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MAGIC “A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO” – DESERVES A LOUD METAL BRAVO!

Posted in classic rock, classic rock music, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal legends, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, power metal music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MAGIC/A TRIBUTE TO RONNIE JAMES DIO – This compilation of songs, paying tribute to the late and forever legendary Ronnie James Dio, was released on July 20, 2010, on Magic Circle Music. The executive producer for this album is Joey DeMaio, bass guitarist and founding member of Metal legends… MANOWAR. Joey is also the founder and man-in-charge of Magic Circle Music, starting this record label back in 2005. HolyHell, Feinstein and Jack Starr’s Burning Starr are just a few of the many bands under the Magic Circle Music label and appearing on this tribute album as well.

The assemblage of Metal Bands heard on this Ronnie James Dio Tribute album gives it more added appeal, these are bands that are not vying for position at any Hollywood plastic awards shows, which brings a huge sigh of relief to me. Sincerity in Metal is key, especially when it comes to a tribute album for such a legend as Ronnie James Dio. In other words, you won’t hear any “club mix” or “flavor of the month” band here. It’s all real, especially when “The Kings Of Metal” themselves, are included on this album – MANOWAR. Their presence alone solidifies and justifies all the more reason to buy, listen to and enjoy this Ronnie James Dio Tribute. This album contains cover songs from Ronnie James Dio’s career with Rainbow and Black Sabbath, songs in which Ronnie not only sung his heart out on but cowrote as well.

There are two songs that are the exception here and are not covers, they are – Far Beyond by Feinstein and Never More by Neoclassical guitarist Dean Cascione. Far Beyond is from the debut album by Feinstein – Third Wish. David “Rock” Feinstein, (original guitarist for Elf and later guitarist/vocalist for the influential Heavy Metal Band – The Rods), can play some lean & mean Metal guitar. He displays his guitar prowess on Far Beyond, making for a fabulous salute to his cousin and former Elf band mate, Ronnie James Dio. Whoa, is this song melodic and John West on vocals is an absolute Metal treat to thine ears.

Dean Cascione showcases his guitar skills in a moving and emotional instrumental that is Never More. If Dean’s guitar could speak, it would be saying… thank you Ronnie, you are so missed. That is exactly how I interpret this guitar instrumental, with having it’s rightful place amongst the other songs on this album. Straight Through The Heart covered by Harlet just flat out Rocks. Todd Michael Hall on vocals is excellent… as he gives this DIO classic it’s just revered due.

MANOWAR cuts loose with the first song, a cover of the revered – Heaven And Hell. MANOWAR unleashes their very own thunder strike of Metal into Heaven And Hell, all the while adhering to this song’s original tempo and mystically dark mood. The bass of Joey DeMaio is heavily prominent in this cover, just as Geezer Butler’s bass is in the original. What a tremendous way to get this Ronnie James Dio Tribute album moving!

HolyHell covers Holy Diver, it’s a live recording done somewhere in Norway. Maria Breon on vocals brings another listening dimension to this ultra classic DIO song. Maria’s eloquent vocal style combined with the Power Metal of HolyHell comes recommended by Stone. I really enjoy listening to this cover and to this band. MetalForce covers The Last In Line. This Power Metal version is a mighty listen with Tristan Visser on guitar leaving quite a Metal impression on me, he takes on the solo with fearless Metal fury. Tarek Maghary on vocals gives The Last In Line the Old School emotion it so deserves.

Now, let’s talk about Jack Starr’s Burning Starr… unreal is the cover version of Catch The Rainbow by this legendary guitarist and his band. Todd Michael Hall on vocals is brilliant. Catch The Rainbow is without question, the most soothing Hard Rock song I have ever listened to… both the Rainbow original and this cover version as well. I’d have to pick this song along with the Heaven And Hell cover from Manowar as the two best songs on this album.

For those who may not know, Jack Starr was the founder and guitarist for the highly influential and renowned 1980’s Power Metal Band from New York – Virgin Steele. After the Virgin Steele era, Jack Starr continued onward with Burning Starr, his solo career, revisiting his love for the blues and having a stake in a few other bands. I could continue on and on with the history of Jack Starr… we’ll just leave that for another post in the future. After Burning Starr’s two decade absence of an album, Defiance was released in 2009 on Magic Circle Music. Defiance marks the fifth studio album release from Jack Starr’s… Burning Starr.

