Tuesday, July 25, 2017

CD REVIEW: BORN FROM FIRE by The Quill




BORN FROM FIRE by The Quill
(Metalville Records)

They're back! The Swedish based juggernaut known as The Quill return with their original line up, Magnus Ekwall on vocals, Christian Carlsson on guitars, Roger Nilsson on bass and Jolle Atlagic on drums. The classic lineup, who made the albums, 'Silver Haze', 'Voodoo Caravan' and 'Hooray! It´s a Deathtrip' have reunited to unleash their new studio album, 'Born From Fire' and it's a MONSTER! There's just a little bit of me which will be forever stuck in the early seventies. I just can't help it! The same could be said of The Quill. Their new album is like hitting play and stepping out of a time capsule fully-formed and loaded with riffs that would make Tony Iommi proud. Magnus Ekwall is powerful singer with a strapping pair of lungs which he deploys with just the right amount of intensity which these twelve songs on this album demand. When he opens up and lets rip, as he does convincingly on "Stone Believer", he is also capable of restraint as he demonstrates on "Set Free Black Crow". Christian Carlsson certainly delivers the goods in the riff department.  There are some absolutely huge ones to deal with here, "Snake Charmer Woman", "The Spirit And The Spark" and "Hollow Of Your Hand". 'Burn From Fire' is a new chapter for The Quill and it’s hard to imagine any fans of this band not liking it. Whether you’re into the classics like Sabbath, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep or the later generation bands like Orange Goblin, The Sword and Graveyard, you’ll want to check out The Quill and this album is a great starting point.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, July 24, 2017

CD REVIEW: UNIFY by World Trade




UNIFY by World Trade 
(Frontier Records)

Neo-progressive rock band World Trade return with their latest release, 'Unify', the band's third release .Comprised of Billy Sherwood (bass, vocals), Bruce Gowdy (guitar), Guy Allison (keyboards) and Mark T. Williams (drums). Having been a fan since their self titled debut and 'Eulphoria' I was excited to hear this new album. I have to admit, it didn't hit me right away. After a few repeated plays, I found myself liking it  more and more. It got to the point where I was slightly obsessed by the album, hearing something different every time. Sherwood's vocals are stunning & the musicianship of Gowdy, Allison and Williams is intricate and amazing. Full of creativity and above all passion. Hard to pick out stand out tracks, but the ones that do it for me are, "The New Norm", "Where Were Going"  and "On Target On Time" but didn't miss out on repeated listens to, "For The Fallen" because every time I do, I find something new in it. 'Unify' is melodic prog rock at its finest. It sounds enormous and epic, beautifully crafted, thoughtful and intelligent. Truly a incredible soundscape. I will conclude here, despite having volumes more to say about the album. It's one my favorite listens this for sure, to it put simply.  The individual performances are really tight and the production is top notch, it all makes for a superb and memorable listening experience.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Friday, July 21, 2017

CD REVIEW: THROUGH MYSTERY by Bloody Heels




THROUGH MYSTERY by Bloody Heels
(Independent Release)

'Through Mystery' the solid debut outing for the Latvia based rockers, Bloody Heels hits you with 11 anthemic rock songs that will satisfy fans of melodic hard rock and hair metal in general. The band is comprised of, Vicky White (vocals), Harry Rivers (guitar), Chris Flint (bass, keyboards) and Gus Hawk (drums). The melodies and harmonies are really catchy. Many times you'll buy a album and you get one good song, but I would say at least 50% of the songs on here are excellent. Basically, take a little Ratt, and Def Leppard and mix them together...And the Bloody Heels is the result. "Danger Calling"  is my favorite, but, "Can't Help Myself" is right there with it - very melodic. "Victim" and "Cheap Little Liar" are awesome, too. Fans of the 80's rock scene owe it to themselves to at least check this out. European rock music scene is cranking out some good music these days with bands like Crazy Lixx, H.e.a.t, etc...It's really too bad American radio won't play this stuff because I'd bet many would take a liking to it if it were put in front of them. Overall all, 'Through Mystery' by Bloody Heels is a great example of melodic hard rock and one of the better rock albums I have heard this year for sure.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CD REVIEW: SECOND CHANCE by XTASY




