Archive for the heavy metal solo albums Category

BRUCE KULICK “BK3” – A MENAGERIE OF ROCK, HARD ROCK & HEAVY METAL

Posted in 1980's heavy metal guitarists, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal guitarists, 2010 hard rock albums, 2010 heavy metal albums, current hard rock albums, current heavy metal albums, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music, hard rock music 2010, hard rock vocalists, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2010, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, new heavy metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 5, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

BRUCE KULICK – BK3 was released on February 2, 2010. I bought BK3 on it’s release date at Walmart for $10… not a shabby price at all, especially since this is an extremely likable album of eleven songs. Bruce Kulick has presented to the world, a menagerie of Rock, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal songs. No, there are no Folk songs on BK3, just solid musicianship all, with Bruce Kulick as the main attraction and in the guitar spotlight. Bruce plays bass guitar on five of the eleven songs as well. I have always enjoyed the guitar tone of Bruce Kulick, he doesn’t disappoint me again with his skills and sound on BK3. As the lead KISS guitarist on their studio albums from 1985 to 1992 aside, there has been so much more to an impressive and storied career behind Bruce Kulick and his guitar. BK3 is not about looking back on the past, it’s better described as building on the future while cementing a legitimate and thoroughly enjoyable third solo album.

Any hints of trying to conjure up the Hair Metal version of 1980’s KISS are not found in the music of BK3. I applaud Bruce Kulick for being creative on this album, while reaching out to some of his vocal friends for melodic and harmonious diversity. Other musical guests abound on BK3, each contributing their own signature to this album of spontaneity. A Guitar legend in his very own right, Steve Lukather, jams his way through the instrumental – Between The Lines. The combination of Bruce Kulick and Steve Lukather on one song is a Hard Rockin’ treat to my ears.

I’m The Animal exhibits the vocal talent of Edguy’s Tobias Sammet and drumming/KISS legend – Eric Singer, a Heavy Metal all-star cast. Bruce Kulick fires away delectable licks on I’m The Animal, making this song an instant favorite of mine. Final Mile is an entwining glow of Rock meets Hard Rock – up tempo ballad. Final Mile is also a convincing nod to the never aging Classic Rock genre. To compare Bruce Kulick vocally to someone else, without this sounding too much of a Metal stretch, my pick would be none other than Ace Frehley. Yes, both are unique vocalists, still, making a comparison is all this really is.

I’ll Survive features Bruce Kulick on vocals as well, (he sings lead vocals on five songs in all), a dramatic Rock song, lyrically tapping into the human spirit, while reflecting on being thankful for being alive and having one’s life spared from the grasp of uncertain death. Hand Of The King is a Heavy Metal surprise that features Nick Simmons on lead vocals. (In my Metal opinion, Nick does sound a bunch like his dad Gene Simmons). If comparisons to his dad Gene Simmons, proves to be of any detriment to Nick Simmons and his music career… well then, Metal be damned for his vocals sound terrific to me. Metal kudos to you, Nick.

No Friend Of Mine is without question, another favorite song on BK3 for me. John Corabi is the lead vocalist on this fast paced and semi-ballad. No Friend Of Mine has enough Hard Rock edges, encircling its Heavy Metal core, to tempt me into hitting the repeat button for this song multiple times. John Corabi vocally sounds excellent, a real standout on BK3, in my Metal opinion, once again. Doug Fieger is yet another fantastic surprise to hear on Dirty Girl, this song captures the essence of Rock relevancy through the decades, a good time, Hard Rockin’ song that reminds me of the Summer months… (yes, it really does).

KISS icon – Gene Simmons impresses with lending his lead vocals on Ain’t Gonna Die… yes, this song illuminates Heavy Metal… Old School too. Life ends BK3 in straight forward Rock style, with Bruce Kulick giving his lyrics added sincerity through his own vocals. To sum up the heartening reality of this songs lyrics, two lines say it best: Love is a gift in life, Be careful of what you choose. Bruce Kulick definitely has a mellow side, then again, I guess I do too… Bruce Kulick has reminded me of that.

* Catch up on more Bruce Kulick news and info by clicking here: BRUCE KULICK – Official Website

* BK3 was released on Twenty 4 Records/Rocket Science.

Track Listing For BK3:

Fate

Ain’t Gonna Die

No Friend Of Mine

Hand Of The King

I’ll Survive

Dirty Girl

Final Mile

I’m The Animal

And I Know

Between The Lines

Life


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lita Ford "Wicked Wonderland" large album pic

ACE FREHLEY IS BACK! “ANOMALY” ALBUM IS PROOF BY QUANTUM LEAPS!