Joey DeMaio and all of these bands mentioned, have delivered quite the Old School and well deserved tribute to the late/great Ronnie James Dio with this compilation album. The historical Heavy Metal linkage associated with this tribute album is a thrill in and of itself! Combine this history with a few younger Metal bands that appear here and Magic – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio truly bridges the gap between generations of Metal Bands and fans. Even the liner notes seem to glisten with that “days of Metal yesteryear” image. The four pages of photo’s celebrating Ronnie James Dio, within the liner notes, show him as a member of The Electric Elves, Rainbow and Black Sabbath.

I guess my Metal enthusiasm has essentially spilled over on writing about this tribute album to Ronnie James Dio. What I walk away with, after listening to all of the songs on this album and realizing the history behind the music, is that the Heavy Metal genre is very much a diverse and well connected family tree. And this family tree I will continue to climb, love and explore for the rest of my Metal life.

* The very cool & Metal album cover illustration is by – Ken Kelly.

* For more info on the bands involved in this great tribute album to Ronnie James Dio, just click on the helpful links below:

MANOWAR – Official Website

MAGIC CIRCLE MUSIC

FEINSTEIN – Official Website

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – Official Website

Jack Starr’s Burning Starr – myspace music page

HOLYHELL – Official Website

HOLYHELL – myspace music page

METALFORCE – myspace music page

DEAN CASCIONE – Official Website

Track Listing For MAGIC – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio:

Heaven And Hell – Manowar

Holy Diver (Live In Norway)HolyHell

The Last In Line Metalforce

Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll Magic Circle All Star Band

I Speed At Night Awaken

A Light In The Black Crosswind

Never More Dean Cascione

Far BeyondFeinstein

Straight Through The HeartHarlet

Catch The RainbowJack Starr’s Burning Starr

* A Metal Roll Call To The Bands Heard On  Magic – A Tribute To Ronnie James Dio:

MANOWAR:

Eric Adams – vocals

Donnie Hamzik – drums

Karl Logan – guitar

Joey DeMaio – bass

HOLYHELL:

Maria Breon – vocals

Joe Stump – guitar

Francisco Palomo – keyboards

Jay Rigney – bass

Rhino – drums

METALFORCE:

Tarek Maghary – vocals

Tristan Visser – guitar

Jan Raddaatz – drums

Magic Circle All Star Band:

Sammy “Shmoulik” Avigal – vocals

Joe Stump – guitar

Jack Starr – guitar

AWAKEN:

Glenn DaGrossa – vocals

Artie Dillon – guitar & vocals

Joe Todaro – guitar

Freddy Villano – bass

Nick D’Alessandro – drums

CROSSWIND:

Kyriakos Vasdokas – vocals & guitar

Leon Tsorbatzoglou – guitar

Vasilis Mitsaris – drums

Guest Musician: Yiannis Papadopoulos – backing vocals

DEAN CASCIONE – guitar

FEINSTEIN:

David “Rock” Feinstein – guitar

John West – vocals

Jeff Howell – bass

Nate Horton – drums

Bob Twining – keyboards

HARLET:

Todd Michael Hall – vocals

Tod Walraven – guitar

Jon Hall – bass

Doug Julian – drums

JACK STARR’S BURNING STARR:

Jack Starr – guitar

Todd Michael Hall – vocals

Ned Michael Meloni – bass

Guest Musician: Rhino – drums

LONG LIVE THE MUSIC OF RONNIE JAMES DIO.

REST IN PEACE, RONNIE JAMES DIO.

Stone.

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MANOWAR – “WARRIORS OF THE WORLD UNITED” METAL MUSIC VIDEO DEFENDS FREEDOM!

Posted in 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal bands, 1980's metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's metal bands, 1990's power metal music, 2002 heavy metal albums, 2002 metal music, american heavy metal bands, cool album covers, current heavy metal bands, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, Metal, metal music, metal music albums, metal odyssey, Music, old school heavy metal, old school heavy metal bands, old school metal bands, power metal bands, power metal music, power metal songs, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

MANOWAR. THE KINGS OF METAL. I have always stated… I won’t argue with them on that. I’m cool with it. I have always pumped my fists into the air to Manowar Metal. Manowar is a core Metal Band for me. Warriors Of The World United is an absolute tremendous Metal anthem – defending the freedom we all cherish. Freedom I shall never, ever, take for granted. Manowar is an American Metal Band that I shall never take for granted. There are those Metal Bands and the songs they write, that stand for what I believe in… Manowar and Warriors Of The World United exemplifies this. Warriors Of The World United resonates the spirit and pride of being free, wherever you may live, especially in this undisputed great country of The United States of America. I cannot control the feeling of getting psyched out, each and every time I listen to this song. Hopefully, you may like this song and video as much as I do. I am proud to be an American, a Metalhead and a fan of Manowar. Long live MANOWAR!

