Archive for power metal music

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.

REDEMPTION “SNOWFALL ON JUDGEMENT DAY” – A PROGRESSIVE METAL ALBUM NOT TO OVERLOOK

Posted in hard rock albums, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, progressive metal albums, progressive metal bands, progressive metal music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

REDEMPTION – Snowfall On Judgement Day is an entertaining listen in quality Progressive Melodic Metal. Released on October 6, 2009, (on InsideOut Music/The Century Family Inc.). Snowfall On Judgement Day marks the fourth studio album release from Redemption. Each song is thoughtfully written lyrically, with very impressive musicianship throughout. The songs on this album are layered with an almost exquisite sheen, with all the ambiance and textures one can expect from a Progressive Metal Band of substance.

The vocals of Ray Alder are pronounced, while never overreaching. Ray Alder is a veteran of the Metal Music world, while also being the lead vocalist for the quite famous – Fates Warning. Redemption plays as a seamless and cohesive unit, making each song the star on Snowfall On Judgement Day. Nick van Dyk and Bernie Versailles are a potent duo on guitars, adding very interesting and downright likable melodic moments from beginning to end on this album. Greg Hosharian on keyboards adds all the atmospheric and melodic elements of mysticism, openness, sense of flight and emotional highs and lows. I guess Greg seems to cover it all, when it comes to sensory interpretation of his keyboard playing.

Chris Quirarte plays drums in the spirit and style of one Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater fame. This comparison may sound complimentary, which is rightfully justified, in my Metal opinion. Chris comes across to me as a drummer not trying to play hard and stand out, he is just simply mastering the beats and adding all the right drum fills within each song heard. What more can one ask for from their drummer? With each musician in Redemption seeming to convey their astuteness for their craft, I still need to mention Sean Andrews on bass, who helps anchor the rhythm section and doesn’t fall short on speed when the song dictates.

James LaBrie, lead vocalist for Dream Theater, is a guest vocalist on the song Another Day Dies. This song captures an almost total Euro Power Metal sound and feel. It’s the guitar leads and solo that seem to keep it from melting over completely into this comparison. James LaBrie’s vocals makes for a perfect match, with this Progressive Metal style that is Redemption. I still like Ray Alder fronting this band though, he is by no means a second tier front man. The harmony and tone of Ray Alder’s vocals are tailor made for Redemption… to my ears anyways.

Hopefully, my descriptive thoughts on Redemption as musicians, can help you understand just how the songs play out on Snowfall On Judgement Day. This band and this particular album should not be relegated to the back of the line. Flying under the Progressive Metal radar can’t be a reality in Redemption’s future. When there are so many bands and their albums to choose from in the vast world of Heavy Music genres, it’s a band like Redemption that just can’t go overlooked. I invite anyone who loves to hear songs and not four minute hits, to step right into the Progressive Metal creation that is Snowfall On Judgement Day.

Fans of Dream Theater, Queensryche, Coheed And Cambria and Mastodon should be very enthused by Redemption and Snowfall On Judgement Day. I’m pleased to have purchased this album and I highly recommend Redemption to any fan of Hard Rock or Heavy Metal that is looking to expand their music listening interests in a more progressive way.

* The song Keep Breathing, is an emotional and tender song written in dedication to Nick van Dyk’s daughter Parker. On the last page of the liner notes, what I read broke my heart. Being a father of twin daughters, the medical battle that Nick’s daughter Parker is going through just really hit home with me. To directly quote Nick van Dyk: “my daughter Parker was diagnosed with a terrible eye condition called Cone Dystrophy. This is a genetic condition, that prevents the retina from forming properly, resulting in the loss of central vision”. Nick writes: “there is currently no cure or treatment for Cone Dystrophy… even with corrective lenses, her vision will be 20/200 or worse. She will be unable to drive a car and do many things that people take for granted”.

Nick van Dyk continues, in the liner notes: If you are looking for a charity to support, please consider the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which can be found at http://www.blindness.org”.

