Archive for old school heavy metal

IRON CLAW – “A Different Game”: Bluesy, Classic Hard Rock That Points To The Past And Leads Us To The Present

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, Hard Rock, hard rock albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

IRON CLAW – Step aside, Anvil… there’s a Rock n’ Roll comeback story that blows yours into the stratosphere. IRON CLAW is the Rock n’ Roll comeback story of legend. We’re looking at a band that hasn’t released new material in nearly forty years and now A Different Game will be set loose upon the Rock Music world on October 4th, 2011, on Ripple Music. For IRON CLAW, it is “a different game” and they haven’t a thing to lose, only amazing praise to gain from anyone who respects and enjoys beyond memorable Classic Hard Rock and vintage Heavy Metal.

You see, IRON CLAW was playing their brand of Heavy Rock at live gigs when Heavy Metal was just getting it’s name. The early 70’s were the building blocks for the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal that we all cherish deeply in 2011… and IRON CLAW was there… planting the seeds. Touring during the early years with the legendary likes of The Kinks, Spencer Davis and Pink Fairies, (to name a few), IRON CLAW easily can be considered an important underground player within the structure of the British Rock Movement. Without a “coveted” record contract, the Rock history books have overlooked too many silent legends, the pioneers of Heavy Metal and Hard Rock such as IRON CLAW. With A Different Game, their role in Rock history shall never go unspoken again.

Stone at Metal Odyssey won’t overlook IRON CLAW, no Metal way. If you have even a sliver of Hard Rock or vintage Heavy Metal in your Rock n’ Roll soul, you too will not overlook IRON CLAW and their forthcoming Hard Rock gemstone: A Different Game. Life is funny and filled with surprises. IRON CLAW has been my most personal biggest Rock n’ Roll surprise I’ve ever encountered in my entire Metal lovin’ and Hard Rockin’ life. With all this said, you can’t possibly short change yourself from being a part of what I consider to be “one of”, if not “the biggest” Rock n’ Roll comebacks in Rock Music history and it’s IRON CLAW –  A Different Game.

(Photo courtesy of IRON CLAW)

(L to R: Jimmy (guitar), Gordon (vocals), Ian (drums) and Alex (bass))

These Rockin’ dudes from Scotland would never have considered even an attempt at a comeback, if they felt this new album wasn’t their best work of their lives. It is their best work. A Different Game contains the thick and muscular riffs from Jimmy Ronnie’s guitar that will guarantee to make the iconic Tony Iommi nod with approval and pride. Jimmy can jam, so go spread the Rockin’ word. As I listen to Jimmy Ronnie play guitar on this album, I realize that a new page must be added to any and all coffee table books on Rock guitarists. Add a chapter for this entire band in any Rock Music encyclopedia… right now. Their songs are that fantastic.

A Different Game is a reminder that Rock n’ Roll was born from the Blues and Gordon Brown’s vocals will have you searching to see if he ever “once” sang for Deep Purple. So fluid, so classic is the voice of Gordon’s that I swear he has a famously storied Rock career, one that VH1 would have a documentary on… only it’s all heard and told here on A Different Game. Alex Wilson on bass and Ian McDougall on drums play in rhythmic old school unison, fostering those visions of a world without big brother watching you and FM programming returning to AOR formats.

The relevance of IRON CLAW lies in the Hard Rockin’ and Bluesy sound they are so gifted at playing and is what countless bands of any age are trying to capture to this very day. Before I sat down to write this review on A Different Game, I wondered how inappropriate it would be to not call out individual songs and break ‘em down. Then, the realization poured over me: what in the hell is there to point out, other than this IRON CLAW album holding it’s Hard Rock merit valiantly as a whole? IRON CLAW is a band that was bred when listening to an album from front to back was second nature. My album review here is one of totality and A Different Game is the total Classic Rock package.

A Different Game must be listened to and enjoyed from beginning to end. The underlying and deliberate rawness of sound, coupled with this bands old school style and musicianship, may hopefully be utilized one day as a blueprint to a young band’s future, while also serving as a reminder to us seasoned Rockaholics that the past is never a closed book. Instead, the roots of Rock are a never ending gateway and guide to where Rock Music is today and tomorrow. IRON CLAW has returned and their unfinished business might just Rock your world… It’s Rocked mine.

