Archive for old school heavy metal

Hellfueled – Revisiting “Midnight Lady” EP From 2004!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal videos, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HELLFUELED – In Metal Odyssey’s quest, this Halloween Season, to deliver reviews on Metal, Hard Rock and Punk Bands that bestow horror-theme tendencies of sound, style and persona, here is the very first installment for this gloriously wicked and frightful October of 2010… Hellfueled. This is one very cool Metal Band from Husqvarna, Sweden, not because I said so, it’s due to the clear fact they can write and play songs that are memorable. Anytime a band’s particular song or sound sticks in my Metal brain, it tells me that band is damn good. Midnight Lady is one hell of a memorable song from one hell of a memorable band that is Hellfueled.

Could it be a personal “gravitation” or “taste” in music happening here with Hellfueled? Probably. The only truth is, I would not go out of my way so often as I do, to just recommend pigeon crap on a platter. I try my hardest, to recommend the “coolest” bands and the creme’ de’ la creme’ of Metal, to my fellow Metalheads of the Metal Odyssey Battalion. Metal be thy name.

The song Midnight Lady opens up with a riff that was born to grab my attention and this song never let’s up on it’s ’80’s Heavy Metal outer-glow. Midnight Lady just lifts off from the onset and never seems to land to the ground, which is what good Heavy Metal is supposed to do in the first place. Despite the resonance of some Old School Heavy Metal from days long past, Hellfueled delivered a very relevant song in 2004 with Midnight Lady and it still is relevant in 2010, when compared to what’s being released at the moment.

Some may concur that Hellfueled isn’t playing anything that hasn’t been heard before. I counter by stating Hellfueled plays an European style of Traditional Heavy Metal and does so with a defiant level of confidence and talent. Just the three songs heard on this Midnight Lady EP, demonstrates the fire and hunger of a band, that trusts their style of sound and the path of heaviness they have chosen.

Reflecting for just a moment, to a band that just might be an influence to Hellfueled… Black SabbathAndy Alkman, the lead vocalist for Hellfueled, sounds remarkably close to that of the everlasting and legendary… OZZY. Vocals are supposed to be a unique characteristic, yet sometimes close similarities can occur between different singers, that is reality. I could not be more honest, in stating that Andy’s vocals are tailor-made for this style and sound of Heavy Metal. His vocals come across as natural and unforced, with any resemblance to Ozzy Osbourne being unintentional. If Andy’s intent was to vocally sound like Ozzy, well, then he obviously nailed it. Believe me, this is not the first place where Andy’s vocals have been compared to Ozzy.

The two previously unreleased demo songs, (Endless Work and Big Fat Eight), are very muscular in the Traditional Heavy Metal style, while not sounding as completely polished as Midnight Lady. Nonetheless, both of these demo songs can stand alone and take a pass on any further tweaking on the production side… the rawness brings out a more lean and mean aura to the vocals and overall sound of the band.

The music video for Midnight Lady that comes as a bonus to this EP is fun to watch. A teenage/college age couple are taking a late night cruise when all of a sudden, they drive by the Hellfueled band hitchhiking on the side of a dark and desolate country road. The girl in the car looks at the band as they drive by them and makes a goofy facial gesture at them. Game on.

Watch for yourself, as this couple finds out the hard way not to mess around with Hellfueled! Just click on the video box below!

Hellfueled takes the Traditional Heavy Metal style and plays it in a manner where I feel surrounded by their sound. Very strong, loud and enveloping are Hellfueled as they play on these songs, vocals included, with a guitar driven force. For new fans, this Midnight Lady EP makes for a solid introduction to Hellfueled.

I’ve seen the mp3 and CD/EP of Midnight Lady for sale on Amazon.com. It is worth picking up the entire CD/EP, as you are getting not only the two previously unreleased demo’s, your also getting the music video for Midnight Lady as well. This Midnight Lady EP is a terrific Metal listen and music video from Hellfueled that shouldn’t fly under your Metal radar. Plus… if you ever see Hellfueled hitching for a ride, don’t be foolish by not helping them out.

* For more info on Hellfueled, just click on the links below:

Hellfueled – Official Website

Hellfueled – myspace music

* Current Hellfueled lineup:

Andy Alkman – vocals

Jocke Lundgren – guitar

Henke Lonn – bass

Kent Svensson – drums

* Midnight Lady EP was released in Sweden in December of 2004, on Black Lodge.

