of “listening” to an album is “sampling” and/or they are jealous they are not famous Rock musicians themselves. Exodus, in my Metal opinion, DID NOT ATTEMPT TO CASH-IN ON THE LEGACY OF BONDED BY BLOOD. The Old School Thrash Metal Bands have their core following, while enlisting younger and new fans along the way. This album was never going to hit #1 on any damned and useless music chart to begin with. Old School Thrash Metal is about pride… something that the lame mainstream Rock music critics no nothing about. Grubby politicians cash-in everyday on tax payers… Exodus is too busy kicking ass with their Thrash Metal legacy and credibility, rather than cashing in on any of their fans.

In my Metal opinion, sure this is a heavier version than the original. Yes, Rob Dukes sings with a much more aggressive and angered tone than the late and legendary Paul Baloff. Rob Dukes is a powerhouse Thrash Metal vocalist – period. He is his own persona, just as Paul Baloff once was. The end result is, for me, a quality driven, Thrash Metal celebration of one of the greatest albums of it’s genre. Gary Holt made a great point in the liner notes, that these same songs are performed live by Exodus to this day. As I see it, this is Exodus, regardless if this is a 2008 version of this band or a listen to the 1985 original Bonded By Blood. I cannot deny or condemn any Thrash Metal Music that Gary Holt and Tom Hunting want to recapture or create with their band. All I can do is be thankful that they are still alive and capable of keeping the Exodus Thrash Metal machine forging ahead. I appreciate my favorite bands and never have or ever will… take them for granted.

Exodus, as they appear on the 2008 album Let There Be Blood:

Gary Holt – guitars

Tom Hunting – drums

Jack Gibson – bass

Rob Dukes – vocals

Lee Altus – guitars

Here is the original cover artwork for the 1985 Bonded By Blood album:

W.A.S.P. “CRAZY” FROM “BABYLON” ALBUM IS WOVEN WITH HEAVY METAL MATURITY

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

W.A.S.P. Babylon small album picThank you Blackie Lawless. Thank you for not going away, taking an extended leave of absence or selling out. There are too many 1980′s Heavy Metal Bands that did just those things, now they are scrambling to make their triumphant comeback or best album ever. Some are doing just that, only Blackie Lawless does not belong to that club. The Heavy Metal membership card that Blackie Lawless holds says two words… for life. Why shouldn’t it say just that? The true fans of Heavy Metal and/or W.A.S.P. are in it for life. While the 1990′s ushered in the Grunge genre and scores of pretentious bands (being mistakenly labeled) Heavy Metal, all the while lining up at Hollywood’s red carpet gala’s for accolades, W.A.S.P. was too busy making real Heavy Metal albums of integrity. The politically correct mainstream press was not a necessity for W.A.S.P.’s survival then, it certainly is not now. There is no return of or part ll theme happening with W.A.S.P., just a band that is a Heavy Metal mainstay, due to the perseverance and creativity of Blackie Lawless. To take a quote from Blackie Lawless, (as stated in the liner notes from Babylon)… If it is not the truth, it will not stand.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I will be writing a series of reviews on the new W.A.S.P. studio album, Babylon. Concentrating on individual songs, musical elements and lyrics from Babylon makes for a more enlightening Metal experience for me, hopefully visitors to Metal Odyssey will agree. When an album of Heavy Metal has such a powerful impact on me, as does Babylon, a generalized review is about as fulfilling as a stale beer sitting in the hot sun. Could I have predicted Babylon would have impacted me in such a fantastic way? Of course not, yet the surprise is more expected than unexpected.

W.A.S.P. "The Last Command" small album pic #1Crazy is the opening song on Babylon. The weight of the world always seems to be put on the opening track of any album. The first song sets the table for the remainder of the album, good or bad, this all important track can either be the demise or exclamation point for the songs that follow. With Crazy, this song kicks and extends it’s Heavy Metal tentacles like a giant sea squid on a caffeine rush. Crazy is the prelude to nine Heavy Metal songs of substance, this song alone foretells that W.A.S.P. connects in 2009. Blackie Lawless borrowed some of his Old School Heavy Metal and fused it with a more mature presentation, both with lyrics and tempo. Sure, Crazy is a fast moving song, only it’s the streamlined sound of it’s speed that makes it so appreciable. The consistency of Heavy Metal muscle is what I have come to expect from W.A.S.P., Crazy illuminates and flexes it from the opening note. My best Metal buddy Scott cued me into the comparison of Crazy to Wild Child, from the 1985 W.A.S.P. classic, The Last Command. (This was well before I owned a copy of Babylon, Scott was a lucky one who nailed Babylon on it’s import release date of October 13th). The opening guitar intro to both Crazy and Wild Child are very similar, still not a mirror image note for note.

