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CD review DOKKEN "Return to the East - Live"

Veröffentlicht am 17. April 2018 von Markus W. in Dokken, George Lynch, Don Dokken, Melodic Metal, Live, News, Frontiers Music, Heavy Metal, Hardrock, Return to the East

CD review DOKKEN "Return to the East - Live"

(*/10) If you didn’t live under a rock for the last 30 years, Dokken is a band you at least heard of. Don Dokken, George Lynch and Co. were extremely successful during the 80’s. Records such as “Under Lock and Key” and “Tooth and Nail” belong to the finest hour of melodic metal and it was the contribution of the title track to the “Nightmare at Elm Street 3 – Dream Warriors” movie that marked the all-time high of this legendary band from California.

Unfortunately success couldn’t be maintained, mainly due to conflicts and different opinions and different musical directions. Line-up changes followed, band members started new project/bands and some comebacks have been tried out too, with the latter never getting close to the magic moments of the mid 80’s.

What was as remarkable as unexpected was a show Dokken performed in the original line-up at the 2016 edition of Loud Park Festival in Japan. Don Dokken, George Lynch, Jeff Pilson, and Mick Brown played an entire show that night and captured the moment on CD and DVD.

The current live album reminds of Dokken’s first live album “Beast in the East” which was recorded in Japan too. Even though the setlist slightly differs it’s classics like “Unchain the Night”, "When Heaven Comes Down” and “In My Dreams” that built the core of the show. This live album is a nostalgic one that brings back the good vibes from thirty years ago with a Don Dokken sounding much better than what fans partly got hear over the last years - even though the old days are gone.

To spice things up the album also includes with “It’s Another Day” a new studio track that quite OK without having a big real wow-effected. “Heaven Sent” and “Will the Sun Rise” complete the release, both being done in an acoustic version.

“Return to the East – Live” became a good live album with songs that are milestones in melodic metal. However, I still prefer the first four studio albums and the “Beast in the East” live release.

 

(*/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. It’s Another Day (New Studio Track)
  2. Kiss Of Death
  3. The Hunter
  4. Unchain The Night
  5. When Heaven Comes Down
  6. Breakin’ The Chains
  7. Into The Fire
  8. Dream Warriors
  9. Tooth And Nail
  10. Alone Again (Intro)
  11. Alone Again
  12. It’s Not Love
  13. In My Dreams
  14. Heaven Sent (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)
  15. Will The Sun Rise (Acoustic Studio Bonus Track)

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: April 20th, 2018

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CD review CAULDRON "In Ruin"

Veröffentlicht am 1. Februar 2016 von Markus W. in Cauldron, Dokken, Bonfire, Heavy Metal, Melodic Metal, Power Metal, US Metal, News, CD Review

(7/10) Canadian powerhouse Cauldron is back with "In Ruin", their new longplayer that features nine new tracks. The guys from Toronto released their last full-length album back in 2012 and in the meantime it was only an EP from 2014 that was published. The waiting comes to an end now.

Melodic metal is mentioned in big letters on Cauldron's invisible banner. Routed in the eighties, the guys from North America are sometimes melodic like the early Dokken while also having raging tracks ("Burning at Both Ends") in their portfolio.

And like often done in metal, there is a longer hymn on an album that starts slow and builds up towards a real metal song. Cauldron follows this pattern too and in their case the tune is called "Corridors of Dust". Unfortunately this number doesn't belong to the best ones on the album since it is too predictable and doesn't offer the really unexpected moments.

The following "Delusive Serenate" does a better job. Actually it's build up in a similar way as the before mentioned track but it is more diverse; something that's also very much needed since it's an instrumental.