* Midnight Lady EP had a worldwide release date in April of 2005, on Black Lodge.

Track Listing For Midnight Lady EP:

Midnight Lady – (Taken from the album Volume One)

Endless Work – (Previously unreleased demo)

Big Fat Eight – (Previously unreleased demo)

* Endless Work and Big Fat Eight are also listed as “Japanese Bonus Tracks” from Hellfueled’s debut album from 2004 – Volume One. (This info is listed on Hellfueled’s official website under “discography”.

* Produced by Fredrik Nordström and Patrik J. Sten

* The legendary producer/musician Fredrik Nordström founded Dream Evil, recruiting the incredible… Gus G. to join on with his band. The rest is Heavy Metal history…

* Extra Bonus Material:

Midnight Lady (Video) – (Directed by Charlie Granberg)

LONG LIVE HELLFUELED!

Stone.

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HOLY MOTHER “TOXIC RAIN” – 1998 METAL ALBUM FOREVER UNLEASHES IT’S METAL POTENCY!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 22, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

HOLY MOTHER – This third studio album, Toxic Rain, released in 1998 by Holy Mother, is one hell of a solid chunk of Traditional Metal. Toxic Rain downpours with a sound and style of American Power Metal in the vein of DIO and Obsession, along with a thick influence from Judas Priest and the Old School/Traditional Metal essence that the NWOBHM is so remembered and revered for.

With Metal roots originating from Long Island, New York, Holy Mother is a Metal Band that should not be bypassed for any lack of commercial success, mainstream snubbing or mid-’90’s media ignorance towards Heavy Metal. Great and real Metal will always rise from the ashes or raise it’s victorious fist from any catacombs of dormancy.

Becoming aware of Holy Mother and Toxic Rain all started with my trip to Music Outlet in Enfield, Connecticut. Best Metal Buddy, Scott Coverdale took me to this very cool and independently owned record and CD store that he frequents consistently. That day, I observed Scott walking about Music Outlet with a sinister grin upon his face… “I got it”… is what he said to me. I looked down upon the CD he was holding and it was Toxic Rain. Man, Scott was psyched out of his mind to have landed this CD… and now I know why.

Now that I own my personal copy of Toxic Rain, I realize the reason why Scott was grinning from ear to ear at Music Outlet that day. This album = Metal. Damn, you could not find a better representation of Traditional Metal, built with speed, blazing guitar leads and victorious riffs, than this Holy Mother album. The drumming of Jim Harris is like a battle call to Metal arms, his ultra-potent fills and supercharged timing are the icing on the Metal cake for Toxic Rain.

Vocalist Mike Tirelli is not gonna be in the back of the line ever, not according to my Metal scorecard. Mike is also a former vocalist for Riot and Burning Starr, making for an impressive Metal resume. I can compare Mike’s vocals to that of Mark Boals (of Yngwie J. Malmsteen fame) and Michael Vescera (of Obsession and Loudness fame), only adding in a harder edge.

Rich Naso on guitar lays it down heavy and steady from start to finish on Toxic Rain, with shades of Speed Metal wizardry gelled together with many extremely relevant and Traditional Metal tones. Rich never runs out of ultra delectable guitar licks… he’s just a cool player to hear on this album. Randy Coven on bass, has played with Yngwie J. Malmsteen and Riot during his Metal career. Creating a Metal family tree is evident, with this Holy Mother lineup of 1998.

The decade of the 90’s is NOT the lost era of Metal. Many, many, Metal Bands were releasing albums and touring during the 90’s. (Thank you… Slayer, W.A.S.P., Pantera and Overkill, to name a few). Instead, it will always be remembered by me as the decade where the mainstream media did NOT cover Metal… or great Metal for that matter. If Holy Mother released Toxic Rain in the mid to late 1980’s, hell, it would have probably received a ton more promotion and circulation amongst the media. This is my Metal opinion… and I’m not budging from it.