IRON CLAW:

Gordon Brown – vocals

Jimmy Ronnie – guitar

Alex Wilson – bass

Ian McDougall – drums

A Different Game – Track Listing:

What Love Left

Saga

The Traveler

A Different Game

Angel Woman

Southern Sky

Falling Down

It’s Easy

My Way Down

Love Is Blind

Targets

See Them Fall

Closing In

* For more info on IRON CLAW, click on the links below:

IRON CLAW – facebook

IRON CLAW – twitter

Ripple Music

Ripple Music – IRON CLAW – What Love Left/Free Download

LONG LIVE IRON CLAW.

Stone.

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KATANA – Heads Will Roll: Traditional Heavy Metal Triumphs On This Band’s Debut Album

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

KATANA Heads Will Roll – Gothenburg, Sweden is where Katana calls home, with their current lineup being established back in 2008.  The debut studio album from Katana, Heads Will Roll, was released in the U.S. on May 31st, 2011, on Listenable Records and it is a delectable bounty of Traditional Heavy Metal to devour. Heads Will Roll is an album of nine Heavy Metal songs that will stamp the time travel ticket for any old schooler… back to the days of Classic Metal glory.

The album title Heads Will Roll reminds me of the Judas Priest classic: Some Heads Are Gonna Roll, from their vintage 1984 album Defenders Of The Faith. There’s just something about heads rolling that sounds, well, Metal. All kidding aside, this debut album from Katana seems to gain more Metal steam after each song. This is an album that just sounds alive and comes across scorching in all of it’s Traditional Metal bliss the more I listen to it.

Heart of Tokyo and Asia in Sight are two blockbuster songs that are smack in the Metal middle of this album. Both songs are capable of drop-kicking poser Metal into the next millennium. Hell, this entire Heads Will Roll album screams: Classic Metal Reigns! The overall Classic Metal vibe that is captured by Katana on this album is very impressive. These are musicians that have done their Classic Metal homework and aren’t afraid to look down upon any “new” Metal trends of the week.

If I had to choose the numero uno song on this album that absolutely kicks the most major Metal ass, well then, it’s Rebel Ride. Shades and obvious influence of the Priest’s Metal guitar legends K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton are heard, courtesy from the double guitar attack of Patrik Essén and Tobias Karlsson on Rebel Ride. This influence is clear as day and sounds Metal supreme. Both guitarists are fun to take in throughout this entire album. Back to Rebel Ride… it’s such a fantastic Metal song to get psyched-out by, that I’ve come close to pinching myself to make certain I’m not dreaming.

The vocals of Johan Bernspång resonates the essence of yesteryear’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal. Eloquent, dynamic and consistently captivating are Johan’s vocals. No, I’m not anointing Johan as the greatest Metal singer I’ve ever heard, I’m only stating he is a Metal vocalist to keep your eyes on and your ears tuned to… for the next twenty years or more. I would have to say with certainty, that Johan reminds me of Kai Hansen (Gamma Ray, ex-Helloween). Don’t mistake me here at all, Johan comes across as a very welcomed and unique Metal vocalist to this sacred community.

At 6:50 long, the mini-epic Quest for Hades finishes off Heads Will Roll, whilst the audio senses of Iron Maiden and even Helloween are swirling through my brain. Comparisons and/or influences aside, Katana comes at me as blatant originals to the Traditional Heavy Metal genre. This band can not only play, they also present themselves as true believers and honor students of Classic Metal. Need proof that Katana is as legit as Metal itself? Then submerse your eardrums into Heads Will Roll and thank the Metal Gods that another young Traditional Metal band has gotten it right.

KATANA HAS TRIUMPHED.

KATANA:

Johan Bernspång – vocals

Patrik Essén - guitars

Tobias Karlsson – guitars

Susanna Salminen – bass

Anders Persson – drums

HEADS WILL ROLL – Track Listing:

Livin’ Without Fear

Blade of Katana

Phoenix on Fire

Neverending World

Heart of Tokyo

Asia in Sight

Across the Stars

Rebel Ride

Quest for Hades

* For more info on KATANA, click on the link below:

KATANA – myspace music

LONG LIVE KATANA.

Stone.

Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads Tribute – Live Album From 1987 Is Priceless, Old School, Heavy Metal History

Posted in classic rock, guitar legends, guitarists, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal history, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

OZZY OSBOURNE RANDY RHOADS TRIBUTE - How often do you turn to your collection of music, whether it be CDs, vinyl, cassettes or (gulp) 8 tracks for that refreshing listen in Old School?  And as you rummage through your music collection, you find that one Old School release you haven’t listened to in quite some time? It happened to me a couple of days ago. This Old School album I’ve revisited is Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute. I have this live Heavy Metal masterpiece on CD and cassette, once owning it on vinyl. This is a “double-album” release and all 14 songs are on one CD.

Why do I refer to this album as a masterpiece you question? This is the first and only live Ozzy Osbourne album that features the infinitely legendary Randy Rhoads (Randall William Rhoads) as guitarist. Randy Rhoads passed away at age 25, back on March 19, 1982. It was a “freak” small plane accident that took Randy Rhoads away from us all, halfway through the Diary Of A Madman tour. I won’t get into anymore details about this sad story… the internet is loaded with the complete story on this horrible day in Rock Music history.

There are three Black Sabbath classics heard on this live album: Iron ManChildren Of The Grave and Paranoid. Randy Rhoads did these Black Sabbath classics spectacular Metal justice on Tribute. Yes, Tony Iommi is the originator and guitar master of these Black Sabbath songs, there is no dispute. If anything, Randy and Tony are on the same Metal tier in my most honest Metal opinion. Two entirely different guitar styles and two unique legends of Heavy Metal and Rock history are they both. Each guitarist has carved out his individual Metal legacy for all eternity. What more can I say about that?

As I listen now, some 24 years after this live album has been released, the chills still run up and down my body when I crank these Heavy Metal classics up… just as it happened to me in 1987. When a live album or any album for that matter, can never lose it’s euphoric Metal vibe that it gives me, such as this one, then I Metal ordain it a Metal Masterpiece. I’m forever left spellbound by listening to Randy Rhoads play his riffs, leads and solo’s throughout this entire live album. The studio out-takes of Randy Rhoads playing Dee never ceases in capturing my full attention. The all encompassing Metal high I get from hearing these live versions of Flying High Again, I Don’t Know, Crazy Train and Mr. Crowley is a personal feeling that is priceless.

Randy Rhoads has a featured guitar solo on Suicide Solution and it is a dizzying listen into just how immense, influential and dynamic his guitar playing was… and forever will be. Ozzy’s vocals on these live songs sound just incredible to my ears, it’s vintage Ozzy. There will never be another Ozzy Osbourne, just like there shall never be another Randy Rhoads. These two ultra-amazing men of Metal created two magical albums together with Blizzard of Ozz (1980) and Diary Of A Madman (1981). Those were two back-to-back Heavy Metal albums that essentially catapulted Ozzy’s solo career to iconic heights and made Randy Rhoads, the guitarist, an everlasting influence and legend.

Both of these iconic Heavy Metal albums are celebrated on this live Tribute album and Ozzy Osbourne paid tribute to Randy Rhoads through it’s release. The guitar playing and song writing of Randy Rhoads shall be celebrated forever by this Metalhead. This is a live album that belongs in every Hard Rock and Metal fans collection of music, I can’t fathom any reason otherwise. Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute is a live album that captured important Heavy Metal and Rock music history, which will be passed down for Metal generations to come.

The band as listed in the “original” album liner notes:

Ozzy Osbourne – vocals

Randy Rhoads – guitar

Rudy Sarzo – bass

Tommy Aldridge – drums

Track Listing For Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute:

I Don’t Know

Crazy Train

Believer

Mr. Crowley

Flying High Again

Revelation (Mother Earth)

Steal Away (The Night) (With Drum Solo)

Suicide Solution (With Guitar Solo)

Iron Man

Children Of The Grave

Paranoid

Goodbye To Romance

No Bone Movies

Dee (Randy Rhoads Studio Out-Takes)

* Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute was produced and engineered by Max Norman. The executive producer was Ozzy Osbourne.

* Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute was released March 19, 1987, on Epic Records.

The combination of knowing that the month of March marks the passing of Randy Rhoads and speaking with “DeadDave” of Dead Daves Radio.com about Old School Heavy Metal over this past weekend, prompted me to dig out this classic work of live Heavy Metal… without my even thinking about it. I guess needing to listen to Ozzy Osbourne Randy Rhoads – Tribute was imbedded in my Metal sub-conscious, all along this past week.

