Archive for heavy metal guitarists

CRISS OLIVA – Remembering This Guitar Legend On The Anniversary Of His Passing

Posted in guitarists, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, Metal, metal bands, metal music, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , on October 17, 2013 by Metal Odyssey

Savatage - Ghost In The Ruins - A tribute to Criss Oliva - promo cover

CRISS OLIVA was the co-founder of the iconic SAVATAGE and the younger brother to (The Man Of Music) Jon Oliva. Criss Oliva was (and still is) a guitarist who has inspired and influenced countless of musicians across our planet. Criss Oliva’s tragic death on October 17th, 1993, from an oncoming drunk driver was a tremendous shock to the music world. The music of Criss Oliva lives on and he shall never be forgotten by this fan.

Below was a reminder I came across this morning, from Bryan Holland, co-founder/guitarist and songwriter of the outstanding Metal band Reverence, that the 20th anniversary of Criss Oliva’s passing is today.

As reported on the Reverence Facebook page:

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the passing of Criss Oliva, guitarist of Savatage. Please take a few minutes today and listen to this hugely talented band and massively underrated guitarist who personally influenced Pete Rossi and myself’s playing and writing more thank anyone else ever has.

You won’t regret it…Keep his and the band’s music alive, that way Criss and Savatage will live on forever.

~ Bryan Holland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKNIHaBCkcw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0ZRDWH7G0Q

Metal Odyssey Note: The drummer for Reverence, Steve Wacholz, is also a co-founding member of Savatage. Criss Oliva’s former Savatage bandmate, the legendary Chris Caffery, wrote a heartfelt piece about Criss Oliva today as well; you can read it by going to the Savatage Facebook page here: Savatage

Savatage - Ghost In The Ruins - A tribute to Criss Oliva - promo cover

After I read memorial pieces that Bryan Holland and Chris Caffery wrote, I knew I had to listen to Savatage today in memory of Criss Oliva. The Savatage CD I chose from my collection: Ghost In The Ruins – A Tribute To Criss Oliva. This CD was released back in 1995, via Nuclear Blast America. All 13 songs are live and the sound is stellar! I included in the track listing (below) the year and venue for each song’s live recording. The production by Paul O Neill and Jon Oliva I applaud for having this CD sound like a continuous concert performance, with no silent breaks between the songs.

I honestly just bought this CD (used) for the first time, over this past Summer, for an amazing price of $2.99 (U.S.) at Omega Music, in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Unreal. To say I recommend this Tribute To Criss Oliva CD is an understatement! Hearing the guitar wizardry of Criss Oliva on this CD is incredible! The Criss Intro (guitar solo) is grand! The finale is Post Script, which is a sound check by Criss Oliva; it makes for a fittingly perfect way to end this CD. This Savatage lineup was simply… superb.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to see Savatage (back in 1987) perform live, as they were out supporting their Metal classic: Hall Of The Mountain King. I feel very, very fortunate.

SAVATAGE – Lineup On GHOST IN THE RUINS – A TRIBUTE TO CRISS OLIVA:

Jon Oliva – vocals and keyboards

Criss Oliva – guitar

Johnny Lee Middleton – bass

Chris Caffery – guitar

Steve Wacholz – drums

GHOST IN THE RUINS – A TRIBUTE TO CRISS OLIVA

City Beneath The Surface – N.Y.C. – The Ritz – 1990

24 Hours Ago – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988

Legions – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988

Strange Wings – Spectrum Coliseum – Philadelphia – 1988

Gutter Ballet – Los Angeles Palace – 1990

When The Crowds Are Gone – Hollywood Palace – 1990

Of Rage And War – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990

The Dungeons Are Calling – Long Island – Nassau Coliseum – 1988

Sirens – Long Island – Nassau Coliseum – 1988

Hounds – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990

Criss Intro – Cleveland – Agora – 1987

Hall Of The Mountain King – Brooklyn – Lamour – 1990

Post Script – Sound Check – Hollywood Palace – 1990

Savatage - Classic Logo - B&W

* For More Info On The Life Of CRISS OLIVA:

http://www.crissoliva.com

* For More Info On SAVATAGE:

http://www.savatage.com

Stone - Motorhead Tee  pic:small

LONG LIVE THE LEGACY OF SAVATAGE.

REST IN PEACE, CRISS OLIVA.

Stone.