The vocals of Blackie Lawless during Crazy extends maturity, not a voice that needs a stretcher… Blackie Lawless is not fooling anyone or pulling any high tech tricks. Doug Blair on lead guitar sounds like a rising star that Ozzy Osbourne would have plucked out of the bushel to call his own, decades ago. Instead, Blackie Lawless has a guitarist that doesn’t just play… emotion is emanated from the guitar of Doug Blair. Listening to the guitar solo on Crazy reminds me as to why I love Heavy Metal in the first place. Crazy is as commercially viable as any song from the storied Heavy Metal history of W.A.S.P., (only it has never been about accessibility with this band)… thank God for that. This is absolutely not an accusation that Blackie Lawless has set out to make a hit single, rather it is a Heavy Metal song that is so melodically driven that it is awe inspiring.

Lyrics, as with music itself, is art. One persons interpretation of a songs lyrics will differ far and wide against another’s. My interpretation of the lyrics for Crazy is – don’t fall in love with anyone or anything that cannot love you back. The symbolic person or thing that won’t accept love in Crazy sends a deep message of steering clear from personal hurt. Human emotion is a very volatile subject and Blackie Lawless has penned some intriguing lyrics with this song. You cannot draw love from drugs, alcohol or hate. These are things that will make anyone look crazy for loving. Inanimate objects are never going to love anyone. A tremendous Heavy Metal song is Crazy, this is the one song I have listened to the most from Babylon thus far… isn’t that crazy?

W.A.S.P. "Babylon" large album pic #2

BLACK SABBATH – 1983 “BORN AGAIN” ALBUM IS METAL OF PROFOUND IMPORTANCE

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, Album Review, black metal roots, classic heavy metal, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, doom metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, guitar legends, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal album review, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school metal bands, rock music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Black Sabbath "Born Again"Back on October 4, 1983, Black Sabbath released their eleventh studio album – Born Again. I was serving time in high school as a senior in 1983, I also became a born again Metalhead that same year, thanks to this most underrated Black Sabbath album. I am not kidding or trying to sound like a yahoo by stating that. Born Again was a match made in Metal heaven for me… the prolific vocals of Ian Gillan uniting with the ultra legendary Black Sabbath. I have to admit, with Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio not fronting Black Sabbath, it was common place for professionally paid Rock Music critics to easily overlook the other lead singers this Rock And Roll Hall of Fame band has bestowed over the decades. I never overlooked a damned thing Black Sabbath had done, especially when they joined forces with Ian Gillan. From the front album cover artwork of the demon baby, to the down right eerie and chilling Metal Music heard on Born Again, this album is a must listen and own in Metal Music 101.

When I first listened to Born Again, back in good ol’ 1983, the synthetic instrumentals of Stonehenge and The Dark left a Metal imprint on my subconscious like none other… all I could think back then and now is this is the soundtrack of doom… all hail Black Sabbath. The guitar riffs, leads and solo on Zero The Hero sound as if I am listening to a descent to the darkest depths of inner Earth… I love that descent. Trashed is not just an amazing song lyrically, this is an early introduction of Heavy Metal making the transition to pure… Metal. Comparing Born Again to other Heavy Metal albums of that time is what separates the Heavy Metal label from Black Sabbath, thus anointing this iconic band to true masters of Metal Music.

