Archive for the classic metal Category

Shadow Kingdom Records To Reissue COVEN’S “Worship New Gods” On July 31st, 2012

Posted in classic metal, doom metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on July 5, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Shadow Kingdom Records is pleased to announce the July 31st reissue of COVEN’s legendary 1987 album Worship New Gods. COVEN, from Detroit, MI, is not the Jinx Dawson COVEN that is somewhat known in the underground Metal world. This COVEN, who was actually approached by Jinx to change their name to COVEN 13, is a unique 80’s Heavy Metal band that unleash a rare blend of CANDLEMASS / SABBATH Doomy Heavy Metal with a MERCYFUL FATE / CELTIC FROST black metal charm to it.

The album is quite moody and may take a little while to sink in, but once it clicks, there’s nothing quite like it. This is one of the rarest US Metal albums to ever exist because it was self released back in 1987 on VINYL only. This is the first official release of it on CD with a lot of amazing band photos.

Worship New Gods Cover Art & Track Listing:

1. Riddle Of Steel

2. Wicked Day

3. Ruler 

4. Kiss Me With Blood 

5. Burial Ground

6. General’s Eye

7. Jail House 

8. Threshold Of The New

9. Loki

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(Source: ClawHammer PR)

For more info on Shadow Kingdom Records, click link below!

http://www.shadowkingdomrecords.com

LONG LIVE COVEN.

LONG LIVE SHADOW KINGDOM RECORDS.

Stone.

The Greatest Moments Of Heavy Metal History – As Told By The Musicians Who Create, Play And Live It

Posted in classic metal, classic rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , on April 13, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Everyone has their own opinion, as to what they consider was/is the “greatest moment” of Heavy Metal history. I have mine and it is Quiet Riot creating and achieving the first #1 Heavy Metal album, Metal Health, to reign on the Billboard album charts. This was 1983 and I remember it all so vividly. To have a Heavy Metal band represent us Metalhead fans this way, was truly a profound moment… for me. No other Heavy Metal album before Metal Health went to #1. Amazing.

The  world knew then… that Heavy Metal was forever accessible within the mammoth antagonistic world known as… the mainstream. Yes, Heavy Metal has and will forever rule the underground, only Quiet Riot made certain that the mainstream and its album charts would never be the same again.

A short time ago, I contacted several world known musicians who are making a living by creating and playing our beloved Heavy Metal. I posed the same question to each musician: “What do you consider is/as the “greatest moment” in Heavy Metal history and why?” As you shall read below, their answers are all unique and makes for some downright fun Heavy Metal discussion!

Without question, these talented and admirable musicians are forever historically part of Heavy Metal. They live for Heavy Metal. They are continuously contributing to our beloved genre with blood, sweat and tears. I thank them all for it. I also thank each musician below for taking the time, from their busy schedules, to participate in this feature on Heavy Metal. Each and every one of ’em… ROCKS! Hell yes, they do.

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Louis St. August of MASS – 

“Very tough question but for me I would have to say it was when I started to see some of my favorite Rock Gods appear on Television. At ten years old I would sneak downstairs and stay up to one in the morning and watch “Don Kirshners Rock Hour” in the early seventies and catch the likes of Ted Nugent, T.Rex, Grand Funk Railroad, Brownsville Station and KISS.

Then it was The Midnight special with Black Oak Arkansas, Deep Purple, Cheap Trick and Aerosmith. The eighties brought us “Headbangers Ball” to MTV with Ratt, Motely Crue, Black Sabbath, Ozzy, Whitesnake, Dio, etc..

Great time and memories! Simply my favorite era in Heavy Metal History!”

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Kev Moore of BC Sweet, Christie, Witch Cross

“The greatest “personal” moment for me in Metal history was hearing the opening bars of ‘Burn’ by Deep Purple for the first time in ’74 and the subsequent onslaught of the songs on that album. It had a huge effect on me. Very close to that would be the unbelievable ‘comeback’ by AC/DC following Bon Scott’s death. Who saw ‘Back in Black’ coming? Not me!”

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AC Alexander of LIZZY BORDEN 

“I would consider one of the greatest moments in Heavy Metal history to be the addition of distortion/overdrive to amplifiers. It is one of the underlying connections between every Metal/Rock band. Think about some of the biggest riffs ever written in this genre, how would they sound without it?”

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Gordon Brown – (ex) IRON CLAW & Solo Artist 

“I’ve pondered this for quite some time now and there are so many things I could say, however, there can be only one really and it’s the formation of Cream. They led the way for all those who wanted to open their musical minds and all of the bands that followed did exactly that.”

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BOBBY K of 13 –

“Stone, Great question! Hmm… I gave it some serious thought and the one thing that keeps poppin in my head is the fact that Black Sabbath had the balls to record that…”Devils Chord” and I believe it is a diminished 5th minor chord as in the opening to the song Black Sabbath. That chord paved the way for Metal!”

From what I’m to understand, all the great composers ie…Bach, Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven avoided playing that chord in fear of being labeled a Heretic!  Hence we have what the Bible Thumpers call…The Devils Music…Horns Up!!   Oh yea….and MC5 for saying live “Kick out the jams Mother Fukkerz!”  Go figure, a Detroit Band pulled that one off!”

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Masaki Murashita of Hemoptysis

“Let’s say the 80s was the greatest moment because that’s when all of the great Metal legends were putting out awesome timeless records. I was born around that time and I wasn’t there, so I wish I was in a part of the scene to witness it.”

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Giancarlo Floridia of Faithsedge

“Wow, that is a good question man, I mean hmm, I honestly have no clue!” (laughs).

___________________________________

LONG LIVE HEAVY METAL.

METAL BE THY NAME.

Stone.

ENTHRALL “Throes Of Fire” – Sophomore Album Showcases The Metal Strengths Of Vocalist/Multi-Instrumentalist Neil Rego

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, Power Metal, progressive metal, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on April 9, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

ENTHRALL – Originating from Bangalore, India and eventually being signed by Greece independent label METALFIGHTERS, founding member and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Neil Rego has his solo project ENTHRALL causing quite the buzz within the worldwide Metal underground. The roots of ENTHRALL go back to 1995, when ENTHRALL was initially a unified band. Family commitments and the inability to relocate are the legitimate reasons as to why the remaining original members of ENTHRALL had to step aside.

With guest musicians appearing on his latest (second overall) ENTHRALL album, Neil Rego has given every indication that he is a well-rounded songwriter and lyricist, coupled with his undeniable and admirable proficiency as a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. No Metal rock should be left unturned and ENTHRALL is one solid Metal rock worth discovering.