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Mark Reale (RIOT Founder, Guitarist) – Rest In Peace

Posted in classic rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, Power Metal, rock music, rock music news, speed metal with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

Mark Reale, founder and guitarist for RIOT passed away on January 25, 2012, at age 56. Mark was also the cofounder and guitarist for the Hard Rock band Westworld. The following is a direct quote from The Official Web Site of Mark Reale:

“Our brother Mark Reale went home to be with our Lord this day, January 25th, 2012 after a long battle and complications from Crohns disease”. You can read more by clicking here: Mark Reale – Official Web Site

RIOT originates from New York City. Mark Reale and RIOT have influenced and shaped the foundation of American Power Metal, not to mention influencing countless musicians and bands the world over. The Heavy Metal of RIOT and musicianship of Mark Reale will forever be one of a kind. Metal Odyssey expresses condolences to the family, bandmates, friends and fans of Mark Reale. May Mark Reale rest in peace.

Mark Reale

1955-2012

Cory Smoot CD Release / Memorial Show Is A Huge Success

Posted in Heavy Metal, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal news, metal music, Music, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , on January 16, 2012 by Metal Odyssey

On Saturday night, January 7th, 2012, the Metal community took another step in dealing with the tragic death of long-time GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot by holding the first of two events in a three-show schedule of shows designed to support the Smoot Family Foundation and honor the life of this prolific artist, who died of a heart attack this past November at the age of only 34.

Cory had played the role of Flattus Maximus in the world’s most infamous band for eleven years, as well as participated in many side projects, while at the same time producing and engineering tons of records at his always busy Karma Studios. In doing so he had become a treasured part of the local and national Metal scene, and they turned out in force to both events, opening their hearts to Cory’s family in a completely selfless display of solidarity, respect, and generosity.

Cory’s widow, Jaime, who is pregnant with Cory’s child, had this message for the fans-

“I want to sincerely thank ALL the friends and fans for their amazing donations and support!! Thanks to Eve and Brent for organizing the events, to the businesses that contributed raffle prizes, and to the venues and bands for making the shows awesome!! You guys made Cory, the baby and me very proud!”

Show highlights included Lamb of God lead singer Randy Blythe singing for thrashers Cannabis Corpse. Blythe was later joined by Municipal Waste lead singer Tony Foresta in shearing off five years of hair from GWAR lead singer Dave Brockie’s head, which was raffled off to a lucky winner but ended up everywhere. But the most stirring performance came from Cory’s band mates Mensrea, who pulled themselves together for a powerful and emotional tribute to the life of this truly amazing man.

The show Saturday night at the Canal Club was also the CD release party for Cory’s solo record, When Worlds Collide, which will be coming out on Metal Blade Records soon. The next planned event is on March 16th, when GWAR, Municipal Waste, and Ghoul will play at the National Theater. All funds raised at the show will go to the Smoot Family Fund. For those who can’t make it and still wish to donate, they can do so HERE.

(Source: Metal Blade Records News Update)

Rest In Peace, Cory Smoot.

Stone.

George Lynch – Guitar Legend: Happy Birthday From Metal Odyssey!

Posted in celebrity birthdays, classic rock, guitarists, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2011 by Metal Odyssey

GEORGE LYNCH – Influential and legendary guitarist and songwriter – George Lynch, aka “Mr. Scary” turns 57 years young today. George Lynch was born on September 28th, 1954. Happy Birthday George!

George Lynch has had an amazing career in Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, with his notable tenure as Dokken’s lead guitarist being an important chapter in Heavy Metal and Hard Rock history. George’s post Dokken career is yet another standout chapter in Heavy Music history. George has enjoyed much admirable success with his Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band Lynch Mob along with his highly respected solo career.

Back on July 19th, 2011, the brand new George Lynch album Kill All Control was released. This blazingly Hard Rockin’ and Heavy Hittin’ album features the virtuosic guitar of George Lynch, while boasting the vocals of: Marc TorienWill Marten and Keith St. John.

I once had the pleasure to interview George Lynch back in 2010 for Rob Rockitt’s industry-wide respected Hard Rock Hideout. To say George was a genuine and nice guy while we conversed is an underestimation. George loves to play and listen to all kinds of music and you can read all about it for yourself, by clicking on the large header link below:

GEORGE LYNCH – THE HARD ROCK HIDEOUT INTERVIEW!

* For more info on GEORGE LYNCH, click on the link below:

George Lynch – The Official George Lynch Website

LONG LIVE GEORGE LYNCH.

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.

RUDOLF SCHENKER – HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM METAL ODYSSEY!

Posted in classic rock music, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock and roll, rock guitarists, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

RUDOLF SCHENKER – Born on August 31, 1948, Rudolf Schenker turns a Rockin’ cool… 62! Tuesday, August 31, 2010, is Rudolf Schenker day at Metal Odyssey! Happy Birthday Rudolf! Metal Odyssey wishes you all the very best in your Metal endeavors on your birthday! May all the peace, love and good health be with you always!