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

REDEMPTION – Official Website

REDEMPTION – myspace music page

Redemption, as they appeared on Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Ray Alder – vocals

Nick van Dyk – guitar & keyboards

Bernie Versailles – guitar

Sean Andrews – bass guitar

Chris Quirarte – drums

Greg Hosharian – keyboards & keyboard solos

* Snowfall On Judgement Day was produced by Nick Van Dyk and Tommy Hansen.

Track listing for Snowfall On Judgement Day:

Peel

Walls

Leviathan Rising

Black And White World

Unformed

Keep Breathing

Another Day Dies (With guest vocalist James LaBrie)

What Will You Say?

Fistful Of Sand

Love Kills Us All/Life In One Day

Stone.

DREAM EVIL – “CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT” EP, FEATURING GUS G., FROM 2003 REVISITED! PLUS MORE GUS G. INFO!

Posted in hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal album review, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal history, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, heavy metal songs, heavy metal videos, metal odyssey, Music, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 23, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

DREAM EVILChildren Of The Night EP was released back in October of 2003 on Century Media Records. This EP contains four songs, three in which were previously unreleased tracks up until 2003, those three songs are: Dragonheart, Betrayed and an unplugged/acoustic version of Evilized. A music video is also on this EP – Children Of The Night, which was filmed on February 20th, 2003, in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Dream Evil’s Evilized European Tour while supporting Hammerfall. The lead guitarist of Dream Evil on this Children Of The Night EP, Gus G., is now the new guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and featured on the upcoming Ozzy album Scream, to be released on June 22, 2010.

This Dream Evil lineup was a solid one, delivering straight-up European Power Metal that did not go over the top with keyboards. Clearly, the focal point of this Dream Evil lineup is certainly Gus G. on lead guitar. As vibrant and melodic as he is fierce with his tone, Gus G. does not compromise his playing with unnecessary excessiveness on the need for speed. Gus G. can play fast with the best of them, only he makes the songs come alive with an almost boastful restraint on this Children Of The Night EP. There is a mammoth amount of bite and might in the guitar playing of Gus G. and the songs heard on this EP are a fitting Metal example.

Evilized is an unplugged/acoustic version that emanates an unrestrained dark hardness. Before you listen to this acoustic version of Evilized, please check your sappiness hat and coat at the front Metal door. The lyrics have not changed from the original Power Metal version… Evilized still gets it’s evil point across within this acoustic blanket of sound.

Children Of The Night, (see & hear video below), is a deliciously heavy and melodic Dream Evil song. Gus G. really displays his guitar muscularity on this song, with flashes of Old School licks. Niklas Isfeldt on vocals doesn’t over extend his range, while giving all the emotion that is necessary to Children Of The Night. A fine singer is Niklas, not exuding any annoying or notorious Metal swagger… he just got the Metal job done with Dream Evil.

Dragonheart begins with Gus G. leading the speed attack on guitar. The tempo never subsides throughout this song, it only picks up more steam with Gus G. unleashing a blazing guitar solo. Snowy Shaw is just dead on perfect on drums… what more can be said about him, besides he is as quality driven as they come in Metal. Dragonheart is a surefire song to get any Old School or new fan to bang thy head.

Betrayed just gets my adrenaline all pumped up, from the opening guitar riff this song just kicks out relentless flashes of Power Metal goodness. While some songs in Metal history are not so well known, Betrayed is a Dream Evil song that just has to be known and heard by Heavy Metal fans… Metal be thy name.

This Dream Evil EP, Children Of The Night, makes for a mandatory must own for all Dream Evil fans. With the collectible factor thrown in, this is a CD that could become quite rare down the Metal road. I have seen it for sale online still… a new copy can fetch over $20 (U.S.), so maybe there are used copies out there floating around that are more inexpensive.

* Using the “new” Metal Odyssey album review rating system… Dream Evil – Children Of The Night EP gets 4.5 out of 5 Metal Fists!

* Check out the 2003 music video for Children Of The Night below… and turn it up LOUD!

DREAM EVIL as they appear on Children Of The Night:

Gus G. – guitars

Niklas Isfeldt – vocals

Fredrik Nordstrom – guitars & keyboards

Peter Stalfors – bass

Snowy Shaw – drums

Track Listing For Children Of The Night:

Children Of The Night

Dragonheart

Betrayed

Evilized (Unplugged Version)

Children Of The Night (Video Clip Enhancement)

Japanese Track Listing:

Metal Odyssey Note: I do not own this Japanese version, I will someday though!