Posted in 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's heavy metal, 1980's classic rock bands, 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic heavy metal, classic rock, classic rock music, collecting music, cool album covers, cover songs, current hard rock albums, current heavy metal albums, current rock albums 2009, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, guitar legends, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock music 2009, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal songs 2009, Metal, metal odyssey, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Ace Frehley "Anomaly" small album picAce Frehley has waited a long time to create and produce a new album, Anomaly is so incredibly worth the wait. I finally bought Anomaly today, (September 23, ’09, yeah, I am a week late from it’s release date), what an album of 12 songs. An unreal good album, a can’t miss for any fan of any Rock genre. I cannot stop listening to this new Ace Frehley album, oh darn. Anomaly for me, is one of those albums that I get contagious about and addicted to… oh darn. Before buying this album, I had not a clue as to what any of the songs sounded like. Man, what an incredible surprise to hear these songs for the first time… this album leans more towards Ace Frehley’s 1978 KISS solo album – not towards the sound of his Frehley’s Comet band from the late 1980’s. The Metal kicker is this… Anomaly rocks harder and heavier than the Ace Frehley 1978 KISS solo album, my ears cannot tell a lie. Where Anomaly gives a nod to 1978 is this: Old School Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. With that being said, Anomaly definitely embodies the grooves and heaviness of today’s Heavy Metal sound, while veering away from any resemblance of late 1980’s commercial heavy sound that was so popular in it’s day.

Ace Frehley - KISS solo pic smallAs I listen to Ace Frehley play guitar throughout Anomaly, all I can say to those who want to listen is this – Ace Frehley is back!! Ace Frehley shall remind the Rock and Roll world with all of it’s genres that yes, he can play guitar very well… and sing too. Ace Frehley’s vocals do not sound like a man who has been out of the recording studio for so many years, instead, it is my Metal opinion that Ace Frehley’s vocals are damn good and cool. Just listening to Anomaly takes me back to the days when quality songs were an important staple to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal bands. A sense of urgency to be real, is what I hear through the entirety of Anomaly, Ace Frehley has fused his very own Hard Rock and Heavy Metal sound with a nod to yesteryear, making Anomaly an album that far extends any relevance factor. From the song writing to the band backing up Ace Frehley here, this is a total album package. Ace Frehley has plenty of cool and damn good solo’s throughout this entire album, one of the many quality points of Anomaly.

I have been a KISS fan since the late ’70’s, I guess once you follow a pack of musicians throughout your entire life you feel lucky that they are still around and making music. Honestly, this Anomaly album is genuine, I wouldn’t just settle for liking an album because of it’s past KISS association. Here are my top choices for songs on Anomaly: Genghis Khan, Space Bear, Fractured Quantum and Fox On The Run. (I could list more, yet I have made my Metal point already). Genghis Khan Rocks out at 6:08, the rhythm section introduces this song in pumped up heavy fashion, just a tremendous song overall. Space Bear and Fractured Quantum are the two instrumentals, two songs that justify Ace Frehley as the brilliant guitar player he is, not to mention songwriter. Fox On The Run is a cover of the 1974 Sweet song, from their Desolation Boulevard album. What a blast of Rock this Ace Frehley version of Fox On The Run is, a fabulous cover version. Alright, here are a couple more standouts for me – It’s A Great Life is a Hard Rock song that takes me straight down Old School memory lane, with straight up lyrics to compliment it. A Little Below The Angels is a self reflective song by Ace Frehley, in my Metal opinion, a very cool song that is straight from the heart. In Metal summary, I give a boisterous yeah! Ace Frehley is back!!

Here are some Ace Frehley notes to enrich your Metal mind:

With the exception of Fox On The Run, Ace Frehley wrote every song on Anomaly, as well as producing the album. 

Anton Fig is the drummer on nine out of the twelve songs on Anomaly.

On the back cover of the Anomaly CD jacket sleeve, there reads: … And In Memory Of Eric Carr & Dimebag Darrell. This type of dedication to late friends, shows that Ace Frehley is a class act.

The CD digipak for Anomaly is die-cut with 5 sides, instructions are enclosed to build this packaging into a three dimensional pyramid. The album cover art concept and design is by Ace Frehley.

Be sure to check out Ace Frehley’s official website… it is really cool. http://www.acefrehley.com/

Ace Frehley "Anomaly" large album pic

Gene Simmons – My third favorite KISS solo album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock bands, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's hard rock bands, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's rock music, 1980's heavy metal bands, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock bands, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock 1978, classic rock albums, classic rock bands, classic rock music, classic rock songs, classic rock vocalists, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Gene Simmons, Hard Rock, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, hard rock vocalists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal cover songs, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1978, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, rock music vocals, rock vocalists, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

Kiss - Gene Simmons solo album small picGene Simmons, The Demon, bass guitarist for KISS, music producer and actor. (The many hats this legend has worn are numerous, quite the achiever is Gene Simmons, in my Metal opinion). Gene Simmons always seems to stay in the public eye, the limelight follows this Heavy Metal icon everywhere he goes… with “Celebrity Apprentice” and his very own family reality series “The Family Jewels” making his presence seen and known while KISS is idle. A short while back, I started writing about my favorite KISS solo albums, in preferential order, no less. Why am I doing this? First, I am celebrating the four original members of KISS, their solo albums being what I consider to be quite a historical achievement in Heavy Metal and Rock history. The quality across the board is apparent in the music that Gene, Paul, Ace and Peter created with their solo albums… my reminding and/or informing anyone who is interested in these great KISS solo albums makes for a fine Metal deed. For me to list in order, my favorite KISS solo albums, (it is not etched in Metal stone here), deciding the sequence of which album ranks 1 thru 4, is based on which album has given me the biggest Metal listening thrill over the decades.