The Metal of Born Again is not Thrash, yet it is not Accept, Quiet Riot or Saxon of that time period either. With Born Again, a black album was unintentionally or intentionally created, (both with album artwork and the Metal Music within), while Black Metal itself was simultaneously being born into a genre, courtesy of Venom, Bathory and Hellhammer . I can’t compare this Black Sabbath album to their earlier albums with Ozzy. Nor can I make a comparison of Born Again to the Dio led Black Sabbath either. The song Born Again alone is a study in just how far Tony Iommi would go in making a unique Black Sabbath album, one that would stand apart from the entire Black Sabbath catalog… forever. Listening to Ian Gillan’s vocals on this song honestly takes my Metal breathe away. Ian Gillan is beyond unreal great on Born Again – all one needs to do is open their Metal mind to the song Hot Line and thou shall understand and realize why. Seriously, the vocals of Ian Gillan on Hot Line makes me imagine what life would have been like for this Metalhead, if more Black Sabbath albums were created with his legendary voice. I guess it is obvious by now, that I revere Ian Gillan.

Digital Bitch may have been the most popular song from Born Again, the song that advertised their Born Again Tour on FM Radio back in 1983-84. Despite the fondness that commercial FM radio had for this song, it blazed with Metal fury like no other song back then. Disturbing The Priest, this song title alone made for my own personal battle cry for serving eight long years of time – in a parochial school. Trust me on that one. In Metal hindsight, maybe the professionally paid Rock Music critics of the world were never ready for the dark Metal Music that Born Again was about. This was not the Deep Purple version of Ian Gillan, nor was this the Children of the Sea version of Black Sabbath. Keep It Warm actually grounded this Born Again album, keeping it from being a non-stop onslaught of apocalyptic, melancholy and dark sided themes.

In a Metal nutshell, this Born Again album was forged by the union of Ian Gillan joining the legends of Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill ward. This version of Black Sabbath has suffered through too many years of comparisons to the Ozzy and Dio fronted bands of the same name. All too often, the ignorance of professionally paid Rock Music critics can water down the integrity of a great album from an elite band. Such is the case here with this incredible Born Again album from Black Sabbath. I never saw this Black Sabbath lineup as anything other than Black Sabbath, only with a different lead singer in Ian Gillan who rose to the Metal occasion with unparalleled pipes.

Over the years it has been amusing to me, to even read that Ian Gillan himself was never satisfied, actually displeased, with the music and demon baby artwork of Born Again. (The liner notes of this Born Again CD detail this, as written by writer Hugh Gilmour). If only Ian Gillan knew, just how much this Born Again album has meant to me, as a lifetime fan of his prominent vocals. Black Sabbath fans who appreciate the music created by Tony Iommi, (guitar), Geezer Butler, (bass) and Bill Ward, (drums), know that the Ozzy, Dio and Ian Gillan versions of this band carry their own Metal identity that captivates with it’s own powerful mystique. Born Again by Black Sabbath is more than a vintage Metal album that I recommend, it is a vintage Metal necessity, that should be embraced and heralded as an important contribution and moment – to the history of Metal Music.

To my best Metal buddy Scott… thank you for buying me this hard to find CD. Having owned a copy of Born Again on cassette, spanning three decades, deserved a righteous Metal upgrade. I truly wish I kept the vinyl album of Born Again that once was in my collection.

Black Sabbath "Born Again"

U.D.O. – “DOMINATOR” Unleashes Potent Heavy Metal

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic heavy metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from germany, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

U.D.O. "Dominator" small album picU.D.O. is another justified example as to why I consider Germany the worlds greatest exporter of Metal Music outside of the great United States. U.D.O. does not stray from their Heavy Metal norm on Dominator, (released on October 6, 2009 in the U.S.A., on AFM Records). The first two songs on Dominator are like smash mouth football… Old School and punishing. The lyrics are not meant for NASA academics, they are meant for the Metalheads of the world who take pride in their Heavy Metal Music and bands. The Bogeyman and Dominator are song titles with lyrical content that follow a simple rule of Heavy Metal… thou shall not conform. Vintage Heavy Metal, baby. No political statements or hard to decipher words to be found. I love this stuff. I live for this stuff. Black and White is song three and glorifies the elegance of Heavy Metal guitar, not to forget Heavy Metal chorus as well. Udo Dirkschneider on lead vocals sounds as great as ever, anyone who states otherwise is simply jealous of this ageless Metal icon. Udo Dirkschneider has forever forged his legacy twice in Heavy Metal history, both with U.D.O. and Accept. Heavy Metal lightning does strike twice, Udo Dirkschneider is living proof of that.