* For all the latest Metal news and happenings with MANOWAR, check out their official website by clicking this link: MANOWAR – Official Website

* Manowar released the album Warriors Of The World, on Nuclear Blast Records, June 4, 2002.

MANOWAR as they appeared on the album Warriors Of The World:

Eric Adams – lead vocals

Karl Logan – guitar and keyboards

Joey DeMaio – bass guitar

Scott Columbus – drums

MANOWAR – “Battle Hyms” 1982 album is required Heavy Metal Music

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's power metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal songs, 1980's metal music, Album Review, classic heavy metal albums, classic metal, essential heavy metal albums, essential metal music albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal albums 1982, heavy metal bands this decade, heavy metal guitarists, heavy metal music, heavy metal music 1982, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, metal odyssey, Metal Reviews, Music, old school heavy metal, Power Metal, power metal music, vintage heavy metal albums, vintage heavy metal bands with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 21, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

14727432Manowar plays Heavy Metal, their name screams Heavy Metal and they are Heavy Metal with a hundred exclamation points. “Battle Hymns” (released in 1982), was the first album from this prolific and what I consider historic Heavy Metal band. Why historic? Well, the last time I checked, Manowar held the Guinness Book of World Records title for having the loudest live performance. (I always disliked the word performance, especially when it relates to Heavy Metal). Besides being extremely loud, Manowar presented upon the world of Heavy Metal a gloriously lean, mean and heavy album with “Battle Hymns.” All eight songs on this album are laced with forcefully driven guitar leads, riffs and all things sacred to Heavy Metal. The first two song titles say it all – “Death Tone” and “Metal Daze”. What I like most about this album is that there is absolutely not one second of waste to be heard… from start to finish this is muscular, Old School, 500% – Heavy Metal. Of course, this Metal adulation I have for Manowar and “Battle Hymns” is all my Metal opinion, however, this is an album that needs to be heard by todays younger generation of Heavy Metal fans.

Manowar never complicated anything with their brand of Heavy Metal, no smoke and mirrors to be found. What can be so difficult about embracing heavy, loud and melodic music? In my Metal opinion, the Heavy Metal of Manowar is just as essential as any of the basic food groups. I could thrive just fine, on the Metal of Manowar, if it was to be the only music left on earth. “Death Tone” opens this initial album as if it is unleashing Manowar onto the universe, with their sole purpose to spread the word of Heavy Metal on every living being in existence. “Metal Daze” is my favorite song from “Battle Hymns”, it is the musical personification of Heavy Metal. What would a Manowar album be like without a battle song? It would be like having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the bread. “Battle Hymn” takes care of the need for listening to a Manowar call to battle… Heavy Metal style. “Dark Avenger” is another standout song on an album of standout songs, plus the narration found in the midst of this powerful and heavy music, by the late Orson Welles, adds to the mythical ambiance. 

I find the lead vocals of Eric Adams to be very reminiscent of early and legendary Judas Priest vocalist , Rob Halford. Ross The Boss without any doubt in my mind, exhibits some of the finest Heavy Metal guitar licks I have ever heard… a guitarist that commands and justifiably earns my Heavy Metal respect. “Fast Taker” is a song that sounds better each time I listen to it, even if it has been a zillion listens. “Shell Shock” is a Heavy Metal song that I always wanted to crank up extremely loud in my car, with the windows down, while at a crowded intersection of uptight people. (Maybe that wish will come through for me one of these days). “Manowar” is a Heavy Metal call to conquer, this song is not just named after the band, it signifies their tenacity and perseverance as a leader of the Heavy Metal genre. No matter how loud I play this album, there is the thought that this Heavy Metal has been played louder… rightfully so. If Heavy Metal 101 really did exist, as a college course, I would feel confident that “Battle Hymns” would be a required listen and study as to just how Heavy Metal was molded, American style, courtesy of the great Manowar.

Manowar, as they appeared on their first album, “Battle Hymns” from 1982: Eric Adams on lead vocals, Ross “The Boss” Friedman on guitars & keyboards, Joey DeMaio on four & eight string bass & bass pedals and Donnie Hamzik on drums & percussion.

