About Me

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Born in the late 60's, Chesy hails from a Welsh mining village with a long name and was pretty glad when he got the Hell out of there. He got into Rock/Metal in about 1980, thanks to a TISWAS related incident (Rainbow video for All Night Long) and thankfully has never looked back. Chesy often sang solo in the school choir, but thanks to a puberty related incident his voice is now completely bolloxed, although in his own head Paul thinks he sounds like a blend of Coverdale and Dio (R.I.P). He was brought up on the classics - Deep Purple, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Rush, Whitesnake and loved melodic rock and the Hair Bands of the 80's. (Nowadays, he has progressed a little and prefers a more technical and/or progressive metal - Dream Theater, Rush, Symphony X, Porcupine Tree, Pain Of Salvation, Spock's Beard. He hates Black and Death Metal (can't stand the grunting) but for some unknown reason loves the magnificent Opeth! He wont stop this blog until his beloved FM finally play the likes of the NEC as a headlining act!!!

Saturday 23 February 2013

W.E.T. - Rise Up Album Review



The Godfather at Frontiers obviously has a master plan, to give melodic rock to the masses. It must be difficult when AOR has never been the popular choice for most, but is probably in the best shape it has been for a number of years, and Frontiers are a major player in making this happen. For this, I commend the vision of the bloke
The W.E.T. debut album in 2009 was one of the rare occasions when a band created by the vision of a record label president managed to create such a wave of enthusiasm and interest from fans and the media alike, not only that it went beyond the band’s own expectations, but pushed the musicians themselves to raise their game, when in the beginning they “thought anyone would care except maybe the die-hard fans from the three bands the name W.E.T. came from”.
The key element to the success of “W.E.T’ was to create a modern Melodic Hard Rock sound and drive it into the future, with powerhouse rhythm and production making it an equally classic and contemporary release.
Robert Såll (the “W” from Work of Art), Erik Mårtensson (the “E” from Eclipse) and Jeff Scott   Soto (the “T” from Talisman) accepted the daunting task to give that debut album a follow-up, along with Eclipse members Magnus Henriksson and Robban Bäck, that could live up to the expectation of thousands of fans across the globe.
Anticipated by the release of the single/video “Learn to Live Again” – an unbelievably radio-friendly song, which features for the first time a vocal duet between Mårtensson and Soto - the new album “Rise Up” presents again a massive production with added  spit and polish, and ‘Learn…’ is the first standout song on the album. Instantly memorable, it presses all the buttons for an enjoyable ride. Title track ‘Rise Up’ takes over where ‘Learn…’ leaves off, catchy as hell chorus, great hook, and a modern AOR classic even if it does take its inspiration from the 80s. An AOR album wouldn’t be one if there wasn’t a ballad, and W.E.T. nail it with Love Heals, and plenty of ‘Whooa, ooohhhs’ along the way for you budding Rock Gods to sing along to. WET have found a formula that works, songs like ‘What You Want’ and ‘Bad Boy’just roll off the W.E.T. production line
Hook after hook, “Rise Up” is another one of these albums where you can enjoy the dynamics of a brilliant partnership bringing out a unique result. Melodic bullet rockers are followed by haunting ballads and fabulous arena rockers in an album that leaves the listener in awe from start to finish.
Frontiers info states that “Rise Up” is released in February but it will be very difficult to envision anything better to come out during the year to beat the “Melodic Rock album of the year”. Do you know what? They wont be far wrong come the end of the year, it’s a belter!