As for the songs on this album, the best interpretation for me, as a whole, is Hard Rock and Rock Music that showcases the diversity in the vocals of Gene Simmons and the talent of his being a highly respectable guitarist. Gene Simmons plays electric and acoustic guitar throughout his solo album, he does not play bass guitar here. While with KISS, there are not many moments where Gene Simmons diversifies with his vocals, (that has always been fine with me), plus Gene Simmons plays bass guitar exclusively while with KISS. Looking back, this album was a great opportunity for Gene Simmons to eradicate the expected, delivering on the unexpected… “When You Wish Upon A Star” is the finest example that I could possibly point out. Now, do I like listening to Gene Simmons sing this song? As a teenager, back in the late 70’s into the ’80’s… no, I could never understand why Gene Simmons would have done this song. I actually would deliberately not listen to it after I heard it the first time. Fast forward to 2009, well, I now like this rendition of “When You Wish Upon A Star”, the softer side of Gene Simmons is rather a relaxing listen… (I guess I am getting softer as I get older). Plus, as a Metal bonus, my nine year old twin daughters really dig this song… and Gene Simmons too.

My favorite song is the album opener “Radioactive”, it just glistens with Old School KISS, courtesy of Gene Simmons, of course. His vocals are exactly what you would expect on this song, the commanding and sinister tone that is part of the Gene Simmons persona. I really like the vibe I get from “See You Tonite”, just a solid Rock song that has swirls of late ’70’s sound. “True Confessions” is another Classic Rock song that standouts with the background vocals of Helen Reddy… yes, Helen Reddy. This Gene Simmons solo album was the strongest seller out of the four KISS solo albums, I can honestly understand why, after owning and listening to these songs for years. This Gene Simmons album may not be my favorite out of the four KISS solo albums, yet it does not mean squat when I look at the big Metal picture… this Gene Simmons album is a Rock Classic.

Some of the guest musicians on this Gene Simmons solo KISS album: Rick Nielsen, guitarist of Cheap Trick appears on “See You In Your Dreams”, (Rick Nielsen’s name is spelled incorrectly, by the way, in this albums liner notes, Neilson), Bob Seger – background vocals on “Living In Sin” and “Radioactive”, Joe Perry of Aerosmith plays guitar on “Radioactive” and “Tunnel Of Love”, Donna Summer – background vocals on “Burning Up With Fever” and Cher – voice on phone call during “Living In Sin”. These guest music celebrities that appeared on this album make for excellent Rock Music trivia… not every Metalhead in the world is going to know that Donna Summer appeared on the Gene Simmons solo KISS album.

KISS Gene Simmons - solo album large pic

JOE SATRIANI “Surfing With The Alien” – My music of choice for today and many days to come

Posted in 1980's classic rock guitarists, 1980's hard rock albums, 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's instrumental rock albums, 1980's rock albums, 1980's rock music, 1980's classic rock, 1980's classic rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock songs, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, Guitar, Hard Rock, hard rock album review, hard rock guitarists, hard rock songs, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, instrumental guitar rock albums, Music, old school hard rock, old school heavy metal, Rock, rock guitarists, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I listened to Joe Satriani “Surfing With The Alien” all day today… in the car, in the house and back in the car once again. (Released in 1987, I own both the vinyl LP and CD). I have those days, where I choose that one CD and listen to it the entire day. Joe Satriani is without question, one of my favorite guitarists that ever lived. Pinning down who my favorite guitarist is of all time is too impossible of a task – there are just way too many guitarists across the entire Rock and Heavy Music spectrum that I revere. It’s not that I do not want to get controversial about naming an all time favorite guitarist, I named what I feel is the greatest Metal album of all time, in a previous post – (Black Sabbath, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”). There are just so many unique styles of playing out there, in the world of guitarists, I tend to draw from a cornucopia of these styles and enjoy what I hear from a vast array of players. Joe Satriani really nails it down, with pin point accuracy, on this album. Combining speed and clarity, while slowing things down at all the right moments, makes for a harmonious and melodic guitar instrumental experience, is the best quick summary for Joe Satriani on “Surfing With The Alien”. The daunting question of: Is Joe Satriani a Rock, Hard Rock or Heavy Metal guitarist? – can only be answered by stating Joe Satriani can play it all and play it with greatness. The catalog of albums that Joe Satriani has created over the years proves just that, the proof is in his music.

When I listened to “Surfing With The Alien” today, I never stopped to think about what these songs would be like if lyrics were to be put into the mix. (I am thinking it now, though). That is what a great guitar instrumental album will do for me, the focal point is the guitar brilliance of Joe Satriani, no vocals are necessary. The guitar play of Joe Satriani is what speaks, in essence, that is what it should do. I have always equated a great guitar player, as a musician who can make me hear and feel the emotion that erupts from the notes and chords they play. At 1:46, “Hill Of The Skull” may be one of the shortest songs on this album, yet this is the one that overflows the most emotional feeling – for me. Surfing With The Alien” is hands down, the most popular and fastest song from this album, a quick fix for getting back on my feet and body slamming any negative thoughts in my brain. If I had to describe this album in just two words, they would be: groove saturated. “Always With Me, Always With You” and “Echo” are not just crossover songs to lure the easy listening crowd into the outskirts of Heavy Music, these are songs that encapsulate the upbeat harmony and instinctive music writing genius of Joe Satriani.