SECOND CHANCE by XTASY
(The Fish Factory)

Spain based rockers, XTASY are back with their sophomore release, 'Second Chance', and it isanother superb example of high quality melodic rock. The songs are solid combining elements such as smooth and memorable vocal melodies, strong guitar solos, lively performances, and solid production. The majority of the eleven songs here are definite up tempo for sure.  Highlights include the cracking opening track "Into The Fire" the hook laden chorus of "One In A Million" the awesome drive of "Said And Done" and the tasty guitar riff of "Speed Of Light". ' Second Chance' gives the Melodic Rock fans exactly what they're looking for, with songs that stick in the ears from the first second and amazing musical licks.
Despite the fact that 'Second Chance' doesn't surpass the amazing heights of their debut album, it is still going to please most fans of this style of music without becoming a classic album of the genre. Overall, The album shows that the band has matured and have gelled perfectly together in a very natural way, presenting a sound which encompasses different influences and is now defined and recognizable as their own.

 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, July 17, 2017

CD REVIEW: MOTHER NATURE BLUES by Universal Hippies




MOTHER NATURE BLUES by Universal Hippies
(Grooveyard Records)

Imagine a combination of Gov't Mule, Hendrix and Trower coming together to do a  instrumental album. Mind blowing right? This is what your senses will experience with, 'Mother Nature Blues', the latest release from the blues power trio known as, Universal Hippies. Comprised of, prolific guitarist Stavros Papadopoulos (Super Vintage, Freerock Saints & Hard Driver). Along with Jim Petridis on bass and Chris Lagios on drums. These Universal Hippies manage to straddle the line between blues rock and fusion gracefully thanks to their incredible talent. All 10 songs are dynamic and mixed extremely well. Highlights include, "Redemption Day", "Homo Sapiens", "Mariner's Dream" and "Reincarnation".  You can literally feel the energy in each song. Although these are complex arrangements it sounds effortless. A unique and powerful effort from this trio with solid production that gives equal sonic space to all of them. Mainly because they understand the most important thing. If you cannot incorporate feel into playing  it is almost immediately boring. At least it is to me. It's amazing how good this music is. If you like music to be harmonically and rhythmically unique, or if you like bluesy fusion of the instrumental kind taken to a whole new level, this album is a no-brainer.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Monday, July 10, 2017

CD REVIEW: DREAMING IN THE HOUSE OF BLUES by Ulrich Ellison




DREAMING IN THE HOUSE OF BLUES by Ulrich Ellison 
(Grooveyard Records)

Austin, Texas by way of Austria guitar phenom, Ulrich Ellison walks tall in the blues tradition with his latest release, 'Dreaming In The House Of Blues', jettisoning fiery blues riffs with a hard-rock sensibility, and a soulful vocal delivery. Ellison has a talent for making his guitar communicate on a vibrational level that reverberates the blues. One of the album's best characteristics is the way the blistering riffs are executed, in that you can get the  pleasure listening to Ulrich's skillful improvisations. For me, the key to this awesome 18 song set is the quality of music, it's blues but it's more than that, it is simply great music by one amazing musician. The production throughout is clear, the band backing Ellison are a solid unit blending perfectly together. As wonderfully revealed in tracks like: "Ten Feet Tall" "Running On Empty", "I Had A Dream", "Feeling Like A Rich Man" and "Sleepless". There are no weak tracks or fillers. The balance between up tempo numbers and slower material is excellently balanced, making for a listening experience that just leaves you wanting to hit the repeat button again and again. The bottom line here is,  'Dreaming In The House Of Blues' is an album absolutely packed full of gutsy electric blues classics and will impress even the most sceptical hard blues fan.  Absolutely outstanding.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

CD REVIEW: RIDE THE STORM by Don Barnes




RIDE THE STORM by Don Barnes
(Melodic Rock Records)