If you want me to be “street” about summing up this Toxic Rain album in one sentence, well, here it goes: Holy shit is this Holy Mother band unreal great on Toxic Rain! For me to “refer” this album to fans of Metal is really absurd. I need to bellow: Buy this Toxic Rain album if you believe in your own damned Metal salvation! Seriously, if your looking to make that purchase of a classic Metal release… Toxic Rain can be as viable a choice as any. So let it be Metal written… so let it be Metal done.

Once you hear Wars kick in, this song’s speed and rugged crunch shall be the leading Metal indicators that Holy Mother is not screwing around on Toxic Rain. The title track – Toxic Rain is a deluge of Metal that forces it’s way upon my ears, all the while I’m taking it all in like a parched desert floor during a tropical downpour. Again, its the speed + power which = holy shit great Metal here. Again, that’s as “street” honest as I can get.

My favorite song on this now revered Metal album is – My Destination. I’ll tell you what my destination has always been… to discover and listen to great, quality laced Metal, just like Holy Mother. My Destination has a melodic power surge running wild and it’s riveting to say the Metal least. The River carries it’s melodic drive through the vocals of Mike Tirelli and the savory leads and solos of Rich Naso. This song is a heavyweight like all the others on Toxic Rain, it showcases no doubt’s that Mike Tirelli can hit the high notes. You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ is the lone cover song on this album. This Judas Priest Metal classic is given it’s justified due from Holy Mother, it’s worth cranking it up on high, still there’s nothing like the original. A solid cover it is and very worthy of many obligatory headbanging moments.

Losing My Bet closes out Toxic Rain, a song that sustains the consistent quality, heaviness and unrelenting power of sound that Holy Mother plays from the very onset. No one song sounds alike on Toxic Rain and Losing My Bet is an exclamation point to this statement. The only similarities heard between all 11 songs are that of the astute allegiance to Metal that Holy Mother plays so damn well.

I must factor in that the vocals of Mike Tirelli and the guitar playing of Rich Naso are standout on each song, while Randy Coven on bass and Jim Harris on drums are fabulously tight together. Once Losing My Bet comes to a close, I have that Metal hunger to listen to this Holy Mother album again… and again. That is a benchmark of being a great Metal album for me, when I can state something like that.

I could say, without any hesitation, that Toxic Rain is one of the very best Metal albums from the 90’s decade. (Criminal Afterlife is another Holy Mother album I feel this same way about as well, only that is for another post). You are getting the entire Metal ball O’ wax with Holy Mother’s playing on Toxic Rain… no run of the mill, no “standard stuff” or copycat crap going on with this band. Hopefully Holy Mother can make a return down the Metal road and release some potent, new material. Holy Mother is yet another Metal reality check, as to there being great bands from the 90’s that flew under the Metal radar by me… and I’m thankful Scott Coverdale uttered those now infamous words toward my way, during one cool visit to Music Outlet… “I got it”.

* For more info on HOLY MOTHER, just click on the link below:

HOLY MOTHER – myspace music

* HOLY MOTHER – Toxic Rain was released on A.B.S. Records

HOLY MOTHER as they appeared on Toxic Rain:

Mike Tirelli – vocals

Rich Naso – guitar

Randy Coven – bass

Jim Harris – drums

Track Listing For Toxic Rain:

Wars

Electric

Toxic Rain

The Rats Keep Runnin’

My Destination

Live To Die

The River

You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’ (Judas Priest cover)

Symptom Of Withdrawal

Melting Pot

Losing My Bet

LONG LIVE THE METAL OF HOLY MOTHER!

Stone.

VALIENT THORR “STRANGER” – A FUNTASTIC, ROCKIN’, THRASHIN’, METAL MASHIN’ OLD SCHOOL METAL BASH!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock albums, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 10, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

VALIENT THORR – One look at the above headline for this Valient Thorr – Stranger album pretty much says it all. Or does it? Well, the headline probably could suffice with most Old School Metalheads who don’t give a crap about details… an album is supposed to just deliver the Heavy Music goods and be done with it. Have no fear fellow Metalheads, party freaks, moshers, space travelers, Punks, Thrashers and Old Schoolers… Valient Thorr does deliver something for all of you with Stranger. This is Valient Thorr’s fifth album in seven years, releasing September 14th on Volcom Entertainment. With nearly 250 shows a year for most of this run, touring with everyone from Motorhead to Joan Jett, Valient Thorr has certainly proven they are a knuckles pounding the pavement, no bullshit band with those numbers.