My favorite song on “Surfing With The Alien” is Ice 9″. Oh man, do I really like this song. By process of elimination, there is going to be the one song out of the ten found here, that sends it straight through me.“Satch Boogie” is a song that reels me in as well, it shows just how dynamic Joe Satriani had become as a player, on just his second album release. Listening to just this CD today really did make my day that much better. It is not that often that I will listen to only one CD for an entire day… this has definitely been an exercise in Metal constraint for me. To not slap in some Death Metal, Black Metal or straight up Heavy Metal within today’s routine, only justifies how much I really enjoy this album and Joe Satriani’s guitar. Tomorrow I will go back to my daily mix of Metal listening, still I guarantee that I will crank up “Ice 9” once again.

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Ace Frehley – my second favorite Kiss solo album

Posted in 1970's classic rock albums, 1970's classic rock songs, 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, 1970's Rock, 1970's rock music, Album Review, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic heavy metal albums, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, classic rock music facts, cool album covers, essential classic rock albums, essential hard rock albums, essential heavy metal albums, essential rock albums, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Music, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage rock albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 9, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Ace Frehley will always be my choice pick for the guitarist of Kiss. Ace Frehley was the original guitarist and in my Metal opinion, the best at lead guitar for Kiss. I few posts ago, I stated that my favorite Kiss solo album of all time is Paul Stanley. I cannot backtrack that sentiment, the Paul Stanley album is for me, #1. With that said, out of the four Kiss solo albums, Ace Frehley is clearly my #2 choice. My fellow peer in Metal blogs over at The Metal Files, (a cool Metal Music blog that is worth the visits), commented his favorite Kiss solo album is Ace Frehley… this spurred me into delving into the Ace Frehley solo album once again. I do own the Ace Frehley solo album, (released on September 18, 1978), a record that has been with me for decades. I actually bought this Ace Frehley vinyl from a cut-out bin, from a small department store named Woolworths, back in the very early 1980’s. My Ace Frehley album has the top right corner actually cut off, therefore, that is probably why it was in a cut-out bin! Despite the cosmetic damage that this album cover suffered, the album itself and the large fold-out poster of Ace Frehley that was included with the album, never sustained damage from the cut-out process. (Each Kiss solo album had a large fold-out poster of the respective Kiss musician inside the album sleeve, with each of the four posters interlocking together, through die cuts, to form one giant Kiss collage, if you will).

Now, I have not ever owned the Ace Frehley solo album as a CD… until today. A trip to Best Buy had me, as usual, walking the CD aisles and staking out some Heavy Music that would pacify my Metal hunger. Well, Classic Heavy Metal has done it again… the Ace Frehley solo CD caught my eye, it was about time to upgrade my vinyl copy after all. I paid $7.99 for this Ace Frehley CD today, that is cheaper than buying a steak and a whole lot more gratifying too. “Rip It Out” and “Speedin’ Back To My Baby” are the first two tracks… I tag these two songs as being my two favorites. These songs have that Ace Frehley vibe happening, vocally of course, yet the guitar of Ace is so incredibly vintage. To plop a CD into the car stereo on the ride home and have the very first two songs crank like this… all I could say to myself as I drove was… Space Ace Rocks. As I continued to listen to Ace Frehley, it was a consistent reminder to me, as to how Rock legit his solo album was and still is. When I was much younger, back in 1978, I bought the 45 rpm of “New York Groove”, with the “B” side being “Snow Blind”. Both of these songs I do put on a Metal pedestal for the memories they stir… I was just a young, little dude playing this 45 record back in 1978, CD’s and ipods were non existent and The New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox – in a one game playoff for the American League East Division title. Plus, I had no bills to pay back in 1978 either. Ace Frehley as with all of the Kiss solo albums, bring back memories that money just can’t buy.

This Ace Frehley solo album did reach platinum sales status, (one million or more copies sold), peaking at #26 on the U.S. Billboard album charts as well. My fellow Metal blogging peer at The Metal Files commented Ace Frehley did not write “New York Groove”… Russ Ballard did. “New York Groove” peaked at #13 on the U.S. Billboard Singles chart. Not to sound like a television music show judge, excuse me by saying… Ace Frehley nailed it with “New York Groove”. Aw, heck, Ace Frehley nailed it on all nine songs too.

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Yngwie J. Malmsteen “Trilogy” – Classic Power Metal Music on high

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's power metal bands, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1986 heavy metal music, 1986 power metal albums, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, european power metal, guitar solos, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, old school heavy metal, Power Metal, power metal guitarists, power metal music, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150I always thoroughly enjoy the Metal musical intricacies that quality Power Metal embellishes. Yngwie J. Malmsteen “Trilogy”, (released in 1986), has the rich and textured heavy musical elements, that make this album an all time favorite of mine. If you embark on a listen of “Trilogy” and are unaware of Yngwie Malmsteen’s guitar virtuosity, then your ears and senses are in for a Metal treat. (If you hold total disdain for the Speed Metal genre that meets Power Metal, well this album is not for you). “Trilogy” is a Metal album for me, containing some of the most melodic Power Metal songs I have ever encountered. Certainly, the classical trained Yngwie Malmsteen takes Metal center stage, with his glistening guitar skills on this album, however, lead vocalist Mark Boals captivates my Metal attention just as well. Both the musicianship and vocals compliment each other in the highest of Metal fashion on “Trilogy”. In my Metal opinion, Mark Boals vocals adds a dimension of harmony that magnifies the song writing, lyrics and melodious brilliance on this album. Metal truth be spoken… this is my favorite Yngwie Malmsteen album ever. Each time I listen to these songs, I am sincerely amazed at how gifted a lyricist and song writer Yngwie Malmsteen is. I am not fibbing when I declare, that this is not one of the – run of the mill, 1980’s Heavy Metal albums out there. In fact, if I was to compile a list of must have 1980’s Heavy Metal albums, “Trilogy” would have to be on that list.