Listening to Udo sing on Infected, I imagine him atop a high mountain, looking down upon a land of chaos and condemning all to hell. Udo’s vocals are more than steely and mean streaked, they encompass Heavy Metal theater. Cast me off into damnation for having imaginary thoughts while I listen to Heavy Metal Music, that is how my mind reacts and I’m damn proud. Anyone who says they do not create their own mental imagery to music is either a liar or a cyborg. Doom Ride takes the more consistent approach of Old School Heavy Metal, no real blazing guitar licks or profound moments. Still, Doom Ride gets it’s doom message across and that is Metal enough for me. Stillness of Time is a (gulp), U.D.O. ballad. Well, a fast paced ballad it is. Udo has his unique vocals for sure, he pulls me into Stillness of Time, like a glazed over Old School loyalist that I am. Having a piano included into any U.D.O. song is quite the diverse moment and I admire that. Stillness of Time just might be the best kept secret on Dominator.

Devil’s Rendezvous has me itching to get up off my butt and… do some wacky dance. You know, the kind of dance that drunk people do at weddings. Or, the kind of spastic dance that you can only do in the privacy of your own home… with the blinds shut. Quite the Metal surprise is Devil’s Rendezvous, U.D.O. put some fun into this Dominator album. Crap, did I just use the “F” word? This is starting to become a semi-habit of mine… I must be be too happy or something. Speed Demon is the fastest song on Dominator. No, no, no, it is not because the word speed is in the song title. Speed Demon really does crank up the Metal meter a few bars and it kicks. To sum up my Metal feelings on this U.D.O. Dominator album, it rightfully cements all things great about Heavy Metal… Old School Heavy Metal that is. Dominator is a standout Heavy Metal album for 2009, no Metal questions asked. I thank my best Metal buddy Scott for steering me to Dominator… a Metal referral that is incredibly appreciated.

U.D.O. "Dominator" large album pic

LITA FORD – “Wicked Wonderland” Is Naughty And Bad Combined

Posted in 1980's hair metal bands, 1980's heavy metal ballads, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1989 heavy metal music, Album Review, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, guitar legends, hair metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" small album picAh, Lita Ford. Reflecting on the 1980′s would not be quite the same without her being in the Heavy Metal world. Lita Ford proved back in those glorious ’80′s that she was more than just eye candy, she really did shred on the guitar for her albums. Plus, Lita Ford’s vocals always had the harmonic, Heavy Metal diva flare happening. Lita Ford even did a very sappy duet with Ozzy Osbourne, Close My Eyes Forever, that I honestly could never stomach back in 1989 and my opinion has not wavered since. Well, it is 2009 and Lita Ford is back, uh, yeah. Wicked Wonderland is her new album, the title really sums it all up quite well. The lyrics throughout this entire album are wicked indeed… with nuances, imagery and flat out references to sex and lust galore. I want to taste your goddess flesh and I penetrate you are two lines taken from the song Indulge… pretty hot stuff if you are a young dude that can’t buy a date for Saturday night. Lita Ford should have known that the majority of her audience buying Wicked Wonderland are the Old School Heavy Metal crowd and we are no longer eighteen and pissed off at our parents anymore.

In the very recent issue of Revolver Magazine, (December 2009), Lita Ford states that “There’s no law that says just because you grow up, you have to stop being naughty”. Oh, it gets better… “The album is pretty much based on our home life”. Lita, Lita, oh, Lita Ford. I will interject here by saying – and this is my quote here – there is a Metal law that says just because you grow up, YOU HAVE TO STOP making annoying music. Plus, it is NOT a turn on for me, to know what goes on in your bedroom. Ew. Now, this is coming from a middle aged Metalhead who is extremely open minded to all Metal Music that has ever existed, plus I kinda like to keep the intimacy that occurs in my home, with my wife, a secret. That is the REAL turn on for me. Sure, there will be a crowd out there that wants to know what Lita Ford does in her, um, spare time, I am not one of them.

