Monday, 23 July 2012

IAN GILLAN & TONY IOMMI - Who Cares 2CD (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Heavy Metal

Track listing -

CD 1 :

01. WhoCares - Out Of My Mind (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
02. Black Sabbath - Zero The Hero
03. Ian Gillan feat. Iommi, Ian Paice & Roger Glover - Trashed
04. M. Rakintzis feat. Ian Gillan - Get Away (first release on a Gillan album, only released in Greece before)
05. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Slip Away (Rare Track first time on CD)
06. Gillan - Don’t Hold Me Back
07. Ian Gillan - She Thinks It’s A Crime (Limited 7" vinyl B-Side, First Time on CD)
08. Repo Depo feat. Ian Gillan - Easy Come, Easy Go (previously unreleased)
09. Deep Purple feat. Ronnie J. Dio - Smoke On The Water" (live with the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra)

CD 2 :

01. WhoCares - Holy Water (first time on an album) Featuring Jon Lord, Linde Lindström (HIM), Jason Newsted (Metallica), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden)
02. Black Sabbath - Anno Mundi
03. Tony Iommi feat. Glenn Hughes - Let it Down Easy (Rare Track first time on CD)
04. Ian Gillan - Hole in My Vest (7" vinyl single B-side, first time on CD)
05. Gillan & Glover feat. Dr. John - Can’t Believe You Wanna Leave Me
06. Ian Gillan & The Javelins - Can I Get A Witness (old recording)
07. Garth Rockett & The Moonshiners aka IG - No Laughing in Heaven (Rare Track)
08. Ian Gillan - When A Blind Man Cries (Live at Absolute Radio, previously unreleased)
09. Deep Purple - Dick Pimple (Previously Unreleased Studio Jam)

Deep Purple's IAN GILLAN and Black Sabbath's TONY IOMMI took everybody by surprise in 2011 by releasing a the 2-track single under the WHOCARES moniker. With these two legendary heavy weights of the rock circuit ot really having worked together since 1983's Black Sabbath album BORN AGAIN this was a real treat for rock fans the world over.For the occasion, the two rock legends called a few friends and were soon joined by the sadly recently deceased Jon Lord (Deep Purple) on keyboards, Jason Newsted (ex Metallica) on bass and Nicko McBrain (ex Iron Maiden) behind the drum kit.

Not only jamming together for the sheer fun of things, this new project has united for a cause — rebuilding and helping the music school in Gyumari, Armenia. The single was an inspired moment and a reminder of what these guys were easily capable of producing, and more impotantly it left the fans hunrgy for more!.
Gillan & Iommi have now decided to make "WhoCares" an album for their devoted fans. Classic songs, a lot of rarities and unreleased material in two CDs of fantastic rare music.

Among the tracks are the two original WhoCares songs; Deep Purple's unreleased studio jam "Dick Pimple" and a song from Repo Depo (a band Ian Gillan formed before the Deep Purple reunion which never released any material) We also find two previously hard to obtain songs from Tony Iommi featuring Glenn Hughes, that originally were only available as selected bonus tracks to the various formats of the FUSED release, obscure collaborations, B-sides lost on seven-inch vinyl and exclusive live versions recorded on radio.
The sound quality is truly outstanding, especially considering that these are mostly unreleased material or have not received previously a digital treatment.
"WhoCares 2CD" is much more than a compilation or a cash-in anthology, this is a real collector's item and a must have for every Ian Gillan, Tony Iommi, Purple, Sabbath - in short; Rock music fan.
the biggest gripe that I have with this release is that it feels a little one sided, with a lot of the tracks coming from Gillan and only 5 tracks (not including the WHO CARES single tracks) actually featuring Iommi, id have loved to have seen a few moew obsure Iommi tracks featured!
On the whol;e a really strong release, and well worth shelling out for as most people will have never have heard most of the tracks that are spread over these two discs.
Now if only Tony Iommi can make a full recovery and put out a full album of new material with Ian Gillan.......