Children of the Night

Take the World

The Prophecy (demo)

Heavy Metal in the Night (demo)

Evilized (acoustic version)

Children Of The Night (Video Enhancement)

Here are the first two Dream Evil albums, (with Gus. G. on lead guitar), released before the Children Of The Night EP:

Dragonslayer – released on June 25, 2002:

Evilized – released on March 25, 2003:

* Here are some Gus G. related websites you might find of Metal interest:

Gus G. Official MySpace Music Page

FIREWIND – Official MySpace Music Page

DREAM EVIL – Official MySpace Music Page

Ozzy Osbourne – Official MySpace Music Page

OZZFEST 2010

KAMELOT – Official MySpace Music Page

HERE ARE SOME GUS G. METAL FACTS YOU MAY NEED TO KNOW! ENJOY!

* Gus G. was born in Thessaloniki, Greece.

* At age 18, Gus G. attended the famed – Berklee College of Music, in Boston, Massachusetts.

* Famed Gothenburg producer and Dream Evil guitarist Fredrik Nordstrom and Gus G. united to form Dream Evil, beginning their idea for the band in 1999.

* Gus G. first played live with Ozzy Osbourne at the BlizzCon annual convention. This was during the closing ceremony on August 22, 2009. Blizzard Entertainment celebrates their major franchise games such as Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo at these conventions. This BlizzCon convention was held at the Anaheim Convention Center, in Anaheim, California… wish I was there to see that historical moment in Heavy Metal history!

* Gus G. also played with Melodic Death Metal icon – Arch Enemy as a touring guitarist in 2005. Gus G. played the solo on the song Taking Back My Soul, on the Arch Enemy album Doomsday Machine, released in 2005.

* Gus G. is founder and lead guitarist of the fantastic Power Metal Band – Firewind, releasing five studio albums between 2002 – 2008.

* Gus G. has also played guitar for German Power Metal Band – Mystic Prophecy, from 2001-2005.

* Gus G. also played on demos for and helped out Greek/Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band – Nightrage.

* Gus G. adds his talent/solo on a song for the upcoming/new – Kamelot album.

* Original Dream Evil drummer Snowy Shaw also played for the ultra legendary – King Diamond and Mercyful Fate.

HERE ARE SOME GEOGRAPHICAL FACTS CONNECTED TO GUS G.! ENJOY!

* Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and the capital of Macedonia.

* Gothenburg is the second largest city in Sweden. The largest city in Sweden is Stockholm.

* Disneyland opened on July 18, 1955, in Anaheim California.

Gus G. has quietly built quite an impressive and credible Heavy Metal career for himself. As you have seen and read above, NO, Gus G. did not just come out of “nowhere” to become the featured guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne. Gus G. is a talent, has paid his Metal dues, and is a unique guitarist that Ozzy knew about… as well as countless other Metal fans have worldwide, for quite some time. Ozzy has chosen well… in my Metal opinion.

Stone.

EDGUY “LAVATORY LOVE MACHINE” – CD SINGLE FROM 2004 THAT’S OUT OF PRINT!

Posted in hard rock bands, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal albums, heavy metal bands, heavy metal music, metal odyssey, Music, power metal bands, power metal music, rock & roll, rock and roll, rock music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

EDGUY – Released their CD single Lavatory Love Machine back on June 21st, 2004, on Nuclear Blast Records. I purchased this cool EDGUY CD single about two years ago, on the Century Media Records website… CM Distro. Now, Lavatory Love Machine is out of print, still I have currently seen it for sale both new and used through Amazon.com.

For anyone unfamiliar with EDGUY, they are a Power Metal/Heavy Metal band from Germany. EDGUY could have easily fit right into the mid to late 80’s Heavy Metal mix – for their sound has all the trappings of Old School flavor… in my Metal opinion. From 1997 thru 2009, EDGUY has released eight studio albums, two live albums, three CD singles, two EP’s and two compilation/greatest hits albums.

