Reviews
REVIEWS IN BRIEF

AC/DC Tribute Bon Appetite Perris Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
LabelLink: Perris Records

69
Points
Review
Bon Appetite is a Perris records tribute to the Bon Scott AC/Dc years - that means the hard hitting early years of one of rock n roll's great bands.
The tribute features most of the same crew that appeared on the label's Aerosmith tribute, ie. Derek St. Holmes, Tommy Paris, Dave Evans and members of Every Mothers Nightmare, Cherry Street etc..
Sound and production is respectable and more consistent than the Aerosmith Tribute. Recommended for fans of classic AC/DC.

Hollywood Hairspray Various Artists Perris Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Glam Rock
LabelLink: Perris Records

70
Points
Review
HH is basically a good fun, take no crap glam rock best of compilation. Included are 3 unreleased tracks from the likes of Pretty Boy Floyd, Razamanaz and Roxx, plus 11 other tracks from bands that remain hook on Hollywood 1985.
The hair is big, the songs are big, the attitude is even bigger.
The production however is varied, but that should be of no surprise to glam fans.
An essential purchase for fans of early Poison (and even their latest album) and other dedicated hair spray addicts.

Dave Evans A Hell Of A Night Perris Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
LabelLink: Perris Records

60
Points
Review
Dave Evans was the original singer for AC/C. Yep, the very first dude...
This album was recorded live in Australia at Bon Scott's 20th Anniversary Memorial Concert .
What you get is 8 bar room rock tracks in the tradition of Aussie rock and of course classic AC/DC.
A few Accadacca classics were of coarse the order of the night.
Good bar-room raw rock n roll.

Nasty Idols Best Of Perris Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Glam Rock
LabelLink: Perris Records

75
Points
Review
Nasty Idols are a left over from the hard rock glam glory days. Like buddies Pretty Boy Floyd, these guys rock and glam out in a big way.
A harder edged version of 1986 Poison if you like.
This CD is a 15 track Best Of compilation, which offers the best starting point for anyone looking to get into the band for the first time, or to check out some prime classic sleaze/glam.

Roxx Diamonds & Rust Perris Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Glam Rock
LabelLink: Perris Records

77
Points
Review
Roxx are a new Perris Records signing and are of course, a great good fun glam/sleaze rock band.
Typical of the genre, these guys play their own brand of anthemic party rock with all the passion of fellow glam acts Tuff, Shameless and Poison.
There are some really catchy feel good rockers included here, but the downside is the boys don't benefit the same production qualities of their major label counterparts.

Primal Fear Black Sun Nuclear Blast
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Heavy Metal
WebLink: primalfear.de
LabelLink: nuclearblast.de

89
Points
Review
Primal Fear are back again, doing what they have always done and do best - rocking hard, fast and loud. Of all the Euro-Metal outfits, these guys really know how to nail a good riff.
This is heavy metal with melody. The guys always know how to include melody in amongst the pounding and the furious riffs and the whole package comes together with a great production job. Crisp, clean and clear.
More double kick drums than you can poke a stick at and zero softies!
For those that think Iron Maiden are too soft.

Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One Inside Out Music
Album Details
Released: EU US
Genre: Melodic Metal
LabelLink: Inside Out

80
Points
Review
This is a big bombastic, over the top slice of European melodic metal. This is an ambitious recording - another of those 'concept' albums that are so popular within this genre. This is an orchestrated, pomp filled album of Meatloaf goes metal, with touches of progressive over a base of European light metal.
The music is first rate, as is production and the overall mix, but the vocals didn't blow me away. Certainly nothing as powerful as Nostradamus in my opinion, which also used the multi-singer format.
Some good heavy rock moments, especially with the guitar sound over a pounding rhythm section.

Weapon X Behind These Walls Metal Mayhem
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Heavy Metal
WebLink: Weapon X
LabelLink: Metal Mayhem

70
Points
Review
Weapon X play their own brand of traditional, good solid American heavy metal. The album may be self funded, but it has a solid production quality.
Add a strong vocalist with a raspy metal voice in the vein of Graham Bonnet and a guitarist that can supply plenty of solos in amongst the riffing.
Pleasing to hear is variation within the songs, with acoustic guitars used to break songs up, or provide a softer break and extra song textures.
The band isn't afraid to take a power rock ballad either.