I met “DeadDave” for the first time in my Metal life at the COLD, KOPEK, Egypt Central, Oceans Divide and Maddam Ink. concert at the Crocodile Rock Cafe on Saturday, March 19th. I’ll tell the world this much… “DeadDave” is one cool dude who likes his Horror, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Thanks for the conversations “DeadDave” and for the Metal knowledge you shared as well.

Long Live Ozzy Osbourne.

Rest In Peace, Randy Rhoads.

Stone.

Def Leppard “Pyromania” – An Old School Flashback To 1983

Posted in classic rock, classic rock albums, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

DEF LEPPARD – I remember this scenario vividly. It was 1983 and I was a junior serving boring time in high school. I was hanging out in study hall in the school’s cafeteria, (the school cafeteria was used as a study hall area after the lunch periods ended). Per usual, I wasn’t studying in “study hall”, instead I always opted to chat long and hard with my Metal buddies about… Heavy Metal. That particular day, I made the announcement to my Metal buddies, Rich and Steve, that I bought the new Def Leppard Pyromania album. This was a telling moment in my teen Metalhead life, this was when I realized that the “battle lines” were drawn for Heavy Metal.

“You like that bubble gum stuff”? I couldn’t believe my ears. Did he really say that? Did Rich just refer to Def Leppard and their new Pyromania album as “bubble gum stuff”? My Metal loyalty, regardless of it being only a few years old, was receiving a verbal open hand slap! Rich shook his head at me in disgust. Steve, on the other hand, was always quite diverse in his music interests. I received a “cool” from Steve along with a nodding approval. (Phew), at least one of my Metal buddies was giving me some encouraging signals.

To sum it up best, Rich was anti-commercial MetalMotörhead, Venom and later that year, Mercyful Fate, were the Metal bands that Rich swore his loyalty to. Who could blame him for being loyal to those iconic bands? From that day forward, I understood there would be “groups” of fans showing their loyalty towards bands they considered “real Metal“. I always listened to whatever band psyched-me-out or moved me and still do to this day. I just remember that rejected feeling, of not getting that sacred Metal mark of “approval” from a fellow Metalhead peer for liking Def Leppard. Fast forward to 2011 and I can give a rat’s ass about receiving anyone else’s approval for the bands I hold Metal allegiance to.

I’ll never forget hearing for the first time, that “big chorus” in Rock Rock (Till You Drop), it was the first song I heard on the radio from Pyromania. Before I bought this album, that song kept me up many nights, as I tried to find it playing on the FM dial. I remember being familiar with just a few songs from the 1981 Def Leppard album High ‘n’ Dry, before I bought Pyromania. Good old FM radio was playing Let It Go, High ‘n’ Dry (Saturday Night) and Bringin’ on the Heartbreak rather consistently before Pyromania’s release. Due to Pyromania’s affect on me, I bought High ‘n’ Dry next and a year or two later the debut Def Leppard album – On Through The Night. Strange how I bought the first three Def Leppard albums in reverse, isn’t it?

Pyromania was/still is loaded with some amazingly potent Heavy Metal songs that are now deemed (by me anyways) Old School. Honestly, is there one “bad” song on this album? I say there isn’t. The MTV exposure that Def Leppard attained from Pyromania is Rock and Heavy Metal history in and of itself. Let’s face it… just like any Heavy Metal article or book written about the history of MTV should attest is: Def Leppard made, if not, helped build MTV into the music video juggernaut it once was.

My favorite song from Pyromania is Foolin’. Metal be thy name, that is a powerful sound of vintage 80’s Heavy Metal that explodes from Pyromania. I always could appreciate the vocals of Joe Elliot, let’s face it, who really sounded like him back then? Phil Collen and (the late) Steve Clark on guitars were not just cool to listen to, they were both damn cool to watch on all of those Def Leppard videos as well. Rick Allen on drums and Rick Savage on bass made me a believer in their booming beats on Pyromania. Just a classic album all around is Pyromania, from a legendary band, in my Metal opinion.

As for those Old School Metal buddies of mine from 1983, well, I’d bet Rich is now listening to Josh Groban and John Tesh now. Um, I doubt it. Then again, who knows? Towards graduation, Steve was getting into Christian Metal a great deal and was still quite diverse as a Metal fan. I don’t know what happened to these two Metal buddies of long ago… I sure hope they are doing well.