CD Tracklist:Walk Away; Learn to Live Again; Rise Up; Love Heals; What You Want; The Moment; Bad Boy; On The Run; Broken Wings; Shot; Still Believe In Us; Still Unbroken

W.E.T. is:
Jeff Scott Soto: Lead Vocals
Erik Mårtensson: Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
Robert Säll: Keyboards, Guitars
Robban Bäck: Drums
Magnus Henriksson: Guitars

Release date: Frontiers Records
Europe: February 22nd 2013
U.S.A.: February 26th 2013

Sunday 17 February 2013

U.F.O. - New Single 'Wonderland' & UK Tour Details

Phil Mogg – Vocals
Paul Raymond – Guitar / Keyboards
Andy Parker – Drums
Vinnie Moore – Guitar


British rock band UFO have confirmed the release of a new single, ‘Wonderland’, taken from 2012’s much acclaimed ‘Seven Deadly’ studio album, which crashed straight in to the top slot of the UK rock chart, the national album chart at 63 and at 9 in the UK Indie chart on release in February 2012. ‘Seven Deadly’, which was one of only five long-players nominated for ‘Album Of The Year’ in Classic Rock’s Roll Of Honour Awards last November, won numerous rave reviews in the UK rock press.

‘Wonderland’ will be released as a three track single bundle, containing ‘Wonderland’, plus ‘Shoot Shoot (Live)’ and ‘’When Daylight Goes To Town (Live)’, both taken from 2005’s double ‘Showtime’ live CD. Next week the UFO live juggernaut will set off on the road to play the following UK tour dates:-

Thursday 21st February – Komedia, Bath
Friday 22nd February – O2 Academy Bournemouth
Saturday 23rd February – The Pyramids, Portsmouth
Sunday 24th February – O2 Academy Oxford
Tuesday 26th February – The Coal Exchange, Cardiff
Thursday 28th February – Picturedrome, Holmfirth, Huddersfield 
Friday 1st March – O2 ABC Glasgow
Saturday 2nd March – 53 Degrees, Preston
Sunday 3rd March – The Institute, Birmingham
Tuesday 5th March – The Forum, London

Classic Rock’s Geoff Barton awarded ‘Seven Deadly’ 8/10 in his lead review in the magazine’s February 2012 issue, stating that “UFO’s first studio album since 2009’s ‘The Visitor’ is bursting with creativity and athleticism…It’s positively febrile. Mogg, in particular, is at the top of his game. He carries the record with his passion. His singing has all the vim and vigour it had on ‘Strangers In The Night’, their legendary 1979 live album; maybe even more….‘Seven Deadly’ begins in frantic fashion before settling into a groove that’s powerful and reflective, complex and involving... In an album of numerous high spots, and tons of twists and turns, the best is left to last. ‘Waving Goodbye’, enhanced by Tommy Newton’s massive production job, is as mournful as it is monumental.”

Phil Mogg enthuses; “On this upcoming tour we look forward to playing something old, something new and a couple of tunes that we haven’t had the pleasure of playing live before, so get ready, cos here we come"


There are even more stories about UFO than they’ve composed songs. Any band who have been in the music business for over 40 years are bound to have experienced difficult times, but also massive highs and spectacular events. UFO’s success story began in London way back in 1969, when vocalist Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, guitarist Mick Bolton and bassist Pete Way formed the group, borrowing the band name from a legendary London music club. Even in the early Seventies, the band distinguished themselves with their very own, unmistakable style, touching a nerve among their growing following with rock numbers like ‘Prince Kajuku’, ‘Follow You Home’ and ‘C’mon Everybody’ from their albums UFO 1, Flying and UFO Live.
The global breakthrough arrived when German guitarist, Michael Schenker, joined the fold in 1973, who left the Scorpions to take up an offer by Phil Mogg and Pete Way. This line-up of UFO broke through into rock’s big time with their Phenomenon album in 1974, closely followed by  Force It  in 1975 and No Heavy Pettin’  in 1976, featuring classics such as ‘Doctor Doctor’, ‘Shoot, Shoot’, and ‘Rock Bottom’.