Blaze Tenth Dimension SPV
Album Details
Released: EU JP
Genre: Heavy Metal
LabelLink: SPV.de

50
Points
Review
I'll admit I have never been a fan of Blaze Blazely or the Iron Maiden album he featured on. This isn't going to change my mind. It's tough talking, tough sounding in your face Maiden-esque metal, but I really don't buy Blaze as a killer vocalist.
There are so many great heavy albums coming out of Europe, I can skip with one without losing anything.
Better off spending time listening to Primal Fear or Pretty Maids.


Pretty Maids Planet Panic Massacre Records 82002
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Melodic Metal
WebLink: Pretty Maids
LabelLink: Massacre

90
Points
Review
Pretty Maids are like a European Dokken. And that's Dokken in the old sense of the world, and heavier again. Planet Panic is an all new album that sees the guys experiment on a couple of tracks, with drum loops and modern production effects, but generally it's just what you would expect and hope for - lots of double kick drums, furious guitar riffs and some of the stronger lead vocals to come out of the European scene.
I am not familiar enough with the band's back catalogue to compare, but I can say that this album rocks hard and sounds fantastic production wise.

Simple Plan No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls Atlantic 7567835342
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Nu-Breed
WebLink: Simple Plan
LabelLink: Atlantic Records

86
Points
Review
Great stuff! This blasts from the speakers like a punkier SR-71 or a more melodic Blink 182. What I love about this album is the energy that hasn't been lost in the songs. These guys would be great live I am sure.
Not as good as the classic nu-breed SR-71 album, but a close cousin.
Simple Plan are a little looser and a little thrashier than the rather polished SR-71. The band's vocalist has that higher pitch range, which is great, but doesn't match the strength of Mitch Allan.
Still, of all the bands you would like to hear on the radio, I wouldn't change the dial on these guys. Very catchy nu-breed style modern rock.

Stone Cold Queen A Tribute Mascot Records M70632
Album Details
Released: EU US
Genre: Hard Rock
LabelLink: Mascot Records.com

80
Points
Review
Pretty much as you would expect of other tribute albums that have come and gone. But this is from the production house of Bob Kulick, so at least it sounds great.
You may not like all the interpretations of the queen classics, but it's safe to suggest the majority will get a pass mark.
Personal favorites - Stone Cold Crazy featuring Robin Zander, Crazy Little Thing Called Love featuring the Nelsons and Killer Queen featuring Glenn Hughes.
Hated Somebody To Love featuring Geoff Tate.
Album also features Tommy Shaw, Dweezil Zappa, Steve Lukather, Jake E Lee, Joe Lynn Turner....you know the cast..

Cosmosquad Squadrophenia Mascot M70662
Album Details
Released: US EU
Genre: Prog Rock
WebLink: Cosomosquad
LabelLink: Mascot Records

76
Points
Review
Cosomosquad are a L.A. based progressive metal/hard fusion all-star trio, featuring guitarist Jeff Kollman [Mogg/Way, Edwin Dare], drummer Shane Gaalaas [Glenn Hughes, Uli Jon Roth], and bassist Barry Sparks [Dokken, Uli Jon Roth].
The style is just as one would expect - instrumental rock in the vein of Los Lobotomy's.
The album contains some jazzed up rockers, a few laid back bluesier numbers and a few funky twists for good measure.
Ideally a solid album from start to finish for fans of instrumental rock with a progressive edge.

Truth Of Fiction Truth Of Fiction Lion Music LMC22132
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Funk Rock
LabelLink: Lion Music

75
Points
Review
Lion Music releases are traditionally in the progressive rock vein, with guitars a definite focal point. Newcomers Truth Of Fiction don't strictly fit that bill, with their bio describing the band as "...a combination of King's X, Living Color and early Lenny Kravitz, Truth of Fiction combines elements of hard rock, funk and metal with a nod towards guitar heroes of the 70's and 80's..."
I can't argue with that, there is certainly a lot of musical variety within this album, be it funk based or straight up rock or even pop. The guys have a heavy guitar edge that will please rockers with an ear for the unusual or left of center.