Rating - 9/10

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Savage - Sons Of Malice (2012)

Genre - NWoBHM / Hard Rock / Heavy metal
Label -

Track listing -

01 - The Rage Within
02 - Black N Blue
03 - Sons Of Malice
04 - The Hanging Tree
05 - Monkey On My Back
06 - Junkyard Dogs
07 - Blow
08 - Waking The Dead
09 - Choose Revolution
10 - NOW
11 - Look At Yourself
12 - Master Of War
13 - Fallen Idols

History lesson, Savage will always be remembered for 'Let It Loose' hit song that was originally included in the British band's 'Loose ‘N’ Lethal' (1983) debut. In their heyday Savage were right up there with the best of them, Iron Maiden, Saxon and Diamond Head to name a few, spearheading the NWOBHM movement as it took the world by storm. Their early works receiving great acclaim and well deserved media coverage.
The band folded in 1986, resurrecting themselves in 1995 for a further 3 albums before disbanding again in the early 2000's.
Now after a ten year break Savage is back with this, their new studio release "Sons Of Malice".
Their NWOBHM origins are still present in their music but in minor quantities, as instead of balls to the wall metal, Savage now basically plays British Classic Hard Rock. With a more early Whitesnake, meets Thin Lizzy meets Rainbow meets Judas Priest sound the band give us a new album in the form of Sons Of Malice, which sounds remarkably contemporary given the aforementioned influences!
The line-up for this album has the two original members Chris Bradley (vocals and bass) and Andy Dawson (guitars), plus Kristian Bradley (Chris' son) and long time friend Mark Nelson on drums.
"Sons Of Malice" is a fine set of thirteen songs that have their roots set firmly in what many of us remember as a golden era of Brit Classic Hard Rock.
This is no messing, meaty classic stuff and the delivery is just spot on. Following the instructions of UFO, Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy and some of the ‘just rocking’ side of the NOWBHM days (e.g. early Saxon), "Sons Of Malice" is ideal for those who adore the past and praise those times’ magic, although I have to admit occassionally the songs can come across as a little pedestrian, lacking that little spring in their step that a slightly faster tempo would bring.
 A solid if not ground breaking album well worth checking out if you get the chance.

Rating 8/10

Maryann Cotton - Free Falling Angels (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock / Shock Rock
Label - Pure Steel Records

Track listing -

01 - Heaven Send For Me
02 - Never Waste Land
03 - Crazy
04 - Get It On
05 - Free Falling Angels
06 - Night Train To Paris
07 - Die In Britain
08 - Miss Misery
09 - Shock Me
10 - The One
11 - "Maryann"

"Free Falling Angels" is the debut CD of MARYANN COTTON, a new rock act from Denmark combining former members of King Diamond's band with a young and promising Scandinavian singer one Jackie Patino, also known as the shocking Maryann Cotton.
Jackie took the name Marryann Cotton from a disturbed British woman who killed over 20 people in London back in the 1850. Mary Ann Cotton was found guilty of poisoning many people including various lovers and husbands. She was convicted and hung in 1873 at the age of 40, ohh well thats enough history, what about the music?
Well featuring the likes of his father, Hal Patino, the fairly famous bassist from who has been in King Diamond, Force Of Evil and Pretty Maids.and various other well known names from the Danish metal scene such as Snowy Shaw (drums), Pete Blakk (guitar) Andy LaRocque (guitar) and Sebastain Sly (guitar), the band is filled with some pretty heavy weight metal hitters, but the strange thing is that Free Falling Angels isnt a metal album at all! It has more of a classic hard rock, old school Alice Cooper feel to it, in fact Marryann's vocals bear more than just a passin resemblence to the vocals of the aforementioned Mr Cooper, as can be heard from the albums opening track "Heaven Send For Me"!
Among the interesting tracks on this CD we have the first single "Shock Me", a punchy Hard Rock number with nice orchestration and rhythm. "Night Train To Paris" is heavier than the average rock ballad yet also commercial and catchy at the same time. Easily delivered, this song puts a smile on you face.
I can say nearly the same on "Get It On", which is more snappy and energetic, and "Miss Misery" that took a bluesy turn and patched it up together with little shards of Metal and Rock.
Anyone who has ever heard an Alice Cooper album from late seventies will instantly recognize many of the musical components, but that is really awesome because no one is doing that these days, not even Alice himself. If you listen carefully you can find as well bits of Kiss, Queen and Meatloaf scattered in the album.
With "Free Falling Angels" Maryann Cotton is trying to revive the lost days of theatrical, shocking rock, and success for the most part.

