Highway To Paradise
Gathering Of Kings
I really need to sink my ears into this album and learn more about the project because even though their brand of melodic rock is derivative, I like it.
On their debut album, it had a lot of guest vocalists, and because Bjorn Strid from Soilwork and The Night Flight Orchestra was involved, I was interested.
These tracks are from the follow up.
I’ve been a long time fan of 10 Years.
There form of groove rock, which in the beginning, had a nod to Tool but in a concise 4 minute package, got me interested.
And since then, they have kept on morphing into a unique rock band.
I became a fan with the “Draconian Times” album and then they lost me with their Depeche Mode style album in the late 90’s.
Since the start of the 2010’s they have started to creep back in. “Darker Thoughts” is sombre, as it percolates with just an acoustic guitar, violins and cellos. Then it kicks in, and that riff from 2.18.
House On Fire
This band did a covers EP once, and they had songs from artists I grew up with.
For example, on the “Life Gone Wild” EP from 2010, they covered “18 And Life” and “Youth Gone Wild” frim Skid Row.
Then in 2012 they dropped another EP called “Under The Influence: A Tribute To The Legends Of Hard Rock” which had, “Separate Ways” from Journey, “Kick Start My Heart” from Motley Crue, “Here I Go Again” from Whitesnake and “Hysteria” from Def Leppard.
This track is from their new album and its different, bordering on the sounds of “Imagine Dragons” in the verses with a massive Chorus, which gets the foot tapping.
Check it out.
“Earshot” is another band that found a niche combining the angst of bands like Korn with the progressiveness of Tool, into concise 4 to 5 minute rock songs. This was between 2004 and 2008. Then they disappeared, while similar bands like 10 Years and Chevelle kept on going.
“Uninvited” is a great return.
And I’m interested.
It has this epic, Middle Eastern/Arabic feel as it percolates and rumbles through, with a kicking guitar solo.
The following songs, I have already written about on some of the Release Day Friday playlist posts.
Make It Out Alive
Tell Me How You Really Feel
The cover for “Make It Out Alive” is a skull with the American flag painted/engraved into the bone, wearing a gas mask all on a black background. It’s a great piece of art and the song portrays that angst.
This dude can really play an acoustic guitar.
This is a cover of a RHCP song and what you get, is the guitars, the vocal lines, the bass lines and a percussive beat all played on the guitar.
He also has his own special designed acoustic guitar with three necks which allows him to play these songs live.
Watch his YouTube videos to see him in action.
And it was two of those YouTube videos that made me a fan.
“Thunderstruck” and “Fear Of The Dark”.
Watch em and be in awe.
There is so much talent in the world today, that deserves to be heard and seen, the same way guitarists in the 70’s and 80’s were heard and seen. And Luca Stricagnoli is one of those artists.
Prove Me Wrong
After 40 years in the business, Dee Snider is still proving people wrong. His recent batch of releases, which takes a stab at modern pop rock with “We Are The Ones” and modern groove metal with “For The Love Of Metal” has returned him to the throne of the black sheep’s, the SMF’s.
And “Prove Me Wrong” has a foot stomping metal riff that could make it on a Metallica album with Dee at his metal best.
I am a fan of Shinedown.
Their last two albums moved away from the hard rock sounds that got me into em, but they have enough goodwill in my book, for me to remain a fan, plus they had enough tracks on the last two releases to keep me interested.
So when this track was released, a left over from the “Amaryllis” album released in 2012, I was hooked, because this is the Shinedown I like.
This tune just smoulders, like those epic 70’s tracks from Rainbow and Deep Purple.
Yep, that’s the vibe I get, a Ritchie Blackmore vibe.
The vocal delivery reminds me of Styx and the sounds in the first minute are like an 80s video game.
Musically, it ticks all the boxes for me.
And just like that, they are back in my life as I became one in 2016, then I was on the fence in 2018 and now I’m back.
Long Distance Calling
They have no singing, it’s all instrumental, but instrumental music built on a groove or a riff and they just keep building it with derivative versions of the same riff.
You need to listen to it, to understand what I mean.
Change For The Better
I knew about FM from the 90’s but never heard anything from em. And in the 2010’s they started to come into my life.
And then they really came on my radar because of “Shot In The Dark”, the song which is known as an “Ozzy” song.
You see, Phil Soussan wrote that song while he was in a band called Wildlife with the Overland brothers (before FM was created). According to the Overland brothers, they helped develop a lot of the concepts and progressions and lyrical melodies, including the keys for “Shot In The Dark”. But they didn’t get the credit and even questioned what Ozzy Osbourne actually did to the song to get a credit.
So they re-recorded the version they had done with Soussan back in the Wildlife days as a bonus track to their 2016 EP.
Give it a listen on Spotify and or go on YouTube.
And as Wikipedia states, “this authorship issue has become a source of contention over the years, and in spite of its success, the song has rarely appeared on Ozzy Osbourne greatest hits compilations as a result.”
As for “Change For The Better”, it’s a mix of Journey and Toto when they used to rock a little bit.
It was great to see James Hetfield again on the YouTube video of this.
And what a comeback song for him, with a pretty cool acoustic rewrite in the Ennio Morricone style for one of their most progressive and powerful tracks.
To me, the “Justice” album is an unbelievable record. I don’t care that the bass is missing and that the guitar sound has too many mids or the drums sound too compressed. Because a great song is a great song regardless and the “Justice” album has a lot of great songs.
And man, didn’t “One” really shake up MTV.
For a band that didn’t do any clips, they did two versions, one with the film footage and the other with just the band performing in the warehouse. Suddenly you had a million kids buying a double bass drum kit and off they went to practice the double kick “landmine” section.
But “Blackened” opened the album and it’s 7/4 time signature for the intro riff grabbed me by the throat instantly.