The closer straight to the point done "Outrance" rounds off an interesting that combines traditional metal with a good sense for melodies. Not innovative but good and passionate.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. No Return / In Ruin
  2. Empress
  3. Burning at Both Ends
  4. Hold Your Fire
  5. Come Not Here
  6. Santa Mira
  7. Corridors of Dust
  8. Delusive Serenade
  9. Outrance

 

Label: High Roller Records

Genre: Heavy Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016

CD review CAULDRON "In Ruin"
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CD review RESURRECTION KINGS "Resurrection Kings"

Veröffentlicht am 15. Januar 2016 von Markus W. in Resurrection Kings, Dio, Dokken, Heavy Metal, News, CD Review, Melodic Metal, Hardrock, Classic Rock

(7/10) What do you expect when Craig Goldy, Chas West, Sean McNabb and Vinny Appice team up to start a new project? At least my first thought was a Dio and Dokken hybrid. In case you had the same idea, not too far away from reality I must say.

The four guys founded Resurrection Kings. Actually it was again Serafino Perugino, the president of Frontiers Music, that came up with the idea of such an all-star band. Perugino contacted Goldy and presented the thought. That was the beginning of Resurrection Kings, the band that releases end of January the self-titled debut.

The songwriting was partly done by Craig Goldy while some of the tunes on this debut have been written by Alessandro Del Vecchio, the well known keyboarder and producer.

I think you can hear this approach on the album. Some of the songs are very close to Dio's sound while some others have more a melodic and almost AOR expression, like "Never Say Goodbye".

In the end all numbers together sound homogeneous but I personally like the Dio references more. The opener "Distant Prayer " is such a song, or "Path of Love" which also comes with a bluesy Whitesnake vibe.

"Resurrection Kings" is a good debut with some well done songs. But it feels also a bit torn apart due to the mention songwriting process; something that gives the longplayer a real project expression. It would be great if Resurrection Kings would either take the one or the other road. The more Dio-like one would be my preference.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Distant Prayer
  2. Livin' Out Loud
  3. Wash Away
  4. Who Do You Run To
  5. Fallin' For You
  6. Never Sat Goodbye
  7. Path of Love
  8. Had Enough
  9. Don't Have the Fight No More
  10. Silent Wonder
  11. What You Take

 

Label: Frontiers Music

Genre: Melodic Metal

Release Date EU: January 29th, 2016

CD review RESURRECTION KINGS "Resurrection Kings"
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CD review LYNCH MOB "Rebel"

Veröffentlicht am 21. August 2015 von Markus W. in Lynch Mob, Hardrock, Classic Rock, News, CD Review, Rock, Blues, Dokken, KXM

(8/10) I don't know if George Lynch is a rebel, but at least he always did what he thought was best. This didn't necessarily ended up in a constant commercial success. The six stringer had a big contribution to Dokken's platinum sellers like "Under lock and key". Also his the first two longplayers under the banner of Lnych Mob has got quite some attention. Then came a period when records like "Smoke this" confused fans of the guitarist. Hip-hop elements and industrial influences all of a sudden became part of Lynch Mob's sound - something that wasn't too much appreciated.

But since a few years things get more exciting again. Looking back on the last period there was the pretty cool "Sun red sun" release as well as the collaboration with Michael Sweet from Stryper. Also KXM, a project Lynch is part of,  released a very cool debut. So, things are getting better again, however Lynch always stayed true to himself - in the good days and the bad days.

"Rebel" adds to this positive impression with eleven new songs. Next to Lynch's extraordinary guitar play it is singer Oni Logan that has an important role in Lynch Mob's sound, His voice fits perfect to the bluesy hardrock of the band and in the beginning of "War" he even sounds partly like Bruce Dickinson. This shows the range his voice has.

The great thing with "Automatic fix", the opener, is the fact that it delivers the instruction manual for the album in the lyrics. "I put my headphones on and turn the music loud" is the first line Logan sings. It can't be phrased in a better way. And with your headphones on you get the full load of grooving hardrock.

Talking about 'groove', "Sanctuary" is another one. It's maybe a bit complex after the first round but it gains with each time listening to it. Also blues gets enough attention on the album. "Pine tree avenue" has some blues and "Testify" comes with even more.

A song that stands out is the awesome "The ledge". It's a gloomy ballad that reminds from the guitarline to Metallica's "Enter sandman"; at least in the verse.