I feel what has captivated me, over the years with “Trilogy”, is the accessibility of the songs. I revere a great guitar solo and/or guitar instrumental any day of the year, with this Yngwie Malmsteen album you get the best of both, alongside songs that are injected with plenty of Metal highs and non-existent lows. “Crying” and “Trilogy Suite Op 5” are the two instrumentals that give Yngwie Malmsteen the spotlight, exemplifying that he was bred for this… no longer a rising star and in 1986 a legitimate star. “You Don’t Remember, I’ll Never Forget” opens up with the pumped up keyboards of Jens Johansson, Power Metal style. This song is my favorite on “Trilogy”, every second of this track is memorable for me. “Liar”, “Queen In Love” and “Fire” are of equal melodic value, that are Power Metal laced with emotion filled lyrics. The overall feeling I have always received from “Trilogy” is that Yngwie Malmsteen made a commercial style, Power Metal album, that really blazes along with catchiness at every turn. I have never likened Yngwie Malmsteen to be showy, I have always looked upon him as a complete musician. 

Sure, Yngwie Malmsteen had released albums in years prior to “Trilogy” that were heavier, yet does heavier always equate to never diversifying musically? In this case, with these songs, the answer is no. There are times when a Metal guitarist can make a song sound thick with passion and high emotion, on “Trilogy”, Yngwie Malmsteen makes all nine songs sound this way.

Yngwie J. Malmsteen – all electric, bass and acoustic guitars, Mark Boals – lead vocals, Jens Johansson – keyboards and Anders Johansson on drums 

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U.D.O. “Nailed To Metal” is live, world class Heavy Metal

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 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 heavy metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal drum solos, heavy metal from germany, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, heavy metal music 1983, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, live heavy metal albums, Metal, metal music, metal music this decade, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, old school heavy metal, rock music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands, vintage live heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

U.D.O. "Nailed To Metal" large picAccept is a legendary Heavy Metal Band from Germany, blazing through the late 1970’s and releasing crushing Old School Heavy Metal right up until 1996. U.D.O. is the Heavy Metal brainchild from the iconic lead singer from Accept… Udo Dirkschneider. U.D.O. released their first studio album in 1987, with “Animal House”… in 1988 their second studio album released, titled “Mean Machine”. U.D.O. has released many albums over the years, with their latest studio effort being “Mastercutor”, released in 2007. I have and always will be a huge fan of Udo Dirkschneider, Accept was an incredible Heavy Metal band, they never wavered or catered to any musical flavor of the day, just 100% Heavy Metal albums they released back in the day. With Udo carrying on his grand Heavy Metal career with U.D.O., it only makes me psyched – knowing this legend is still around. Udo may not receive the glamourous adulation from the mainstream Rock press like Rob Halford, Ronnie James Dio, Brian Johnson or Ozzy, however, he is just as important to the history of Heavy Metal as any of these lead singers are.

“Nailed To Metal” (subtitled “the missing tracks”), is a live, eleven song album, released back in 2003. The liner notes state that the songs were “recorded during the European Tour 2001”. Let me just say that… this live U.D.O. album does not just exemplify Heavy Metal, it is Heavy Metal. Hail U.D.O.! Thank you Germany! Udo Dirkschneider sounds just as prolific with his vocals on “Nailed To Metal” as he did on his Accept album “Breaker”… or any of his Accept albums for that matter. What I always anticipate from U.D.O. is that powerful, thunderous, monster of a sound from their Heavy Metal… “Nailed To Metal” brings it all and with the excitement of the live ambience. The Heavy Metal barometer explodes with the first two opening songs – “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond”. Both of these U.D.O. tracks are nothing short of Heavy Metal liberation, capturing the very essence of what Heavy Metal 101 is all about. The “Drum Solo” comes in at 4:26… (this is a Heavy Metal drum solo, not a Thrash or Death Metal drum solo), my point being, just as I am enamored by Extreme Metal, I embrace a cool, traditional, Heavy Metal drum solo in the spotlight, any day of the week. Lorenzo Milani on drums, is not out to compete with Neil Peart (of Rush), he is only out to play some solid drumming the Old School Heavy Metal way. In my Metal opinion, “Holy” and “Raiders Of Beyond” hold their own against classic Accept songs… and classic Accept songs are here.

