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
DEMONS & WIZARDS
Touched By The Crimson King
2005
Steamhammer / Soyuz
progressive metal
You know, those metal guys are really strange! Instead of focusing on their main bands they permanently get engaged into various side projects releasing albums that totally outperform albums of those main bands in terms of both music and quality. This exact situation takes place in case with Demons & Wizards. The new second album is capable of impressing anybody who was seriously disappointed with the latest opus of Blind Guardian "A Night At The Opera". No doubt the album lacks traditional German melodies mainly classical orientation but there is nothing surprising about it since co-leader of this project is the mastermind and guitarist of American thrashers Iced Earth John Schaffer. At the same time the album is filled with operatic choirs and rough riffs! By the way, this international union perfectly performs cover songs, in particular, we have Led Zeppelin "Immigrant Song" here. It is also worth mentioning that several tracks are based on works of Steven King "The Dark Tower" and the domestic edition contains four bonus songs from the German limited edition. The main conclusion of this CD is that Hansi Kursch is still alive and kicking and he is more than capable of creating a new masterpiece with his Blind Guardian. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
GOTTHARD
Lipservice
2005
Nuclear Blast / Irond
melodic hard rock
Can you remember the year of 1994 when American glam monsters Motley Crue released a really strange self-titled album? And some years later they even started experimenting with modern styles? No clue what you thought but I personally always believed that the guys will make it shine against all odds. And they did in 1999 on "New Tattoo". Here we have the same situation with Gotthard. Once they left the record giant "BMG" for pure metal company "Nuclear Blast" and changed management their music went back to the classic time of the album "G." Of course, you cannot turn back the time full-scale since time marches on but that march was only beneficial for the Swiss guys. No need to list best tracks of the album since they all stand out. The only thing we consider important is that keyboards perfectly fit into the music nowadays; they are not dominating and not vibrating somewhere in the background area but ideally balanced with all other instruments. So if you wanted Gotthard to rock hard - no problem, here you got it! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
GRAVE DIGGER
The Last Supper
2005
Nuclear Blast / Irond
heavy power metal
Seems like this time Grave Digger decided to stop their historical traditions at least partially. This album is not entirely concept. Moreover, the band managed to change the style a bit for the better way. Tell me, what is the classic trademark of Grave Digger opuses? Of course, it's very clear - albums mainly start from heavy speedy tracks. But this time after a traditional intro the band goes into the mid-tempo track "The Last Supper" and only when reaching "Hell To Pay" they start hitting wild and heavy. By the way, pay special attention to "Hell To Pay" - if you miss amazing bass solos which made bass monster Jens Becker that legendary in the heyday of Running Wild and X-Wild on this track Jens tried to compensate that loss playing a relatively extensive solo that does not disrupt the song structure at all. In all other parameters this is the same good old Grave Digger we all got used to for nearly 20 years of the band existence. Maybe only the last bonus track "Jeepers Creepers" sounds a way too hard rocking but what else can you expect from a bonus track anyway? (Dead Ripper)

5/5
HANOI ROCKS
Another Hostile Takeover
2005
Major Leiden
classic glam/hard rock
Every time I hear a new album of Finnish legend Hanoi Rocks the only question coming to mind is, "Why this band never got the recognition they deserve?" This brand new album, which is the next after the reunion one of 2001, will positively shock everyone around. Anything you want is here to stay from classic glam rock ("Back In Your Face"), mid-tempos ("Hurt"), kick ass rock'n'roll ("Love") and even reggae ("Reggae Rocker"). It is still the best kept Finnish secret how singer Michael Monroe and guitarist Andy McCoy can experiment with various styles and fashions and still maintain the same classic Hanoi Rocks sound that never changed no matter what happened to the band. Do not listen to losers saying that glam and hard rock music is over and out - the new album of Hanoi Rocks is the killer of all doubts about the future of both genres! (Dead Ripper)

4/5
HAREM SCAREM
Overload
2005
Frontiers / Irond
melodic hard rock
The main feature of those Canadian rockers is the absolute refusal to follow settled traditions of hard rock music since with each new album Harem Scarem try to incorporate all possible styles including funk, blues, hard rock and everything in-between into their music. The new album is not an exception to the rules. The only problem with such changes is that it is not easy to get used to those facts especially when they are thrown in your face in just every single song. Just imagine that you listen to an album starting from a couple of extremely groovy and slow-down tracks continuing into some mid-tempo ones mixed with ballads and other groovy tunes. Still you cannot but love the singer's charming and touching but a little raspy voice on "Understand You". Possibly the album is great from the fans' point of view but newcomers on the Canadian hard rock scene might have troubles listening to this one. (Dead Ripper)