The closer is the earlier mentioned "War" and it seems that Lynch kept one of the best tracks for the end. As said, the vocal lines in the beginning show some inspiration by Iron Maiden while the track itself is a pure rocker with a good punch

"Rebel" is an album that is full of modern hardrock with quite some blues cross-references. Great stuff that is worth to listen to.

 

(8/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Automatic fix
  2. Between the truth snd a lie
  3. Testify
  4. Sanctuary
  5. Pine tree avenue
  6. Jelly roll
  7. Dirty money
  8. The hollow queen
  9. The ledge
  10. Kingdom of slaves
  11. War

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

Release date EU: August 21st, 2015

CD review LYNCH MOB "Rebel"
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CD review SWEET & LYNCH "Only to rise"

Veröffentlicht am 22. Januar 2015 von Markus W. in Sweet & Lynch, Lynch Mob, Stryper, Dokken, Hardrock, Melodic Metal, Heavy Metal, CD Review, News

(7/10) When guitar maniac George Lynch and Stryper singer Michael Sweet team-up the result can't be really a bad one. This thought gets even stronger knowing that the to guys could convince James Lomenzo (b) and Brian Tichy (d) to join as well.

As with Level 10, the cooperation was based on an idea from Frontiers CEO Serafino Perugino. And as with Level 10 also the result of Sweet & Lynch sounds pretty good. The 12 songs on the album are mainly written by Goerge Lynch in cooperation with Michael Sweet and can be described as 70's and 80's influenced hardrock tunes.

The album starts with "The wish" quite powerful. It is build on a cool riff from Lynch and the clear vocals of Sweet gives the song immediatley an identity. I must say that guitar and vocals go together very well on the entire album.

"Love stays" is of a lower pace and profits more from an emotional intesity. A song where the rhythm section can shine is "Rescue me". It begins with a strong punch by Tichy and grooves very hard. Even thought the verse is kept more relaxed the pounding drums are pushing the song on and on.

"Me without you" is the ballad on the album which is done very well, by avoiding cliches and enriched by a great solo of Lynch. It has a touch of Foreigner by the way.

Time to speed up again. The dirty rocker "Recover" is the right song to shake you up and Sweet goes even into the falcetto in the chorus. 

A song that can't live up to the quality of the others is "Divine". It sounds a bit breathless and sounds more trivial. Also Lynch guitar can't really safe this track.

Fortunately "September" brings the album back on track again. It's a smooth rocker that reminds with its guitar sound to Iron Maiden "Wasted years".  

A highlight, and I think the best song on the album, is coming in the end. It is the title track "Only to rise" that is fast and to the point. It's a real bouncer with great melody lines and an even better guitar riff. It feels that the band enjoys playing this song by using all the given freedom.

I was suprised that George Lynch found time for such an album, since he's also involved in KXM and released a Lynch Mob album too. However, Sweet & Lynch really seem to appreciate their cooperation since next to the album the band plans to do some rehearsals and book a tour too. So far it's the album "Only to rise" which you should listen to and let's see if tour plans will become real.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. The wish
  2. Dying rose
  3. Love stays
  4. Time will tell
  5. Rescue me
  6. Me without you
  7. Recover
  8. Divine
  9. September
  10. Strength in numbers
  11. Hero-zero
  12. Only to rise

 

Label: Frontiers Records

Genre: Hardrock

 

CD review SWEET & LYNCH "Only to rise"
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New KMX video

Veröffentlicht am 6. Dezember 2014 von Markus W. in KMX, Lynch Mob, Dokken, King's X, Korn, Hardrock, Classic Rock, Rock, News

KMX, the band with George Lynch, Doug Pinnick and Ray Luzier, revealed a new video for a song from their debut album. The lyric video is made for "Faith is a room" which is a great song that got a cool video too. Check it out.

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CD review WHITE WIDDOW "Crossfire"

Veröffentlicht am 29. November 2014 von Markus W. in White Widdow, Night Ranger, Treat, Hardrock, Rock, Dokken, News, CD Review

(7/10) What sounds very Swedish/Scandinavian comes from down under. White Widdow was founded in 2008 in Melbourne, Australia by Jules (v) and Xavier (key) Millis. Together with six stinger Enzo Almanzi the base was build for White Widdow.