The influences of Classic Metal, Classic Rock, Progressive Rock/Metal and old school Speed Metal are all interwoven into a unique texture of sound on Throes Of Fire, courtesy of Neil’s musical vision. Neil’s clean vocals are married with his brand of Metal in such a smooth way that I cannot help myself liking what I hear, throughout Throes Of Fire. If I had to choose my favorite song, the title track keeps replaying in my mind.

Melodic from beginning to end and most essentially memorable is Throes Of Fire. With no flashy gimmicks of an over-produced product, Neil Rego has compiled these ten songs on this album to sound effectively efficient, in an early 80’s Classic Metal sort of way. Throes Of Fire has grown on me and has left an imprint of uniqueness upon my ears that is so ultimately important.

As a sophomore release from ENTHRALL, Neil Rego has shown that he can act upon his Metal vision and create an album that dominates on the melodic side of the spectrum, while knowing when to let loose the hard and heavy without crossing that fine line of filler territory. I recommend checking out ENTHRALL to any fan of Heavy Metal or even Hard Rock. There is a vast bounty of Metalheads out there, that should find Throes Of Fire to be an album worthy of their time. It’s been worth my Metal time. Metal be thy name.

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BAND:

Neil Rego – vocals, guitars & bass

Featured Musicians:

Pranav Murthy – guitars

Max Wamby – guitars

Suraj Dutt – guitars

Varun Sood – drums & percussion

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Throes Of Fire – Track Listing:

Burden

The Bullying Bull

Stoned

Fuzzy

Lame Sunk Esteem

Agony Bound

Retribution

Throes Of Fire

Spill Cyanide

Natural Instinct

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For more info on ENTHRALL, click on the link below:

www.weareenthrall.com

LONG LIVE ENTHRALL.

Stone.

CIRITH UNGOL “Servants Of Chaos” – 3 Disc Set Is A Mammoth Metal Value

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , on April 8, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

CIRITH UNGOL – The 2-CD/Bonus DVD of vintage CIRITH UNGOL, Servants Of Chaos, was released back on January 31st, 2012, via Metal Blade Records in North America. Servants Of Chaos was originally released (exclusively) in Europe, back in 2001. What an amazing package, which salutes this never to be forgotten Metal band from Ventura, California.

CIRITH UNGOL can easily be classified  as a pioneering and influential Metal band from the early 80’s. I highly recommend, to all Metalheads worldwide, these rare and live tracks, along with video footage of CIRITH UNGOL, to sink your Classic Metal craving senses into! Adding this Cirith Ungol 3 disc set to your Metal collection will serve you right.

I just bought Servants Of Chaos recently and it’s worth every penny. f.y.e. was selling it at a sale price for $9.99 (U.S.). That’s a stupendous price for 2 CD’s and 1 DVD!

The name Cirith Ungol is pronounced “kirith ungol” and is an Elvish phrase meaning “pass of the spider.”

Check out below: Cirith Ungol “I’m Alive” (Live) from the album “Servants of Chaos”. Recorded live at Wolf and Rissmiller’s Country Club on November 9th, 1984. Whoa and Metal be thy name.

CIRITH UNGOL:

Tim Baker – vocals

Jerry Fogle – guitar

Robert Garven – drums

Michael “Flint” Vujea – bass

(Servants Of Chaos – back cover)

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(Source: Metal Blade Records)

For more info on this CIRITH UNGOL release, click below:

METAL BLADE RECORDS

LONG LIVE THE METAL LEGACY OF CIRITH UNGOL.

The word “stupendous” was used in this post.

Stone.

CRYSTAL VIPER – ‘Witches Mark’ Exclusive 2 Track Download Single Available Now!

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on March 30, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

CRYSTAL VIPER “Witch’s Mark” – exclusive 2-track download single coming out on March 30th, 2012, via AFM RECORDS! Incl. title track – taken from the forthcoming full length studio album “Crimen Excepta” – coupled with “The Banshee”, newly recorded version of the song originally available on the limited edition MLP “The Last Axeman” (2008). To be available on all legal digital outlets!

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Crimen Excepta releases on AFM Records, on April 27th, 2012.

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(Sources: Crystal Viper & AFM Records Official Websites)

For more info on CRYSTAL VIPER, click on the links below:

http://www.crystalviper.com

http://www.afm-records.de

LONG LIVE CRYSTAL VIPER.

Stone.

WITCH CROSS – Danish Heavy Metal Band Returns! Performing At: KEEP IT TRUE FESTIVAL XV

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal festivals, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

WITCH CROSS – Danish Heavy Metal band Witch Cross is back on the scene. On the 27th of April 2012, Witch Cross will take to the stage at the prestigious Keep It True Festival in Germany in front of 2000 rocking Heavy Metal fans. The band will be performing songs from their acclaimed 1984 debut album Fit for Fight and founding member and guitarist Mike “Wlad” Koch says “it’s great to be playing the old songs along with one or two new ones, even though we couldn’t get the whole band back together for various reasons it’s exciting to be able to bring our music back to life in front of so many people”! And the band plans to continue to play live after this event so watch this space.

On stage with Mike Wlad will be 2 other original members of Witch Cross , bass player Jan “Little John” Fields and drummer Anders “AC” Hjort. The 3 have drafted in British singer Kevin Moore from Graham Oliver’s Saxon and guitarist Torben Aalykke who has been working with original Witch Cross singer Alex Savage for the last 23 years in Savage Affair and other musical outings.

The band’s debut album Fit For Fight along with their 1982 single No Angel/Are You There and 19 other demo tracks, spanning the bands early days until their split in 1985, has been released on a 4 vinyl limited collectors album by the American Heavy Metal label Hells Headbangers earlier this year. A double CD with some bonus video with be released in the near future.

Vocalist Kevin Moore Comments: On a personal note, it’s really exciting to be fronting Danish Metal band Witch Cross, taking my pro career full circle, as I began professionally playing in Denmark many years ago. Guitarist Mike and I are also busy writing new Witch Cross material.

WITCH CROSS Lineup – Keep It True Festival XV: 

Mike “Wlad” Koch – guitar


Jan “Little John” Fields – bass

Anders “AC” Hjort
 – drums

Kevin Moore – vocals

Torben Aalykke – guitar

FIT FOR FIGHT (1984 – RoadRunner Records)

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(Sources: Kev Moore & Mike “Wlad” Koch)

LONG LIVE WITCH CROSS.

LONG LIVE KEV MOORE.

Stone.

SINISTER REALM – A Metal Odyssey Exclusive Interview!