So we had to wait three decades to hear 'Ride The Storm', the debut release from former 38. Special frontman, Don Barnes. As I listen, I'm shaking my head wondering why record executives decided to shelve it?!  This album is easily on par with 38. Special's classics, 'Wild Eyed Southern Boys' and 'Special Forces', It's that good. This two CD set features the album in its intended form, plus a second ‘alternate mix’ disc, on which three additional bonus tracks "Through The Eyes Of Love", "Looking For Juliet" and Let's Talk About Love". No exaggeration on how this album is, check out the musical firepower Don Barnes assembled to make this gem of a album. Dann Huff (guitar), Tim Pierce (guitar), Martin Briley (keyboards, guitar)Jesse Harms (keyboards)Alan Pasqua (keyboards), Mike Porcaro (bass), Jeff Porcaro (drums and )Denny Carmassi (drums). As soon as your press play the album launches into the title track and sets the table for one memorable listening experience. No fillers here, all ten tracks are winners. Personal favorites include, "Looking For You", "I Fall Back", "Don't Look Down","Maybe You'll Believe Me Now" and a awesome take the Chicago classic, "Feelin' Stronger Every Day". You can play this album straight through without skipping forward. You can feel the energy and passion in each song played by out of this world amazing musicians. For me, listening to this album reminded why I became a fan of Don Barnes. Though the wait was long, it was definitely worth it!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Sunday, July 9, 2017

CD REVIEW: FREEDOM MACHINE by Hard Driver




FREEDOM MACHINE 
by Hard Driver
(Grooveyard Records)

If you're into power blues rock trios, you are going to want check out Hard Driver from Greece. The trio's debut release, 'Freedom Machine' is a powerhouse of a recording that is loaded with riffs and solos that jump out at from start to finish. Hard Driver is comprised of Stavros Papadopoulos on guitar & vocals and the powerful rhythm section of Jim Petridis on bass and Chris Lagios on drums. I can't even explain all the levels this album appeal on. Virtuoso playing that is modern but with an appealing retro vibe. Solid vocals and a lot of emotion all around. On first listen, it blew me away and have been surprised time and again with repeated listenings.  Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, Trower, the very best of 60's and 70's rock have been channeled via these talented gentlemen. Highlights include; "Freedom Machine", "Ride To Live" "Mojo Man", "Electric Ride" and "Price To Pay". There's maybe some songs that are more appealing than others, but I didn't feel that any were just filler. Seriously, if you've been praying for unadulterated good ol' fashion hard rock, with plenty of guitar welding, chest pounding drums, and wicked bass, check out, Hard Driver's 'Freedom Machine', this bad boy delivers the goods in spades!
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society

Saturday, July 1, 2017

CD REVIEW: THE NEW BREED by The New Breed




THE NEW BREED 
by The New Breed
(Broken Road Records)

UK rockers The New Breed breakout onto the scene with their self titled debut Ep loaded with five rocking songs guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping in no time flat!Hooks: a musical idea or short riff, passage, or phrase that catches the ear of the listener. Some bands have 'em, most don't. The New Breed have 'em in spades! Powered by J Michael Ward on vocals, David MacBryde on lead guitar, Tom McKay on rhythm guitar, Dan French on bass and Michael Whitmore on drums. The New Breed lay hooks so tasty everyone bites.  ​From the slamming, full-tilt rush of "Soul Train (No Easy Way Out)" to supercharged movers like, "Lie To Me" , "Get Some" and "Heartbreaker" then closing this out in rocking fashion with, "Black Seas, High Tides". the band's self titled Ep never lets up. In fact, it is fair to say that rock has rarely been rolled with such vehement stamina, and The New Breed deliver the goods. The bottom line is that the band have served up a album, even though just a Ep, filled with solid songs that are well-performed and catchy to boot. If your taste is for rock music laced with swagger and panache, then you'll love The New Breed.
 Highly Recommended
Tony @ The Dedicated Rocker Society