Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Cold Chisel

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

“East” is the third studio album by Australian rock band Cold Chisel, released in June 1980 and produced by Mark Opitz.

The album was a massive success in the Australian market and it was the only Cold Chisel album to chart in America via its release on the Elektra label.

They did a 5 week tour in the North American market during this album run and never went back. A certain A&R guy called Tom Zutuat was given an ultimatum from the label, if he wanted to sign Motley Crue he had to let Cold Chisel go.

The band at this stage weren’t a successful recording band although their shows would sell out so the album was a deliberate attempt to write hits but in the way that they write.

The beauty of Cold Chisel is the variation.

Vocalist Jimmy Barnes is the soul, blues rock guy. Pianist and main songwriter, Don Walker is the Springsteen/Dylan storyteller. Ian Moss is the heavy rock guy ala Blackmore from Purple. Drummer Steve Prestwich is the prog rock dude and bassist Phil Small brings the pop rock.

Put it all together and the sounds which come out is Cold Chisel.

“Standing On The Outside”, written by Don Walker kicks of the album in rocking fashion.

“No amount of work’s gonna buy my way to Freedom”

We have been sold the dream that if we work hard enough, we will be somebody. But that’s not the case for everybody. For every person who makes it there are millions who don’t.

The themes of the “working class man struggling financially” would appear on a lot of songs from Chisel and even on songs when the members went solo. Because even though Australia is seen as the “lucky country”, it sure costs a lot to live in it.

“Never Before” is written by Ian Moss and its progressive, a fusion of so many different styles, almost Police like.

“Choirgirl” is a Don Walker cut and he writes about abortion and the rights of a woman to choose, which at the time was part of the national debate.

“Rising Sun” from Jimmy Barnes romps it’s way through the 12 bar blues as he references his brief relationship with his future wife which ended at the time when she went back to Japan, hence the lyric of the rising sun stealing his baby away.

“My Baby” from bassist Phil Small is my favourite. That vocal melody lead played on the guitar by Ian Moss during the intro deserves to be listened to.

The killer cuts continue with “Tomorrow”, which is another Don Walker track about a person who comes out of jail, can’t catch a break trying to make it legit and ends up on the wrong side of the law again.

“Cheap Wine” is a classic in Australia.

Cheap wine and a three-day growth

When you’re on the booze, tidiness and keeping appearances go out the window.

I’m sitting on the beach drinkin’ rocket fuels

Australia is surrounded by beaches and there’s nothing more Australian than going down the beach and having a few.

“Star Hotel” is written about the riot that took place there on the night it was closing up for good.

And the most underrated star of the album is Mark Opitz.

Finally the band had a producer who allowed them to do what they best, which is to play and he wanted to capture that live sound and energy on record. Bob Rock had the same ideals for the “Black” album from Metallica.

The album sounded fantastic on any system or format.

Check it out.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

John Sykes – Dawning Of A Brand New Day

If the album ever gets released remains to be seen, but what we have here is a 5 minute song of heaviness and melody.

Tony Franklin shared it on Twitter and I clicked on it. Franklin also mentioned that he didn’t play on the recording but has jammed the song with Sykes.

And the riff to kick it off.

Brilliant.

The Chorus riff and melody.

Brilliant.

The lead break is memorable.

That outro riff.

Brilliant.

And the track was recorded four years ago, for the solo album, “Sy-Ops”, which is way overdue but scheduled for release later this year.

The thing with Sykes is his variation.

There are metal songs with big riffs like this track, hard rock songs with big riffs, blues rock songs, sleazy rock songs and of course big guitar ballads.

And in case you are not aware, “Out Alive” and “Gates Of Hell” also got a YouTube release over the last three years.

“Out Alive” captures his Thin Lizzy and Judas Priest influences while “Gates Of Hell” continues his epic songwriting style from “Valley Of The Kings”.

2021 is already better.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

The Record Vault – Michael Bolton

I only own one 7 inch single from Michael Bolton. And that single is “How Am I Supposed TonLive Without You”. His biggest hit.

But Bolton had this song written (with Doug James) a few years before. Air Supply wanted to record it, but they wanted to change some of the lyrics. Bolton refused and Laura Branigan recorded it in 1983, released it on her “2” album and it was a hit in the U.S.