Following the arrival of keyboarder/rhythm guitarist Paul Raymond in 1976, UFO released two more studio albums Lights Out (1977) and Obsession (1978), including the hit singles ‘Too Hot To Handle’, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Only You Can Rock Me’. Their double live album Strangers In The Night came out in 1979 and is regarded to this day as one of the best live releases of all time, while also signalling the 'end' of the Mogg, Way, Schenker, Parker & Raymond line-up.
The reorganised band underwent fifteen years marked by various eras and numerous line-up changes. To everyone’s surprise, autumn 1993 saw the return of the classic UFO line-up, which brought out Walk On Water, their first joint effort after one and a half decades, and embarked on a world tour. However, Schenker left UFO during the Walk On Water tour again to continue working with his own group, MSG, while Mogg & Way went on to release their second album, Chocolate Box. The UFO albums Covenant and Sharks, recorded by Mogg, Way and Schenker, arrived in the stores in 2000 and 2002. With Schenker returning to MSG yet again, Vinnie Moore joined the UFO family, and the album You Are Here was recorded with Jason Bonham on drums in 2004. During the subsequent world tour, UFO cut a show in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, which was later released as a double live album, Showtime, along with a DVD of the same name which featured additional bonus material. Later, Bonham made his farewells to join Foreigner and was replaced by UFO’s original drummer, Andy Parker, who rejoined to play on The Monkey Puzzle studio album (2006), 2009’s much acclaimed The Visitor album, and now the new opus Seven Deadly.

Seven Deadly, a compact collection of 10 very special, soaring, instantly recognisable UFO hard rock anthems, marks yet another major milestone on the illustrious path of this celebrated band’s history.


Saturday 16 February 2013

Dio - Dream Evil Deluxe Version Album Review

We live in a world where the terms ‘World Class’, for sportspersons such as Nadal, Vettel and Messi are common place and sometimes overused; ‘Blue Chip’ for companies such as BP, DuPont etc are the norm; but it's a rare thing indeed for a musician to be named in such a similar manner. However, the relative ‘giant’ of a vocalist called Ronnie James Dio, the term 'World Class' was destined to be used to describe this Metal God.

Many bands have one great album, a small few have more than one, yet a certain Ronnie James Padavona, has made what I feel are 4 (maybe more) World Class Albums in 3 different guises in bands such as Rainbow, Sabbath, and Dio (Rising, LLRNR, Heaven and Hell, and Holy Diver).

Dream Evil is Dio's fourth album, released on July 21, 1987. It features former Rough Cutt members Craig Goldy and Claude Schnell, and includes the singles "All The Fools Sailed Away" and "I Could Have Been a Dreamer". Dream Evil was Dio's last album to feature drummer Vinny Appice

This new 2-cd deluxe edition comes with a bonus disc containing amounts other tracks the bands triumphant gig at Monsters of Rock. An expanded booklet with notes by Malcolm Dome endorsed by Ronnie’s widow Wendy makes this the next in line of ultimate Dio reissues.

It was for me a bit of a forgotten masterpiece, as during the late 80s I was getting a bit disillusioned with the great man himself (How dare I !). Anyway, in the recent years since his untimely passing I have been rediscovering some of his extensive output. The more I think of it, 'Dream Evil' is one of his forgotten greats. It follows the same formula as the first two Dio albums....

....Rip roaring opener? ('Night People'), Check! Second track = Album Title, Check! Epic Ballad ('All The Fools Sailed Away'), double check! And so on, putting 'Dream Evil' into my Top 5 Dio/Rainbow/Sabbath albums. It didn’t just stop with these few songs either. 'Sunset Superman' and 'I Could Have Been A Dreamer' proved that there was life after Vivian Campbell, as Craig Goldy’s riffs and playing are probably the finest of his career. It was the third Dio album in a row to make the UK Top Ten (how 'Holy Diver' never did is a travesty).

