Wednesday, December 21, 2016

CD REVIEW: VOX HUMANA by Kyros




VOX HUMANA by Kyros
(KMG)

London based prog rock band, Kyros return with their latest release the double disc set, 'Vox Humana'. The band is powered by Adam Warne on vocals, keyboards, zynthesizer ,Samuel Higgins on guitars and backing vocals ,Joey Frevola on guitars , Peter Episcopo on bass guitar and backing vocals and Robin Johnson on drums and Percussion. 'Vox Humana', is a fantastic album that is solid all around. The quality of musicianship is outstanding. First impressions are very cinematic. I could picture it as the soundtrack to an epic, fantasy adventure movie. When listened to in this regard, the songs flow together quite nicely.  Well crafted songs and superb musicianship makes this an extremely entertaining listen. Disc one highlights include,"Technology Killed the Kids II", "Cloudburst", "The Lamb, the Badger & the Bee". Disc two highlights, "Mind Electric", "Speak to Me", "Boiling Point" and "Ego". You can tell how much time and effort has gone into crafting these songs. Just give it time. If it doesn't all grab you right away, just listen again, and again. If you have not heard Kyros before, 'Vox Humana' is a brilliant introduction. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, December 16, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE WARRIORS BEFORE ME by Brett Ellis




THE WARRIORS BEFORE ME 
by Brett Ellis
(Grooveyard Records)

San Diego based axeslinger, Brett Ellis is back with his latest release, ' The Warriors Before Me', a homage to the guitar legends of rock.  Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Uli Roth, Ritchie Blackmore, Pat Travers, Tony Iommi, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Michael Schenker, Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Lonesome Dave Peverett & Rod Price (Foghat), Angus Young (AC/DC) and Jimmy Page. Every song on this album has the Brett Ellis touch and there's not one track that falls short. Brett and his band the talented rhythm section of Rick Nash on bass and Calvin Lakin on drums do an an insanely incredible job.  Whether it be serving up smoking takes on classics like, Jimi Hendrix "Ezy Ryder", Robin Trower, "Twice Removed From Yesterday", Frank Marino and Mahogany Rush "Tryin’ Anyway", Pat Travers "Go All Night", Foghat "Road Fever" or any of the other guitar gods he covers here, each and every song simply smokes! Brett Ellis is simply brilliant. His technique, vibe and unique approach to the guitar sets him as one of the greatest players in the modern era. The bottom line here is,  if you are a fan of guitar albums that are loaded with six string intensity, 'The Warriors Before Me' by Brett Ellis, is a must have for your collection.Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

CD REVIEW: WELCOME TO MOJO LAND by Super Vintage




WELCOME TO MOJO LAND by Super Vintage
(Grooveyard Records)

The blues infused classic rock band Super Vintage from Kavala City are back with their latest release, 'Welcome To Mojo Land'. Band members include Stavros Papadopoulos (vocals & guitar), Panagiotis Zabourlis (guitar), Jim Moralis (bass) and Lazaros Simitsis (drums). On a purely musical level,'Welcome To Mojo Land' is a strong recording. It is blues influenced classic rock and a band at its best. The chemistry  going on between the musicians, the musicianship itself, the guitar playing, the mix, the songs all equate to premium blend rock n' roll. This album has it all:Ear to ear grinning rock stomping boogies, beautiful ballads, creeping sinister sounding riffs, introspection, solid vocals & scorching guitar work. Highlights include"Southern  Moon Rising", "Son Of Pain", "Still Alive", "Rock 'N' Roll Revolution" and "River Of Love". Everything just seems to come together here to create that sound that has gained them so many fans already and with this album possibly even more. All in all, 'Welcome To Mojo Land' is a solid rock album that takes you back to a time when musicians knew how to play and followed their muse instead of the dictates of desperate record companies. 'Welcome To Mojo Land' by Super Vintage honors the classic rock tradition with reverence, respect and the realisation that this music’s still happening, right now. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, December 12, 2016

CD REVIEW: II by Wonderworld




II by Wonderworld
(Lions Pride Music)