Six years later it became a worldwide number 1 hit.

But, I didn’t buy the single for the A side.

On the B Side, there is a song called “Forever Eyes”. It’s co-written with Bob Halligan Jr and it was cut from the “Soul Provider”. If you own some albums from Kix, Judas Priest, Kiss or Icon, then the Bob Halligan Jr name is well known.

The “Soul Provider”, Wikipedia page also has Bob Dylan listed as a songwriter for this song but he’s not mentioned on the single.

And I was curious how this track sounded.

It’s basically AOR Melodic Rock. The guitar solo reminds me of Steve Lukather, but it’s hard to tell if it’s him as the album also had Dan Huff, Michael Landau, John McCurry and Chris Camozzi on guitars, across different songs.

Bolton’s earlier albums rocked and Bolton did shred once upon a time. But the labels always saw him as a songwriter for other artists. Up until “Soul Provider”.

This album changed everything.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault And Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Candy Harlots

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series” with the great act “The Record Vault” opening up.

“Five Wicked Ways” the debut album from Candy Harlots finally came out in May 1992 after a long 5 years of trying to get a record deal.

Candy Harlots started in 1987 in Sydney by guitarist Ron Barrett, drummer Tony Cardinal, vocalist Mark Easton and bass guitarist Nick Szentkuti. Guitarist Marc De Hugar joined soon after.

Szentkuti was replaced by Scott Millard and then Leeno Dee. The addition of Dee on bass also gave them another songwriter on top of Easton and Barrett.

The band eventually got a record deal from Virgin Records after three shows but their manager turned it down.

And the guys couldn’t sign the contract themselves because their management deal didn’t allow them to do it without their manager approving it.

In between bad management decisions they still wrote and toured. They opened up for The Cult, Cheap Trick, DAD, Kings Of The Sun and The Angels.

But they still couldn’t get a major deal apart from the Virgin deal. So they released their debut 7″ single Red Hot Rocket in April 1989 on a small indie label.

A follow-up single entitled Danger (backed with Wrap 2 Arms) was released in May 1990.

They jammed and partied with members of Skid Row and Motley Crue.

Then tragedy struck.

In October 1990, founding guitarist Ron Barrett died after an asthma attack, at the age of 26.

Peter Masi was recruited. But the changes didn’t end here.

In February, 1991, guitarist Marc De Hugar was replaced by Phil Bowley.

And a month later, vocalist Mark Easton left after a final performance with Candy Harlots. The only founding member left at this point is drummer Tony Cardinal.

New vocalist Tony ‘Aiz’ Lynch joined the band soon afterwards. By now their management deal had also expired. And Virgin Records came knocking again and signed the band.

The Lynch-led line-up received greater media attention than the Easton-fronted group, and they remained popular with the Australian hard rock and heavy metal fraternity, gaining many new fans through Virgin-backed promotional activities.

In 1991, the “Danger” single got re-recorded and released with the new version of the band. I purchased the cassette single and CD single.

“The Tease Tapes” also came out in 1991 as a promotional release with “Hot Metal” magazine, to promote the upcoming album which was scheduled to be released in October.

But October came and went and still no album.

Then at the start of 1992, the “Foreplay” EP came out, which would have three songs from the album plus a cover from The Kinks.

And finally in May 1992, “Five Wicked Ways” came out.

The Candy Harlots had the LA sleaze of Motley Crue, Guns N Roses, Ratt and Poison. They could be like Skid Row, AC/DC and Kiss when they wanted to be.

“Backstreet Boys” kicks off the album with its AC/DC riffs. “Sister’s Crazy” is more grown up, a modern sounding pop song about the whole “Fallen Angel” and “Runaway” story.

“Danger” is back and its a melodic rock anthem. “Cheat On Me” is typical hard rock with a bit of punk sleaze.

My favorite is “Where No One Dares”. It’s a slow rock song with excellent guitar playing.

“My Flame” starts off with a pulsing bass riff and a bluesy riff that would make Georgie Satellites proud.

“The Lady Shakes” has Cardinal beating those drums to kick off the song before a bass riff kicks in that reminds me of Rachel Bolan.

“Wrap 2 Arms” is a Ron Barrett cut and its resurrected here, which is a good tribute to their founding guitarist. It’s sleazy and dripping with melted rock along with “The Wildest Way”.