Years ago, I mean decades ago, when the cool word floating around was “crossover”, with bands such as D.R.I. and M.O.D. and to an extent Anthrax, they were taking a little bit of every Hard & Heavy genre out there and incorporating it into their very own sound. Valient Thorr doesn’t just have shades and influences of just about every cool music genre in the history of modern day Rock ‘N’ Roll. This Universe exploring band is potently stocked with all of the hell raising, fist pumping, shot-gun beer swilling and garbage can kicking qualities one could only wish for… and then some. Valient Thorr knows how to play some kick ass music.

Is it appropriate for me to state that Valient Thorr has created a “funtastic” album with Stranger? You bet it is. You see, as I listen to the music, (lyrics aside), of Valient Thorr, it makes me feel like jumping right into this album and being a part of the whole damn scene that is going on within these songs. Lyrically, these songs are not just about chugging down a beer and playing darts. Valient Thorr has something to say and they are more than psyched-out to get their point across.

Escapism is a necessity for me and I seek it out through music, through Rock ‘N’ Roll, um, Metal. Hitching a ride on the escapism Space Shuttle that Valient Thorr is navigating is one hell of a trip. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t need his steak “cooked to perfection”, in other words, I sometimes like ’em raw. Valient Thorr is spreading their raw talent and raw sound across this globe for good reason… to one day hopefully make all those Kidz Bop CD’s disintegrate into millions of pieces, from the sheer presence of this band’s musical existence.

Plus, Valient Thorr is no slouch band either, fans of Heavy Music will either connect with their sound or run for cover. If running for cover is the option one chooses, then they should make sure to bring along a case of laxatives with them… cause they are obviously chronically constipated. Gillionaire is a wake up call to the materialistic morons of Planet Earth and I can only second Valient Thorr’s strong and resounding message they convey here. Oh, yeah… Gillionaire Rocks with plenty of pent-up attitude and blue collar angst that makes the vibe thrive, through every note.

Sleeper Awakes is even more attitude laced with gang vocals aplenty and scorching guitar leads, with a searing guitar solo that fortifies my hunger for… Metal. Disappearer mixes some speed, speed and more speed with it’s overall… speed. Metal be thy name does Disappearer grab my damn attention and smacks it senseless. Double Crossed has some wholesome Old School rhythm and does not shy away from being guitar friendly. Riffs and solos abound on Double Crossed that semi-convinced me it was 1984 all over again. “You will pay, I’ve just been double crossed” might very well be my #1 Metal chorus of 2010… and beyond.

The more I listen to Stranger, the more I wonder if the members of Valient Thorr were born on Planet Lemmy Kilmister. Why I think that you query? It’s the I don’t give a shit – take our Rock ‘N’ Roll or bust attitude that Valient Thorr radiates so, um, eloquently. Sudden Death Is Nothing is kinda easy for me to point at and declare as my favorite song on Stranger. Whoa… it’s the blitz of Thrash that races unapologetically straight into my ears, that makes Sudden Death Is Nothing so damn memorable.

Woman In The Woods is for all Metal intents and purposes… eerie… and I like that. The guitar tones and even the tempo shifts are haunting. Is there really anything that Valient Thorr doesn’t experiment with musically? Maybe Kidz Bop. “Vision Quest” is relevant Metal, while also being a reminder that Old School Metal never dies. I catch onto some late 80’s Anthrax vibration while listening to “Vision Quest” and Habituary”, both with the Metal, gang vocals and vocals of Valient Himself.

It would be a dream come true to have Valient Thorr play at one or both of my daughters weddings someday. Hell, it would be the best damn music to ever invade my ears at a wedding for Metal sakes. Throw in the Metal fact this band is just down right contagious, with their free spirited attitude towards Heavy Music and yes Virginia… there is a Thorrior Claus. Valient Thorr would tear the roof off of a wedding hall and I would want to be there to witness it. Um, I wouldn’t want to pay for the damage though.

One final song to mention, Future Humans” might be a spine-chilling look into the future of mankind, regardless, this song freakin’ Rocks like there is no weekend, um, I mean tomorrow. It’s the thunder stomping beat and guitar driven nature of “Future Humans”, that makes me want to jump up and down on the hood of a pristine limousine, parked outside of a five-star restaurant. Metal be thy name.