2/5
IAN GILLAN BAND
Clear Air Turbulence
1977 / 2005
Eagle Records / CD-Maximum
jazz/funk rock
After the first break-up with Deep Purple Ian Gillan immediately formed a brand new band and started playing jazz/funk/rock destroying all the illusions of his loyal fans. This album, the second one including the ill-fated "Child In Time" (not to be confused with the song), is quite hard to understand to say the least since Gillan attempted to mix jazz rock, psychedelic stuff, and traditional rock music. The result is something we can hardly categorize. Moreover, Gillan mysteriously lost the charming sound of the voice he was famous for in the glorious time of Deep Purple; on this album he sings just anybody else can do. No wonder the album remained a mystery to fans and was sold fairly well just because of the name of Gillan. The latter reason was not the best trick in the box - the next album of the kind killed the band entirely. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
KAYAK
Nostradamus (The Fate Of Man)
2005
SMH
Recordings progressive rock
A couple of years back I was positively shocked by the concept album of this Dutch rock dinosaur called "Merlin (Bard Of The Unseen)". The band is definitely no hard rock especially never a heavy metal one but such an amazing performance leaves no stone unturned. A few years later we got a new concept masterpiece. Of course, poor Nostradamus was heavily exploited by every rock and metal band these days including Stratovarius and separate side project of Brazen Abbot mastermind Nicolo Kotzev in the Nostradamus project and yet Kayak held their heads up high and managed to create such an album that it must be highly recommended to anyone who has a clue of who Arjen Anthony Lucassen and Ayreon project is. Well, Kayak members do not really about guitars and synthesizers but they do care about folk instruments and that is what puts the band out of the psychedelic cellar of similar Dutch scene veterans. Modern technologies can do amazing things but Kayak is not the answer to computer prayers. Amazingly we never got tired through this 2-hour album and believe me, it is a much different approach to the matter than it used to be before. (Dead Ripper)

4/5
SHAKRA
Shakra
1998
Shakra / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
Without a doubt Switzerland can be proud of its rock heroes. Of course, most of them are not quite famous outside of their home country but the ones who made it big are masters of genius. Take, for instance, Krokus and Gotthard. The latter one seems to have given birth to Shakra. Do you remember the year of 1997 when outstanding hard rockers Gotthard switched off their guitars, added keyboards and headed for nearly acoustic horizons? That's when Shakra emerged on the scene and pulled the trigger! Of course, the first album is not the breakthrough one since it sounds too raw and contains a way too many groovy tunes but overly this is the ideal mixture of Gotthard "Dial Hard" and Bonfire "Rebel Soul". Right from ass-kicking "Hands On The Trigger" and up to the final ballad "I Do It My Way" the album hold its listener by the throat and makes your body move along with every change of tempo. Another magnificent moment of this band is that it can generate hit songs like hot cakes; at least five tracks got very high potential. The best start in recent years! (Dead Ripper)

5/5
SHAKRA
Moving Force
1999
Shakra / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
Summing up this album in a couple of words is easy; consider that Shakra music is a truck engine and with this album they switched to the next level of evolution. Music became a bit different - just two ballads out of 12 tracks in total! One of those ballads "And Life Begins" was even released as a single and was a major success at Swiss radio stations. The rest of those tracks have the same musical perfection and feature powerful attacking hitters both up- and mid-tempo ones. It's nothing strange that the album contains a couple of average songs but they are really hard to notice in the collection of over-the-top material. Highly recommended to all hard rockers. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
SHAKRA
Power Ride
1999 / 2005
Shakra / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
Finally the Swiss newcomer legend released the brand new album and got the international recognition practically overnight shutting off all skeptics who never believed in them. The album truly deserves the kind of respect it received. Magical intro "Power Ride (Intro)" creates the special aura leading the listener into roaring "Why Don't You Call Me". You also cannot ignore thunderous "The Sun Will Shine", radio-oriented "Out In The Rain", groovy "She's My Pride" and essential finishing ballad "Take My Hand". In short, this album should be the one standing right near Gotthard "Dial Hard" and Bonfire "Fuel To The Flames" - nothing more and certainly nothing less! Unfortunately for fans and fellow members the album marked the departure of long-time friend singer Pete Weidmer due to health problems. (Dead Ripper)