I do like to collect the rare and out of print albums, cassettes and CD’s of my favorite bands. Many times, I have no Metal clue that a particular title is even out of print… until I stumble on an article or online music retail store that expresses those magic words: product discontinued by manufacturer.

The single Lavatory Love Machine is from the 2004 EDGUY studio album – Hellfire Club. This song has all the power driven, Arena style Heavy Metal that the late 80’s was famous for. An acoustic version of Lavatory Love Machine is on this single as well, of course it is much more mellow and toned down. I’ll Cry For You is an acoustic ballad as well, it showcases the open approach that lead vocalist Tobias Sammet has taken musically, throughout his entire career, with EDGUY. This is a band that can slam it down unreal heavy and still sound great (and cool) doing the soft stuff.

Reach Out is another… ballad. More on the “power” ballad side, Reach Out I gravitate towards courtesy of Tobias Sammet… I really like the believable emotion his vocals radiate on this song. There is no guitar, bass or drums on Reach Out, just some inspiring keyboards and piano. The “power” of this song is derived from Tobias Sammet’s vocals, in my Metal opinion.

I sound like a broken record when stating that I’m not the big ballad dude, only there are those times where I do listen to them, they fall into my lap so to speak. Keeping an open Metal mind is what I try to do and if the ballad works for my ears, then Metal be thy name.

* The music video for Lavatory Love Machine is also on this CD single, I’d swear it was a late 80’s music video due to it’s Old School approach. A fun video to watch!

* I’ll Cry For You is a cover song originally found on the Europe album from 1991 – Prisoners in Paradise.

* Tracks 1 thru 3 can also be found on the 2008 EDGUY album – The Singles.

* Reach Out can be found on the Japanese import version of EDGUY – Rocket Ride, released in 2006. Lavatory Love Machine (Acoustic Version) is found on this same Japanese version of Rocket Ride too. It gets very confusing, when tracking down when specific songs were released and on what album!

Track Listing For Lavatory Love Machine:

1. Lavatory Love Machine

2. Lavatory Love Machine (Acoustic Version)

3. I’ll Cry For You – (Europe Cover Song)

4. Reach Out

Lavatory Love Machine – (video clip) – complete music video

EDGUY, as they appeared on the Lavatory Love Machine CD Single:

Tobias Sammet – vocals

Jens Ludwig – guitar & backing vocals

Dirk Sauer – guitar & backing vocals

Tobias “Eggi” Exxel – bass & backing vocals

Felix Bohnke – drums, percussion

* Frank Tischer – plays piano on Reach Out. It is my best Metal guess, that Tobias Sammet plays keyboards on Reach Out, no documentation can be found in the liner notes to support this Metal guess however.

Stone.


METAL ODYSSEY CELEBRATES 1ST METAL ANNIVERSARY!

Posted in 1970's heavy metal music, 1980's heavy metal bands, 1980's heavy metal music, 1990's heavy metal bands, 1990's heavy metal music, alternative metal music, anniversary, classic rock, classic rock music, collecting metal music, everyday experiences, everyday people, extreme metal music, gothic metal music, hard rock music, Heavy Metal, heavy metal bands, heavy metal birthdays, heavy metal music, heavy metal news, horror punk, living, metal music, metal odyssey, Music, people, power metal music, Punk rock, rock and roll, rock music, southern rock music, thrash metal music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2010 by Metal Odyssey

On March 1st, 2009, I embarked on a Rock and Roll journey… to blog my Metal heart out about the music, bands, musicians, albums and songs I love the most. This Rock and Roll journey was named – MetalOdyssey. Both past and present bands, my concert experiences, what I buy for music, album reviews, Heavy Metal hunting finds and my best Metal buddy Scott Coverdale have all been covered. Scott researches Metal like a Metalaholic. Once in awhile, I have vented about what ticks me off: The Rock and Roll Hall of Shame, reality show know-it-all dads, Rolling Stone Magazine, The Grammys and the dreadful PMRC. I even posted about my new cat Toby that my family adopted too. My unreal great wife, well, she is responsible for prodding and suggesting that I do this Metal Odyssey blog gig. I look back now and understand why she wanted me to do this. Without her computer, graphics and software expertise, I never would have gotten this blog off the Metal ground. I Thank her with all the love and everything I’ve got for coaxing me into such a Metal thrill ride! It has been a ton of Metal fun.

