A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Grade Scale adopted at MetalKings.com (starting from the lowest)

1 - Shite
2 - Could be worse
3 - Could be better
4 - Damn good
5 - Killer

5/5
EVIDENCE ONE
Criticize The Truth
2002
Humbucker Music / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
Oh no, not Germans again! Side projects is what they all live and dream about. This time we have Carsten Schultz from reborn Domain and guitarist (and also leader) of melodic hard rockers from Frontline. Both decided to record a hard rock album (I guess they play power metal in their bandsJ). OK, the album is more hard-edged than those of Domain and Frontline. The best tracks on the debut are mid-tempoed "Trust Vs. Heart", speedy "Like Never Before", rough and mighty "In The Beginning There Was Fire". One more thing about this effort - total absence of ballads which is very untypical for such a genre. And one more thing - music perfectly fits into lyrics and reflects ideas of their writers. A nice debut (might be continued…) (Dead Ripper)

5/5
HANOI ROCKS
Twelve Shots On The Rocks
2002
Major Leiden/RLF Music OY
classic hard rock

Finally the new full-scale rebirth album of Hanoi Rocks hit the stores! Everyone who didn't hear mini-EP "People Like Me" should immediately grab a hold on this masterpiece of Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy for that's the pure example of how a legend should come back. A powerful album with catchy rock'n'rollers, couple of sentimental ballads and pair of cover tracks - that's what the album of the year is all about. The effort is full of hits like "Obscured", "People Like Me", "In My Darkest Moment", "Lucky" и "Designs On You". Michael and Andy still can compose melodic glam rock tracks neverminding all changes in modern music styles. Their one and only style they chose since the very beginning is still there but it got more original and constructive. So the summary is, the legend is back! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
JETBOY
One More For Rock'n'Roll
2002
Perris Records
glam/hard rock
Remember those American glamsters? One of their best commercial steps was to invite ex-Hanoi Rocks bass player Sammy Yaffa. The band existed for some five years, released two albums and split up in early 1990s. But the mysterious American company called "Perris Records" recently released even three (!) albums with unreleased demo tracks with the help of ex-Jetboy axeman Billy Rowe. "One More For Rock'n'Roll" is the fourth strike. OK, fasten your seat belts and dive into the glam rock of the 1980s! Whatever you expect is here - mid-tempos, speedy rock'n'roll anthems and surely ballads featuring KISS cover "Hard Luck Woman". Nevertheless Jetboy own tracks sound much more funny and crazier. Line-up of the band is not the same as on official albums but it only makes music more spontaneous and rough. Well, if you're tired of various power, black, death and other shit metal styles try Jetboy and you won't regret! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
YNGWIE JOHANN MALMSTEEN
Concerto Suite For Electric Guitar And Orchestra In E Flat Minor -
Live With The New Japan Philharmonic
2002
Pony Canyon
rock meets classic