* Pyromania was released on Mercury Records and produced by the legendary Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange.

Track Listing For Pyromania:

Rock Rock (Till You Drop)

Photograph

Stagefright

Too Late For Love

Die Hard the Hunter

Foolin’

Rock of Ages

Comin’ Under Fire

Action! Not Words

Billy’s Got a Gun

LONG LIVE DEF LEPPARD.

Rest In Peace, Steve Clark.

Stone.

HELSTAR – Announce New Texas and NYC Area Shows!

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

HELSTAR – Riding high on the incredible response to their recently released seventh full-length Glory Of Chaos, Houston’s HELSTAR are busy booking live appearances for the coming months. In addition to their appearance this weekend at the San Antonio Metalfest, several brand new Summer appearances have also been confirmed, both in their home state of Texas as well as two appearances in Northern New Jersey, with more to be announced for New York City and more shortly.

HELSTAR Confirmed Live Appearances:

3/05/2011 The Dorm – San Antonio, TX

6/17/2011 The Rail – Fort Worth, TX

6/18/2011 Dirty Dog – Austin, TX

6/24/2011 Dingbatz – Clifton, NJ

6/25/2011 *TBA – New York, NY

Released in North America via AFM Records in early February, HELSTAR’s Glory Of Chaos is a ballsy, blazing full-length display of pure American heavy metal, taking their classic sound to aggressive new measures on the new album.

(Source: Earsplit PR)

* For more info on HELSTAR, click the links below:

HELSTAR – Official Website

HELSTAR – myspace music

LONG LIVE HELSTAR.

Stone.

MANOWAR “The Dawn Of Battle” – EP From 2002 Revisited

Posted in Album Review, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MANOWAR – Over the decades, when it comes to my favorite bands, the collector “bug” will always kick in whenever I come across CD singles, EP’s, picture discs, 7″ vinyl, etc. that have been released with their music. Manowar released The Dawn Of Battle EP or as it is also called, enhanced CD single, back in 2002 on Nuclear Blast. Magic Circle Music, (founded by Manowar’s co-founding member and bass guitarist, Joey DeMaio), is also the co-label.

There are three songs, (The Dawn Of Battle, I Believe and Call To Arms) and CD-ROM bonus material on The Dawn Of Battle. My favorite out of the three songs is Call To Arms, it just thunders along with classic Manowar Heavy Metal power. There is nothing better than a heavy duty, psyche-out, Heavy Metal anthem to invigorate my Metal senses. Call To Arms supplies an ample dose of psyche-out splendor for me, with Eric Adams pronouncing each syllable of this song’s lyrics with a victorious Metal cockiness that he is so damn great at.

I Believe is a song straight from the Manowar text book of personal power, strength and victory. The tempo is dictated by the rhythm section of Joey DeMaio on bass and Scott Columbus on drums. The sheer power that the Heavy Metal stomp of Manowar provides on I Believe, is enough to make my home stereo speakers shudder at their mountings. Hail Manowar Heavy Metal!

The Dawn Of Battle is without a doubt, the fastest and Heaviest of the three songs heard on this EP. Eric Adams comes across with more vindictiveness on this song vocally, than on the other two songs. He does the near-spoken word at the mid-point of The Dawn Of Battle, which is characteristic. Manowar has a fabulous way of making their breakdowns feel awe inspiring. Guitarist Karl Logan is his excellent self on all three songs, providing plenty of melodic leads and ground shifting riffs.

Oh yeah… how about this cover artwork for The Dawn Of Battle… damn, it’s brutally intense stuff! It’s MANOWAR. I make no apologies for digging it myself… Metal be thy name.

* Call To Arms is also found on the 2002 studio album from Manowar – Warriors Of The World. I Believe and The Dawn Of Battle are found on Warriors Of The World “Gold Edition” as bonus tracks.

This CD/EP also includes some very cool bonus material. There is a documentary, that lasts about 6 minutes or so, that features some behind the scenes footage of Manowar’s “Ringfest” performance from August of 2002. It has the sound engineer for Manowar, Jeff Hair, talking about how his responsibility to take care of the “live” sound details. The stage/equipment/instrument tech for Manowar who goes by the name of Dawk, also talks about how everything you see on a Manowar stage is “real” and put together by him. Dawk also states that Manowar plays at “7000 rms watts of power”… whoa, that’s power! It is mentioned that Dawk has been with Manowar since the early 80’s… since the beginning of Manowar. Jan Freitag, Manowar’s production manager, speaks on this documentary as well… only he speaks in a different language that sounds European to me, maybe German?

