Exodus – Bonded By Blood
I didn’t hear this until the Napster era. I wanted to hear it a long time ago because it was Kirk Hammet’s origin band, but every time it came to deciding what to spend my money on, this wasn’t it.
“Bonded by Blood” was originally titled “A Lesson in Violence”, but had its name changed when a suitable cover idea could not be found. The song “Impaler” was originally to be featured on this album, but it was abandoned when Kirk Hammett took the main riff with him to Metallica and used it for “Trapped Under Ice”. The song however was resurrected on the “Tempo Of The Damned” album released in 2004.
And the thrash metal acts which came from San Francisco, there was a lot of crossover of riffs, similar to the LA Sunset Strip crossover. The way the riffs flow on this album I expected to hear Hetfield’s or Araya’s or Mustaine’s voice. They are almost interchangeable.
Paul Baloff as a vocalist was different. He snarled, growled, spat and screamed his way through songs with his chainsaw like delivery. I got it, understood it, but I wasn’t a fan of it.
Anthrax – Spreading The Disease
I like Anthrax because they played hard and fast and had groove and melodic vocals. This is Joey Belladonna’s first album with them, having replaced Matt Fallon who replaced Neil Turbin.
After the blistering speed of “A.I.R”, its back to traditional metal with “Lone Justice”, my favourite track on the album. “Madhouse” continues the traditional metal vibe but with a lot of groove and at 32.5 million streams it’s their Spotify star.
“Stand Or Fall” is a speed metal track and with Belladonna’s delivery, it can be classed as the embryo to power metal. And it still sounds to me that they are singing “Sand The Floor” instead of “Stand Or Fall”.
The 1.18 minute intro to “The Enemy” is desk breaking stuff. “Armed And Dangerous” is armed with acoustic guitars and a tonne of melody for about 1.20 and then it explodes. “Medusa” has one of those head banging riffs which is synonymous with heavy metal.
Loudness – Thunder In The East
If you want your Loudness treatment, head over to mikeladano and read his reviews.
“Thunder In The East” is not on Spotify, so I had to head over to YouTube to hear it in full as I’ve only heard “Crazy Nights” from this album. It still amazes me how some music is missing from Spotify and other streaming services.
YouTube actually showed the labels and publishers what the people want when it started. Access to music and they also wanted to upload their catalogues, so others could listen and comment and so forth. And what we have is some bastardised version of that with Content ID.
This album from the outset reminds of Bonfire and their “Fireworks” album which came a few years after. Produced by Max Norman, it has all the bells and whistles of a quality production.
Akira Takasaki brings out his metal riffs. “Crazy Nights” kicks it off, but “Like Hell” is so like Judas Priest’s “Electric Eye” that it quickly became a favourite. And in the lead break, Takasaki leverages Malmsteen for the fast shred and Rhoads/Lynch tapped solos from “Flying High Again” and “Tooth And Nail” for the tapping sections.
“Heavy Chains” starts off with a clean tone arpeggio riff with a melodic lead over it. I’m always a sucker for these kind of songs as they move from these clean tone intros into an aggressive epic song. The vocals from Minoru Niihara are excellent. And the song is more power Viking metal than the Nordic bands. The whole interlude and lead break is worthy of your attention.
“Get Away” blasts out of the gates and so far it’s a four punch knockout. Especially when Takasaki goes into his “Burn” from Deep Purple inspired solo.
“We Could Be Together” is traditional heavy metal with Niihara delivering a Steve Perry like vocal in the verses and then going all falsetto in the pre chorus and chorus. Perfect.
And the album doesn’t really let up on the high quality song writing, with “Run For Your Life” kicking off side B, especially that palm muted arpeggio riff in the Chorus and it ends with the ballad “Never Change Your Mind”.
Alcatrazz – Disturbing The Peace
Alcatrazz with Malmsteen was like Rainbow. Alcatrazz with Vai was like Rainbow with alot more fusion added.
“God Blessed Video” kicks off the album and you hear the old Rainbow influences with the Vai fusion in the music.
“Mercy” is excellent musically, but Bonnet’s lyrics are a mess with killing queens in Africa and India or something like that. But check out the lead break from Vai.
“Wire And Wood” has Vai starring in the first 30 seconds. “Desert Diamond” again has Vai starring in the intro, using the guitar like a sitar. Musically the song is excellent. “Stripper” is speed rock in the vein of “Highway Star”. “Painted Lover” has a riff that has appeared in a DLR song here and there.
Lee Aaron – Call Of The Wild
This album surprised me. It’s a brilliant piece of melodic rock.
Bob Ezrin is there as keyboardist and executive producer. Bob Halligan Jr has a co-write with Mark Ribler on the song “Line Of Fire”. The very underrated John Albani is on guitars and is one of the main songwriters on the album.
“Rock Me All Over” and “Runnin’ From The Fire” are a lethal 2 punch knockout.
And then there is “Barely Holdin’ On”. It’s written by a songwriter called Joe Cerisano and man the lyrics.
Growing up, you were taught to believe
That everyone was created equal in the master plan
Everything is about control. Go to school and study so you can memorise everything and pass the tests because you have a great memory. Then you get a chance to work. The higher your education, the better the pay. Well it’s a load of B.S
Oh I’m sick an’ tired of waiting for tomorrow
Promising me the world.. that I’ been hoping for..
Oh I wanna live, an’ I wanna feel
The things in my life, that I’ been searching, for.. so long….
Build your own dreams people and not someone else’s. It’s easier said than done.
The Bob Halligan Jr cuts, “Line Of Fire” and “Beat Em Up” are underrated songs.
“Paradise” is so Scorpions, its perfect. This track is written by Aaron, Albani with Dick Wagner. And those lead breaks after the solo, so Boston like and yet so Scorpions like.
“Danger Zone” continues with the melodic guitar leads and hooks.
Warlock – Hellbound
“Hellbound” is like a Motorhead meets Deep Purple “Highway Star” cut. Musically its ferocious and of course Doro Pesch on vocals is brilliant. And there is a “Burn” like solo which got me interested.
“All Night” is one of those fist pumping anthems. The embryo to “All We Are”.
“Out Of Control” has a traditional metal riff in the verses and a super melodic chorus with clean tone arpeggios over a distorted riff.
“Time To Die” sounds like “Stay Hungry” from Twisted Sister and I love it. And the good riffs keep on coming with “Shout It Out”.
April Wine – Walking Through Fire
It’s not on Spotify but it’s on YouTube.
A contractual obligation to the band’s record label, to whom they still owed one album. The album is a mixture of AOR melodic rock gems, hard rock and blues rock because of the different songwriters involved.
“Wanted Dead Or Alive” is written by Jeff Cannata and Michael Soldan. It has a keyboard riff which is AOR Heaven. Cannata and Soldan released this song with their own band, Arc Angel back in 1983. The U.S press dismissed the band as Boston/Kansas clones, while Europe took to em.
And then CBS dropped em.
The AOR Rock continues with “Love Has Remembered Me” which is written by vocalist/guitarist Myles Goodwyn.
“Open Soul Surgery” is written by Jim Vallance and it has a Robert Palmer “Addicted To Love” feel in the verses crossed with “All Right Now” from Free. “All It Will Ever Be” is written by Goodwyn and it sounds like a pop song that I cant remember right now but nevertheless I like it.
And just like that, the album came out and the band was done.