1997 saw the release of classic album of Yngwie Johann Malmsteen with the Prague Symphonic Orchestra. Surely classically-trained Yngwie did not cover his own tracks with orchestra like Metallica or Scorpions did, he 'SIMPLY' wrote a suite for electric guitar and orchestra. But at the same time the album was recorded with the help of many technical features, guitar and orchestra were recorded separately, overdubs were made and mixing completed the work. Though maestro was not really satisfied with the result and decided to play some live shows with orchestras. Guess who was the first client? You got it, Japan! The New Japan Philharmonic was the first worldwide to perform the Malmsteen Opus. The live recording proved that professional musician remains the same anyway. Ok, Yngwie could not avoid the temptation to play some of his own tunes. No, don't expect "Never Die", "I'll See The Light Tonight" or "Rising Force", no room for rockers only classically-influenced tracks such as "Black Star", "Trilogy Suite Op.5", "Brothers" (the best ever!), "Blitzkrieg" и "Far Beyond The Sun". Well, if you want to know what 'rock meets classic' is forget bullshit of Scoprions and Metallica - listen to the real genius and worship his talent! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
MASTERPLAN
Enlighten Me
2002
AFM Records / CD-Maximum
progressive heavy metal
There's been talked so much about this band! Originally it was formed by two ex-Helloween mates guitarist Roland Grapow and drummer Uli Kusch. After extensive search they found a singer in Jorn Lande (ex-The Snakes, Millenium) who left all bands in order to give full force to Masterplan. So what, was it all worth it? Yes, yes and yes again! Seems like this time Lande finally found his own style, at least that's not another David Coverdale copy. Both Grapow and Kusch were totally right giving their keyboard player the possibility to add new waves to the music. And those two did finally understand that guitar and drum solos are a way to the past so the whole band joined efforts to carefully work on the musical direction and songs. The result is in your face - that's not Helloween-like power metal and nothing like Whitesnake-ish hard rock, that's totally progressive metal! The self-titled song of the EP and "Kind Hearted Light" have all the guts! Cover-version of Led Zeppelin "Black Dog" is so-so but own songs of the group are much more better. In short, with such songs and fantastic musicians ex-pumpkins have high chances to enter the highest league of rock music.. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
PRETTY BOY FLOYD
The Vault
2002
Perris Records
glam rock
For nearly a decade bootleggers trade the 3CD collection of this band that features a load of demon tracks recorded before Pretty Boys got signed with "MCA". And finally there is a label that decided to officially release those collectables and that's "Perris Records" (no doubt about it). The quality actually sucks but I guess that's not so principal for fans. The most interesting thing is that demo tapes sound more hard rock than the "MCA" release of 1991. Moreover, the album features the song "Shock The World" covered by the band Shameless on 1999 release "Queen 4 A Day" featuring the one and only Steve Summers on vocals. It is not worth give detailed explanation to each track for that's pure glam rock as it was and as it is. Recently various Internet sources reported that the second volume of "The Vault" will see the light of day soon and that gives hopes to each fan to hear everything the band recorded in studios. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
REBELLION
Shakespeare's Macbeth (A Tragedy In Steel)
2002
Drakkar
power metal

What a fool was Chris Boltendahl to exclude guitarist Uwe Lulis from Grave Digger! Uwe quickly formed a new band called after the most famous Grave Digger track from the 1996 critically acclaimed "Tunes Of War" and invited his former fellow bassist Tommy Gottlich to join forces. And that was the right step for Tommy is a big fan of Scottish history and culture that is why the album tells the story of famous Macbeth whose tragic lifestory was perfectly described by British writer William Shakespeare. Another nice thing is that Uwe managed to find a singer similar to Chris in Michael Seifert. He is similar but not the same for on mellow tracks Michael sings more pure and definitely adds great feeling to each word. The album is driving a listener with power, energy and concept all the way. And the latter is a major step for lyrics perfectly fit into performance. Don't miss this album - new Grave Digger is nowhere as close to it! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
SHAMELESS
Splashed Red
2002
Skunk Records
glam rock
The third album of nowadays American band. Stop, is it American? Main songwriter (also bass player) and guitarist are both natural Germans who involve legends like Steve Summers (Pretty Boy Floyd) and Stevie Rachelle (Tuff) for their masterpieces. That is why rough American glam rock fuel by German melody saw the rebirth and clicked out all fellow bands and fellows. "Play that music now!" says a voice in the beginning and... a listener enters the world of fast and mid-tempo songs about girls, love, sex and rock'n'roll. By the way, on each album bass player and leader Alex Michael tries to add something new to his own music and demonstrate the development of his music style - just listen to "Toy Human" or final "Getaway" and you'll know what I mean. And ballads "She's Not Coming Home Tonight" and "Operator" are just magnificent! Summary: if someone tells you glam rock is dead give him some Shameless - no more to say! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
SHY
Unfinished Business
2002
Z Records
melodic hard rock
If you don't have a clue about this band but still like melodic hard rock you're totally wrong for Shy is one of the most famous British bands that used to release classic albums in the 1980s. But in early 1990s singer Tony Mills left to form Siam that released two progressive albums in the vein of Queensryche. Shy stopped all activities for a while, found a new shouter, recorded thunderous "Welcome To The Madhouse" (1994) and fell apart. Six years later Tony returned to his alma mater, the band signed a new contract and released the new effort in 2002. The guys perfectly demonstrated that they are the brightest hope of British hard rock and what a hope it is! The album is full of classic Shy hit tracks. Opuses like "Skydiving", "Breakaway", "Maryanne", "Storyline" and "No Other Way" totally stand out of a number of fake AOR hits of recent five years. That's it, the band found a way to rebirth and did what it had to. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
SOUL DOCTOR
Systems Go Wild!
2002
Marquee Inc.
melodic hard rock
The new album of ex-Fair Warning singer Tommy Heart and ex-Bonfire, Sabu bass axeman Jorg Deisinger fully proves that those outsiders still can rock the world. The album strikes with energetic and driving sound. Seems like this time Doctors spent enough power to produce qualified melodies and lyrics. Possibly that's the result of numerous European and Japanese tours as well as change of European record company to newly born Common Ground Media. Highlight of the album is the song "Livin' The Life" originally included in the "Rock Star" movie soundtrack where it featured the vocals of Jeff Scott Soto. But Soul Doctor played it differently adding rock'n'roll charm to the track. At the same time ballads like "See You In Heaven" and "Waitin'" reveal enormous melody and feelings. Other hits include "Get It On", "All Systems Go!" and traditional Japanese bonus "Cheap Talk". Generally speaking the album is 100 steps higher than anything released this year and absolutely worth names written in its booklet! (Dead Ripper)

