DANIEL LIONEYE: Vol III

 

Daniel Lioneye was formed in 2001 and originally consisted of HIM members Ville Valo on drums, Mige on bass and Linde on guitar and vocals. They released one album that year called The King Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was only released in Finland and Germany. The title track ended up being the theme song for Bam Margera’s TV show, “Viva La Bam.” In 2008, Linde felt the need to do another Daniel Lioneye album and wanted it to be completely different from the last, and put out VOL II. After 8 years Daniel Lioneye is now back with a third album Vol. III.

The album is a mix of heavy metal, black metal and progressive rock that works perfectly together. With all of these different styles on here, there is a song for everyone and the beauty of it is that the music flows so well between the styles of music. No style takes over, no style swamps the senses, it just seems to be a collection of great songs that they came up with. The playing is impeccable, tight, emotional and the songs are catchy, not in a pop music way, but they latch onto you, get stuck in your ears and become a part of you. The guitar playing has got to be heard with riffs coming at you at every turn and being some of the slickest playing I’ve heard in a long time. The entire band sounds like they are playing their hearts out and really tried to give the listener something different from past albums, and they’ve really accomplished that task with the intricate playing and arrangements on the album. They also have a new version of VOL II’s “Neolithic Way” that takes the song into a different place with the new arrangement.

This album is balanced between the cleaner, and harmonic and the crazed music that you are used to from this band and the production is more rounded out, with depth that adds to the experience. An album that has this much going for it shouldn’t just be considered a side project, it should be thought of as a full-fledged band that can stand shoulder to shoulder with any band.

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FOUR BY FATE: Relentless

Four By Fate was started by Tod Howarth and John Regan of Frehley’s Comet, and they have also worked with David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Cheap Trick, John Waite, Billy Idol, and Davide Lee Roth, just to name a few. The group also includes Patrick James Gasperini (Pound, Flywheel) and former Skid Row drummer Rob Affuso. Other contributors to this album are Stet Howland (drummer for WASP), Sean Kelly (guitarist for Helix and Nelly Furtado) and the late Twisted Sister drummer AJ Pero, who recorded six tracks on the album before his untimely passing in 2015. These drum tracks are thought to be his last recordings.

So, with all of that pedigree and talent……is it any good? Well……..YES! This is the kind of hard rock album that you look for and never find……until now. The playing is tight, fresh sounding and full of energy. The drumming is heavy, but melodic, the bass is fat and rumbles magically throughout the album, and the guitar playing has riffs galore, enough to wear out your old air guitar and look for a new model. The vocals are clear, smooth for the most part, but with a nice bite to them to grab you. The songs are catchy and will make you get up and move your ass, and shake your thinning, but still glorious mullet to. The songs have that classic ’80s sound, pumping you up, full of bounce, melodic, but not wimpy and still with a nod to a power ballad with “It’s Over Now” being a lighter raiser, but still have guts to it. If you have any doubts about how good this album is, just put on “Follow Me” and tell me that it doesn’t rock like a mutha!

You get an album of songs that sound like they are from a lost album from the ’80s, but you still get the clear production with a punch of modern times. This band shows that playing classic hard rock is a talent that few have mastered as well as they have……turn it up and rock out!

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http://www.fourbyfate.com/

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BILLY TALENT: Afraid Of Heights

 

Billy Talent is a Canadian rock band from Mississauga, Ontario. They formed in 1993 with Benjamin Kowalewicz as the lead vocalist, Ian D’Sa on guitar, bassist Jon Gallant and drummer Aaron Solowoniuk. Aaron is currently taking a hiatus from the band due to an MS relapse, Jordan Hastings from Alexisonfire, Cunter and Say Yes is currently filling in for him. The band existed for almost a decade before mainstream success. The members met and played in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Secondary School under the name Pezz and renamed itself Billy Talent after running into legal trouble with the old name. Afraid of Heights is their fifth studio album and is their first album in four years following 2012’s Dead Silence.

Well, they have gone more political on this one with “Big Red Gun” and “This Is Our War” having more than a hint of questions about what the hell the Americans are doing nowadays. Of course being Canadian, there has always been an eye at what the southern neighbors are up to, but now it’s getting a bit more strange and dangerous than before and being an outsider is a good place to be. A few fist pumpers on here, such as “Ghost Ship Of Cannibal Rats, and “Louder Than The DJ” will sound great mixed into their live set with their catchy choruses. The band seems to be playing their collective hearts out and have a lot to say on this album, so read those lyrics kids! The playing is tight, with thick bass lines, powerful drumming, slick riffs, and the shouted vocals that combined make for a great listen.

If you are a fan…..what are you waiting for…….an invitation? If you are curious, grab their best of album and this at the same time, that way you can hear where they came from and where they are today. If you want music to make you think as well as rock out to……this is your album.

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KROKUS: Long Stick Goes Boom: Live From Da House Of Rust: CD

Hard to believe that these guys have been around for forty years…FORTY YEARS! Hear is a live album showcasing their Krok and Roll that has kept them in the charts around the world and is the best way to experience them. I saw them in concert back in 1983 when they opened for Def Leppard on the Pyromania tour and they were amazing and I have never forgotten that show.