The vintage “Fast As A Shark” and “Restless & Wild”, (from 1982), are unmistakably Heavy Metal defining, two throwback songs from the Accept catalog that have never lost their ability to supercharge me. “Metal Heart”, (from 1985), is an Accept song that careens into this live set like a long lost Heavy Metal friend. The closer of this live album is none other than… “Balls To The Wall”. At 8:48 long, I wish this Heavy Metal anthem would carry on for an hour… raising my fist to the air and banging my head never felt so good. Accept found their FM radio acceptance back in 1984 with “Balls To The Wall”, a trip down Heavy Metal lane “Nailed To Metal” is. Udo Dirkschneider was and always will be the voice of Accept, therefore U.D.O. does not just cover these legendary Accept songs, they celebrate them. With the combination of live U.D.O. and Accept Heavy Metal on “Nailed To Metal”, this album easily, hands down, gets five out of five beer kegs from me. Keep bringing the Heavy Metal U.D.O. and I will forever listen.

U.D.O. as they appear on “Nailed To Metal”: Udo Dirkschneider on vocals, Stefan Kaufmann on guitar, Igor Gianola on guitar, Fitty Wienhold on bass guitar and Lorenzo Milani on drums.

*As a Metal side note, the only Accept album that Udo Dirkschneider was not the lead singer on, was “Eat The Heat”, released in 1989. David Reece was the lead singer for this Accept album.

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My favorite KISS solo album is…

Posted in 1970's classic rock music, 1970's hard rock, 1970's heavy metal, 1970's heavy metal albums, 1970's heavy metal music, Album Review, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, hard rock album review, hard rock songs, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, Paul Stanley, vintage hard rock albums, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Each member of Kiss had released a solo album back on September 18, 1978. I remember back then, being a young Kiss fan, there was much to rejoice about… four new Kiss albums to choose from. Being just twelve years old, I could not just run out and buy all four new albums. Back in 1978, my parents did not have a bounty of expendable cash to dole out to me, thus I was only earning a quarter here and there for the yard work I did. (Sounds like the 1930’s or something, doesn’t it?). Instead, I waited patiently to obtain or receive as a gift, one or all of the Kiss solo albums. Not until January 26, 1979, did I receive the Paul Stanley solo album, as a birthday gift from my parents. To say that I was ecstatic on that day would be an understatement… Paul Stanley was and still is, my favorite musician and vocalist from Kiss. At that age, I remember just staring at the front cover portrait of Paul Stanley, holding the album jacket in my hands, thinking this was the greatest birthday of my entire life. The memories are so cool to reflect on… what is more cool is that Paul Stanley is still making music both solo, (“Live To Win”, October 24, 2006), plus with an upcoming new Kiss album.

I don’t know if it is just me, yet I feel the songs on this album could very well have been released recently, given the fact there are so many vintage Heavy Metal Bands being revived in recent years. Maybe it is due to my growing up with Kiss and these albums, that I do not find this music dated. Well, enough about the age and dates here… this is the album that boasts my favorite Heavy Metal ballad of all-time, it is “Hold Me, Touch Me (Think Of Me When We’re Apart)”. This song always held it together for me, with the melody, lyrics and Paul Stanley’s vocals being three parts of equal coolness. This album opener is “Tonight You Belong To Me”, a song I consider to be one of the heaviest out of the bunch. This song opens up with Paul Stanley singing as if he is about to embark on a slow ballad, this is definitely not the case. The Heavy Metal gravitational pull, swallows me right up with this great song. “It’s Alright” is another fine heavy song, it has for me, all the qualities to still psyche me out – with Paul Stanley’s vocals again, the ever important lyrics and of course, the music itself.

“Move On” is the one and only song on this album that I really have never grown to like. This is a song that I could not connect with, nor do I understand how it musically fit into the song list for this album. Obviously, “Move On” has never swayed my admiration for this Paul Stanley solo album. One song that does not meet my liking is not going to ruin an entire album of songs. Paul Stanley wrote every song on this album, while co-writing with Mikel Japp on “Move On”, “Ain’t Quite Right” and “Take Me Away (Together As One)”. Out of the four Kiss solo albums, Paul Stanley was and always has been my choice of favorite, this is not to take away from the Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Criss albums… it is just my personal taste. Besides, I do enjoy the other three solo albums too, just not in the same way as this Paul Stanley solo album. As a whole, I have always found this Paul Stanley solo album to be the catchiest, most melodic and more song driven out of the four, with some cool slices of Heavy Metal to go along with it.

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My favorite Ozzy Osbourne album is…

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, classic rock, classic rock music, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, ozzy, Ozzy Osbourne, rock and roll hall of fame inductees, rock keyboard musicians, rock vocalists, vintage heavy metal albums, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

I would like to take this opportunity, to let the entire world know, which Ozzy Osbourne album is my favorite of all time. Oops, it is a tie. “Blizzard Of Ozz”, (1980) and “Diary of a Madman”, (1981). Why, you may query? These first two Ozzy albums to me, represent the real, original, building block, style of Heavy Metal sound, that energized the 1980’s into the powerhouse Metal decade it was. Plus, lest we never forget, the greatness of the late Randy Rhoads on lead guitar, on both of these essential Heavy Metal albums.

