Monthly Archives december 2012

Vicious Rumors: LIVE You to Death


Legendary US metal band VICIOUS RUMORS has definitely not kicked the bucket. 14 live and studio albums on they still soldier on. Some might say that their heyday passed after albums like “Soldiers of the Night” and “Digital Dictator”, which was back in the second half of the eighties, others like me prefer the early nineties and albums like “S/T” and “Welcome to the Ball” etc. But the band has sure struck back with the triumphant “Razorback killers” in 2011. Guitarist Geoff Thorpe has been around since 1979 and drummer Larry Howe more or less since 1986. Bassist Stephen Goodwin came aboard in 2006, vocalist Brian Allen in 2009 and guitarist Bob Capka as late as 2012...

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Vanderbuyst: Flying Dutchmen

VAN Records/Sound Pollution

The three Dutchmen behind the moniker VANDERBUYST are probably never going to be as hip as now. As the word “fun” is more restricted than ever pure fun and hedonism guys guitarist Willem Vanderbuyst, drummer Barry Van Esbroek and bassist/vocalist Jochem Jonkman are the answers to most boring issues. Because this band are probably above such backlashes as the EU finances, government restrictions and general Western Europe Decline. Not with an opener like “Frivolous Franny”! The band has opened for SAXON and shared stage with the likes of BLACK COUNTY COMMUNION and DREAM THEATER, where will this end?

Opener “Frivolous Franny” can´t really go wrong, and the even classically tinged riff of “Waiting in the Wings” is an homage to the early heavy metal of the ...

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Mystery Blue: Conquer the World

Road Show Productions

This French lot dates back to 1982, and debuted on vinyl for Axe Killer Records in 1984. Or rather guitarist Frenzy Philippon did. In 1989 the band disintegrated but, as is soon customary, Philippon revived the band in 1996 bringing in lead vocalist Nathalie Greyer and drummer Vince Kohler, who are still in. The bass side has been more turbulent and it was only 2011 that Hungarian bass player Matt Gabnai came aboard. Will 2012 be the year of MYSTERY BLUE?

It is soon apparent that the major influences are those of most heavy metal fans (in alphabetical order); ACCEPT, JUDAS PRIEST and RUNNING WILD. The drums courtesy of Vince are really some of the most triggered of 2012, which may or may not please your ears as Ms. Greyer has an almost metallic voice...

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Soleil Moon: On the Way to Everything


SOLEIL MOON is a duo consisting of Larry King of MICHAEL THOMPSON BAND and well travelled keyboard player John Blasucci, who has played with most of the pop rock world stars. They debuted in 1999 with “Worlds Apart”, and became a name in Adult Contemporary rock. Apparently the new single “History Repeats Its Pages” so this project band is to be taken seriously.

The single is the opening track, and it is a well-arranged soft melodic piece with many instrumental layers and a slight MICHAL BOLTON-vibe. The band specialty is really soft and engaging songs that are augmented by really lingering refrains and supreme musicians, like MICHAEL THOMPSON, being involved...

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Night Ranger: 24 Strings and a Drummer – Live and Accoustic


Ever since the release of the classic “Dawn Patrol” in 1982 NIGHT RANGER have been top of their game. I discovered them when I heard “Rock in America” on the Swedish Radio Show “Rockbox” in the mid eighties, and most people have some fond memories to their music. This album is nevertheless a celebration of the 30th Anniversary of their debut album, but also features many other hits. Original guitarist Jeff Watson has pursued a solo career, and is replaced by Joel Hoekstra and Eric Levy handles keys and piano since 2011. Let’s see if they can create magic without electricity.

To their credit NIGHT RANGER of 2012 includes quite a few songs off their latest “Somewhere in California”...

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Paragon: Force of Destruction

Napalm/Sound Pollution

Paragon was founded back in 1990 by guitarist Martin Christian, and debuted in 1994 with “World of Sin”. Since then they have released nine more albums and a couple of EPs etc. Vocalist Andreas Babuschkin has been around since 1990, bassist Jan Bunning since 1997, and drummer Christian Gripp has been in the band since 2006. They seem a solid lineup and for this album they have decided on Piet Sielck (IRON SAVIOR) to produce.

This is an album in all simplicity gifted with a solid basic beat and some repetitive refrains that will keep sales at a healthy level...

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Electric Light Orchestra: Mr. Blue Sky – The Very Best of ELO


When JEFF LYNNE was at it making covers in the studio he also found time to re-record his main band ELO´s finest from the back catalogue. With new technology at hand, and handling all instruments himself Jeff has created something of a blockbuster in the charts.

All the famed songs are here if cause, “Evil Woman”, “10538 Overture” (albeit in a 40th Anniversary guise), “Do Ya” and of cause “Livin´ Thing”. The same 60´s buzzing vocals as on the solo covers album, no other musicians involved and the many almost mesmerizing refrains all contribute to some delicious pop in an all but modern costume. But I guess that is the aim here. And on the bright side “Livin´ Thing” will never be forgotten, neither will “Evil Woman”, “Showdown”, “Do Ya” or “10538 Overture”...

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Jeff Lynne: Long Wave


ELO mainman JEFF LYNNE has reveled in his young radio days and came up with this covers album. These eleven cuts apparently had an effect on the young Jeff, and changed the face of pop music. The age of the cuts may vary, but many songs have that in common that many artists have preformed them, from the 1930´s until now.

I believe Jeff has been quite faithful to all original arrangements, but still these songs are a bit too old for me. He has covered Chaplin´s immortalized “Smile” from the movie Modern Times, CHARLES AZNAVOUR´s “She” all the way through to CHUCK BERRY´S “Let It Rock”. The sound of the sixties is always present, or even fifties, and that seems to suite Jeff´s voice splendidly...

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Weeping silence – For the unsung

”For the unsung” is the third album from Maltese band Weeping silence. It’s also the last album to feature Rachel Grech on vocals – shortly after the album was released it was announced that she is leaving the band (one of several bands to part ways with their singer in October this year).

The biggest change that fans will notice about this album is that instead of Rachel Grech doing all the vocals, we now have Joe Grech doing growling vocals alongside her clean vocals. This is a subject that will certainly divide fans – some fans like the mix of clean female vocals and growling male vocals – the so-called ”Beauty and the beast” style, but for many fans the addition of male vocals won’t go down well...

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Taste – Taste

Taste are a Swedish AOR band formed at the very end of 2009 by two brothers – Christoffer Borg on guitar and bass, and Felix Borg on drums, initiially as a side project alongside the other bands they were involved in, but it quickly developed into the main outlet for their music. Since forming they have been busy writing their debut album. Now complete, it is the first release of the year from AOR Heaven records.

Musically the album is great AOR that fans of bands such as FM, Serpentine, Survivor and White Lion are going to love. There’s a smooth and polished AOR sound to the album. The keyboards are quite prominent in the mix, the vocals are great and are nice and clear. The production is excellent with everything sounding crystal clear and sharp...

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