To actually listen to all fifteen songs on Wicked Wonderland was like listening to a once glorified Heavy Metal star just pushing out tunes because she’s famous and she can. It appears that Lita Ford’s husband Jim Gillette lends his background vocals throughout Wicked Wonderland. Man, this guy sounds not just creepy, he is a major league part of the ANNOYING FACTOR that this album illuminates. Ugh. I guess Jim Gillette used to be the lead vocalist for some band called… Nitro. Nitro? Does not ring a Metal bell for me. Let me put this in perspective here… Bed is the worst song I have ever listened to in my life. Wicked Wonderland is without question, the worst “Heavy Metal” album that I have bought since, well, since ever. “Tie me to the bed”… these lyrics alongside some of the most bothersome guitar you will ever listen to, throw in the constant ANNOYING keyboards and you have the epitome of BAD.

Is there at least one song on Wicked Wonderland that is at least… tolerable? Uh, let’s see… maybe Scream 4 Me is a bit groovy. Metal truth be told, if Lita Ford created more songs like Scream 4 Me on this album, it would have been a more credible project in the end. It is extremely rare for me to put any album or band through the Metal wringer on Metal Odyssey. Really, it has to be a monumental bad listening experience in Heavy Metal for me to bark this fierce. After listening to Wicked Wonderland twice, I felt an obligation to the Metal world to give my fair warning regarding this Lita Ford album, uh, disaster. In the end, Wicked Wonderland makes for a decent comedy album, the ending song is Push. Uh, yeah, there is sexual innuendo stacked up to the ceiling on Push. Weeeeeeeeeee! I’m selling my Wicked Sensation CD first thing Thursday morning to the used CD dealer, (I hope he buys it). Sometimes immaturity is best expressed through song, yet to combine it with lack of integrity as Lita Ford did with Wicked Wonderland is simply astonishing.

To my best Metal buddy Scott… I should have heeded your warning about this album, Metal lesson learned.

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" large album pic

BADLANDS – 1989 Heavy Metal Debut Album Still Reigns Supreme

Posted in 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal hits, 1980's hard rock bands, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's hard rock bands, Album Review, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, cool album covers, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, guitar legends, hard rock music, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1989, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1989, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock guitarists, rock music, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album picBadlands was a Heavy Metal band that I caught onto the instant they released their debut/self titled album – Badlands, (on Atlantic Records), back in 1989. I purchased this Badlands cassette at Strawberries Records & Tapes, located right around the corner from Central Connecticut State University on New Britain Avenue. I was a student at CCSU back in 1989, very much broke to the Metal wind. Therefore, my Heavy Music purchases were not abundant, I chose quality over quantity. With so little funds to buy music as a college student back then, being choosy was a necessity. Badlands with their classic and ultra talented lineup of musicians became a necessity for me. From the very first listen through of this album, (in my case cassette), to say that Badlands left an earthshaking mark on me is the understatement of the decade. The Heavy Metal onslaught of cool and psyched out vibrations, that this Badlands album gave me back in 1989, has once again reintroduced me to that same experience this past weekend.

My best buddy – a.k.a. – best Metal buddy – a.k.a. – Scott, well, he remembered just how much Badlands and their debut album resonated with me back in the day, therefore Scott landed me a CD copy of Badlands. Scott was my roommate at CCSU, my best man at my wedding and if anyone knows my Metal tastes and background… it is him. Thank you Scott, for this Metal gift of Badlands this past Saturday. Getting Badlands on CD in the mail was like experiencing Christmas Day on this cold, dank and rainy day in October. F’n unbelievable surprise.

It is an unreal great feeling to have this Badlands CD finally in my collection. I have never let go of my Badlands cassette since 1989… and I never will. To the best of my Metal research, this Badlands CD is extremely hard to find at retail. Out of print perhaps? Badlands is definitely one of my favorite Heavy Metal albums that I have ever listened to. I only wish this band was able to stay together forever, yet lead vocalist Ray Gillen was called to heaven a little early, on December 1, 1993 at the age of 34. The unreal great guitarist – Jake E. Lee and Ray Gillan on vocals may be the two main musical focal points of Badlands, yet Eric Singer on drums and Greg Chaisson on bass make for an ear bending and jaw dropping rhythm section – stuff of legend. Anyone that knows and enjoys Old School Heavy Metal can certainly identify with Badlands, this band is from that mold. Jake E. Lee proved with Badlands that there was definitely a Heavy Metal life for him away from Ozzy Osbourne.