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news, traditional heavy metal, traditional metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

(All band photos and logo provided courtesy of John Gaffney/Sinister Realm)

SINISTER REALM – Traditional Heavy Metal, aka Classic Metal, reigns supreme in 2011. With hordes of legendary Traditional Metal bands leading the never-ending charge, to this very moment as you read this, there are a good many new, hungry and talented Metal bands out there that revere Metal’s history of tradition. Sinister Realm is one such Metal band. Led by founding member and bass guitarist John Gaffney, Sinister Realm is a band that I have admired and loudly recommended, since my first thorough listen of their second studio album The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records) which was released this Summer.

Calling Allentown, Pennsylvania their Metal home, Sinister Realm is a band amassing a loyal following of Metal fans from Trexlertown, Pennsylvania to points worldwide. Sinister Realm has created some incredible Traditional Metal that MUST be heard to understand my Metal point. It’s not everyday that I bellow with such Metal pride about a rising Metal band such as Sinister Realm. Alex Kristoff (vocals), John Risko (guitar), John Kantner (guitar), Chris Metzger (drums) and John Gaffney’s bass illuminates my eardrums with their utmost Metal talent and respect for the Metal they play.

Traditional Metal goes much farther than “the look” of denim and leather. The sound, lyrics, vibes and attitude I hear on The Crystal Eye are all-encompassing of what Traditional Metal is all about in my Metal world. Overall, Sinister Realm represents where Metal was so many years ago and where it is today, in all of its powerful glory. Sinister Realm is the real Metal deal here, fellow Metalheads.

Taking a time out from playing live gigs amid a busy schedule, John Gaffney was courteous to answer ten questions for Metal Odyssey. Covering topics ranging from the new album to respecting the history of Metal, here is what John Gaffney had to say:

John Gaffney, bass guitarist, songwriter and founder of Sinister Realm.

Stone: Can you share the goals and mindset of the band as a whole, while recording “The Crystal Eye”?

John Gaffney: With the new album our goal was pretty simple, to take a step forward from our first album. I think my mindset when I started writing the music was to just make sure that every song was as good as I could make it. I wanted to make sure there was a good amount of variety also, some fast songs, some slow and mid tempos one. I know all the other guys really wanted to make this one a good follow-up to our debut record. The goals of our band in general are to always get better and keep pushing forward, to play and perform better, to get our music out to as many metal heads as possible and in general to just keep growing as a band.

Stone: How is the songwriting and lyrics shared among the band?

John Gaffney: All the music and lyrics are written by me but the other guys definitely add their personalities to the songs. I demo everything out in a very rough format with a drum machine and me singing and the other guys take that and add their own thing to it. When I write I really think about the guys and their personalities on their instruments and I write to their strengths so that the songs feel natural to them and not like I’m asking them to play or sing things that don’t fit who they are as musicians. Even though I write the music, the strength and identity of Sinister Realm is really in the collection of all the individual players, we work and sound really good together in my humble opinion.

Stone: Just how important is the history of Metal to Sinister Realm?

John Gaffney: Very important, especially the early years of metal, I’m very much a Heavy Metal scholar. I’m always reading about heavy metal and searching out old classic bands that I may not have heard of yet. I’m a very big fan of the “golden” years of classic metal as I like to call it, 1980 to about 1984. The albums that Priest, Maiden, Dio, Sabbath, Ozzy, Mercyful Fate and many others released during those years are some of my absolute favorite heavy metal albums of all time. With the band we really try to pay our respects to those great metal classics, when we perform or work on new music all those bands are in the back of our mind, they are our benchmarks if you will, we really want to do this music justice and we consider it a great honor to be called a traditional metal band.

Stone: How did Sinister Realm and Shadow Kingdom Records find each other?

John Gaffney: Well…a bit of history on the band I guess is in order here. I used to be in a band called Pale Divine, when I left the drummer Darin McCloskey called me and said he wanted to work on some of the ideas I had that were never used in Pale Divine.  As things progressed it started sounding really good and we decided to get a proper singer and record a demo, so into the picture came Alex. I played guitar and bass on the original demo, Darin played drums and Alex sang. Darin knew Tim from Shadow Kingdom Records and ran into him when Pale Divine was playing in Pittsburgh, he passed our demo on to him and he really liked it.  At the time the demo was really making the rounds on the internet and we got a few offers from other labels but we really liked where Shadow Kingdom was at the time and the other types of bands they had so we went with them.  After we got signed we added our current guitar player John Kantner and a lead player and quickly recorded our self titled full length. Right after that Darin had to leave for personal reasons and our original lead player was asked to leave so we brought Chris Metzger in on drums and John Risko on lead guitar. Lots of gigs followed and we’ve just released our second album “The Crystal Eye”.  That’s our history in a nutshell.

Stone: What venue that Sinister Realm has played to date exhibited the most rabid Metal fans?

John Gaffney: We played a Doom Metal festival in Wisconsin this Summer that was really cool, we have a lot of great local fans who really support us also so it’s hard to pick one venue, we have fun where ever we play.

Stone: What is the biggest hurdle that confronts a Metal band in 2011?

John Gaffney: Trying to stand out above the bottomless sea of bands that are out there right now. The Internet is a great thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it. The Internet is also a bad thing because anybody can get a band together, put something out and promote it..haha. It works both ways. There are just so many bands out there now and the playing field is so so crowded that it’s really difficult to get yourself to stand out of the pack. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication and sticking to and believing in what you’re doing. Selling CDs is very difficult nowadays because there is a lot of illegal downloading and not many people are even into buying CD’s anymore. I’m old-fashioned and still listen to vinyl, in fact I have a rather large Metal vinyl collection and consider that to be one of my hobbies.

Sinister Realm – The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records/2011)

Stone: My favorite song on “The Crystal Eye” is the title track. That song just psyches me out blindly!  Which one is yours and why?

John Gaffney: I like “The Crystal Eye” also. I think I like it because it’s a great title track and has a really good “epic” feel to it. All the guys sound great on it, I especially like John Risko’s lead solo on that one, just super cool! I love the way that guy plays. It’s just a song that came together really nicely if you know what I mean. If I had to pick a close second I would say “Signal the Earth”. I like the feel and groove of the song and I was proud of my lyrics on that one, it’s about a guy sent on a mission in space, now’s he’s trapped in his space ship alone, seeing and hearing things and trying to signal the earth that he needs help. Plus there’s a bass solo in that song… ha ha.

Stone: Is there a “dream band” Sinister Realm wants to be contacted by to support on a major tour?