The five-piece is inspirened by 80's AOR and melodic hardrock. Treat, Skagarak, Night Ranger and a bit of Dokken - those are the references in their sound. What might come over a bit old-fashioned gets actually quite modern out of the speakers. 

"Crossfire" is the third album of the band and follows the 2011 longplayer "Serenade". The new records contains all the incrediences needed for a nice melodic rock meal. There are the more rocking tunes like the opener "Caught in the crossfire" and "Never again". There are as well the highly melodic anthems "Just another day", "Carry the heartache" and "Too many tears". All three on the edge to drown in sticky cliches - but in the end they don't. That's good. Furthermore there are bombastic keyboard soundscapes, that are in line with a bit more rocking guitars and great vocals. No surprise considering the founding members.

"Crossfire" is an album that contains quite good melodic rock. If you are a fan of the earlier mentioned bands you will not regret having listened to White Widdow.

 

(7/10)

 

Tracklist:

  1. Caught in the crossfire
  2. Fly me away
  3. Just another night
  4. Below the belt
  5. Dreams don't die
  6. Too many tears
  7. Angel
  8. Born to be a rebel
  9. Carry the heartache
  10. Never again

 

Label: AOR Heaven

Genre: Melodic Rock

CD review WHITE WIDDOW "Crossfire"
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CD review KXM "KXM"

Veröffentlicht am 19. Mai 2014 von Markus W. in KXM, King's X, Lynch Mob, Dokken, Korn, Hardrock, Rock, Alternative Rock, CD Review

(9/10) Is KXM a new supergroup? I don't know. Are they a bunch of experienced guys? Absolutly. Are they playing cool music? Of course they do.
KMX is the name of the new band which was formed by three well-known guys. Doug Pinnick from King's X, George Lynch from Lynch Mob/Dokken and drummer Ray Luzier from Korn. That's also where the band's name comes from. It's an acronym out of the bands the guys are involved. The K comes from Korn, the X comes from King's X and last but not least Lynch Mob delivers the M to KXM.
This combination of styles sounds already like 'wow'. Considering all the different styles coming together by the three guys the result must be impressive. And it is. 

It was in the beginning of 2013 when the idea about KXM was born. The three guys started to jam together. No clear goal in mind, just enjoying the moment of making music, they started. Since the flow of creative output didn't want to stop the result of these sessions is the 12 tracks long debut of the band.
Their sound is pretty unique. Modern metal element from Korn which are also coming back in Lynch's unique guitar sound, are part of the sound as well as the more complex song structure from King's X and the screaming guitar from George Lynch. The result is an explosive mixture, reflected in tunes like ...

"Stars" is the first track on the album and sets the scene for the rest of "KXM". The structure of the song is a bit complex aft er the first listening session. But over time it becomes a really great tune with an enormous groove and a modern guitar riff from Lynch. "Stars" sounds a bit like a jam session. Another great tune is the ballad "Never stop". It's an accoustic guitar beauty with some country feeling and a lot of passion. Ballads can become sometimes just boring stuff on a rock album, but KXM made it a highlight on their debut. "Faith is a room" is another cool track. It is darker than the other ones and has a pounding rhythm. It's irresistable. Also "Do it now" is remarkable. The song has a bit of a sleazy hardrock charme with a partly dominating part which is in interaction with Lynch's guitar play. The little bit gloomy vocal line gives another extra to the track. Those songs are quite representative for the entire album. It's highly entertaining and pleasure for your ear canals.

It took me a few rounds to figure out the entire beauty of the musical gem. Maybe you have the same and my advice is to not give up. This is an album which wants to be discovered and not just listened to.


(9/10)



Tracklist

  1. Stars
  2. Gun fight
  3. Rescue me
  4. Never stop
  5. Faith is a room
  6. I'll be OK
  7. Sleep
  8. Love
  9. Burn
  10. Do it now
  11. Human frcition
  12. Tranquilize
  13. Resecue me (radio edit)



Label: Rat Pak Records
Genre: Hardrock

CD review KXM "KXM"
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