The eleven songs on Badlands encompass the melodic driven side of Heavy Metal enormously, with the late Ray Gillen’s unique vocals surpassing many of his peers of that time, when it came to harmony and range. I include the late Ray Gillen in with Tony Martin, Jeff Scott Soto, Gary Barden, Jorn Lande and Joe Lynn Turner when it comes to lead vocals status in Old School Heavy Metal. He belongs with this select group of singers. (I definitely left out some names here, yet I think my point is made). If not for his passing away at age 34, I am convinced Ray Gillen would have been a top tier Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock vocalist to this very day. With so many new vocalists coming out of the woodwork in all of the Metal genres since the 1990′s, too many of them sound like each other or have little regard for originality. This is why I can never tire from the late Ray Gillen’s vocal talent.

My favorite song on Badlands is Dreams In The Dark, I played it six times over, very loud the other night and it served me right. Yes, I acted very silly jumping around in my basement like a psyched out kid, while this song and the rest of Badlands cranked. As the ultra great Blackie Lawless would say… I don’t need no doctor. All I need is to delve back into the Metal world of Old School Heavy Metal, (on a very consistent basis), turn on some Badlands and let the bull crap of the world around me, wallow in it’s own decrepit stank. I don’t look back upon Badlands as a supergroup, instead I look upon them as a fabulously talented Heavy Metal band that was too short lived. Long live the legacy of Badlands – their Heavy Metal still reigns supreme for me.

Track List For Badlands:

High Wire

Dreams in the Dark

Jade’s Song

Winter’s Call

Dancing on the Edge

Streets Cry Freedom

Hard Driver

Rumblin’ Train

Devil’s Stomp

Seasons

Ball & Chain – (this song is not on the vinyl record version of Badlands)

BADLANDS "Badlands" large album pic

EXODUS – “Bonded By Blood” I Still Bond To For Old School Thrash Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's thrash metal albums, 1980's thrash metal bands, 1980's thrash metal music, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's thrash metal music, Album Review, classic metal, collecting metal music, cool album covers, creepy album covers, current thrash metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, essential thrash metal albums, extreme metal music, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album reissued, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1985, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, independent record labels, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school thrash metal music, scary album covers, spooky album covers, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal albums, thrash metal bands, thrash metal guitarists, thrash metal legends, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, thrash metal songs, thrash metal today with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 23, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

EXODUS "Bonded By Blood" original album cover large picExodus… a Thrash Metal originator. Exodus… Old School Thrash Metal. Exodus… Bonded By Blood, was the first album released by this very important Thrash Metal Band, (back in 1985). Why I feel Exodus is a very important Thrash Metal Band is due to their being one of the first Metal Bands to introduce this genre to the world. Back in 1985, there were not the hundreds of thousands of Thrash Metal Bands there are now… you can thank Exodus for influencing countless musicians and bands alike for embarking on their careers in Metal… Thrash Metal. Just seek out and read some interviews of past and current Thrash Metal musicians, you discover after awhile, that Exodus and especially their initial album Bonded By Blood is ultra revered. Yes, I am an Exodus fan, since 1985 until this very day. Lineup changes within Exodus has not made me wince one Metal bit. Guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting have held the Thrash Metal fort for Exodus over the past three decades, serving Exodus and their fans well… extremely well. (Note: Paul Bostaph has stepped in on drums for Exodus, he is an unreal great Metal drummer at large).

