Friday, December 2, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE BLACKENED HEART by Enbound




THE BLACKENED HEART by Enbound
(Inner Wound Recordings)

Swedish based melodic prog rockers, Enbound are back with their sophomore release, 'The Blackened Heart', following up their strong 2011 debut 'A She Says Gold'. Lee Hunter (Lars Säfsund - Work of Art) on vocals,  Martin Flowberg on guitar, Swede on bass, and Mike Cameron Force drums. Enbound definitely want to prove they were not a flash in the pan the first time around, there is something very special here indeed. From the moment, "Falling", blasted out of my speakers, the band had my undivided attention. A powerful melodic progressive gem that builds and draws you into a false sense of security and then just cranks up the power as the band launch into their stride. Then track two "Give Me Light", hits you like a sledge hammer but leaves you craving for more. The band continue to amaze, with a powerful mix of tracks, "Crossroad", "Get Ready For", "Twelve", "Hio" and "You Make Me So Unreal".  Each band member has done themselves proud. Martin Flowberg on guitars, a immensely talented player who has the ability to serve up great riffs and solos, but allows the music to breathe, the intense and strong drumming of Mike Cameron Force the supremely talented bassist Swede. Last but not least, Lee Hunter aka Lars Säfsund of Work of Art on vocals. Also featured are, vocalist Linnéa Wikström [Kamelot, Therion] on "Falling" and Mike LePond [Symphony X] is responsible for the first of two bass solos on "Feed My Flame". It's clear from the very first note to the very last, Enbound wanted to make a strong impression the second time around and I believe they've achieved that. The whole album works coherently to give something special. Overall, 'The Blackened Heart' gets better every time you listen to it.  A thoroughly enjoyable listening experience!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

CD REVIEW: PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons




PHIL CAMPBELL AND THE BASTARD SONS, Ep
by Phil Campbell and The Bastard Sons
(Motörhead Music))

Motörhead guitarist, Phil Campbell,  teams up with his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla, plus vocalist Neil Starr, to unleash their self-titled 5-song debut Ep. Being a fan of Phil's work with Motorhead, I was eager to hear what he and his sons would bring to the table. Wow! What a first impression. This five song Ep is packed with, attitude and a rock and roll swagger that hits the spot.  The songs all have strong hooks, you will find yourself humming them later or getting stuck in your head. The opening track "Big Mouth" charges like a GTO on fire with the devil behind the wheel. From there the barrage continues with, the attitude induced rockers, "Spiders", "Take Aim", "No Turning Back" then settling things down with the acoustic based charmer, "Life In Space". Neil Starr's vocals carry the very essence of attitude fuelled hard rock a style that proves consistent regardless of the mood or tempo of each track. Phil Campbell guitar oozes attitude while son,  Todd Campbell guitar playing ranges from hard rock riffs to sleaze rock rhythm parts while the majority of solos are well thought and very interesting for the listener. The rhythm section of bassist, Tyla Campbell and brother drummer Dane Campbell fully recreate classic rock rhythm patterns, serving as the foundation for the band's hard rock sound. Granted, this is just an EP, but take nothing away from the quality of rock music this band dishes out. Overall, a strong debut outing from a band I am sure we'll be hearing a lot from for years to come. Tap into the groove, run with the devil, turn on to Phil Campbell And The Bastard Sons experience.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

CD REVIEW: TYGERS OF PAN TANG by Tygers Of Pan Tang




TYGERS OF PAN TANG 
by Tygers Of Pan Tang
(Target Music)

NWOBM legends Tygers Of Pan Tang are back with their latest self titled album. Robb Weir (guitar), Jacopo Meille (vocals), Micky Crystal (guitar), Gav Gray (bass) and Craig Ellis (drums, percussion). Wow! The band have put out powerhouse album. This is just pure undiluted hard rock from start to finish. Stong vocals from Jacopo Meille. Rob Weir and Micky Crystal make full use of the term ‘shredding’ with their guitars and the lock-steady rhythm of Gav Gray's bass and Craig Ellis’s drums. The future and the past crash together in a raucous, melodic yet heavy eleven song collection which will surely get your rocks off in no time flat. The songs are catchy enough in particular the opener, "Only The Brave" with its supercharged guitar riffs assault heralding the album’s commencement, gives the listener an instant crack around the chops, while traditionalists will be delighted to hear such a perfect marriage of old, classic Tygers Of Pan Tang with the newer, fresher vibe in such riff powered rockers like, “Dust, "Never Give In", "Do It Again" and a killer take on the Kee Kee Dee classic, "I Got The Music In Me". The new album was recorded and mixed  by Soren Andersen (Glenn Hughes, Mike Tramp) and mastered by Harry Hess of Harem Scarem.  Overall, a solid hard rock album that pushes no boundaries whatsoever and retains the classic Tygers Of Pan Tang sound. Just like I and most other of their fans like it. 
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

CD REVIEW: WATERDEVILS by Apollo




WATERDEVILS by Apollo
(Escape Music)