John Gaffney: Any of the big classic bands like Priest, Maiden, Sabbath would be a dream. I’m also a big fan of Candlemass so I would love to be able to play in Europe or Scandinavia with them.

Stone: How many guitars do you own and which one is your favorite?

John Gaffney: Bass is my main instrument but I do own an early 80s gibson flying V guitar and a Fender telecaster guitar. As for basses, I have three. A 1978 Fender jazz bass, a 1984 Fender precision and a Geddy Lee model Jazz bass. For Sinister Realm I use the Geddy Lee bass, it has a great aggressive grinding growling sound. I use an Ampeg Svt-Pro 2 and Ampeg 4-10 cabinet live for amplification.

Stone: The talents and musical skills of Sinister Realm are obviously heard by my ears on “The Crystal Eye”. What are the other intangibles required to create such a powerful album of Traditional Heavy Metal? What is Sinister Realms “Metal X-Factor”?

John Gaffney: There’s a lot of X factors, I really couldn’t pin it down to one thing. I tell the guys all the time that it’s the little things that make a great band. Playing in tune, having good equipment, having good players and a good singer. If I had to point to one thing though I would say at the end of the day it’s songs and how their delivered. The average listener is not a musician, they are just fans of the music, so the only thing that is really important to them is if they like the songs or not. There are plenty of bands through history who had great players that never went anywhere because their songs just weren’t that good. It’s why the Beatles have lasted forever, they had great songs! So for Sinister Realm I think the X-factor is a combination of everyone’s professionalism and individual personalities wrapped around the songs, that is our “X-Factor”.

* For more Metal info on SINISTER REALM, click on the links below:

SINISTER REALM – facebook

SINISTER REALM – myspace

LONG LIVE SINISTER REALM.

Stone.

SINISTER REALM – “The Crystal Eye”: Defends The Metal Faith Valiantly, In Epic And Prevailing Prominence

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal news, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

WARNING: THE FOLLOWING ALBUM REVIEW FOR THE CRYSTAL EYE MAY MOTIVATE YOU TO BUY THIS CD… AND MAKE YOU AWARE THAT TRUE AND REAL AMERICAN TRADITIONAL METAL DOES, AFTER ALLTRULY EXIST. YOU’VE BEEN METAL WARNED.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO ARE ALREADY SMIRKING… JUST REMEMBER THIS: STONE DOESN’T BULLSHIT WHEN IT COMES TO METAL.

SINISTER REALM – Okay, so I was minding my own Metal business, when one night last week I checked my email inbox to find a message from Sinister Realm. I’m thinking to myself, what Metal message is Sinister Realm sending me? I was of course curious, for this Traditional Metal band from Allentown, Pennsylvania, has made quite a Metal name for themselves on this part of the East Coast. In the email was an invitation to review their newly released studio album: The Crystal Eye (Shadow Kingdom Records). A no brainer… I was more than Metal willing to give this new Sinister Realm album a listen. Then I listened again… and again. Metal be thy name, I could not believe what I was hearing. God almighty above, The Crystal Eye is an unreal Traditional Metal listening experience.

For all Metal intents and purposes, if you are to buy just one more newly released Metal CD this year, The Crystal Eye is as strong a candidate as any other. Whoa, did someone say “why Stone”? The reasons are easy to explain, therefore here is the Metal breakdown, in no particular Metal order:

Reason One: Let’s skip right to the instrumental that is Battle for the Sinister Realm. My God almighty, is this an intense song that embellishes every nuance that is golden about a Traditional Metal instrumental. Listening to the melodic sound that this song radiates, coupled with its old school Metal vibe and feel, I’m mesmerized that this band can capture such welcomed Traditional Metal magic, in 3:29.

Reason Two: Dual Metal guitars. John Kantner and John Risko. These two Metal axe men summon up all the glorious images of excitement, of days long ago, when my young ears experienced Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing for the first time. Yes, the Metal torch has been handed down… John Kantner and John Risko are two Metal guitarists that are happening NOW in 2011. Hearing is believing…

Reason Three: Alex Kristof on vocals is a convincing and strong presence. Without knowing, I will wager he is a lifetime devotee to the late Ronnie James Dio. Alex is the singer that Traditional Metal bands will search the clubs, internet and world over for… he’s that dynamic with his vocals. On the 8:54 epic, The Tower is Burning, his confidence rains down with each talented syllable he sings. Honestly, there isn’t a moment on The Crystal Eye where I’m not impressed with listening to Alex.

Reason Four: All eight songs embody the essence of how Traditional Metal is supposed to sound like. Powerful, epic and responsible for giving me the damn chills, is how I best describe The Crystal Eye. This album would kick mighty ass in the mid 80’s, only Sinister Realm is kicking mighty ass in the here and now. Metal written and played like this doesn’t grow on some F’n fruit tree, ready to be picked for harvest. The Metal I hear on all of these songs is potent with muscular relevance and cannot be denied by my ears.

Reason Five: Every band needs its rhythmic glue to hold the beats steady and Chris Metzger (drums) and John Shamus Gaffney (bass, background vocals) are titans to hear. With a steel solid production, both Chris and John’s ground quaking effectiveness is substantial and heard with clarity.

Reason Six: The title track: The Crystal Eye. Metal be thy name, this song is the epitome of just how riveting and compelling Traditional Metal can sound and feel like. This song moves me, man. While I’m listening to this song, I feel like I am that “man on the silver mountain” and I can do anything.

Music is subjective and personal to any individual. However, take my Metal advice on Sinister Realm… what you do with it is entirely up to you. The Crystal Eye isn’t a can of Metal whoop ass, instead, it’s a case of Traditional Metal whoop ass. I finish by saying: I listen to my hefty share of Metal and I declare The Crystal Eye as one of the very best Metal albums of 2011. Thanks to Sinister Realm, I’ve been reminded as to why Metal is the law.

The Crystal Eye – Track Listing:

Winds of Vengeance

At the Hands of the Tormentor

With Swords Held High

The Crystal Eye

Signal the Earth

The Shroud of Misery

Battle for the Sinister Realm

The Tower is Burning

* For more info on SINISTER REALM, click on the links below:

SINISTER REALM – facebook

SINISTER REALM – myspace

LONG LIVE SINISTER REALM.

Stone.

KATANA – Guitarist Tobias Karlsson Set To Appear On MetalHeadRadio.com on July 18th

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal news, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

KATANA – On Monday, July 18th, 2011, KATANA guitarist Tobias Karlsson will join METALHEADRADIO.COM‘s DJ Rem for an exclusive one-on-one interview. Tune in to DJ Rem’s show, Locked Up, at 9:30 EST on July 18th for what promises to be an unforgettable chat with one of the New Wave of Traditional Metal’s most fierce up and comers.