Then the big Aiz Lynch penned “What Are We Fighting For” comes in at track 10 and so far it’s all killer and no filler.

“Mercenary Baby” is funky and rock like. “The Other Side Of Love” feels like a Dokken cut and the album is rounded with an acoustic “Devils Blues”.

And they released a few singles from the album in “Sister’s Crazy” and “What Are We Fighting For” with extra unreleased tracks and cover songs.

Like an AC/DC cover in “Can I Sit Next To You Girl”.

And then Aiz Lynch was fired.

The band got new singers, changed their name and then it ended.

But that small output is as good as any of the big bands.

Check em out.

And all the best in the New Year.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

2020 Summary

This is it, the final wrap up from the thousands of words written in 2020. Here are the stand out albums for each month.

January
Storm Force – Age Of Fear

February
The Night Flight Orchestra – Aeromantic

March
Harem Scarem – Change The World

April
Trivium – What The Dead Men Say

May
Vandenberg – 2020

June
Protest The Hero – Palimpsest

July
Bush – The Kingdom
Long Distance Calling – How Do We Want To Live?

August
John Petrucci – Terminal Velocity

September
Vanishing Point – Dead Elysium

October
Smith And Myers – Volume 1 and Volume 2

November
AC/DC – PWR UP

And here is a “best of” list of stand alone single releases.

January
Free Spirits Rising – “I Would Love To Rock The World”

February
Machine Head – “Circle The Drain”
Royal Bliss – “Feeling Whitney”

March
Collateral – “Mr Big Shot”

April
Free Spirits Rising – “Moon Of Forever”
Spoken – “Awaken Me”

May
Dee Snider – “Prove Me Wrong”
Shinedown – “Atlas Falls”

June
Free Spirits Rising – “Landing In Heaven”

July
Night Demon – “Vysteria”

August
Daughtry – “World On Fire”

September
Rise Against – “Broken Dreams Inc.”

October
The Night Flight Orchestra – “Impossible”

November
The Night Flight Orchestra – “Paper Moon”
Machine Head – “My Hands Are Empty”
Protest The Hero – “Protect The Land”

Enjoy.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Best Of November 2020

November had eight posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

Part 8 is here.

For single song releases, System Of A Down released “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” as their response to Azerbaijan and Turkey’s bombing of an Armenian settlement inside Azerbaijan called Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Armenians call Artsakh.

The Night Flight Orchestra released their retro classic rock Christmas song in “Paper Moon”.

Machine Head released “My Hands Are Empty”.

And a lot of artists dropped new albums in November.

Stan Bush dropped “Dare To Dream”. If you like the 80s you will like this.

Black Stone Cherry took their modern day heavy blues rock and gave us “The Human Condition”.

Firekind is a three piece band from England and “What I Have Found Is Already Lost” is the album. They move between “genres”. There are classic rockers, modern rockers, pop songs, progressive rock songs, acoustic songs and so much more on this album.

Ellefson released “No Cover”, an excellent covers album, with a Def Leppard “On Through The Night” cover. And to make it even better, there is a blistering cover of “Wasted” by Def Leppard as well.

Iron Maiden released “Legacy Of The Beast”, celebrating 40 years of Maiden and recorded in Mexico City. We get some Blaze material (“Sign of the Cross” and “The Clansman”) and one DiAnno track (“Iron Maiden”) plus “For The Greater Good Of God” gets its first live release.

Sole Syndicate is a hard rock band from Sweden. “Last Days Of Eden” is their second album, and the traditional heavy metal like Rainbow, Scorpions and Judas Priest come to mind.

Fates Warning is one of the first progressive metal bands I got into. For a prog band to succeed there has to be a song. If there isn’t a song, then all of the flash and technical interludes over complex time changes mean nothing. Jim Matheos can craft a song and he doesn’t need to create complex interludes with millions of notes. Sometimes an atmospheric mood or groove is enough.

And for those Armored Saint fans, bassist Joey Vera has been doing work with Fates Warning since 2000 and he’s still rocking and progging away with em.

Chris Stapleton released a good blues/rock album in the style of John Fogerty and Steve Earle. The first three tracks are a triple combo knockout with “Starting Over”, “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice” (which sounds like it came from the same family tree of “Old Man Down The Road” by John Fogerty) and “Cold” which is basically a re-write of a Paolo Nutini song called “Iron Sky”.