2/5
STYX
Big Bang Theory
2005
Frontiers / Irond
melodic hard rock
Sorry dear listeners but I have to admit that the American hard rock scene totally lost its way where it used to march strong and proud in glorious 1980s. What is worse nowadays grunge is as dead as it can be and various nu- and other scary kinds of heavy metal are suffering from merely disastrous times. What would you do in such a situation? Of course, work a bit harder and succeed in all spheres! And what do those Americans do? They play endless tours in small clubs or release albums with classical rock tracks of masters from 1960s and 1970s. That's what you get in the case of Styx - cover-album of songs from The Beatles, Jethro Tull, Free, Jimi Hendrix and others. And musically you get it extremely bad. Maybe if Styx were the first band to play that stuff then it's fine but when you have something to compare to regrets is the only answer. Even Yngwie Malmsteen singing and playing Jimi Hendrix "Manic Depression" on the album "Inspiration" (1996) is a lot better. Please, do not make me remind you of Free "Wishing Well" performed by German guitar wizard Axel Rudi Pell with Jeff Scott Soto on vocals in 1994. Are American legends are nothing more than empty glasses nowadays? Then sorry for them… (Dead Ripper)

5/5
TALISMAN
Talisman
1990 / 2005
GMR Music Group / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
So what we were promised some time ago finally materialized, I mean, all Talisman albums got re-issued with bonus discs! And what can you expect from the debut album of this legendary Swedish-American band? Well, the most awesome classic hard rock where each song is a potential hit, lyrics focusing on relations between man and woman and charming melodies capable of impressing any melodic hard rock fan. Best of the best! And thanks to this re-issue we can look behind the scenes and hear the original demos, on which Goran Edman was contributing his vocals and supposed to be the final choice of the lead singer in Talisman. For God's sake he didn't - and we got the best singer in the genre in Jeff Scott Soto. Just listen to demos on the bonus disc and see for yourself; if only that original became the final this band would never go beyond this very opus. Got some knowledge of English? Then read comments of the band founder Marcel Jacob about recordings and songwriting and have fun listening. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
TALISMAN
Genesis
1993 / 2005
GMR Music Group / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
The second album re-issued as well and once again hits between the eyes! The music got rougher, no keyboards here and the number of up-tempo tracks is much bigger. Rock'n'rolling "Coming Home" and "All Or Nothing" highly impress with their fast and melodic guitar passages while the rest of those tracks including "Give Me A Sign" and "U Done Me Wrong" leave unforgettable fire within the listener soul. The bonus disc is full of demos recorded with both Soto and his temporary replacement, Matti Alfonizetti. Once again Soto proves that without his amazing talent and vocals this album would end with band's career entirely. It's not his name at all, it's about passion and energy he contributes in the performance of any song from this album in both demo and final variants. English-trained people can once again enjoy Marcel Jacob comments while those who desire to see the band live can watch the video "Mysterious (This Time It's Serious)". (Dead Ripper)

5/5
TALISMAN
Humanimal
1994 / 2005
GMR Music Group / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
This album fate is mysterious and regretful altogether. Being considered the best, the moment when musicians finally find their own style it was released in so many variants in many countries with such a different tracklist everywhere that it was next to impossible to collect all songs if not buying all those releases. Finally this re-issue ended the madness and included every single song along with the video "Color My XTC". So what is that musical style Soto, Marcel and Co. have been searching for? That's the mixture of several up-tempo tracks with mainly mid-tempo ones with funky attitude that Soto was always longing for. But do not think that musicians totally lost their mind and musical orientation - the album smashes a listener with its energy, awesome hard rocking melodies and just one song "Doin' Time Wit' My Baby" is a hymn of pure love and passion towards women. But what is really shocking is how Soto sings "Todo Y Todo" (Spanish version of "All + All"). No wonder this release is the best out of all the band's albums, the natural melodic rock masterpiece. (Dead Ripper)