There are snippets of “live” footage showing Manowar performing at this 2002 “Ringfest”, showing Joey DeMaio (bass guitarist) taunting the police that supposedly were called to shut down Manowar from performing… due to the “live” music being played too loud. It’s funny stuff to watch, as Joey DeMaio drops a bucket load of “F” bombs on the evening’s developments. Needless to say, this “Ringfest” performance by Manowar was not shut down by anybody.

* A promotional trailer for the Manowar “Fire & Blood” DVD is also on this EP. It goes by rather quickly, lasting just over a minute or so. Still, it’s fun to have this stuff added to this EP… in my Metal opinion.

* The “live production lighting animation” segment of the bonus material lasts no more than 30 seconds. It shows still photos of the different stage lighting and setups that Manowar used during their tours. It’s nothing to jump up and down about due to it being “still” photos changing over, nonetheless it is interesting to look at.

It was fun to dig this Manowar CD/EP out and slap it into the computer to watch these bonus material segments, even if the running time on them was short. I definitely recommend this Dawn Of Battle EP to all Manowar fans… and Heavy Metal fans worldwide.

HAIL MANOWAR!

Track Listing For Dawn Of Battle:

The Dawn Of Battle

I Believe

Call To Arms

* For more info on MANOWAR, click here: MANOWAR – Official Website

LONG LIVE MANOWAR.

Stone.


HALFORD IV “MADE OF METAL” – THE METAL GOD… Has Returned With A Vengeance!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 6, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HALFORD – Oh, how The Metal God has cometh and made a Metal album that is mega-primed for satisfying my Metal hunger! Halford IVMade Of Metal, released on September 28, 2010, on Metal God Entertainment, is clearly a raised fist to the air hailing all things… METAL. If one has a difficult time understanding as to why Rob Halford is called… The Metal God… and one is clueless about Judas Priest and Fight, then all one needs to do is sink their ears and awareness into Halford IV – Made Of Metal and thy should understand what the hell The Metal God is all about.

Not detracting here from what has put Rob Halford on the highest level of the Metal hierarchy, Halford IV – Made Of Metal is like a symbol of what The Metal God is all about… singing his lungs out on exceptionally written songs, both in Metal music and lyrics. It would be too damn easy for Rob Halford to rest on his laurels and reap the decades of Metal glory that he has so rightfully earned. Instead, Rob Halford has come out with all guns Metal blazing and has released an album that should make the earth shift off of it’s axis, just a tad, when played at it’s maximum volume.

Now, there is a song on this new Halford album that just seems to be so unbelievably great to my Metal ears and soul, that I’m pinching myself to make certain I’m not dreaming as I listen to it. It’s an exhilarating experience, of a profound mega-Metal high when I listen to this song… Thunder And Lightning. Throughout all of my Metal lovin’ life, I have continuously searched out for the songs, albums and the bands that make me Metal high. Thunder And Lightning is that thunder strike of a song, that I shall turn to for inspiration and psyche-out therapy for the rest of my Metal guided life.

Rob Halford is simply classic on vocals during Thunder And Lightning, with Roy Z. and Metal Mike Chlasciak on guitars making it freaking soar, trading off their licks to Metal perfection. It’s the intensity and the non-stop groove that’s happening with this song that makes it so damn delicious to my Metal senses. When a song can capture and hold onto a psyche-out vibe like this, it is a song that is worthy of my telling the entire world about.

Honestly, I can’t count how many times I have listened to Thunder And Lightning in the short time that I have owned Halford IV – Made Of Metal. Whatever Rob Halford and Roy Z. have tapped into when they wrote this song, it is nothing short of mystical for me. This song only solidifies the fact that music is indeed… a language all it’s own. Let those Metal vibrations pour into my Metal soul!! Metal be thy name.

I Know We Stand A Chance, based on it’s lyrics, is a love song. This song plays out with both a Hard Rock and Metal feel, with Rob Halford’s vocal harmony streaming through the music flawlessly. A very memorable song, both for it’s music and lyrics. Three quarters through this song it kicks up a couple of notches with some electrifying and melodic fret work that I know I’ll be hearing in my sleep.