It is very important to note that on the reissue version of “Blizzard Of Ozz”, during the re-mastering process, Mike Bordin is now on drums and percussion with Robert Trujillo on bass. The original drummer, on the original album, was Lee Kerslake and on bass was Bob Daisley. They are all fabulous musicians, I am not swayed either way. Don Airey is on keyboards for the original album. The key is that the legendary, late Randy Rhoads is the guitarist! Just to hear Randy play his signature sound on “I Don’t Know”, “Crazy Train” and “Mr. Crowley” still sends chills 28 years after this release. Randy Rhoads and his unique guitar sound and style truly helped shape the evolution of Heavy Metal and it’s many prominent guitarists for decades. This album is not just a turning point for Ozzy, it is a focal point of reference and reverence for so many Heavy Metal musicians and fans alike. A bonus track is added into this reissue, “You Lookin’ At Me Lookin’ At You”. This song is similar in structure to “Rock & Roll Rebel” from Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark At The Moon”. It is a song that is a welcomed addition to this classic album, any song is – that has Randy Rhoads playing. This album has stood the test of time, it feels strange for me to now say that the lyrics, song structure and arrangements with Randy Rhoads leads and riffs are powerhouse. Yet, with the new generation of Ozzy, Randy Rhoads and Heavy Metal fans, getting the word out after all these years is worth every second if it means passing this Heavy Metal jewel on to new listeners.

I know that I do reflect a couple of decades back, (quite often), in my posts… the reason is simple, this incredible Heavy Metal music was created and released decades ago! That is my point of relevance for me, so much of the Heavy Metal that I was into in the late 70’s onward, I still listen to this very day and is now considered classic and vintage. I can remember having the coolest algebra teacher back in High School, Mr. Z. was his name. Mr. Z. allowed his students to bring into class – albums to play on his stereo. How cool is that? It is not too often, with any generation, to reflect on any Algebra teacher from High School as being cool. Well, one of my buddies back then, brought into our class one day, the “Diary Of A Madman” album. This was really the first time I gave this Ozzy gem a thorough listen. I was ecstatic, thrilled beyond Metal belief upon hearing these tunes on this album. (Mr. Z. seemed to dig this Ozzy album too, I can still remember seeing his face showing the appreciation, while the Metal blared). Needless to say, my grades in Mr. Z.’s Algebra class were very respectable, due in part to the cool nonconventional way of teaching, using Heavy Metal as an inspiring teaching tool. Mr. Z. rocked back then, I hope he is still as cool today, wherever he may be.

With tracks such as “Over The Mountain”, “Believer”, “Little Dolls”, “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll”, “Flying High Again” and “S.A.T.O.”, the odds of ever hearing such amazing Heavy Metal songs this potent and on one album again, are pretty slim. Back in 1982, after listening to this Ozzy album, I was set Metal straight – for a lifetime.

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Paul Dianno “The Living Dead” is very much alive with Metal Music

Posted in 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, Album Review, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Extreme Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal solo vocalists, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, recent heavy metal albums, spooky metal album covers, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

main-150Paul Dianno “The Living Dead” was released on May 16, 2006. Why I lead with this, is due to my impatience for waiting on this album… I counted the days leading up to it’s release. It was like I was eight years old again, waiting for Christmas morning to come. For the few who may not know, Paul Dianno was the original lead singer for Iron Maiden. Paul Dianno was lead vocalist on the debut “Iron Maiden” album and the “Killers” album. Of course you can count bootlegs and the “Maiden Japan” EP as well, with having Dianno as lead vocalist. If it wasn’t for Bruce Dickinson taking over as lead vocalist for Iron Maiden, starting with the “666 The Number of the Beast” album, I would say that Paul Dianno could never be replaced as lead vocalist. However, It is my Metal opinion that comparing Paul Dianno to Bruce Dickinson is apples to oranges. Why compare? They are both completely different vocalists, both in style and range. The Paul Dianno fronted version of Iron Maiden, with the first two studio albums, (mentioned above), are undisputed Metal classics, that are revered and influential to countless Metal fans and/or Metal musicians. I feel Paul Dianno shares the same equal glory among the other original members of Iron Maiden for these albums being so iconic. (Phew, I got that off my chest, now I can blab about the actual album – “The Living Dead”).

The opening track “The Living Dead” is sung with power and emotion from Dianno – yeah, you can have emotion in Metal music. Lyrically, this song tackles loneliness, hunger and human despair. (Nope, this song is not about the cult horror film classic). This tune is a heavy – very heavy ballad if you will. For every song I mention on “The Living Dead”, bear in Metal mind, that this is a very, very heavy album. Dianno sounds more hungrier, angrier and confident than ever. (That is what my Metal ears are telling me anyways). “Mad Man In The Attic” has Dianno doing a little exploring, into the world of Death Metal vocals. These growling vocals are not constant throughout, Dianno apparently was looking for some vocal horror texture and he succeeds here, in my Metal opinion. I find Dianno to be a touch reminiscent of the legendary Alice Cooper on this song. “War Machine” is a tune built on speed and dark heaviness. “Brothers Of The Tomb” has Dianno hitting the extreme high notes vocally, with some angry gang vocals added into the mix as well. “P.O.V. 2005” is a down right Thrash Metal tune… excellent riffs and a very cool solo as well.

Dianno does a cover of the Megadeth classic “Symphony Of Destruction” – it is structured and arranged differently than the original version. The biggest difference is the vocals, plus this version is not nearly as fast overall, as to what Megadeth delivers. I like this cover for it’s diverse Metal approach though, the Megadeth original will always be the best. Two legendary Paul Dianno era – Iron Maiden tracks are included as live bonus tracks: “Wrathchild” and “Phantom Of The Opera”, the liner notes do not suggest that these live recordings were done with Iron Maiden, rather with Paul Dianno’s band. Dianno is all over these two tunes… the quality, musicianship and vocals of Dianno make these bonus tracks a worthwhile addition to “The Living Dead”.