2/5
STRATOVARIUS
Eagleheart
2002
Nuclear Blast
power metal

What the hell is that? New Stratovarius tracks? The title-track of this EP is a mix of "Hold On To Your Dream" and "Hunting High And Low"! Even the guitar solo is the same! B-side song "Run Away" written by keyboard master Jens Johansson is nothing but Scorpions "Blackout" with sampled vocals. The 3rd opus which is the demo version of "Eagleheart" has absolutely same sounds as the original track but lyrics are different. What a dull moment I had listening to this release! Let's wait for the full-scale album - maybe Finnish wannabes didn't spend two years in vain to do something interesting? (Dead Ripper)

3/5
JOEY TEMPEST
Joey Tempest
2002
Universal Sweden
melodic rock

Damn, I thought Joey Tempest learned to write nice and melodic songs on acoustic guitar avoiding hard rock cliches of the 1980s! How wrong I was!!! Two of his previous releases were just masterpieces of their own kind for such simple and interesting releases are extremely hard-to-find nowadays. And what do we have here? Of course, songs like "Forgiven", "Superhuman", "Magnificent" and "Don't Change" are very good but seems like that's not enough for Mr. Europe and he tries to enter worlds of electronic music and hip-hop which results in weird compositions as "Losers" and "Dreamless". In general, the album is nice but there's no such standout tracks as "For My Country" or "The Match", as they saw nowadays, it doesn't stick to the listener. There's one thing comes to mind, could Joey lose his whole artistic potential for five years wasted between two recent albums? (Dead Ripper)

3/5
UNRULY CHILD
The Basement Demos
2002

Frontiers Records/CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
There's a little history on this release. The band which used to have on board legendary hard rock singers like Mark Free (King Kobra) and Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) announced at its official web-site that there might happen the release of demo tracks for the first self-titled album if there are enough votes. Seems like the number of those votes became high enough and that's why the CD saw the day of release. Surely the demo tracks are something a die-hard collector dreams to own. If you're familiar with the band you'll have fun listening to those unreleased tracks but if you don't know what the kind of band it is, well, classic hard rock from the USA though not so American as Poison or Winger for there are many mid-tempo numbers and ballads and the singer's voice is not too rough. No major differences were found in comparison with the first Unruly Child album. Might be recommended to Journey fans. (Dead Ripper)

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