And the album which reigned supreme for me in November is from AC/DC.

The mighty Acca Dacca return with one of the best album titles ever in “Power Up”. Their return was met with enough fandom, and it pushed their album into number 1 with decent sales.

“Realize” storms out of the gate with its “For Those About To Rock” intro before it starts cranking with its “Problem Child/Sin City” vibe.

And I’m all in.

“Shot In The Dark” is better than a walk in the park, with its instantly recognisable riff, which people state sounds like “Rock N Roll Train” and “Rock N Roll Train” sounds like other AC/DC songs, because Angus and Malcolm are brilliant at creating derivative versions of the same riff.

Tracks like “Through The Mists Of Time” is AC/DC bringing in something extra and the way the Chorus happens, well it’s just a little bit different. In Australia, a band called Choirboys did songs like this.

“Kick You When You’re Down” makes me pick up the guitar to learn that intro riff.

“Demon Fire” is fast blues. It sounds like Airbourne’s “Blood In The Water”. “Let There Be Rock” comes to mind and so does “Safe in New York City” and “Caught With Your Pants Down”.

Other favourites are “Money Shot” and “Code Red”.

Power up for what’s left of 2020 and rock on.

Check it out. If you haven’t already.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Best Of October 2020

October had five posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

For single song releases, The Night Flight Orchestra did great with “Impossible” and “Reach Out”, released as a single. As soon as the rock, funk, disco feel of “Impossible” kicks in, I’m hooked.

The Night Flight Orchestra and Soilwork, go hand in hand. While TNFO is melodic AOR, Soilwork is melodic death metal. Both bands share the same creative forces in vocalist Bjorn Strid and guitarist David Andersson. So it’s no surprise that Soilwork also released a single.

“The Nothingness And The Devil” is the single from Soulwork and the main riff gets me interested to learn it.

Atreyu released “Save Us” as a stand alone song, which has a simple but heavy riff. And angry lyrics.

Ihsahn has come a long way from his black metal days with “Emperor”. His latest is “Pharos”, a five song EP. It has electronica, moody landscapes, atmospheric and distorted guitars.

Armored Saint surprised me with “Punching The Sky”. It’s what a metal album should sound like.

Teramaze released “I Wonder”, their seventh album of heavy rock anthems with progressive overtones.

Stardust is a melodic metal/rock act from Hungary. Their debut album is called “Highway To Heartbreak” on Frontiers. It quickly became a favorite because it reminds me of so many other artists. And each song has a killer guitar solo.

Atlas dropped “Parallel Love” and the song “Human Touch” made me fan.

Bon Jovi released 2020 and I reckon that “Blood In The Water” and “America Reckoning” will be around for a while.

But the album which reigned supreme for me in October is from Smith And Myers.

Brent Smith is one of the best rock singers going around. Shinedown is the main muse for Smith And Myers and in between, they get together and rock out acoustically.

It started off as a covers project based on fan requests for YouTube video releases and it has morphed into a full fledge original song project.

In 2020, we get “Volume 1” and “Volume 2”.

Check it out.

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Best Of September 2020

As we got into the final months the releases started flowing out like a busted water pipe. All of those held up releases from when lockdown began, started to come out.

So September had seven posts on the new release front.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

Part 6 is here.

Part 7 is here.

For single song releases, Rise Against dropped “Broken Dreams, Inc.”.

They contributed the song to the “Dark Nights: Death Metal” Soundtrack, DC’s new Batman comic-book series. Another creative way to release songs with comic book culture.

The song deals with levelling the playing field for everyone to have a chance at achieving the American dream.

When we owe more than we’re worth
And they’re changing the locks on the doors

The banking industry got wealthy from selling debt.

How’s that for a career?

When the factories are automated
Broken dreams incorporated

Stryper released the Metal with “Even The Devil Believes”. Michael Sweet works hard, writing and recording new music via his many different projects but the project which is his bread and butter is Stryper.

It’s a return to their “Soldiers Under Command” sound from the 80’s and it showcases the influence of Judas Priest to their music.

Seether released “Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum”. The title translates from Latin to, ‘If you want peace, prepare for war’.