Jackie Patino graces his 'Maryann Cotton' character with multi-facted and multi-dimensional vocals - not in the sense of wide range or power - just in the way this kind of material needs; sometimes sings, sometimes whispers, sometimes croons, but always in a precise retro fashion that suits the song perfectly.
The musicians backing Cotton are also doing a fine work on this recording, and altough all come from a metal background they are experienced and play this style with ease.
Production is really top notch, there really is a lot going on in the music and the production captures it all so very well. The sound is very polished and crafted to create the spooky atmosphere.
"Free Falling Angels" is a very interesting release framed into the almost disappeared shock rock, with a 2012 updated sound but containing all the roots from the famous '70s and '80s bands in this genre.
If you are fan of early Alice Cooper albums, and wonder why he just isnt putting albums out like that anymore then check this beauty out, you are going to love it!

A great solid debut album well worth checking out!

Rating - 10/10

Future Shock - Future Shock EP (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock
Label -

Track listing -

01 - Not Defeated
02 - Beside Me
03 - Life Goes On
04 - Hard Times
05 - Someday
06 - When Reality Strikes

FUTURE SHOCK is a new UK hard rock band founded in early 2011 by vocalist Luka 'Twitch' Ravase and guitar player Andy Basiola.
Their debut EP aims to re-introduce the power and the vitality of '80s and '90s rock music together with a personal touch.
Future Shock's debut EP showcases truly good musicianship delivering some entertaining hard rock. According to their bio, Future Shock is influenced by the likes of Whitesnake, Mr. Big, Bad Company and Ozzy, and indeed the root of the band's music can be found there; big riffs, strong sense of melody, nice hooks and, notably, a strong hard rock groove.
"Not Defeated" and "Hard Times", both very catchy rockers. "Beside Me" is darker and a bit more nineties oriented. The slower tracks "Life Goes On" and "When Reality Strikes" have a melancholy hard rock groove yet never sound too down and morose.
Guitarist Andy Basiola churns out riff-after-riff and if that's not enough, throws in a good few groovy solos, whilst vocalist 'Twitch' Ravase rounds things off perfectly with a fantastic Paul Rodgers kind of vibe.
this is a great debut Ep from a very promising band that are already creating a stir on the London rock scene and are well worth checking out.

Rating 9/10

The Answer - Rise EP (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock / Classic Rock
Label - TAP

Track listing -

01 - Rise (Radio Mix)
02 - Lost
03 - Rise (Acoustic version)
04 - Rise (Full version)

The "Rise 2012 EP" follows last year's release of The Answer third consecutive Top-40 studio album ‘Revival’.After years supporting some of the biggest names in rock ‘n’ roll, The Answer fully deserve their place at the top of the bill as a major headline act.
Interesting to note that the title track from this EP was originally recorded as the title track for their 2006 debut album. Up until now (6 years later) the track remained unreleased."Rise" has been re-surrected, re-written and re-recorded and offered in three different ways.
The tender opening of the Cormac Neeson's lyrics and Paul Mahon's acoustic guitar work is a departure from what we would normally expect from these seasoned hard rockers.
However, the crescendo builds with the introduction of violins then explodes into life as the rhythm section of James Heatley's drums and Micky Water's bass thrust us back in familiar territory of a record that will have you thrashing your hair around wildly with your fists in the air.
The B-side "Lost" is very much a thunderous, riff-heavy offering that we have come to expect from a rock band whose roots are deeply imbedded in electric bluesy hard rock and the extravagant excess of the '70s.