Did I think I would cover, (most of the time, like, 90% of the time), Metal Music? Kinda did. You see, I also have a love affair with Hard Rock, Progressive Rock, Southern Rock, Alternative Rock, Rock and… at times, movie soundtracks. So, my Rock and Roll infatuation covers quite a bit of ground… it’s been that way my entire Metal life. Some may want to call me a Rock Music junkie… so Metal be it! I’m not bashful to express my allegiance to ELO, The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, The Doors, Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Boz Scaggs. Nor will I ever fib and say the Rocky movie soundtrack doesn’t still pump me up and psyche me out of my Metal mind! Bill Conti is a musical genius, John Carpenter is too.

What does the future hold for Metal Odyssey? MORE METAL! With that said, I will warn all of my loyal visitors and new visitors right now… don’t ever be bewildered if you find me blabbing and praising about straight forward Rock and Roll either. I love the roots of Heavy Metal, always have I been amazed at how this incredible form of music came to being. Heavy Metal history is sacred to Metal Odyssey.

Punk Rock I like to blab about too from time to time. Misfits, Ramones, Osaka PopstarRancid and The Casualties are my top favorites, they all shall get their justified and respected due on Metal Odyssey again.

In the coming months, hopefully years, I will continue on with this Rock and Roll journey called Metal Odyssey just as I have been doing. I would like to continue to inform, entertain and inspire friendly debate through my writings and reviews. I also get the biggest kick out of consistently finding Metal albums and CD’s dirt cheap at thrift stores, antique stores/malls and flea markets… lending my anecdotes and experiences of such finds to the world makes me feel happy. Any and all personal Metal experiences, (no matter how large or small), that I may encounter in the future will no doubt, be found right here on Metal Odyssey!

I also want to thank the new Metal buddies I have encountered through Metal Odyssey. These guys are fun to correspond with and make me more Metal wiser with each new post they create on their respective blogs, due in part to their personal perspective and knowledge of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal. Here is a roll call of these great fellow Metalheads who share the same passion as I do for Heavy Metal and Hard Rock music… check them out in the list below, if you already haven’t, they are a Metal kick!

Hard Rock Hideout – I write reviews and do interviews for this unreal cool site… the dudes and dudettes over there are super nice Metal buddies too. Hard Rock Hideout is super loaded with up to the minute news, reviews, interviews, Hard Rock Hideout Radio, videos and… you get the Metal point!

The Metal Files – This Metal buddy was the first to put Metal Odyssey on a blog roll! An industry insider and musician who knows more than a thing or two about what is really going on in Metal. Plus, I really take stock in his Metal opinions, even if he doesn’t like Steelheart.

Heavy Metal Addiction – A Metal buddy who invited me into a group of fellow bloggers to post the “Best Of” lists for 2009. A Metal gracious move I truly appreciate. Great reviews and insight aplenty to be had over there from this Heavy Metal blogging veteran. From his CD Scavenger Hunt to his concert reviews… good Metal stuff.

Metal Excess – This Heavy Metal site is loaded with reviews and honest insight too. A KISS fan exists at Metal Excess, which makes it all the more a Metal pleasure to go there constantly.

Demolish Fanzine – 1980’s Heavy Metal Revival – This Metalhead buddy loves 1980’s Metal, what’s not to love about it? This blog is enriched with the knowledge of a 1980’s fanzine veteran who has loads of Metal interviews and info to share… and I’m reading it.

Heavy Metal Time Machine – An old school Heavy Metal blogger who calls it the way he see it! That’s the way it should be for Metal sakes. Uniquely insightful and fun, (Clash of the Album Covers & Battle of the Bands), the reviews, opinions and anecdotes over there always keeps me thinking.

* I also want to thank WordPress.com for having a kick butt and easy to navigate blog site!

I do want to THANK EACH AND EVERY VISITOR to Metal Odyssey over this past first year! Regardless if your comments were friendly or not, heck, at least you commented! Without visitors to Metal Odyssey, there is no fun in blabbing about the music that gets us all through each day.