Like There’s No Tomorrow showcases Rob Halford, the Metal vocalist for the ages. Sure, Rob Halford has his vocal peers amongst him, the difference is, this is The Metal God we are listening to on this album. This song is incredibly memorable beyond belief. Is it the vocals of Rob? Could it be the dualing guitars? The imbedded bass thumping? The drum beats and cymbal smashing? Try all of the above. Melodic and soaringly heavy is this song, drawing it’s strength from the totality of the band.

Twenty-Five Years is a powerful and Heavy ballad, both with it’s music and lyrics. Rob Halford exemplifies why he is truly a remarkable vocalist as he sings Twenty-Five Years. By delivering this song through his emotionally charged vocals, in a story form, that lends itself as being deeply personal to The Metal God. This is by far not a depressing song for me, it is a serious break in the Metal experience that I cannot shun away. Lyrically there are life lessons that are taught here, making for a Metal reality check that has been handed down by this living Metal Legend.

We Own The Night and Heartless are melodic listen’s into just how Rob Halford and his band can play accessibly Heavy songs, one’s that probably would have been a huge hit if Heavy Metal ruled MTV and FM radio like it once did in those loud and colorful ’80’s. Even when Halford comes across with some commercial appeal, they are still damn Heavy as hell… flooded with Metal molasses. Rob Halford just sounds like he beamed up his vintage vocal self, from decades long ago, surpassing my Metal expectations on not just these two songs… the entire album.

Yes, The Mower is by far and large… the heaviest, meanest and most Metal song on this new Halford album. Even Rob’s vocals are screeching with an evil intensity that is downright scary on The Mower. I love it. This is the other side to Rob Halford’s vocals, piercing, angry and impressively dark. Speed Of Sound has the vibe and sound that is tailor made for a Judas Priest – Turbo Part II… if there ever was to be such an album. However, Speed Of Sound is Heavy and doesn’t get saturated with any synthetic sounds that the long past Turbo album radiates.

Alright, there is a “semi-stinker” on this album. I’ll give Rob Halford and his band a pass on this though. I owe ‘em that much for making my Metal world so deliriously fine from Thunder And Lightning. Um, well, this song is pretty much a stinker. Made Of Metal is the song. There are some bad flashbacks happening in my brain, each time I hear the techno-electronic voice that is part of the intro to this song. Mr. Roboto flashbacks that is. I still have never recovered from Styx messing around with electronica… and that goes too far back for my own liking. The “roboto” voice re-appears towards the end of this song too, not cool. It’s just a dated song that doesn’t fit the Metal mold of this album and I don’t like to use the word… dated.

Make the bad Mr. Roboto go away, make the bad Mr. Roboto go away, make him go now.

Undisputed is the one song on Halford IV – Made Of Metal that can be of “big time” commercial value for the future. The lyrics are borderline corny… this song is about an undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, whoever that may be. This song would be perfect for the next (gasp) Rocky sequel or as an entrance theme for some WWE Wrestling Superstar. The Metal itself is brilliance on Undisputed, with scorching guitar leads and tough as nails riffs. Vocally, Rob Halford resonates with late ’70’s Judas Priest on Undisputed, capturing his very own classic self as only he can do.

For all intents and Metal purposes, Halford is backed up by one damned fabulous band. Mike Davis on bass and Bobby Jarzombek on drums hold it all together like a Heavy Metal pillar of unbreakable steel, giving each song an added dose of supercharged thump. I without hesitation, openly admit, that Halford IV – Made Of Metal has rolled into 2010 and taken me for a sensational Metal ride. This Metal ride I’m highly endorsing to fellow Metalheads, both young and old, stateside and worldwide. Don’t let this new Halford album be “the one” that you pass over for another day. Halford IV – Made Of Metal needs to heard… NOW… and forever.

* For more info on HALFORD, just click here: ROB HALFORD.com

Track Listing For HALFORD IV – MADE OF METAL:

Undisputed

Fire And Ice

Made Of Metal

Speed Of Sound

Like There’s No Tomorrow

Till The Day I Die

We Own The Night

Heartless

Hell Razor

Thunder And Lightning

Twenty-Five Years

Matador

I Know We Stand A Chance

The Mower

LONG LIVE HALFORD.

THE METAL GOD HAS RETURNED.

Stone.

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