The power rock trio known as Wonderworld are back with their sophomore effort, 'II'. The trio is comprised of Roberto Tiranti (Labyrinth), Ken Ingwersen (Street Legal) and Tom Fossheim (Live Fire). As evident on the trio's debut album there is clearly a musical chemistry between the them, but on this second effort they have built from the debut's foundation and, refined their sound. The trio serve up a hard rock album in the best tradition. It moves on the strengths of great vocals and vocal arrangements, compelling guitar solos, good melodies, and catchy lyrical hooks. From the full-throttle rock of opener, "Forever Is Lie" to the hook laden movers, "Remember My Words,"Elements", "Evil In Disguise" and "Return To Life", this album doesn’t let up on the intensity, pausing for breath only on "It's Not Over Yet" and "Echo Of My Thoughts".  Elsewhere musical contrasts come in the shape of "Memories", the gritty, "In The End" and laid back, "Down The Line". Overall, there was not a moment that went by where I wasn't loving the music. The album is very well paced, not one of the songs drags. big guitars, solid choruses and soild production. This is an absolute gem of an album. One of the premium slices of hard rock you’ll hear this year. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, December 10, 2016

CD REVIEW: THE SEVENTH CYCLE OF ETERNITY by Blindstone




THE SEVENTH CYCLE OF ETERNITY by Blindstone
(Grooveyard Records)

The mighty Danish based blues rock trio known as Blindstone are back with their highly anticipated new release, 'The Seventh Cycle Of Eternity'. For those new to Blindstone, they are a guitar-driven blues rock trio strongly influenced by 60’s/70’s era artists like Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Frank Marino, Black Sabbath and Mountain. The trio's latest outing touches all their familiar bases and then some. It's a work of remarkable variety and maturity which never loses sight of the band's classic rock roots. Proceedings start with a bang, the rocking "Dead Man's Blues"given one mighty turbo charge by Marten Anderson's blistering guitar work. "Rolling" keeps the pedal to the metal whilst other highlights include, "Rebel In Black", the slow burning, "Looking Back", and a amazing take on the Jimi Hendrix penned, "Power Of Soul". While on the instrumental "By The Suns Of Warvan, You Shall Be Avenged", the trio exhibit their air tight chemistry and flex their musical prowess.  What sets Blindstone apart from the crowd is that while they adhere to many of the tropes of the genre they have an ability to mix it up a bit with strong songs, which no doubt can be extended for the odd jam, but on this record they don't overstay their welcome. This therefore puts a premium on their song-writing ability as they have to ensure that there is sufficient variety in the tracks to make this album worth listening to. In this regard the trio succeed hands down. Blindstone have won over a loyal fan base with the sheer power and class of their previous releases. 'The Seventh Cycle Of Eternity', is about to illuminate legions more music fans with its sheer quality. 
really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, December 9, 2016

CD REVIEW: BLUE PEARL UNION by Freerock Saints




BLUE PEARL UNION by Freerock Saints
(Grooveyard Records)

Greece based, Freerock Saints is a female fronted project playing blues infused classic rock. Featuring the amazing vocal talents of Areti Valavanopoulou and Stavros Papadopoulos (Super Vintage) on guitar. The duo's debut release, 'Blue Pearl Union' ticks every box on my get go list, great musicianship, a real bluesy, soul tinged sound, and songs which stand up better after several listens than they did when I was first heard them. Sound checks to Black Crowes, Heart and Saint Jude are clearly evident, but it all melds together in such a tight smooth way. Areti Valavanopoulou, has a delivery that bags of power and confidence. The opening track "From The Ashes"is absolutely top drawer. It's like a modern take on great seventies rock, without ripping anybody off or sounding like an inferior version of all those great seventies bands. Valavanopoulou's voice is excellent and combined with the great riffs and hook in the chorus, I was immediately impressed. "Game Of Pain", "Roll With The Wind"and "Shot Down In Flames" are just as good, before the pace slows a bit with "Blue Pearl" and "Still Bleeding". Things cranks right back up with the fiery "Take It" from there on its a mix of high energy blues rock. Sure the influences are pretty near the surface but, hey, The Stones, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin etc. alll cast long shadows. Their influences are to be celebrated but Freerock Saints also bring their own undeniable passion and commitment both of which ooze through on each track. Sometimes you need to listen to an album a couple of times to like it - not this one.
really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

CD REVIEW: 21st CENTURY BLUES by Van Wilks




21st CENTURY BLUES by Van Wilks
(Texas ’51 Records)