Tony MacAlpine Live Insanity Lion Music LMC22102
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Instrumental
LabelLink: Lion Music

65
Points
Review
Tony MacAlpine is of course one of hard rock's premiere instrumentalists, having a career that goes back more than a decade and a half now.
This live release is another showcase of the man's immense guitar playing talents. The band features the power trio line up of MacAlpine, Ricky Riccardo and Mike Terrana.
The style is jazzy instrumental hard rock with lots of progressive touches. One for the die-hards and already converted.

Transcendence The Meridian Project Lion Music LMC22122
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Prog Metal
WebLink: Transcendence
LabelLink: Lion Music

60
Points
Review
Transcendence play a fast tempo'd heavy trans-Atlantic styled metal with a progressive edge. Flurries of keyboards over heavy guitar riffing with a changing tempo are the order of the day.
The guys know how to play and aren't afraid to demonstrate. This one will appeal to fans of prog rock with a heavy metal edge.
One put off - I don't take to the singer's vocal tone - a little bland and one dimensional for me.


Atello Welcome To The Wrecking Ball
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Hard Rock
WebLink: Atello.com

78
Points
Review
Atello play a brand of in your face heavy hard rock or even melodic American heavy metal. It reminds me of Billy Idol on speed, or a heavier LA Guns...good metal with a sleaze rock edge, or Ted Nugent at his wildest.
This is so loud, so in your face - the whole album sounds like it was recorded on 11 - and I like that!
The band can still slow things down a little - there are a couple of softer tunes here, more like the style of ballad that Metallica have come to be known for.
All in all, good music, good sound and good fun. For those that love American hard rock.

Earshot Letting Go Warner Bros 9479612
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Modern Rock
WebLink: earshot.com
LabelLink: wbr.com

55
Points
Review
Earshot are a new signing for major label Warner Bros. Now WB are hardly likely to sign any new classic rock acts, so it's no surprise to hear that these guys are modern alternative rock, with a typically tuned down heavy rock edge.
Creed, POD and a number of other come to mind - none of which I really feel like listening to - this included.
For those that are partial to what's all over American heavy rock stations currently.


Silverman Speed Of Life Part Two Uglyman Music Man7
Album Details
Released: UK
Genre: Modern Pop
WebLink: Silvermania
LabelLink: Uglyman Music

69
Points
Review
Silverman feature an interesting voice in Anna Dennis. She possesses a haunting singing tone that suits these songs really well. The music is essentially alternative pop, with modern production effects over a hypnotic musical base.
Not your average melodic rock fare, nor is it even close to AOR, but it does contain some quality songs.
If you are inclined to liking soft, alternative British pop, then take a listen to some Soundbytes on the band's website.


A-Ha Lifelines Wea Records 0927448492
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Pop
WebLink: a-ha.com
LabelLink: wea.de

85
Points
Review
It was great to see the 80's pop heroes A-Ha return 18 months ago. Their return album, Major Earth, Minor Sky, was a fantastic collection of high-tech, moody, modern pop. I still listen to that album today.
The band successfully re-invented themselves and have continued the formula of that record onto this new one.
So, more slick, very smooth, ultra produced pop is on hand here, with sultry vocals sitting over mutli-layers of keyboards and guitar.
There are a few gems on here as expected, but overall I favor the last album to this one.

Rose Tattoo Pain SPV 085-74212
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Hard Rock
LabelLink: spv.de

80
Points
Review
The Tatt's are back and rocking like they never went away. This is their first new studio album in a decade and it seriously hammers my ear like a jack hammer. The Tatt's are an acquired taste - best of for those with a love of bar room hard rock or Aussie pub rock.
Add a few (heavy) touches of blues and one screaming midget (Angry Anderson) and you get Pain.
Thankfully this is not painful to listen to, but the production is definitely not as sharp as it once was, or should be. That aspect is the only album bad point.