The copy of “The Living Dead” I picked up back in 2006, has a bonus DVD that includes the video for the song “The Living Dead” and an interview with Paul Dianno. The video is dark, almost haunting with it’s imagery. Paul Dianno is shown alone, singing against the backdrop of images of strife, humanity and despair. The interview with Paul Dianno is very interesting, with really no details as to why he and Iron Maiden split ways decades ago. One neat bit of info that Dianno shared is that he feels Max Cavalera (of Sepultura & Soulfly fame) is currently the best lead vocalist in Metal today. Hey, I really like everything that Max Cavalera has done with Sepultura and Soulfly myself. I definitely recommend “The Living Dead” to any fan of Metal, especially Iron Maiden fans who want to hear some recent Paul Dianno, he did a fabulous Metal job with this album.

The Metal musicians behind Paul Dianno on “The Living Dead” are: Paulo Turin, Chico Dehira, Javier Cuevas and Claudio Duliba on guitars * Felipe Andreoli & Marcelo Bracalente on bass * Aquiles Prieser & German Rodriguez on drums.

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Ronny Munroe “The Fire Within” – Metal Church vocalist roars on solo debut

Posted in Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic metal, cover songs, current heavy metal albums, current heavy metal music, dio, essential heavy metal albums, Guitar, guitar solos, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 2009, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal solo albums, heavy metal solo artists, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, Metal Church, metal music, metal music today, Metal Reviews, Music, new heavy metal album, old school heavy metal, rainbow heavy metal band, ronnie james dio, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

30649First of all, I am a fan of Ronny Munroe, the current lead vocalist for Metal Church. I just happen to gravitate towards the Old School Metal sound, both vocally and musically. Ronny Munroe in my Metal opinion, has the unmistakable Old School Heavy Metal vocals… and in no way do I subscribe to the opinion that this sound is dated. This brand of Old School Heavy Metal has been proven successful for decades now. For me, it is another Metal genre that lives on. With that said, I have obtained a copy of the new Ronny Munroe debut CD… The Fire Within, (released 2009), I am impressed by the total package of music here. This is Heavy Metal made the old school way, no frills, bells or whistles get in the way of the straight ahead approach that Ronny Munroe has taken on with “The Fire Within”. Honestly, Ronny Munroe comes with his Metal Church – front man credentials… he delivers a mightily solid twelve tunes alongside some talented friends. Rick Van Zandt of Metal Church, plays lead and rhythm guitars superbly throughout, with Michael Wilton of Queensryche delivering a solo on two tracks I will mention.

“Across The Sea Of Souls” is the song I feel Ronny Munroe is at his finest, his vocals sound sharp, as if he has been singing this song his entire life. The Michael Wilton solo on this song is cool, I cannot ignore or resist his guitar talent. “Ivory Towers” and “Evil Genius” are tracks that showcase moments of the higher extreme of Ronny’s vocal range, (yes, think of Rob Halford), these songs are groove laden with images of 1980’s Arena Metal concerts in my mind! “Ride Me” is a Metal-macho tune that rocks heavy, the lyrics are tailor made for a Hair Metal band… Ronny makes this song work, Randy Cooper kicks in with a lean & mean solo, a Heavy Metal tune with plenty of swagger. “What You Choose To Call Hell (I Call Home)” comes across to me, as the signature track for Ronny on this album. It is dark, heavy, moody and effectively bridges the gap between Metal Church and Ronny Munroe’s solo career. Michael Wilton appears again here, providing another memorable solo.

After listening to “The Fire Within”, it is my Metal opinion, that Ronny Munroe places Old School Heavy Metal high on a pedestal. I hear while listening to this album, the influences of Judas Priest, Dio and Dio era Rainbow. My opinion could not be better solidified, after listening to “Man On The Silver Mountain” (a vintage Rainbow song), covered by Ronny Munroe. This being the last track, it fittingly closes out a fine Heavy Metal album of creative tunes. Ronny does a terrific cover of this song, I really enjoy this version a whole bunch. This cover version found here, is a fine tribute to an everlasting, Heavy Metal classic of a song. Ronny’s vocals at times, do have comparisons to the legendary Ronnie James Dio, especially on this classic Rainbow cover. I will say, my favorite will always be the original “Man On The Silver Mountain” as sung by Dio himself. In summary, “The Fire Within” will be an album that I will tune in to on a regular basis, it is what I like. I was looking forward to this solo album from Ronny, I have not been disappointed. I recommend Ronny Munroe’s debut solo effort to any fan of Old School Heavy Metal, 1980’s Heavy Metal, Rainbow and of course, Metal Church. New fans should just dive in… this brand of Metal needs to be passed on!

Upon searching for “The Fire Within”, I did locate this CD on the worlds greatest online record store… Century Media Records… aka… CM Distro.com. (I highly recommend CM Distro.com). “The Fire Within” is on an independent record label called Ratpak Records. *Not to leave out the cool musicianship of the following on this album: Izzy Rehaume on bass guitar, Rick Pierce on rhythm guitar, Johnny Ringo and David Van Zandt on drums.

Ronny Munroe "The Fire Within"

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