Swedish vocalist, Apostolos "Apollo" Papathanasio unveils his debut release, 'Waterdevils', a powerhouse recording that delivers the rock and roll goods in spades!  If name sounds familiar he is currently fronting the hard rock band Spiritual Beggars. There is no easy way to describe this album other than it would definitely fit in that 'Classic Rock' category.  Its not about Apollo merely copying his classic rock influences but a singer making music while wearing his influences on his sleeve. The result, music played with guts, power and skill that captures perfectly the excitement and joy of the shared experience which is rock music. The whole album is great, but there are definitely some stand out tracks. The opening track, "Revolution For The Brave" makes a defining statement for the rest of the album. Packed with great guitar work and a heavy rhythm section grabs you by the short hairs and doesn't let go. "Liberate Yourself", "Buried In A Flame" have the same impact. Other highlights include, "Fallen Endlessly", "Power", "Rise Up" and "I Need Rock N' Roll". Overall, the album buzzes with energy, bristles with power and blows you away in the sheer quality and diversity of music flowing into your ears.  Overall, 'Waterdevils', manages to avoid sounding dated. Ultimately, this is an album of superb quality, and should be a staple album for any genuine rock music fans. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, November 14, 2016

CD REVIEW: CLOWN'S LOUNGE by Enuff Znuff




CLOWN'S LOUNGE by Enuff Znuff
(Frontier Records)

Chicago rock legends, Enuff Znuff are back with their highly anticipated new release, 'Clown's Lounge'. The new album is a collection of rarities and early demos that have been partially reworked and re-recorded by the band. The band is now comprised of, Chip Z’nuff on vocals, electric bass, guitar, Tony Fennell on guitar and vocals, Tory Stoffregen on lead guitar, vocals and Erik Donner on drums, vocals. The album also features a guest appearance from the late Jani Lane (of Warrant) as well as an appearance from James Young of Styx on “The Devil Of Shakespeare”. With that said, what a great rock album! It really is brash, classy, bold, loud, crafty, clever and delivered with a swagger and a smile. All twelve songs deliver the goods, not a weak track among the bunch. Personal favorites, "Dog On A Bone", "Runaway", "She Makes It Harder" and "Radio". 'Clown's Lounge', showcases the best elements of Enuff Z'nuff in the early days; in your face glitter rock with power pop overtones. While I'm a bit sad that Donnie Vie is no longer in the band, I have to give a major thank you to Chip for raiding the archive and releasing this album, not only,  for rock music fans, but for the  Enuff Znuff fans to rock out as well. 'Clown's Lounge' will without a doubt get the band a whole new load of younger, newer fans. Overall, Enuff Znuff has really delivered a winner here! Every song has a great hook, an awesome beat, some jamming riffs, a catchy melody, and packs a one hellava punch!Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: ROCK THE CRADLE by Dario Mollo's Crossbones




ROCK THE CRADLE by Dario Mollo's Crossbones
(Frontier Records)

Italian guitarist Dario Mollo is back with his latest project, Crossbones and their debut release, 'Rock The Cradle'. Mollo best known for his work in The Cage with Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath) and Voodoo Hill with Glenn Hughes (Black Country Communion, Deep Purple, California Breed). With Crossbones Dario Mollo has put together a group of veteran musicians to back him up. Carl Sentance on vocals (Nazareth, Don Airey Band, Persian Risk, KROKUS), Dario Patti on keyboards, bass guitar and Ezio Secomandi on drums. The new album features 10 hard-hitting, adrenalin fuelled melodic rockers that showcase Dario Mollo's distinctive and explosive guitar playing. From the pounding opener `Red' to the closing charged rocker, "Fright" every song is a rocker. Stand out tracks include the galloping "Take Me High", "Navigation", the title track and the brooding "Running From The Shadow". One or two tracks may need a few plays to appreciate just how good they are, but this album gets better and better every time I play it. I have to say, Dario Mollo has put together an exceptional band, Carl Sentance, Dario Patti and Ezio Secomandi are in fine form throughout. However, it is Dario Mollo's stellar playing that makes this album great. Overall,  this is a powerful debut that hits a bullseye! Sheer quality as you would expect from such talented and experienced musicians. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Thursday, November 10, 2016

CD REVIEW: ROCK WILL NEVER DIE by Marching Out




ROCK WILL NEVER DIE 
by Marching Out
(Independent Release)

From the Land Of The Rising Sun comes Marching Out the Japanese hard rock band formed by Kazu Rock (vocals) in May 2012.  The band serves up a musical vibe that can be described as neoclassical hard rock with a British hard rock flavour. Joining Kazu Rock are, guitarist,  Tsuyoshi Hayashi, bassist, Keiichiro Fujita, Akira Ishiguro on keyboards and Kozo Suganuma on drums. I have to say, I was a bit skeptical only because of the path that such Japanese rock icons like, Anthem, Loudness and EZO had blazed. Would Marching Out fall short of my expectations? That question was immediately answered onnce I pressed play. Wow! The opening track, "The Cross", hit me like a sledgehammer! From there there was not let up as the band unleashed a barrage of hard rock fury with, the Dokken meets Loudness vibe of "Burnin' Fire", the Rainbow-ish, "Rock Will Never Die" featuring, Doogie White (Rainbow, Official Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker), Minoru Niihara and Masayoshi Yamashita and Hiroaki Tagawaw!, "Fire In The Sky" and "The Resurrection".  All the songs on this recording are superb, very well written, with a diverse range of styles to keep things moving along and not sounding the same. Kazu Rock's vocals are solid and his delivery makes me get an image of a cross between Minoru Nihara meets Graham Bonnet with touches of Rob Rock. Then there is Tsuyoshi Hayashi, an amazing guitarist who can riff and shred with the best of the them and the rhythm section of bassist, Keiichiro Fujita, and drummer Kozo Suganuma are tight as a glove and provide a solid foundation. Marching Out no a doubt have the potential to continue the legacy of  Loudness and Anthem. Overall, 'Rock Will Never Die' is an incredible and impressive debut outing. If you like anything Rock whether it be classic or Heavy this album is a must for any collection. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society