Valient Thorr is a band that is difficult not to admire and gravitate to. They are a gritty working man’s Heavy Music band that should really gain some major Metal momentum with the release of Stranger on September 14th. Fans of NWOBHM, Old School/Traditional Metal, Hard Rock and well… any Metal, should hopefully dig Valient Thorr like I do. This band already has some fiery momentum happening already, it’s just the thought of them gaining legions more Thorriors worldwide and galaxy wide that makes me sleep better at night. I’m now a Thorrior… and it serves me right.

VALIENT THORR:

Valient Himself – vocals

Eidan Thorr – guitars

Nitewolf – bass

Sadat Thorr – guitars

Lucian Thorr – drums & percussion

* Stranger is set to release on September 14, 2010, on Volcom Entertainment.

* Stranger is produced, recorded and mixed by Jack Endino.

* For more info on Valient Thorr, just click on the links below:

VALIENT THORR – myspace music

VALIENT THORR – Official Website

Track Listing For Valient Thorr – Stranger:

Gillionaire

Sleeper Awakes

Disappearer

Double Crossed

Night Terrors

Sudden Death Is Nothing

Woman In The Woods

Vision Quest

Habituary

The Recognition

Without Hope, Without Fear

Future Humans

Thorriors Of The Galaxy Assemble!

Stone.

DERAILED – A METAL ODYSSEY INTERVIEW!

Posted in Hard Rock, hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, metal odyssey, Music, rock music, rock music interviews, rock music news with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

DERAILED: Call ’em Old School. Call ’em Traditional Heavy Metal. I just call DERAILED damn good at delivering the Hard Rock and Metal goods. What makes DERAILED so retro-pleasin’ is their blending of Hard Rock and Metal and they do it with plenty of relevance and melodic might. If a NASA satellite ever picks up a thunderous sound coming out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, it is more than likely DERAILED playing a live set.

With their debut CD Judgement Day already released locally and to the music media, DERAILED is setting their sights on unleashing their brand of Metal onto the worldwide stage on September 6th, 2010. Good Metal Music gets heard. Great Metal Music gets heard and then screamed about amongst the Heavy Music community. I’m screaming here about DERAILED and their debut album Judgement Day.

DERAILED is led by guitarist and founding member Dean Boland. Dean also acts as songwriter, lyricist and producer for DERAILED. With years of Metal experience under his belt, Dean Boland has put together a band that exhibits an all encompassing talent and passion for the Hard & Heavy Rockin’ music they play. With vocalist Johnie Sin, drummer Terry Cornelson and bassist Steve LeGault, the Metal foundation of DERAILED is built, loaded and ready to succeed, with Dean leading the way.

Dean Boland took some time recently, to answer some questions for Metal Odyssey, here is what he had to say:

Stone: Just how did this talented group of musicians get together to form Derailed?

Dean: Derailed was originally formed in 2008. Terry, aka “Big T” was my drummer in my solo project BOLAND PLAN in 2006, so it just felt natural to keep playing together in the new “heavier” project DERAILED. We actually met at a Black Label Society concert and hit it off right away. Steve joined about half way through 2008, and we’ve known each other since the 80’s, you could say that he is one of the most sought out bass players in the city and has played in numerous “A” room cover bands including “The Guy Jones Band”, a local Alice Cooper tribute band and “Original Sin”, an Ozzy tribute. Johnie came along in 2009, when I decided to give up the lead vocal position & just concentrate on guitars. Johnie is the lead singer for the local Iron Maiden tribute band “Edward The Great” here in Calgary and when I went to check him out at a show, you could say he had the goods to take DERAILED to the next level, something I couldn’t quite do. So after auditioning him in my studio on a few songs, we decided to make a go of it. Unfortunately, all the songs were already written when Johnie came along, so he hasn’t quite put his stamp on the band as of yet, but the future looks very bright & he brings lots of excitement to the table.

Stone: On “Judgement Day”, a nod to Hard Rock and Melodic Metal is ever present. What was the process or mindset in choosing the music style of Derailed?