Color Color Melisma
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Nu-Breed
WebLink: Color
LabelLink: melisma.com

82
Points
Review
This album has been out a while now and is released by Arista in the US. Naturally, as it's a great sounding nu-bred style melodic hard rock record, it has sunk without a trace.
I couldn't even get a promo from the label. The band didn't have any either - so they send a CDR. Thanks guys...
Nu-breed fans check this out - lead single Are You With Me is a superb slice of anthemic stadium rock that Bon Jovi would be proud of. The rest of the album is filled with melodic modern/alternative rock. Nothing as impactful as the first track, but well worth a listen.

Aquila Say Yeah Starlight Publishing
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: AOR
WebLink: Aquila

75
Points
Review
Aquilla is of course Terra Nova under a new name, plus the odd change. The band now play a brand of European AOR with more a more stripped back acoustic approach, but still with plenty of keyboards.
The sound is updated a little to be slightly more contemporary, but there is no escaping their 80's roots.
All very pleasant and certainly quite catchy, but generally I think there are stronger releases in this style available.


Simple Minds Cry Eagle Records 0927465472
Album Details
Released: WORLD
Genre: Pop
WebLink: Simple Minds
LabelLink: eagle-rock.com

45
Points
Review
I really should file this under poop, not pop. I am a long time fan of the band, still playing Once Upon A Time, Live and Street Fighting Years regularly. But I can't stomach this.
I haven't liked the last 3 releases now...not since the rather good and overlooked Good News From The Next World.
Poor old Jim Kerr doesn't even sound like himself anymore and as for the music, it's varied between sythn pop and drum machine over dubs.
I could see some fans of modern pop getting into this, as it sounds great - well produced and lots going on, but truthfully, there seems little life within the songs to make me want to go back for more. One word boring.

Arabesque The Union Lion Music LMC22162
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Prog Rock
WebLink: Arabesque
LabelLink: Lion Music

65
Points
Review
Arabesque are a female fronted Dutch progressive hard rock band with influences ranging from jazz to symphonic rock.
They have shared live bills with the likes of Dream Theater, Steve Lukather, Spocks Beard, Joe Satriani, Vanden Plas and Michael Lee Firkins, which should give you some idea of the band's diverse range of sound.
The singer takes some getting used to, but if you like free flowing, experimental prog rock, this is another release from Lion Music that will appeal.

Pegazus The Headless Horse Nuclear Blast 27361 67162
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Heavy Metal
LabelLink: Nuclear Blast

75
Points
Review
Pegazus are some Aussie lads that have themselves a nice contract with Nuclear Blast in Europe. This album fits that label's roster perfectly, with lots of furiously fast guitar riffing, a pounding rhythm section and a vocalist that sings in a higher register that sometimes sounds like Geddy Lee in the early Rush years.
The album is loud and proud and is original enough that it can't be pigeonholed as European or American metal. I guess it's Australian metal!
The production doesn't quite match the quality of some other recently reviewed metal releases, but it's still ok.

Richie Kotzen Slow Lion Music LMC22112
Album Details
Released: EU JP
Genre: Rock
WebLink: Richie Kotzen
LabelLink: Lion Music

79
Points
Review
Richie Kotzen is a talented bloke, who plays anything from straight up rock, to blues to funky retro rock. If this album doesn't prove that Richie wants to be Glenn Hughes then nothing will.
This is straight out of the Glenn Hughes 70's funk book. This is 100% retro blues rock with some modern production techniques thrown in. Whether that's what you want to hear or not will determine what you think fo this album, but as far as quality of songwriting - there's no faulting the talent here.
Just the style maybe - I prefer Richie when he's rocking.