KATANA from Gothenburg, Sweden, is the next big thing in Traditional Heavy Metal. They deliver a show that is 100 percent pure adrenaline and will take the audience straight back to the golden age of the early eighties. Since the current line up was established in 2008, KATANA has worked hard to perfect their live act, which includes everything one would expect from a true eighties band and then some.

The music of KATANA is heavily influenced by British and German bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Accept. They definitely show that the genre is more alive than ever and their newly recorded debut album will set a new standard for what Classic Heavy Metal is supposed to sound like in 2011.

(Source: ClawHammer PR)

* To read the Metal Odyssey album review for KATANA – HEADS WILL ROLL, (posted on June 13th, 2011), just click on the big header link below!

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

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

KATANA – Official facebook

KATANA – myspace music

LISTENABLE RECORDS

METALHEADRADIO.COM

LONG LIVE KATANA.

Stone.

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.

BENEDICTUM – Premieres “Bang” On StereoKiller.com

Posted in classic metal, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

U.S. Heavy Metal powerhouse BENEDICTUM has made “Bang” available for streaming at Stereo Killer.com/Benedictum. Featuring Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot) on bass, “Bang!” is a quintessential anthem of defiance and one hell of a grooving slam. Vocalist Veronica Freeman calls it “my non-Prom song for those of us who didn’t make the cut… or even those who did but were totally misunderstood. It’s time to rise and not let them define us!” Just one of many monster cuts from BENEDICTUM’s third effort Dominion, “Bang” epitomizes what Heavy Metal is supposed to be (but rarely is these days): Loud, proud, and impossible to forget!

(Source: ClawHammer PR)

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

BENEDICTUM – Official Website

BENEDICTUM – facebook

LONG LIVE BENEDICTUM.

Stone.

TWISTED TOWER DIRE – Make It Dark: Classic Metal Triumphs Once Again

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news, traditional metal with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 6, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

TWISTED TOWER DIRE – The fifth full-length studio album from Virginia’s Twisted Tower Dire has been released on May 3rd, 2011, via Cruz Del Sur Music and it’s worth more than it’s weight in Metal gold. As the classically inspired album cover from famed UK artist Martin Hanford and the type fonts suggests, Twisted Tower Dire is a Classic Metal band and Make It Dark is an eight song Traditional Metal triumph.

This is a band that has had to overcome prolific tragedy in the past year. Vocalist Tony Taylor was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident back on February 6th, 2010, being replaced by Johnny Aune (Viper). The triumph of human spirit that this band has bestowed in regrouping, coupled by the fearless drive that Make It Dark reverberates with it’s Classic Metal, is nothing short of admirable.

Throughout Make It Dark, the songs come across as not just well written, they are all extremely well executed. Metal resolve is a very good thing and Twisted Tower Dire bring it on their new album. This album reminds me of days long ago, hanging out in the moonlit field with my Metal brethren, while the sweet smell of ganga filled the air and the beers were in no short supply. Um, uh, back to the album review and 2011…

Johnny Aune is a bona-fide Classic Metal vocalist. In my Metal opinion, Johnny is a vocalist that guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen would dig… and maybe he does? The Classic Metal echo fills this entire album, while leaving signatures of welcomed semi-raw and non-plasticized production every step of the way. The bass of Jim Hunter coupled with Mark Stauffer’s drumming is a rhythmic feast built on that Classic Metal speed. We’re in the midst of an age that’s called a Classic Metal revival and that school of thought is fine with me, only I and obviously countless others have never turned away from Classic Metal.

This old school Metal sound will never die due to bands such as Twisted Tower Dire. With the likes of their peers Enforcer, White Wizzard, Ravage, 3 Inches Of BloodDerailed and Darkblack making their presence heard, the flame of this Metal genre has never burned brighter. Old school fans of Grim Reaper, Obsession and Paul Dianno fronted Iron Maiden should take a keen Metal liking to the dual guitars of Scott Waldrop and Dave Boyd. These two axe slingers exchange some very melodic and speedy guitar licks that are like the Metal icing on the Metal cake.

Yes, Speed Metal too can once again reign Metal supreme while Make It Dark is played at maximum volume. The old school vibes never subside while I listen to Make It Dark and I like it that way. Mystera, White Shadow, Torture Torture and Beyond The Gate are Classic Metal gems. Beyond The Gate is remarkable in it’s ability to suck my senses right into it’s Classic Metal richness, therefore, this is my favorite song on Make It Dark.

With there being so many Metal choices out there for new album purchases in 2011, Make It Dark is as upstanding as I can declare. Make It Dark is a reminder to us all, that Metal truly does sound real again. Make the credible Metal choice and buy Make It Dark for yourself… it will serve you Metal right.

TWISTED TOWER DIRE:

Johnny Aune  – vocals

Jim Hunter – bass

Scott Waldrop – guitar

Dave Boyd – guitar

Mark Stauffer – drums

Make It Dark Track Listing:

Mystera

Snow Leopard

The Stone

Make It Dark

White Shadow

The Only Way

Torture Torture

Beyond the Gate

* For more info on TWISTED TOWER DIRE, click the links below:

http://www.twistedtowerdire.com

http://www.cruzdelsurmusic.com

LONG LIVE TWISTED TOWER DIRE.

Rest In Peace Tony Taylor.

Stone.

PENTAGRAM “Last Rites” – New Studio Album Releases April 12th, 2011 On Metal Blade Records!

Posted in classic metal, doom metal, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

PENTAGRAM – Last Rites, the seventh studio album from Doom Metal Pioneers and Metal legends, Pentagram, will be released on April 12th, 2011, on Metal Blade RecordsLast Rites is the first of a three album agreement Pentagram has with Metal Blade Records. Pentagram is led by it’s founding member and ever constant vocalist Bobby Liebling.

Pentagram alumnus and guitarist Victor Griffin returned to Pentagram in 2010, collaborating with Bobby Liebling on a studio album for the first time since 1994’s Be Forewarned. Last Rites contains eleven brand new studio tracks, proving once again, that Pentagram is far from closing the Metal history book on their Metal legacy.

* Last Rites has the Metal distinction of being the studio album released during the 40th Anniversary of Pentagram.