Dean: I’ve always been a big fan of metal/melodic metal since as long as I can remember. It just felt natural to start playing heavier and more aggressive. When I played in RANDOM DAMAGE (Mascot Records), our debut self titled CD was really heavy, you could probably classify it as Thrash Metal, Ray Hartmann formerly of ANNIHILATOR was the drummer, and that was a big part of our sound. BOLAND PLAN was more of an experiment for me as a lead vocalist, more of a hard rock/alternative sound, maybe in the vain of The Foo Fighters, STP style. I think my Metal roots took me back to where I began and really loved to play guitar. I missed playing solos and having intricate drum fills, etc… having that aggressive tone. So for me, I think I’ve come full circle, and have started to write some killer shit now!

Stone: Dean, you have been involved with many other bands and projects over the years. How valuable is it to have experience in today’s music industry?

Dean: Absolutely invaluable! I’ve really been able to hone my writing and producing skills because of all the projects I’ve been involved in. I never did do the “cover band” thing, maybe for the first year I was learning…. That’s a funny story, I played in a band called AGGRESSOR , and our set list consisted of 12 Metallica songs (first 3 albums), 12 Iron Maiden songs (first 3 albums), 3 to 4 Judas Priest, Anthrax, and Megadeth songs. Talk about being thrown into the “Metal Fire”!! Nevertheless, it really developed my chops for playing metal and loving it every minute. After that band, I formed my first original Metal band called DOOMSAYER and left the “cover planet” forever!

Stone: How much fun “and” hard work was it, bringing this Derailed debut album to reality?

Dean: Writing and recording is always fun and exciting. It’s very rewarding watching a song take form from where it started from. Yes, it is a lot of hard work… but at the end of the rainbow, it’s all worth it. Creating is what I do best and what I love to do. For me, the most important aspect of the music is will people believe it? Is it real? Is it honest? So I just write what naturally comes out and go from there.

Stone: Will Derailed be touring the United States later in 2010?

Dean: Probably not, but would love to. We are currently looking for management to help out in that area. Touring is high on our priority list, but it has to make sense financially. As long as the CD gets good reviews, I think touring will fall into place naturally, and what better place to start than P.A.!! Maybe you could put something together for us?

Stone: I’ve never dabbled in concert promotion before… now you have given me something to ponder!

Stone: Are you interested in having Derailed play a future festival in the States?

Dean: Festivals would be awesome! I look forward to playing a large venue, as do the other guys. Do you have one in mind??

Stone: I can see Derailed fitting in quite well with the likes of an M3 Rock Festival or Rocklahoma. Actually, you guys could play any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal Festival with the sound, style and attitude your packing!

Stone: Derailed certainly exhibits an Old School sound and feel in their songs. What band or bands are the core of your heavy music influence?

Dean: I think a lot of our metal influence come from bands like Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Kings X, Metallica(old), Rush, Black Sabbath and Black Label Society.

Stone: As a lyricist, where do you draw the most inspiration from?

Dean: I draw most of my inspiration from real life situations, whether it’s war, or peace for that matter. Reality sometimes sucks, so it’s easy to draw topics from real events. I try and look at the positive outcome a negative situation can have. That being said, I’m considering doing a concept theme for the next CD, so a fictional story isn’t out of the question.

Stone: I really appreciate your cover of “I Want To Change The World” on “Judgement Day”. How did you decide to cover this classic song?

Dean: That’s a song that’s always stuck with me, right from the first time I ever heard it. I always talked about covering it on an album, so when the chance finally came, it was great! I’m really happy the way it turned out, Johnie really delivered on it!

Stone: Johnie certainly did!

Stone: “Shine” is my favorite song on “Judgement Day”, can you give some details as to how this song evolved?

Dean: I originally wrote that song for Random Damage some years back, so I’ve been carrying it around for a while. It’s about personal gratification, achieving your goal in your life quest, so to speak. For me, playing on stage in front of people who adore what you do, there is no better feeling in the world, you yearn to SHINE…

Stone: I liken “Judgement Day” to be a throw-back album, where each song matters. Is this statement accurate?

Dean: Yes, I think so. I think melody & heaviness is a very powerful combination, and if done properly can be very memorable. I believe each song has it’s own identity…. At least I hope they do!