Brunorock X-Over Target Records 0310
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: AOR
WebLink: brunorock.com
LabelLink: Target

50
Points
Review
Brunorock is the gentleman's name and rocking is his game. This album is melodic hard rock with a guitar driven base and a strong European sound.
The bio suggests that this album sounds reminiscent of old TNT and a pinch of Winger.
Maybe, maybe not. I am not sure I can get past Bruno's nasally vocals. The guitar sound is strong enough, but the rest of the musical backing is not as well produced. Sounds like synth's and drum machines to me.
Overall, not great - it's dated and not up with some of the better 80's melodic rock release available these days.

Soulmotor Revolution Wheel Sanctuary 06076-845012
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre:
WebLink: Soulmotor.com
LabelLink: Sanctuary

81
Points
Review
Soulmotor is Tommy and Frank from Tesla, although they seem to go to great pains to avoid any comparisons. Smart move, as Soulmotor has nothing in common with the classic hard rock sound of Tesla.
Instead, this is hard hitting, powerful and ear crunching modern rock with tuned down guitars and dark vocals.
While this is strictly for those that enjoy the modern rock / nu-metal sound, with a slightly alternative edge, it is one of the better examples of the genre in the market place.
This is super heavy and super tuned down, but well produced and faultlessly played.

Silent Force Infatuator Inside Out Music IOMACD 2028
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Euro Hard Rock
WebLink: bottomrow.com
LabelLink: Inside Out

80
Points
Review
This is Silent Force's second CD. The band features ex-Royal Hunt vocalist DC Cooper and several other notable European musicians.
This is hard rock/melodic metal with joint American and European influences. Top notch production and superb orchestration make this one of the better albums of this genre available currently.
DC Cooper fans are going to love this, as the man is in fine vocal form as usual. Another album filled with double kick drum flurries and high altitude vocals. One for the heavy fans.

Santers Cold Fusion Dandelion Records
Album Details
Released: EU
Genre: Rock
WebLink: santers.com
LabelLink: Dandelion

70
Points
Review
Rick Santers and band have been through several labels and several re-issues in recent years. This will hold out as one of the better ones. Cold Fushion is a compilation of best tracks with a couple of unreleased rarities thrown in.
The reason for it's release is a new deal with Canadian label Dandelion Records.
Hopefully this will be the last of the compilations and a forerunner to a brand new studio album...perhaps?

Tribe Of Judah East Of Paradise Indie Release
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Alternative Rock
WebLink: tojonline.com


80
Points
Review
Credit for Gary Cherone....out of the disaster that was Van Halen 3, Gary stands alone as an independent artist, releasing this EP on his own, via the band's website.
Musically is stands alone also, mixing heavy modern rock with industrial and alternative rock, padded out with high-tech effects.
Vocally Gary's singing is heavily mixed in effects and overdubs, but it's safe to say that Van Halen 3 this isn't. Nor is it Extreme or anything else - it's Tribe Of Judah and credit to Gary for doing something different, taking a chance and being adventurous.

Danny Vaughn Standing Alone Indie Release
Album Details
Released: EU US
Genre: AOR
WebLink: vaughan.de


83
Points
Review
Danny Vaughn is a man of many talents and on this EP, he showcases his ability to carry things off on his own - playing, recording and producing these songs on his own.
The songs were always going to sound great in this fashion, having an acoustic edge to their rocked up versions.
Surly enough, there is a lot of passion in these 5 songs, even if they are ultimately very laid back and relaxed versions. Wings and Seasons sound great, stripped back from the Tyketto versions and Was There A Moment is also a highlight.
Lots to like about this crisp and clear sounding 24 minute EP - especially for long time Vaughn and Tyketto fans.

Paul Alan Falling Awake Aluminum Records
Album Details
Released: US
Genre: Nu Breed
WebLink: Paul Alan
LabelLink: Aluminum

87
Points
Review
Paul is a Christian artist who is a fabulous song writer in the modern pop rock, or nu-breed genre.
These songs aren't far from what Nelson might record, or maybe if Butch Walker went pop.
These are songs with positive Christian lyrics, but marvellous melodic hooks and sing along choruses that would sound at home on any commercial FM radio station playlist.
Highly recommended for those that like modern pop rock and have a taste fro nu-breed production and sounds.