PENTAGRAM:

Bobby Liebling – vocals

Victor Griffin – guitar

Greg Turley – bass

Tim Tomaselli – drums

Track Listing For Last Rites:

Treat Me Right

Call the Man

Into the Ground

8

Everything’s Turning To Night

Windmills and Chimes

American Dream

Walk in Blue Light

Horseman

Death in 1st Person

Nothing Left

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

THE PENTAGRAM ARCHIVES – myspace music

METAL BLADE RECORDS

LONG LIVE PENTAGRAM.

Stone.

HUNTED “Welcome The Dead” – Colossal Progressive Metal To Prize

Posted in classic metal, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

HUNTED – In my Metal quest for delivering to visitors of Metal Odyssey, unsigned bands that are decidedly worthy of their Metal existence, I have uncovered yet another exemplary band. This Progressive Metal band is based in Cardiff, Wales and is known as HUNTED. Remember the name of this band, cause once a record label signs them (and Hunted will get signed) you can say, with Metal pride, you knew about them “back in the day”. Welcome The Dead is the debut album of ten songs that ruptures with proficiency, the Progressive Metal of Hunted. Hunted is a band that’s on the Metal advance and I’m on board for their Metal offensive.

The Metal influences are easily detectable from the Progressive Metal sound that Hunted plays. I hear Geoff Tate’s influence resonate from the vocals of Chris G and trust me, this guy can sing like his life depends on it. Picture if you will, Iron Maiden fusing their Progressive Metal with Dream Theater and you have what Hunted reminds this Old Schooler of and openly agrees with. Hunted is light years from being a copy-cat band, so rest assured you will be listening to a band that has taken such legendary Metal influences and carved out their own flaming ball of Metal originality.

Minus any keyboard atmospherics, Hunted remarkably pulls off an ambiance of Progressive Metal space that excels. This band can play heavy, my ears don’t doubt this for a second. I Want Nothing has it’s tempo changes, only it plays out quite Heavy in both it’s Metal and vocal personality. There is a lot to be said, as to how Hunted structures their songs, leading the listener on a Metal landscape that evolves with it’s intensity and simmers down with melodic majesty.

The totality of musicianship and the vocals of Chris G carry Hunted in unison, combining for a band that plays extremely tight. While not radiating an over-polished listen in sound, there is an air of rawness to this album that many superstar bands are missing today. I am impressed by the talents of Tim Hamill and Hunted in producing and mixing this album, these are songs that can’t be thrown together with their delicate parts. Hunted comes across as a band that planned this Welcome The Dead album a long time ago, in a Metal galaxy far, far away. This is not an album you can listen to three times over and write about. Instead, Welcome The Dead is an album that needs to be digested for a month, enjoyed and continually savored.

The articulation of Chris G’s vocals coinciding with the Metal articulation of Steven Barberini on guitar could not have happened overnight… or over the course of one year, these songs are that luminous with profound energy, thought and dynamism. The melodic leads and solos that Steven plays are so flavorful, that I am launched into a world of swirling Metal highs because of my hearing them. Sounds sappy? Not to me. Music, especially Metal, can move me like there’s no tomorrow. Metal be thy name.

Aria (In Memoriam) plays out at 8:49 and is one of the finest Progressive Metal epic songs I’ve ever listened to. Emotion spills over from both this songs music and vocals. If your going to make Progressive Metal songs that last this long, the key is to keep the emotion on high and never let up and Hunted does just that. The title track/intro begins with the sounds of war, bullets ripping through the air, marching boots and an air raid siren. This is Progressive Metal. An intro such as this sets the stage, mood and impending anatomy to the songs that follow.

Hunted plays as if they have been together for twenty years. Layered songs with clever lyrics, the enthusiasm and competence this band exhibits through their playing of these songs cannot be denied. I’m already looking forward to another album from Hunted… right now. Then again, Metal, Progressive Metal that is this grand, cannot be manufactured or served up fast-food style. Welcome The Dead is an album of Progressive Metal and Metal for discerning fans of Metal Music. I’ll just end this rave review by adding: Hunted is without question, in the sparse crème de la crème crowd of unsigned Metal bands. Metal be thy name.

Track Listing For Welcome The Dead:

Welcome The Dead (1:19)

The Silence Of Minds (6:03)

Chosen (4:28)

Aria (In Memoriam) (8:48)

The Incident (0.33)

Impaled (5.11)

Scars (5.23)

I Want Nothing (5.41)

Shadows (7.00)

The Heart Collector (Bonus Track) (5.49)

HUNTED:

Chris G – vocals

Steven Barberini – guitars

Jon Letson – bass

Matt “Animal” Thomas – drums

Metal Odyssey gives HUNTED Welcome The Dead Five Metal Fists out of Five!

* Welcome The Dead was mixed and produced by Tim Hamill and Hunted.

* Welcome The Dead was mastered by John K. (Biomechanical)

* Welcome The Dead was recorded & edited by Tim Hamill at Sonic One Studio, Wales, UK.

* Album cover art by: Marcela Bolivar

* For more info on HUNTED, click here: HUNTED – myspace music

LONG LIVE HUNTED.

Stone.

CRYSTAL VIPER “Legends” – An Infectious Metal Album, Receives My Metal Commendation

Posted in album reviews, classic metal, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, Power Metal, rock music, rock music news, traditional heavy metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

CRYSTAL VIPER – On February 22, 2011, Poland’s Metal vindicator’s Crystal Viper will be releasing their fourth studio album  – Legends. This date is for the North American release on AFM Records. Crystal Viper beckons me with their Classic Heavy Metal sound, swirled within a Power Metal climate of songs which illuminates melodic Metal thunder! I’m telling you right now, Crystal Viper has created an album that I won’t be filing away anytime soon.

Legends is not limited to a select few songs that are desirable, this entire album has captivated me, from it’s album cover artwork to the choice talents of vocalist/guitarist Marta Gabriel. Crystal Viper plays it’s potent style of Traditional Metal at such an impressive level, they have me thinking: this band could have fit in perfectly during the early to mid 80’s. Nonetheless, Crystal Viper are making themselves be heard in 2011 and their Metal sound couldn’t be more appreciated by this Metalhead lifer.

The strength of the Classics from Metal’s storied history and big guns has kept the Traditional sound and it’s power extremely relevant in 2011. The catalogs of Obsession, Warlock, Virgin Steele and Manowar have never collected dust in any knowledgeable Metal fans collection… Crystal Viper’s new album Legends is NOT going to be a dust collector. Crystal Viper is drawing in that classic relevancy of Metal’s past and making it succeed through their own style and sound, making me salute the Metal Gods of yesteryear while I’m jumping for Metal joy at what I’m hearing on Legends today.