Stone: Dean, you have worn many hats in the music industry over the years, which hat is your favorite?

Dean: The hat I’m wearing now seems very comfortable! It feels good to be writing songs that people appreciate, but most of all, that I’m digging! I’m really looking forward to the next CD, you never know what hat I’ll have on.

Stone: If Derailed could hook up with any band in the land to tour with, what band would that be?

Dean: Very good question… I think the rest of the band might have an answer all their own. For me, it would have to be Dream Theatre. Petrucci is just so good. Iron Maiden would be stellar as well!

Stone: Fantastic choices, Dean. I can easily envision DERAILED touring with those two legendary bands!

* To read the Metal Odyssey review for DERAILED – Judgement Day, just click on the link below:

DERAILED “JUDGEMENT DAY” – AN OLD SCHOOL WRECKING BALL OF METAL & HARD ROCK!

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

* And you can also click here: DERAILED – myspace music

LONG LIVE DERAILED!

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.

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.

GAMMA RAY “TO THE METAL” – A HEAVY METAL ANTHEM, AN INSTANT SONG CLASSIC

Posted in hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, power metal albums, power metal bands, power metal music, power metal songs, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

GAMMA RAY – Have you ever had one of those moments, where you listen to a particular song and it hits you just right? Of course you have. If you say – “no, I don’t know what your trying to convey here”… then your just a turtle neck wearing grump, who feels it’s no longer necessary to use the turn signal on your car. For those of you that know what I mean, about a song hitting your psyche-out meter on the bulls-eye, this quick story is for you.

I was “free styling” with my Heavy Metal & Hard Rock songs today… in technical terminology, I was “shuffling” the song choices that were being played for my eardrums. It was late this afternoon and my itunes library was at the ready. Assorted songs from KROKUS, Slaughter, KOPEK and then… GAMMA RAY. Whoa. The song was… To The Metal. Whoa again. With my computer mouse, I clicked on that mighty “replay” button to hear To The Metal once again. Then again… and again. I could not stop replaying this Heavy Metal Anthem. Gamma Ray was pulling me in and making me feel like I was leading a Heavy Metal charge through some gilt edged, halls of glory.

Yes, make no mistake, the legendary Kai Hansen of Gamma Ray without doubt, sings To The Metal as if he is a fierce Heavy Metal warrior of the land. The beat and melodic flow of this song, coupled with it’s Old School heaviness, is as superior of a Heavy Metal Anthem as I’ve ever heard in my entire Metal lovin’ life. Yes, there have been near countless Heavy Metal Anthems that came before To The Metal… only today, Gamma Ray delivered their Metal anthem goods to my ears, mind and soul.

If there was to be that “one song” to send out into the outer reaches of the Universe, to let alien beings hear as a representation of Old School Heavy Metal from 2010… To The Metal is “that song”. Stone has spoken.

I lost count, after eight plays in a row of To The Metal today. So be it. It felt damn good. For during that Heavy Metal interval, that I experienced today, this was an all natural high. Um, I mean all natural Metal high. That’s my quick story of listening repeatedly to Gamma Ray’s – To The Metal. Oh, if you haven’t heard this song just yet… seek it out… it’s worth giving into and getting psyched out by. Metal be thy name.

* One last Metal thought… you might just want to buy this entire To The Metal album. This might very well be considered an extremely abbreviated album review, nonetheless, here it goes: To The Metal is worth your time and hard earned $$$. Old School Metalheads and Power Metal fans should take quite a liking to this GAMMA RAY album.

* Take a listen for yourself at just how powerful To The Metal sounds:

* For more info on GAMMA RAY, just click on the links below:

www.gammaray.org

GAMMA RAY – MySpace Music Page

GAMMA RAY Are:

Kai Hansen – vocals, guitar

Henjo Richter – guitar, keyboards

Dirk Schlächter – bass

Dan Zimmermann – drums


* GAMMA RAY – To The Metal was released on March 16, 2010, on earMusic.

Track Listing For To The Metal:

Empathy

All You Need To Know

Time To Live

To The Metal

Rise

Mother Angel

Shine Forever

Deadlands

Chasing Shadows

No Need To Cry

LONG LIVE GAMMA RAY!

HAIL TO THE METAL!

Stone.

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