Texas-based guitarist Van Wilks is back with his first studio album in ten years, '21st Century Blues'. This album is a stunning mix of blues and rock. Featuring twelve blistering tracks from the veteran Texas Blues-Rocker, except one track all originals.  From the opening salvo of "Strange Girl", Van Wilks leaves you in no doubt what to expect from this album, race-tuned blues of the sort people used to play when "guitar hero" was a compliment rather than a put-down. From there Van Wilks serves up a variety of moods and tracks, where he showcases his talent for playing well-structured songs and stupefying guitar solos. His playing is tasteful, dynamic, blindingly virtuosic and above all else, soulful in every sense of the word. As you can hear and feel on, "Drive By Lover", "Who's Foolin' Who", the laid back groove of, "Just Walk Away", "Golddiger", the smoking title track and "She Makes Me Crazy". The album also features amazing guest performances from Grammy-winner Christopher Cross and Austin vocal hero Malford Milligan, both of whom appear on “She Makes Me Crazy,” a song written by Cross (who also plays guitar on the track) with Milligan adding his trademark dynamic voice. Also featured  on the album is the legendary Billy F. Gibbons, who co-wrote “Drive by Lover” with Wilks, a song that made its initial appearance on an earlier ZZ Top album. The solid performance from the rest of the band keeps every track consistently fresh and interesting. Hands down a welcome return for Van Wilks and '21st Century Blues' is a genius piece of work by a genius of a guitarist. It is so difficult to describe this man and his talent. Genius with feel is about it really.  Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

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

Monday, November 7, 2016

CD REVIEW: DYSFUNCTIONAL ORDER by Ken Snyder




DYSFUNCTIONAL ORDER by Ken Snyder
(Independent Release)

L.A. based guitar virtuoso Ken Snyder unveils his latest release, 'Dysfunctional Order', presenting a new collection of new compositions that showcase his ability to riff, solo and compose instead of just cramming notes in for the sake of cramming. Snyder really shines and let's the music do the talking. The new album is well-rounded with enough heaviness and energy to satisfy listeners who enjoyed Snyder's earlier works, One', 'Nevermore' and 'Progressive By Nature'. Snyder kicks things off with the riff intense, "Grindstone" followed by a barrage of blazing guitar notes that will leave your senses comfortably numb with, "Deconstructed", "WTF" and "Shades Of Blue" the epic, "Utopian Dream" and the acoustic based, "Stripped",  from there on out there is no let up. Each of the tracks on this album is outstanding, and together they form a truly great album worthy of high praise. 'Dysfunctional Order' is an intense instrumental album that cannot be consumed in just one sitting (it takes at least one repeat listen to absorb the whole thing.) Some instrumental recordings become boring after a while, not Dysfunctional Order.  The songs are amazing and have catchy powerful melodic grooves and intense arrangements. Ken Snyder's playing on this recording is insane! This is musicianship and composition skills of the highest caliber from start to finish. Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

CD REVIEW: GO ASK THE MOON! by Angels Or Kings




GO ASK THE MOON! by Angels Or Kings
(AOR Heaven)

UK based melodic rock outfit, Angel Or Kings are back with their sophomore release, 'Go Ask The Moon!' For those new to the band it is comprised of, Baz Jackson (vocals), Tony Bell (guitar), Steve Kenny (guitar), Dave Ellis (keyboards), Daniel Bate (bass) and Andy Chemney (drums). As evident on the debut album there's clearly a musical chemistry between the members, but on this release they have built from the debut's foundations, refined their sound and solidified their song writing partnership. The new album is a wall of sound from the first to the last note, the band filling every second with something interesting. It's got hooks, it's got melody, it's got soaring vocals, sweeping keys, and amazing axework. The opening track "No More Faith" is just a killer melodic hard rock tune and it just gets better from there with melodic gems like,  "Ancient Fires", "No Alibi" "When The Heart Is Wrong", "Waiting For The Thunder" and "Heartbreak Railroad Company". All in all, this is a superb slab of melodic hard rock. Solid production, great songs and another fine example of what melodic rock should sound like when it is written, performed and produced by a band with a burning passion for what they are doing and who are also at the very top of their game! Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society