Cormac growls and sneers his way through a story of self-awareness and rediscovery over a thumping rhythm and wailing guitar. This song would sit comfortably on any of the previous three albums and it's almost a shame that it is only appearing as a B-side in this EP.
The remaining songs on the EP are the 'Full long' and the 'Acoustic version' of the title track, the latter giving the listener a mellower ride with the emphasis more on the lyrics which tells a poignant story of loss and recovery.

A great stop gap release whilst the band get album no4 finished off. Well worth checking out!

Rating 10/10

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Manowar - The Lord Of Steel (2012)

Genre - Heavy Metal / Hard Rock
Lable - Magic Circle Music

Track listing -

01. The Lord Of Steel
02. Manowarriors
03. Born In A Grave
04. Righteous Glory
05. Touch The Sky
06. Black List
07. Expendable
08. El Gringo
09. Annihilation
10. Hail Kill And Die

The mighty Manowar return with The Lord Of Steel, their eleventh studio release and the follow up to 2007's Gods Of War, ( 2010's Battle Hymns MMXI being a re recoding of the bands 1982 debut).
Now to be honest I have given this album a fair few listens, and well I find it dissapointing. Over the years Manowar have recorded some great, even classic albums, Kings Of Metal, The Triumph Of Steel, Warriors Of The World to name but three, but this album doesn't count amongst them. Sure, this album has a few high points, Righteous Glory, Expendable, Black List and Hail Kill Die, but on a whole The Lord Of Steel really does come across as Manowar by numbers. Pity really as I have always been rather partial to a little Manowar, but do we really need yet another variation of Brothers Of Metal (Manowarriors).
 The production also lets the album down a little too in my opinion, especially with regards to the bass, that are just overly distorted and fuzzy. I am sorry to say that dispite having a track (or is it two?) feaqtured in the new Expendables 2 movie, this album isn't going to add any new fans to the legions, and Im not sure as to whether the existing "Manowarriors" are going to love this release.
Reconmended for Die Hard fans only!

Rating - 6/10

Lita Ford - Living Like A Runaway (2012)

Genre - Hard Rock

Track listing -

01. Branded
02. Hate
03. The Mask
04. Living Like A Runaway
05. Relentless
06. Mother
07. Devil In My Head
08. Asylum
09. Love 2 Hate U
10. A Song To Slit Your Wrists By

The Queen of Rock, (and living wet dream for most young male rockers throughout the late eighties and eraly ninties if they're honest!) returns with her latest album, and the first since the much documented and tormented split in her personal life with her ex husband, something that fuels much of the lyrics throughout this release. Whereas Litas former Runaway partner in crime Joan Jett has enjoys major comercial success, Lita has always stayed true to her rock roots and despite some major high points in the late eighties she has always remained somewhat of an underground artist.
Living Like A Runaway see's Miss Ford return to the style of rock that bought her to the table in the first place, hard hitting guitar driven hard rock music, over laid with that sultry amd at times husky voice of hers.
There are some really good songs on here, title track Living Like A Runaway has some U2 esque moments, Mother has some truly heartfelt lyrics directed towards her sons, and to be honest that maybe the albums only real weakness, whilst the songs are all excellently written maybe the lyrics are just a little too personal at times, do we really want to know the ins and outs of her personal life?
Living Like a Runaway isnt an album of the same standard of Dangerous Curves, Lita, or Dressed To Kill, buts its still a very strong album with many high points, including the stand out tracks, Living Like A Runaway, Devil In My Head, Branded and Luv 2 Hate U.

A great return to the music that she does best that should be well recieved by the legion of existing fans, but Im not sure if its going to win Lita any new fans.

Rating - 7/10