Words cannot express, just how much your music with the Scorpions has meant to me, during my whole life.

* Pictured in above Scorpions photo, left to right: Pawel Maciwoda, Klaus Meine, Matthias Jabs, James Kottak and the birthday dude… Rudolf Schenker!

* On June 27, 2010, I posted about my Rockin’ experience seeing the Scorpions live at the 2010 M3 Rock Festival. Click on the big ol’ link below to read about it if you like:

SCORPIONS AT M3 ROCK FESTIVAL 2010 – THANK YOU SCORPS!!

LONG LIVE RUDOLF SCHENKER!

LONG LIVE SCORPIONS ROCK ‘N’ ROLL!

Stone.

VINNIE VINCENT INVASION “ALL SYSTEMS GO” – 1988 ALBUM REVISITED!

Posted in guitar legends, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

VINNIE VINCENT INVASTION – As years pass, Hard Rock and Heavy Metal CD’s seem to stack up. Many of them unfortunately can get pushed to the side, it is a reality that most of us Metalheads out there share. I only have one set of ears and so many hours in the day, therefore, listening to new releases and older issues can make for quite the Metal balancing act. Step in please… Vinnie Vincent Invasion – All Systems Go. Released in 1988, this was the second and last album from Vinnie Vincent Invasion.

Recently, Best Metal Buddy Scott Coverdale, passed on to me the All Systems Go CD, to feed into my Heavy Metal hungry mind. In Scott’s ever challenging endeavor to consistently research Hard Rock and Heavy Metal history, digging up this album has proved to be quite the Metal deed. This is yet another 1980’s Heavy Metal release that I still have, stashed away on cassette and never upgraded to CD or Mp3… until now, thanks to Coverdale. By the way… Coverdale doesn’t “do” cassettes. Go figure. Maybe I’m just a stubborn Old School corn-dog after all.

Oh, yeah… let’s get into All Systems Go. I’ll readily admit, it has been a very, very, long time since I listened to this Vinnie Vincent Invasion album. That’s just the way it’s turned out. Being the “huge” Mark Slaughter and Slaughter fan I am… shame on my Metal soul. Being the lead vocalist on this album proved to be Mark Slaughter’s career breakout and he sings the daylights out of these songs. Dana Strum plays a thick and mean-ass bass on this album too. Bobby Rock on drums sounds dynamite… as always.

Then there’s Vinnie Vincent on guitar. Really, what can I say? Vinnie Vincent sure can play, that’s damn certain. His signature is all over the songs on All Systems Go and rightfully so, this former KISS guitarist is one of the best axe wielders from that amazing 80’s era of Heavy Metal. Really, that’s how I feel, regardless of how few albums Vinnie Vincent may have appeared on back then. To my ears, Vinnie made the most of what music he created and/or played on with KISS and of course, his own band.

This lineup of Vinnie Vincent Invasion had that 100% “look” of Hair Metal back in ’88, only this album really doesn’t have that stereotypical sound of that genre, in my Metal opinion. I always point directly at the music when defining what “genre” a band fits into. Between Mark Slaughter’s vocals and Vinnie Vincent’s guitar, it’s all pure Heavy Metal to me.

As I listen to All Systems Go now, the thought of what could have been certainly does cross my Metal mind. Needless to say, it’s the albums that do exist from Vinnie Vincent Invasion… that matters most. Besides, I have never been very good with what ifs? anyways. The ever Hard Rockin’ and super melodic Slaughter was eventually born from this Vinnie Vincent Invasion lineup, as fine an offshoot I could ever wish for.

Scott Coverdale likens All Systems Go to unearthing a gem that has been buried away for twenty years. I can’t conveniently argue with him on that analogy. All Systems Go, twenty years later, still is a super inviting album of late ’80’s Heavy Metal, which is undoubtedly loaded with all the melodic fun and arena color of that very loud and proud decade… that I love to revisit time and again.

VINNIE VINCENT INVASION (As they appeared on All Systems Go):

Mark Slaughter – vocals

Vinnie Vincent – guitars & backing vocals

Dana Strum – bass & backing vocals

Bobby Rock – drums

Track Listing For All Systems Go:

Ashes To Ashes

Dirty Rhythm

Love Kills

Naughty Naughty

Burn

Let Freedom Rock

That Time Of Year

Heavy Pettin’

Ecstasy

Deeper and Deeper

Breakout

The Meltdown (Instrumental/Bonus CD Track)

Ya Know I’m Pretty Shot (Instrumental/Bonus CD Track)

Stone.

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