Marta Gabriel will undoubtedly draw comparisons to the legendary Heavy Metal Queen, Doro Pesch. This elite comparison goes deeper than just being a female lead vocalist for a rising Heavy Metal band, Marta can unquestionably sing her Metal heart out. Doro Pesch has been an elite and influential vocalist for over twenty five years. Doro is so legendary it may be unfair and too academic to start a comparison rally between these two Metal diva’s vocals. With that said, I know what I hear and Marta’s vocals give off that special and harmonious Metal vibe that I can’t overlook or deny. Marta is very well in a Metal class all her own.

I could say with Metal confidence, that Marta Gabriel’s vocals reminds me of Bruce Dickinson’s vocal range… okay, I opened up the Metal floodgates now. One or more listens one may seek out with Secret Of The Black Water may just substantiate my stating this. Sydonia Bork is a strong ballad which does not take on any characteristic of an 80’s power ballad, instead Marta gives this ballad a sincere emotion. It’s almost as if Marta has taken this ballad by her hand and guided the music to it’s stirring splendor.

Legends starts off with a spoken word intro with The Truth, that centers it’s message on the closing words: “Evil always returns and greed is blind”. Crystal Viper reminds us of humanity’s never ending battle of good versus evil with their thought provoking intro, while setting the Metal table for what enigmatic and imaginative themes lie ahead in the songs on Legends. TV War is an ACCEPT classic that Crystal Viper covers with admirable Metal proficiency. The tempo is on high and Crystal Viper makes TV War live again through their Metal moxie.

The duo guitars of Andy Wave and Marta are a delectable Metal treat for my ears. These songs on Legends are guitar driven, with a plethora of psyche-you-out leads and solos that leave me helplessly revisiting those Old School daze in my Metal mind! Black Leviathan should be as prime of an example of what I mean by – guitar driven. Blood Of The Heroes busts loose at the midway point with such guitar splendor that it’s dizzying. The Ghost Ship blends speed and Melodic Metal to it’s melting point, with an air of European Metal glory transcending throughout, especially on this songs chorus. Goddess Of Death is a fist and horns to the sky, head banging Metal anthem. This song should turn any doubters into instant fans of Marta Gabriel’s vocals and Crystal Viper’s Metal legitimacy. Goddess Of Death is perhaps my favorite song on this album… only there are so many excellent songs on Legends.

Melodic, powerful, traditional and pure Classic sounding are all ten songs on Legends. (The Truth intro doesn’t count as an actual song). Each musician of Crystal Viper has proven to my ears and senses their incisive Metal skills. Legends is an album that can’t be ignored or pushed to the side for any Metal reason. Real Metal like I hear on Legends will always prevail and stand the test of Metal time. Crystal Viper is a Metal Band and Legends is a Metal album that you MUST check out sooner rather than later. Crystal Viper has created an album they named Legends and this said album of astounding Metal has rocked my Metal soul. Metal be thy name.

* Legends features guest appearances by the following Metal “legends”: Stefan Kaufmann (ACCEPT/U.D.O.), Mat Sinner (Primal Fear/Sinner), Rhino (Manowar/Angels Of Babylon) and Sven D’Anna & Dano Boland (Wizard).

* TV War was originally recorded by ACCEPT on their 1986 studio album: Russian Roulette. This cover of TV War will be on the first edition of Legends.

* Legends was produced by Bart Gabriel (Halloween, Metalucifer, Sabbat etc.)

* For more info on Crystal Viper, click on the links below:

CRYSTAL VIPER – myspace music

CRYSTAL VIPER – Official Website

CRYSTAL VIPER:

Marta Gabriel – vocals and guitar

Andy Wave – guitar

Tom Woryna – bass guitar

Golem – drums

Track Listing For Legends:

The Truth (Intro)

The Ghost Ship

Blood Of The Heroes

Greed Is Blind

Sydonia Bork

Goddess Of Death

Night Of The Sin

Secret Of The Black Water

A Man Of Stone

Black Leviathan

TV War

LONG LIVE CRYSTAL VIPER.

LONG LIVE METAL.

Stone.

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"

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

How I Discovered Motorhead And My Favorite Motorhead Song Ever

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's rock music, 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 metal bands, 1990's rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting metal music, collecting rock music, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, essential heavy metal albums, essential heavy metal songs, feel good stories, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1983, heavy metal albums 1984, heavy metal memorabilia, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1984, heavy metal on vinyl, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage heavy metal songs, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Motorhead "No Remorse" small album picMotorhead is and always will be a core favorite Heavy Metal Band of mine, (a top 3 band without a doubt). I was first introduced to this prolific band back around 1983, a friend of mine in high school gave me an 8-track of a live Motorhead bootleg. (This dudes name was Rich, I am glad we had crossed paths back then). The sound was enormously awful, (the actual 8-track didn’t help), the lead vocals were beyond raspy and unclear and the Heavy Metal Music being played was raw, uncommercial and unlike anything I had ever heard before in my young life. I loved it. I was beyond thrilled at listening to this Motorhead 8-track. I was enamored by every unpolished intricacy that my rookie Metalhead ears heard. Here is this band, on a beat up 8-track, recorded as a live bootleg somewhere far away in the world, that only a dozen or so dudes in my high school even knew about at that time in 1983. All  that was written on the blank white sticker on this 8-track was a barely legible – Motorhead Live. I’ll never forget that… an Old School Metal memory at it’s most innocent. I was awe struck by the unnatural vocals of Lemmy Kilmister and his bass was over powering to boot. Gimme some more Motorhead is what I said.

I wound up buying the Iron Fist album by Motorhead first, (on vinyl of course). This Iron Fist album was released on April 17, 1982, I bought it sometime in 1983… owning a real Motorhead album became a dire Metal necessity then, I needed to get the Metal ball rolling in starting my Motorhead collection. Not having too much money as a teenager, I did not make another Motorhead album purchase until the double album No Remorse was released – which was September 15, 1984. (I can’t recall if I actually bought No Remorse on it’s release date, who would care now? I do remember that I bought it right away though!). Buying No Remorse heightened my awareness, attitude and respect for Metal Music in 1984 – I now had a legitimate greatest hits of Motorhead in my possession. My favorite Motorhead song ever, is on No Remorse, it actually was a brand new song added to this greatest hits track list at the time. Killed By Death. An unreal and damn incredible Metal song for me then… still is now in 2009.