BE TRUE TO THE MUSIC YOU LOVE AND THE MUSIC WILL BE TRUE TO YOU!

GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE FREEDOM TO LISTEN TO THE MUSIC WE CHOOSE!


Thank you all again,

Stone.

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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Blind Guardian covers “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” – Power Metal style

Posted in 1960's acid rock music, 1960's classic rock music, 1960's psychedelic rock music, 1960's vintage rock albums, 1960's rock music, Album Review, Century Media, century media records, classic hard rock, classic hard rock music, classic rock, classic rock albums, classic rock cover songs, classic rock music, cool album covers, cover songs, heavy metal album review, heavy metal from germany, Heavy Metal Reviews, heavy metal this decade, heavy metal vocalists, Metal, metal music, Metal Reviews, Music, power metal music, prog metal albums, prog metal music, progressive metal, progressive metal albums, progressive metal music, progressive metal music eps, rock music, vintage rock albums, vintage rock and roll cover songs, Vocals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2009 by Metal Odyssey

7744373Blind Guardian is a Power Metal meets Progressive Metal band, straight out of the fine country of Germany. I enjoy the Power Metal and Progressive Metal genres immensely, Blind Guardian for me, is always a cool listen. As I was browsing around the Century Media Records online site (CM Distro.com) several months ago, I happened to find an EP from Blind Guardian that quickly caught my Metal attention. The name of this EP is “Fly”, (released in 2006), it contains three songs: “Fly”, “Skalds and Shadows” and the cover version of the Iron Butterfly classic – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. I knew instantly I needed to purchase this EP. I have always and forever revered this Psychedelic, Classic Rock, gem of a song that Iron Butterfly created with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”, (originally released in 1968). I placed my order for this Blind Guardian EP without ever hearing it first… I had complete confidence in Blind Guardian delivering a decent cover version of this song, plus as I stated earlier, their Power – Prog Metal style never put me in the doldrums whatsoever.

525284Blind Guardian “Fly”, as with any of this bands albums, never fail to peak my curiosity based on the album cover artwork on their releases. Going in, I knew they are a capable, talented and quality Metal band, with intellectual lyrics and story telling to coincide with their songs. I am pleased at purchasing “Fly”, all three songs are diverse, with my favorite being the cover song from Iron Butterfly “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” Blind Guardian’s version is very heavy, all power, it rocks tough and hard, while paying great respect to this songs originally intended hardness and dark landscape. The only key aspect here, is to know that this is the shortened cover version of this song, at 3:38 long, (the original Iron Butterfly album version is 17:05 long). Blind Guardian if anything, makes this song sound just as macabre and melancholy, (quite a musical feat), with the vocals and music sounding equally haunting as the original. Some may feel Blind Guardian makes “In-A-Gadda-Da Vida” sound more spooky than the original version… there have been times I have thought just that. Now, as to the age old argument… is the cover version better than the original? Of course, it would be a monstrous feat to blow away the original Iron Butterfly rendition of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”… I will always like the original version more. With that said… once you hear Blind Guardian cover this song, you may very well be like me and think – whoa, this is a really cool and heavy way to commemorate a classic… a Metal job well done.

“Fly” is a more open ended Progressive Metal example, with the vocals being more punctual and deliberate. “Skalds and Shadows” is an acoustic version of it’s original, musically you are surrounded by an almost medieval atmosphere of mood and senses, making me feel as if I am about to enter an ancient, abandoned castle. I am impressed by the way lead vocalist Hansi Kursch changes and adapts his vocal approach, according to the individual song, this type of diversity and quality in singing is appreciable. Blind Guardian gives the listener a rather nice mix of Heavy Music on this “Fly” EP, even though there are only three songs. I am obviously pleased with this EP, it is a Metal keeper. The liner notes are 8 pages with full lyrics and credits. The center spread within the liner notes are two pages depicting the Blind Guardian band logo. With the musicianship, vocals and diversity of song found on this one EP, anyone new to Blind Guardian’s music should find this as an invitation to check out their impressive back catalog of albums. I recommend “The Fly” to all Progressive and Power Metal fans. Fans of Metal music in general should appreciate what Blind Guardian has created here as well.

04-Wacken

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