4-5/5
TALISMAN
Life & 5 Out Of 5
1995/1994 / 2005
GMR Music Group / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
The fourth album of the band strangely turned out to become too ordinary. From the very first song you can feel almost the total loss of energy; all the tracks are pretty standard with nothing new and nothing special. According to Marcel Jacob comments, the main reason is that due to personal reasons the band was unable to record anything more or less interesting so this is just another hard rock album with the logo of Talisman on it. Even the undeniable talent of Soto and his professional fellow band-members could not push the album hard enough though you cannot be ashamed of a song like "Sympathy". Even original Japanese bonus tracks available on this re-issue are not far better than the rest of the album. The bonus disc was recorded live in Japan in 1993 and that's where the energy kicks back with full force! Too bad cover versions of Journey did not end up on the live album since Soto sings them just perfectly. No matter, the album strikes down all doubts about live sound problems. I personally think Jacob was wrong with ironic title of the album since it fully deserves five points. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
TALISMAN
Truth & Live At Sweden Rock Festival
1998/2002 / 2005
GMR Music Group / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
Several years after the ill-fated "Life" the band finally got together to record the new one. But they did not waste time and formed a couple of side projects working together and separately for almost this three-year break. This time the result is amazing since the guys managed to unify the charm and melody of the debut album and experimental moments of the classic "Humanimal". Moreover, the album contains a couple of cover tracks. OK, we can live with Queen "Let Me Entertain You"; Soto is the ultimate Queen fan. But what would you say about Madonna "Frozen" or Prince "Darling Nikki"? The band definitely needs some serious guts to perform such covers on the hard rock album! But calm down, Soto is a unique singer and neither Madonna nor Prince can stop him from performing their songs in the really brilliant way! The band's own tracks including heartwarming ballad "Heaven's Got Another Hero" and melodic "I'll Be There 4 U" will surely impress all the fans around. The bonus CD is the live concert recorded in Sweden in 2001. The band is roaring with full force once again and is capable of taking on the world at least in the form of that stadium. The natural progression from the Japanese live of 1993. (Dead Ripper)

5/5
TALISMAN
Five Men Live
2005
Frontiers / Irond
melodic hard rock
OK, the first two live albums were more or less spontaneous but this time the band got its act together and recorded a total of two shows for the professional double-disc release. Professionals will be professionals no matter what they do and when they get ready to strike you better beware. That's the case with Talisman; both of those live shows are magnificent and make the listener fully enjoy the live album aura. No sense to list best tracks - just listen to the album and try to separate it for yourself (if you will be able to do it). Possibly the secret lies in the presence of two guitarists Howie Simon and Frederick Akesson who perfectly know their lines and never compete with each other for the role of the best player; they just give their best. In short, this is the best live album a band could ever release along with the double-DVD video "World's Best Kept Secret". (Dead Ripper)

3/5
THUNDER
Giving The Game Away
1999 / 2005
Eagle Records / CD-Maximum
melodic hard rock
A new album of the British hard rock legend. If I'm not mistaken they used to play striking and powerful hard rock music. Well, the situation changed for something else this time since the songs are a way too acoustic and thus even more melodic. It all reminds of Gotthard and their opus "Open" but with less class. Of course, tracks like heart-touching "You'll Still Need A Friend", funny funky cover of Vanilla Ice "Play That Funky Music" and country-styled "It Could Be Tonight" stand out but the album still sounds too monotonous and even the really hard rocking "Rolling The Dice" cannot rock the train back. At the same time next album proved that this was no more than a one-time experiment. (Dead Ripper)

3/5
THUNDER
The Magnificent Seventh!
2005
Frontiers / Irond
melodic hard rock
You cannot blame British hard rockers from Thunder for no sense of humor especially when you see the album title based on the all-time classic American western "The Magnificent Seven". The CD booklet is painted in totally the same way with photos of musicians screaming "Wanted for…". However musically and lyrically the album has nothing to do with that western thing since it is full of mid-tempo songs in the traditional Thunder style with nothing revolutionary new in it. Moreover, even what is there to stay is too boring to take it. There is no real threat on the album. Please, when you record an album with such title at least play something with country influences or something really rocking… the album would have only benefited from it! At this point the album is nothing but another hard rocking opus among many others released (and to be released) this year. (Dead Ripper)

see review archives

 

Copyright © MetalKings.com 2000 - 2017

снять сауну


All rights reserved. Any reproduction without written permission from MetalKings.com is prohibited
Send your requests to ragdoll@metalkings.com

updates |  review archive |  interviews |  gig reports |  aggressor |  dark princess |  contacts |  home |  sitemap

Рейтинг@Mail.ru