Motorhead "No Remorse" small album picWhen I listen to Killed By Death today, it is like I am hearing it for the very first time again. I cannot figure that out, why bother? All I know is what this song does for me, it gets me extremely pumped up and motivated beyond Metal belief. The Heavy Metal and Roll vibe and groove that Killed By Death bestows is unlike any Motorhead song pre-1984. I was so fascinated back in 1984, while holding the double album jacket, staring at the front cover artwork of Snaggletooth, a.k.a. War-Pig and having my ears being ignited by Motorhead Metal. It felt like my little teenage world was made into a more tolerable place to exist in, with the Heavy Metal of Motorhead being at the ready for me to escape in. I could never forget just how much this No Remorse album of greatest hits means to me still, especially the song Killed By Death. Yes, I still have this No Remorse album, this double album is like Metal gold to me. I have kept it in pristine condition since September of 1984, this album is one of the fortunate ones that never was traded, sold, lost or given away by me.

I bought No Remorse at the no longer existing – Strawberries Records & Tapes. I even begged, bribed and pestered the Strawberries manager for months, to give me the Motorhead No Remorse promotional poster that hung on the store wall. (Back then, large record stores had class, they would actually give away any and all promotional posters for free, that is correct… for free). This Strawberries manager turned out to be a Metal hero for me… upon one of my extremely many trips there, he saw me enter the store and informed me the No Remorse promo poster was mine. That’s one cool memory – simple, innocent and Metal. This Motorhead No Remorse promo poster was hung up on my college dorm wall at Central Connecticut State University and survived. (I don’t know how it survived either). This same poster now adorns my basement wall… surrounded by many, many other Metal posters. However, this Motorhead No Remorse promo poster will forever remain as the Metal epicenter of my Rocked out basement, while the No Remorse album will remain as an integral reason as to why I revere Motorhead and Metal Music in the first place.

*My original copy of this Motorhead No Remorse – double album, depicts the same artwork on the front cover, however, the graphics Motorhead No Remorse are in deep red type.

Motorhead "No Remorse" large album pic

TONY IOMMI & GLENN HUGHES – 1996 DEP SESSIONS ALBUM- OLD SCHOOL HEAVY METAL

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's classic rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1986 heavy metal albums, 1986 heavy metal music, 1990's classic rock albums, 1990's classic rock music, 1990's hard rock music, 1990's heavy metal albums, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's rock music, 1990's hard rock bands, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, Black Sabbath, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock vocalists, collecting classic rock, collecting heavy metal albums, collecting music, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, hard rock music, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, hard to find rock albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock music, rock vocalists, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, vintage hard rock bands, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

HUGHES large album picI found IOMMI With Glenn Hughes – the 1996 Dep Sessions on the Century Media Records online store CM Distro.com. This CD set me back 3 bucks plus shipping. (I bought a few CD’s so the total shipping cost of 5 bucks was reasonable to me). This CD was in the clearance section at CM Distro.com, proving to be a cool Metal find for me. Tony Iommi is the lead guitarist for the ultra legendary/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee – Black Sabbath. Glenn Hughes has had a stellar career of his own, most notably being a vocalist and bass guitarist for Deep Purple on their Burn and Stormbringer studio albums from 1974. Glenn Hughes is also on the Deep Purple studio album – Come Taste the Band from 1975, as well as several Deep Purple live albums, the most notable being Deep Purple – Made In Europe, from 1976. Glenn Hughes was a member of Black Sabbath, (hey, it is an official Black Sabbath album – Black Sabbath Featuring Tony Iommi – Seventh Star). This studio album, Seventh Star, was released back in January of 1986 and Glenn Hughes was the lead vocalist only… Dave Spitz played bass on Seventh Star. This background information on Glenn Hughes is to help anyone who may be unfamiliar with his musicianship and/or career. Trust me, it would be a very long post to acknowledge everything Glenn Hughes has done during his illustrious music career dating back to 1968.

I have always revered the vocals of Glenn Hughes, not to mention his bass guitar exploits. When I listen to Glenn Hughes sing, it is the real deal for me… real Hard Rock vocals, real Heavy Metal vocals and yes, even soulful vocals on some of his solo work as well. Tony Iommi in my Metal opinion, is… if not the founding father of Heavy Metal guitar, then one of the very first. The combination of Glenn Hughes on vocals and Tony Iommi on guitar worked just fine for me on the Black Sabbath album, Seventh Star. Certainly, it was not the most famous music achievement for either Tony Iommi or Glenn Hughes, still it remains a standout album for me due to it’s Old School – Heavy Metal resonance and quality of songs.

This 1996 DEP Sessions album seems to rekindle that Old School Heavy Metal and Old School Hard Rock sound from the late 1970’s into the ’80’s. Do not expect a layered and very heavy album here, you will not be listening to Heaven and Hell or Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. Even the Heavy Metal fog storm of Seventh Star is not revisited here by Iommi and Hughes. What I hear, is an appropriate blend of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal vocals from Glenn Hughes, to correspond with the diverse guitar brilliance of Tony Iommi. The riffs are plentiful, extremely distinguishable that this is Tony Iommi – the Old School, Heavy Metal riff king himself. Iommi does not shy away from writing and playing tremendously melodic leads as well, in a Metal nutshell… Tony Iommi’s guitar is the dominant musical force on this 1996 DEP Sessions album, (of course). Unlike the Black Sabbath albums with Geezer Butler on bass and Bill Ward on drums, the rhythm section on this album honestly does take a back seat… albeit intentional during production or it just may be my aging Metal ears.

My three favorite songs on this 1996 DEP Sessions album are: Gone – which plays out as the heaviest song, the opening riff is vintage Tony Iommi. I‘m Not The Same Man – has reality check lyrics and is driven with melodic hardness at every nook and cranny. Fine – is a Hard Rock ballad that just grabs my attention on a personal level, plus Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes really deliver a genuine song here. All eight songs are memorable and good quality, both musically and lyrically. I won’t yell out loud that this album is unreal great and the best stuff these two Heavy Music legends have ever done. I will attest that this album has been a damn cool listening experience for me though. 1996 DEP Sessions is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of Old School Heavy Metal and/or Hard Rock, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath. Glenn Hughes and Tony Iommi fans have to own this album of course, the value is in the overall musicianship and diversity in songs. I will be playing this album regularly in the future, the combination of Glenn Hughes and Tony Iommi is just too cool to ignore.

Track Listing For: IOMMI with Glenn Hughes the 1996 Dep Sessions:

Gone

From Another World

Don’t You Tell Me

Don’t Drag The River

Fine

Time Is The Healer

I’m Not The Same Man

It Falls Through Me

* the 1996 Dep Sessions IOMMI with Glenn Hughes was released on September 28, 2004, on Sanctuary and Mayan Records.

HUGHES large album pic

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