Bad Juju from Melbourne, Australia released the excellent “You’re Not Alone” album.

Landfall from Brazil is a melodic rock band signed to Frontiers and this album was a big surprise. It brings back that feel-good 80’s vibe with the window down, driving 100km on the highway and the wind licking my face on my way to the city with hopes and dreams.

10 Years released “Violent Allies”, produced by Howard Benson.

Benson also produced the “Feeding The Wolves” album back in 2010. That album is a favourite of mine, but there is a portion of the fanbase that hates what Benson’s generic pop production did to 10 Years. But that’s the production I like.

And the album which reigned supreme for me in September is “Dead Elysium” from Vanishing Point.

I wrote about this album here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

And here.

In other words, check it out.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Spin Series – Roxus

Here is the usual prologue.

My blogger pal Deke over at Thunder Bay had a cool Northern Hemisphere Summertime Series between July and August.

Each week, he wrote about albums he spun during the summer.

Well, the real Earth summer is between December, January and February in the Southern Hemisphere.

So the good act that Thunder Bay is, boarded a Qantas plane, landed in Sydney, survived 14 days quarantine in a Sydney hotel and is finally here to present the “Thunder Bay Down Under Summertime Series”.

Roxus already had a reputation for getting kicked off stages at venues around Sydney for saying the word “fuck” too many times and for female audience members exposing themselves.

It’s pretty tame compared to today’s standards but back then, bands played at venues that didn’t really accommodate their sound and crowd.

Formed in 1987, they got the attention of Aussie rock commentator, Ian (Molly) Meldrum, who signed them to his Melodian Records label.

The version of the band that I know as Roxus is Dragan Stanic on guitars, Darren Danielson on drums, John Nixon on bass, Juno Roxas on lead vocals and Andy Shanahan on keyboards.

Timing is everything.

In 1989, they released two 7 inch singles. The excellent “Stand Back” with “Spaghetti Wire” as the B-side and “Body Heat” with “Don’t Stop” as the B-side.

The two A side tracks quickly became melodic rock anthems, being played on music television stations around Australia.

They toured hard and supported Poison, Bon Jovi and Warrant.

All that experience accumulated in an EP release called “Live” in 1990, which raised questions as to how much of it was actually live. Then again, my favorite live albums all had studio overdubs.

Apart from “Body Heat” and “Stand Back”, two new songs appeared on “Live”. “That Girl” and another anthem called “Morning Light”

And they toured again and went to LA to write and record new songs for an album release.

Their first full length album “Nightstreet” came out in 1991. Produced by Mark Opitz who at the time was Australia’s version of Tom Werman. Opitz had hit albums with INXS, Cold Chisel, Angels and Noiseworks, just to name a few.

My favorite is “Rock N’ Roll Nights”. It’s a De Arrow cut, which guitarist Dragan Stanic brought to the band, along with “First Break Of My Heart” which is another favorite of mine. These two tracks have keys and riffs and are dripping in melodic rock cliches.

“Midnight Love” is another classic melodic rock song along with “My Way” which has a very Van Halen like vibe and of course “Stand Back” with that brilliant keys intro and the distortion that crashes in after.

While they loved their melodic rock, tracks like “Bad Boys” and “Night Street” would not be out of place on a Warrant or Skid Row album. More aggressive.

And then the ballads in “Jimi G” which is more Bad Company like and better than the overplayed big hit “Where Are You Now” which is typical of the power ballad genre. And it doesn’t leave much room for the very underrated ballad “This Time”.

Basically, if you like melodic rock then Roxus was/is one of the best acts from Australia who did it.

And happy Boxing Day.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Best Of August 2020

August had five posts on the new releases.

Part 1 is here.

Part 2 is here.

Part 3 is here.

Part 4 is here.

Part 5 is here.

For single song releases, “World On Fire” by Daughtry was released.

This time around Daughtry is angry and the melody is perfect over the aggressive guitar riffs.

Stressed out, head trauma, took a beating

Life is already difficult from our own doing and the trauma we inflict on ourselves with our thoughts and feelings When society gets a hold of us, we are even more beaten down, shaped and moulded.

But we find ways to survive, to move on.

“Jessie’s Girl 2” from Coheed And Cambria and feat Rick Springfield was also released as a stand alone single.