ManowarBattlehymns

Heavy Metal 101: 10 (or more) most underrated Metal albums you need to know

Posted in 1980's heavy metal albums, 1980's heavy metal music, 1980's metal music, 1980's thrash metal, 1990's heavy metal music, Album Review, Black Metal, Black Sabbath, classic metal, cool album covers, essential heavy metal albums, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album covers, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal music, Heavy Metal Reviews, horror metal, king diamond, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Motorhead, Music, old school heavy metal, Over Kill, Power Metal, speed metal, Thrash Metal, thrash metal album review, thrash metal music, thrash metal music reviews, tony iommi heavy metal guitarist, vintage heavy metal albums with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

 

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If you are a veteran Metalhead, these ten (or more) Metal albums that I consider underrated may not surprise you. Heck, you may already have owned them for several years or even decades. In the Metal event you are a new recruit to the dynamic world of Heavy Metal, welcome aboard and go out and BUY THESE METAL ALBUMS for they will serve you right! Oh, what do I mean by underrated? Well, for starters, these are Classic/Vintage Metal albums that do not seem to get enough attention these days – as I surf around the world wide web, these are the albums that tend to go unnoticed for some oddball reason or another. It is my goal to surround the readers of Metal Odyssey with the knowledge necessary, to make prudent Metal album buying decisions too. These ten Metal albums, in my Metal opinion, have most definitively stood the test of Metal time. Enjoy and absorb this list, please note that these Metal albums are not in any specific order. (These Metal albums are my own personal choices for most underrated, I am sure many knowledgeable Metalheads out there will have differing opinions).

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MERCYFUL FATE – “MELISSA” – King Diamond, plus, absolutely NO radio friendly tunes found here. This band laid down a whole bunch of Black Metal groundwork for others to learn from.

TWISTED SISTER – “YOU CAN’T STOP ROCK ‘N’ ROLL” – Just before Dee Snider & the boys became really famous. I find this album to be just as inspiring today as it was in 1983. My favorite Twisted Sister album.

BLACK SABBATH – “BORN AGAIN” – Ian Gillian on vocals, ’nuff said. O.K., this is one tough album or CD to find. “Trashed” is very heavy stuff, a very fast Black Sabbath tune. This version of Black Sabbath is incredibly good. Bev Bevan of Electric Light Orchestra fame actually was the drummer on the “Born Again” Tour during 1984/85. That is correct. You did read this right. Now that is cool, having an ELO and Black Sabbath connection. 

MOTORHEAD – “ANOTHER PERFECT DAY” –  Of all the Motorhead albums, this one deserves more respect. The tune “One Track Mind” is reason alone to own this vintage Motorhead release, plus the album cover artwork and liner notes are extremely diabolical and cool. 

GRIM REAPER – “See You In Hell” – The album title says it all… the title track “See You In Hell” is for me, a Heavy Metal anthem that brings back memories to my Metal heart. This was one heavy duty band for me… worth every Metal second of listening enjoyment. Overall, great band, great album, I wish they could have done twenty albums.

EXODUS – “FABULOUS DISASTER” – Gary Holt is such an important guitar player in Thrash Metal history. Exodus is always grouped in with the Thrash Metal originators. In my Metal opinion, each original Bay Area Thrash Band is just as important as the next… I am giving Exodus their just due here and “Fabulous Disaster” is just that, fabulous Thrash Metal.

VINNIE MOORE – “MINDS EYE” – Hey, this guy can play guitar. Heavy Metal guitar too. An all Metal instrumental album could never hurt no one, especially a Metalhead. Listening to Vinnie Moore in college helped me get unreal grades in fine arts, I am not kidding. I drew some of my best stuff listening to Vinnie Moore – thanks Vinnie.

MANOWAR – “HAIL TO ENGLAND” – Very loud and Old School Metal. This album has all the Metal attitude and heavy music you could ever ask for, plus, as a bonus, these guys are quality Metal musicians too! There are those times, when I need a cool Power Metal band that is Old School, that I can sing along to. They very well might be… “The Kings of Metal” as they advertise… heck, I would never think of telling them they are not.

OVER KILLEvery album they have ever made. Yeah, this sounds crazy, yet these guys are that great at playing Thrash Metal. Over Kill always seems to have been the hardest working Thrash band on the planet, with no star status or star treatment from the wide world of professionally paid critics. Different lineups throughout the years has not affected my loyalty… as long as there is Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D.D. Verni leading this potent Thrash attack, I am Metal happy.

W.A.S.P. – “K.F.D.” – This is one heavy, monster of a W.A.S.P. album. Extremely heavy W.A.S.P. – Blackie Lawless was not fooling around with this album… I listen to “K.F.D.” when I have both good and bad days, the end affect is still just like opening up a can of Metal whoop ass and getting straightened out – Blackie Lawless style. Thanks Blackie Lawless.

KROKUS – “HEADHUNTER” – O.K., sure, there is some commercial appeal here with the tune “Screaming In The Night”, yet it is a far cry from any of the heavy ballads that blitzed us all in the 1980’s. Factor in the raging track “Headhunter” and the Metal grooviness of “Stayed Awake All Night” and you have served up yourself some decent party tunes.

Black Sabbath "Born Again"

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