Last night, I watched my beloved New York Yankees lose to the Angels… ugh. A great game, yet I was anticipating the Yankees to close things out and head to the World Series to beat down the Phillies. Not feeling the cheeriest, I headed down to the basement… to my Metal oasis. Once I began staring at my CD racks, I decided I needed a lift-me-up, some Metal to clear my senses and put me back in the game of life. Exodus Bonded By Blood caught my eye… this CD was just aching to get heard – once again. I put this CD on, sat back and let the Thrash Metal of Exodus infiltrate my senses. Well, it was only halfway into the first song – Bonded By Blood, that I then got off of my butt and began to stalk around my basement like the fiendish Metalhead that I have been my entire life. I raised and pumped my fists into the air, played air guitar and bass, then did some pummeling air drums like there was no freaking tomorrow. Yes, life is not good, it is great when I can turn to Metal… turn to vintage Exodus, to whip my mood into the positive realm where it belongs.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover small picListening to the late and unreal great – Paul Baloff on lead vocals is as inspiring to me as all damn hell. His vocals were not your stereotypical Thrash Metal type… he resonated with the influence of early Rob Halford of Judas Priest… in my Metal opinion, still exuding his very own style that to this day is untouched. I reached for my CD jewel case of Bonded By Blood, (my copy is the reissue by Combat Records, it also has the alternate cover that is shown at the left and bottom of this post). The original front cover artwork is damn more cool than the alternate version, just look at it at the top of this post for proof. On the back cover of Bonded By Blood, it has a group photo of Exodus… Paul Baloff is shown wearing a Pipers Pit sleeveless t-shirt. Rowdy Roddy Piper… Paul Baloff… man, that is as fitting a shirt as any for him to wear back then. I used to be the f’n biggest Rowdy Roddy Piper fan around, imitating his wrestling moves and voice too… silly and cool memories, all courtesy of one photo of Exodus.

This Bonded By Blood album kicked my butt last night, just as it did back in the day. Having the private freedom to go bonkers to the Old School Thrash Metal of Exodus last night exhilarated me into feeling tired enough to finally go to sleep. Exodus was a friend to me last night, their music strikes that Metal chord with me. No Love and Deliver Us To Evil are my two extra favorite tracks on Bonded By Blood… holy crap, does the psyche out meter catch on fire for me when these songs are cranked up. I can’t use the word recommend to prospective fans when discussing Bonded By Blood, instead the words I will use are: get this album if you have not already – otherwise you are missing out on a Thrash Metal achievement that catapulted Thrash Metal into what it is today.

Exodus as they appeared on their first album Bonded By Blood:

Gary Holt on guitar

Rick Hunolt on guitar

Paul Baloff on lead vocals

Tom Hunting on drums

Rob McKillop on bass

Track Listing for Bonded By Blood:

Bonded By Blood

Exodus

And Then There Were None

A Lesson In Violence

Metal Commando

Piranha

No Love

Deliver Us To Evil

Strike Up The Beast

* Two bonus tracks are found on the Combat Records reissue that I own… they are both live recordings of: And Then There Were None and A Lesson In Violence. Steve Souza is the lead vocalist on these live tracks… yeah, I think Steve Souza is really cool too… convict me of being an Exodus fan boy already, that is just the damn way it is. I am a Metal fan that has been around the Metal block a few times, paid my Metal fan dues and could give a rats rotting and infected butt if anyone out there considers me a fan boy of any band.

* Exodus under the leadership of Gary Holt, covered the entire Bonded By Blood album, with the current Exodus lineup and released it on October 28, 2008. Yeah, I own that version too and I have nothing but Metal praise for Rob Dukes, the guy is the real deal for Exodus. Again, see my fan boy explanation above in regards to my being enthralled by Exodus’s Rob Dukes. I am quite Metal certain, that I am not alone in my reverence for this band… both past and present. Exodus does not need any stinking Guitar Hero game named after them or useless strolls down any damed red carpet to be considered unreal great by me. I have spoken my Metal mind and it feels really, really, good.

Exodus "Bonded By Blood" alternate cover large pic

RAVAGE – “The End Of Tomorrow” – A Monster Of A Heavy Metal Album

Posted in Album Review, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, creepy album covers, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal bands, current heavy metal music, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, essential metal music albums, halloween songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 2009, heavy metal bands from boston, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal drummers, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal songs 2009, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal music today, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rock music, scary album covers, speed metal, spooky album covers, spooky metal album covers, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ravage - Banner group photo  2009

Ravage is a Heavy Metal Band from Boston, (actually Malden), Massachusetts and is hell bent on keeping Classic Metal Music alive, loud and damn proud. Every song on this second album from Ravage, The End Of Tomorrow, (their Metal Blade Records debut, released on August 18, 2009), is writhing with Old School Heavy Metal influence. Ravage does a credible job at flexing their Metal muscles on each song, heavy, hard and speed are irreversible elements that dominate The End Of Tomorrow. No where is the Old School Heavy Metal influence more evident than in the cover of the Judas Priest classic – Nightcrawler. Ravage shows Judas Priest their deserved Metal respect by not ripping Nightcrawler to pieces with any unnecessary fills or excessiveness. A fabulous cover Ravage does with this song, Nightcrawler is a genius choice to add to their track list on this album, based on it’s creepy and dark theme.