This live album has some newer songs on it, “Hallelujah Rock ‘n Roll,” “Hoodoo Woman,”  “Hellraiser,” “Go Baby Go” and they also perform “Live For The Action,” which was recorded in 2009 for the Ice Hockey World Championships hosted by Switzerland.  Of course the rest of the album has Krokus fans playing a bunch of songs from the “old days.” Classic after classic gets played, “Heatstrokes,” “Bedside Radio,” “Tokyo Nights,” and “Fire” from  Metal Rendez-vous,  then into Hardware with “Easy Rocker,” and “Rock City,”  which is a medley including “Better Than Sex,” and “Dog Song” from their last album Dirty DynamiteOne Vice At A Time gives us “American Woman,” and “Long Stick Goes Boom,” complete with some of the Who’s “Pinball Wizard” at the end. Headhunter‘s contribution is “Screaming In The Night.” As you can see, this is a fantastic collection of songs that could only have been improved if this was a double CD to get some of the other classics not on here…minor quibble. The band is super tight and you can hear just how much fun they were having back home. The smiles and energy from this performance just bursts through the songs on it brings a smile to your face.

I really would love to see these guys live again, but this will help me i=until that day will hopefully come. If you miss the days of great live albums and have seen or never seen them in concert…you need this.

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http://krokusonline.seven49.net/en/News/Default.htm

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EVERCLEAR: Black Is The New Black: CD

I remember being in the bar, being Mr. DJ and having a CD with a track of theirs on it and taking a chance and playing it, the crowd liked it and so did I. After a few years I lost track of the band and got more into industrial and electronic music, but these guys were still pumping out albums…glad they hung in there because this is a great album.

Huge guitars all over the album, pounding drums and fantastic singing make this one of the best albums that I’ve heard in a long time. The mix of hard rock and punk aggression really grabbed me, then I fell for the hooks, and boy are there a ton of them on here, the kind that force their way into your head and echo inside for days. Just knowing that after over twenty years, these guys have come out with an album that many of their peers from that era could never come out with, not a rehash or a safe album, they went for broke on here and laid it all out there for us to hear and I doff my hat to them for taking this chance because it paid off in full. “Sugar Noise” is a killer track to start off the album, tight, heavy and it has a nice groove that you can dance to, and it shows that these guys are here to rock the place down. “American Monster” is a song that kicks the complacency of the normal life in the pretty suburbs. “This Is Your Death Song” is an amazing song that has blazingly tight riffs and a chorus that I can’t get out of my head. “Simple And Plain” has another amazing chorus and a fantastic bass line. “Van Gogh Sun” is a little bit more mellow at first, then takes off and lifts the roof off. The production is great, tight, able to hear the raw emotion and the subtly in the last song “Safe.”

If you were a fan, this will bring you back, if you aren’t a fan, give it a listen, if you are a fan, you already know how good it is. This is not retro rock, this is a vital and hungry band giving their souls to us .

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http://theendrecords.com

HINDER: When The Smoke Clears: CD

Hinder are back with a new album, new label, The End Records, and it will also be the first album to feature Marshal Dutton as the new lead vocalist. Fans have been looking forward to this release and wondering how it would sound for a long time.

This is a special review from guest reviewer Amy East.

The new album is very refined and smooth sounding for a hard rock band and it flows nicely from song to song. The lyrics are clear, and the music doesn’t overwhelm the words, creating a nice balance between the words and music. The tempo is steady, balanced, and is at a good speed. All the songs are connected not just by the words or music, but by the emotional connection they all share. It’s running through the emotions of getting over a break up and meeting someone new and going through all the same shit all over again with the new girl. The CD seems very personal, and yet so relatable to just about anyone that listens to it. It’s about a guy that breaks up with his girl, and has a crappy life and can’t seem to change it, but things start to turn around when he meets someone new, but it doesn’t last, and, there goes the same shit all over again. He is heartbroken and feeling pretty bad about that, and in his mind it’s a worthless lonely life. The new lead vocalist does seem to fit in well with the band, like he has always been the lead instead of Austin Winkler. Winkler gave the music a rough around the edges feel, and it was less refined, less smooth more hard rock, while Dutton brings a sense of refinement, making the music less intimidating to the non rocker girls, and the ones who are exploring other genres. Track four “If Only for Tonight,” is less heavy and more pop sounding, and it’s rather comforting to hear someone that is on the same emotional page as you are, and have a connection with. It makes me feel like if I was in that situation I would need a break from reality even for a night, and I would like to spend it with someone was feeling the same as I do.

A very welcome addition to their discography and one that will please long time fans, as well as get them new ones. Grab a copy and give it a chance, they made me a believer.

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http://hindermusic.com/

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http://theendrecords.com/

GOTTHARD: Bang!: CD

These Swiss rockers from Lugano, Switzerland were founded in the early 1990s by vocalist Steve Lee and guitarist Leo Leoni. The current line-up is made up of Leoni, Freddy Scherer (guitar), Marc Lynn (bass), Hena Habegger (drums) and his second album as their lead vocalist is Nic Maeder, following the tragic passing of Steve Lee in a motorcycle accident in late 2010.

The album opens with an intro, and then into the heavy bluesy title track that gets the head nodding with the tight playing and the fantastic chorus. “Get Up And Move On” is another terrific uptempo track with great vocals laid over the fuzzy guitars. “Feel What I Feel” has a driving rhythm, a melodic touch, and darker vocals that work really well together. There is a blues undertone throughout the album that gives it a lot of depth and character, and the guitar playing is fantastic throughout. “C’est La Vie,” a gentle ballad that adds an accordion, which is an integral part of this song. The album closes with the epic ten minute “Thank You,” dedicated to Leoni’s recently departed mother.

With a ton of banging tracks, great production and playing, this album is going to win over some new fans and please the diehards. The band takes all of the good things from previous albums, and builds on them with this release, making this a great start for newbies and a continuation of the grand adventures of this band.

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http://www.gotthard.com/de/

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