I’ve been a fan of the band from when I was given a CD rip of the “In Keeping Secrets Of Silent Earth” album in 2005 and a few months later I was consuming the brand new “Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV”.

Their song structures and the riffs got me interested. And the voice of Claude Sanchez got me to commit. That voice rocks out like Geddy Lee, but still sounds unique and different enough.

And the hair. Man that hair. It’s massive. 

And to top it off, there is the big SciFi saga about a mystical energy source known as “The Keywork”.

But the album which reigned supreme for me in August is “Terminal Velocity” from John Petrucci.

“Suspended Animation” came out in 2005. I purchased it from his website straight away and I’ve lived with this instrumental album for a long time.

Just recently it appeared on Spotify as well, which makes it easier for me, as I didn’t have to rely on my CD rip on Apple Music for listening.

On “Suspended Animation” he had enough hooks and catchy melodic passages that I could sink my fingers into and let’s not forget the brilliance of “Glasgow Kiss”, a tour de force in itself, especially that middle breakdown section, when he plays arpeggio chords over the open E and B strings and then that emotive lead.

And I have lived with “Suspended Animation” for a long time.

A long time.

Fifteen years later, “Terminal Velocity” is thrust upon us, in a world overtaken and overrun by a virus which spreads easily, kills and keeps mutating.

And fifteen years, it’s a long time in a songwriters life.

So many things change. You get older, you have different family dynamics and your music listening habits keep evolving or devolving or they end up in an echo chamber, listening to the same stuff you listened to when you were growing up.

And if you have a practice routine to keep up your chops, you will get technically better at playing your instrument. It’s that old saying, get better every day by a ¼ of a percent and over the course of 365 days your 91% better and over 15 years you are 1368% better.

Well, John Petrucci is so good technically that I feel like breaking my guitar trying to learn stuff from him.

Petrucci assembled the same band that he did G3 with around 2006, which is Mike Portnoy on drums and Dave LaRue on bass. It’s an awesome band and being a long time DT fan, it’s cool to hear MP drumming to JP riffs again.

“Temple Of Circadia” is my favourite, especially that clean tone section which kicks in before the 3 minute mark and the lead break which follows. Like “Glasgow Kiss” part 2.

“Happy Song” with the major key vibe is like the commercial song on the album, especially that Americana Rock vibe in the melodic lead. Petrucci said on Twitter that the main chorus melody is one of his favourites and I agree.

And just listen to the outro. Its finger breaking stuff and still melodic. This song has appeared live on his G3 tours and at his Guitar Universe camp.

“The Oddfather” sounds like a track that could have come from “Black Clouds And Silver Linings”. And one of the melodic tremolo leads sounds like a Muse lead, however Petrucci in his Twitter post said he was trying to mimic the sound of a fast alternate picked mandolin.

“Terminal Velocity” has that major key vibe in sections that remind me of this Arcade game called “Turbo Outrun”. It’s the first song he wrote for the album and it was an archived riff from a while go.

And that major key vibe is energetic and uplifting, while Petrucci uses the E Harmonic Minor mode for the main theme and melody to create a dark and mysterious type of sound, as per his Twitter post at the listening party.

“Out Of The Blue” is a blues fusion track. “Glass Eyed Zombies” brings the metal. It’s heavy, its groovy and MP is having a ball with it. There is this lead break section, like a verse, that sounds like those TV themes from Danny Elfman. And that outro again, melodic progressive metal with Petrucci nailing a brilliant lead to finish it off.

“The Way Things Fall” is like a Rush track in the intro, but then this melodic rock riff comes in and I’m all in. Once the melodic lead comes in, which acts like a verse, it’s perfect. You just need to listen to it.

“Gemini” is a song I have had for ages as a bootleg. I don’t even know when it was recorded or where it was recorded. But this song has been around for a long time and its very Dream Theater like from the Portnoy era. There are sections in this song that have appeared in DT songs and LTE songs, albeit with some variations.

“Snake In My Boot” was going to be called “The Stomp” and if you’ve heard “The Stroke” from Mr Squier you will know why it has a similar title, but the first impression I got from this was a Queen like vibe.

And on Spotify, he is getting some great numbers because people are listening to the album over and over and over again. And that’s a good thing.

Check it out.

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