I have found that, the more I listen to The End Of Tomorrow, the more I am being convinced that this album was released back around 1985. Alas, that is not such the Metal case… Ravage brings forth to 2009 the Heavy Metal song structures and ambiance of what I have come to expect from vintage Metal Church and early Judas Priest and Armored Saint albums, to name just a few Old Schoolers. After each listen to this album, it is very obvious that the members of Ravage have done their Classic Heavy Metal homework. Knowing and creating all of the heavy nuances of their influences only catapults quality and integrity, on an upmost consistent level throughout The End Of Tomorrow. The Halls Of Madness not only has a vintage Metal title, it also is quite the convincing Heavy Metal instrumental intro that brings back memories of early Helloween and Savatage, for me. There really is not a scapegoat song to point out on The End Of Tomorrow, all twelve songs have their own distinctive Metal bite, an album that I can hit play and let the Heavy Metal assault take it’s natural course. Excuse me for a Metal second as I proclaim The End Of Tomorrow as being a top favorite Heavy Metal album for me in 2009, in my Metal opinion. Ravage can play Heavy Metal… their original brand too… I would not tell a Metal lie.

Ravage "The End Of Tomorrow" tiny picReign Fall lyrically expresses the ghastly imagery of what happens to those who cannot think for themselves, wasting away at the mercy of ones very own doing. Reign Fall, as well as every song on The End Of Tomorrow, is a throwback Metal feast of melodic speed crashing into riffs that are beyond run of the mill. Al Ravage reminds me thoroughly of a young Rob Halford, (Judas Priest), intertwined with a young Paul Dianno, (of early Iron Maiden). Hey, I am by no means putting Al Ravage in this heroic class of Heavy Metal vocalists… (not yet anyways), what I am pointing out is Al Ravage can sing Heavy Metal with marked influences and originality combined. Ravage knows they are Old School, using this phrase so much doing a review may sound very redundant, yet for any veteran fan of Heavy Metal from yesteryear, you know just how juicy it can get when a new album excretes all things good about the glory days of MetalThe End Of Tomorrow is an unleashed monster of what I am talking about here.

My other favorite songs on this album are: The Grapes Of Wrath, which takes a Heavy Metal swipe at all the idiot talking heads on television, these plastic morons get called out on the Metal carpet by Al Ravage here rather eloquently. Plus, The Grapes Of Wrath is authentically memorable for my Metal mind, I just cannot shake this song out of my senses. The Shredder is another manifestation of early Judas Priest influence, only it takes on it’s own Ravage originality… reminding me of the Judas Priest classic – The Ripper, only The Shredder is absolutely not a knock off or copy cat by any means. The End Of Tomorrow is one powerful way to conclude this album, fittingly the title song… lyrically doom laden, the end result is a reality check on the life we are leading and living now. The End Of Tomorrow has a Power Metal approach that echos of great Heavy Metal triumphs to come in the future for this killer “new” band they call Ravage.

Ravage, as they appear on The End Of Tomorrow:

Al Ravage on lead vocals

Eli Firicano on lead and rhythm guitars

Nick Izzo on lead and rhythm guitars

G.T.B. on drums

Howie Snow on bass

Track Listing for The End Of Tomorrow:

The Halls Of Madness

Reign Fall

Freedom Fighter

Damn Nation

The Shredder

Into The Shackles

In Shattered Dreams

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part One

Nightcrawler

The Nightmare’s Hold: Part Two

Grapes Of Wrath

The End Of Tomorrow

C’mon, is this album cover OLD SCHOOL HEAVY METAL or what? Not only does the Heavy Metal of Ravage stand on it’s own, (they could have issued a plain blue cover and that would not change the quality of Metal songs heard inside one bit), yet man, this is cool throwback artwork happening here. I cry out a huge Metal bravo! – to artist Edward J. Repka for creating a REAL Heavy Metal album cover for Ravage.

Ravage - "The End Of Tomorrow" x-large pic

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