With the Deluxe version, Universal once again have come up trumps – a couple of bonus tracks, and the Dio set from 1987’s Monsters Of Rock at Donnington where Dio was in his element, playing live with a voice that was powered by a blast furnace

If you’ve not come across this great man before, 'Dream Evil' will whet the appetite. For existing fans, its another great reason to buy the Deluxe version. So, there you have it, Ronnie James Dio, often imitated, never, ever bettered!!



Disc One

Night People
Dream Evil
Sunset Superman
All The Fools Sailed Away
Naked In The Rain
I Could Have Been A Dreamer
Faces In A Window
When A Woman Cries  
Disc Two                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Hide In The Rainbow (Dio EP)

I Could Have Been A Dreamer (Single Edit)

Dream Evil (Donnington - 22/08/87

Neon Nights                                                                                      

Naked In The Rain                                                                          

Rock N Roll Children                                                                        

Long Live Rock N Roll                                                                     

The Last In Line                                                                                

Holy Diver                                                                                          

Heaven And Hell                                                                             

Man On The Silver Mountain                                                     

All The Fools Sailed Away                                                              

The Last In Line (Reprise)                                                             
Rainbow In The Dark

Saturday 2 February 2013

Ostura - Ashes of the Reborn

In a world where Metal IS truly global, come Ostura, from the not so glamorous metal scene of Lebanon. I’m one lucky puppy being involved in a scene that is truly remarkable and being part of a friendly club of people, that no matter who they are, or what they do, or even where they live and breathe, all have the same gene in their DNA that loves Heavy Metal/Rock etc.

Most people would associate Lebanon with Phoenicians, inventors of the alphabet, which writers/bloggers like me would be well and truly fucked without. Ostura (meaning ‘Legend’ in Arabic) is a metal band that has recently finished recording their first album: "Ashes of the Reborn".

Ostura's lyrics represent an epic tale in a fantasy world, and their music is a blend of melodic and progressive symphonic influences that defines them as one of the best bands in the Middle East of this style. Want a comparison? Think Kamelot, blended with Avantasia and that should explain the style and content

The idea of the Ostura project first started when Chris (Naimeh) approached Danny (Bou-Maroun) in May 2009 with lyrics, and asked him to write the music. It later turned into one big collaborative project between 15 people, including the 3 main vocalists Tony, Elia, and Youmna, who are now members of the band along with Chris and Danny. In August 2012, they held auditions for a guitarist to replace Elie Hnein, who had to leave the band to live in Texas. After a long search, they found Alain Ibrahim, who joined the band later that month. The different vocal timbres along with the variety of moods and variations in their music blend together perfectly to take the fans on an epic musical journey. Ashes of the Reborn is Ostura's first concept album, and it tells an epic story (hence the band name Ostura). 

The quality on offer here stands out immediately, with the male vocalists in Elia Monsef and Tony Ghanem blend and entwine throughout the whole album. Throw in the enchanting and delightful vocals of Youmna Jreissati and Ostura have all the emotions for a concept album completely covered. A hero, Galeron (Ghanem) was chosen by The Druid (Monsef) to fight the evil dictator, The Tyrant (Clala of growling guttural vox). Assisted by the Ancestral Spirit (Gabriel) and guided by The Oracle Jreissati), Galeron uses the Sword of Erus to confront and defeat TheTyrant.

'Ashes of The Reborn' gets off to fine start indeed with the heavy and powerful ‘A Warrior’s Tale’, and Ostura set out their stall for the rest of the album, light and dark, heavy and melodic, etc. ‘Sword of Erus’ complete with metal opera choir lifts the standard higher and the song is a ‘sing-a-long-a, tankard in hand’ anthem. The instrumental ‘King’s Crowning’ with a light keyboard intro builds itself up to this crescendo that would fit perfectly into a Lord of The Rings movie setting. ‘On Hills of Glory’  has a cutting, heavy riff and powers along to be the best of the album so far. Youmma Jreissati shines like a beacon on the stylish ‘Tears of Paradise’ a delicate piano intro and a really nice duet. Folk metal comes to the fore for ‘The Gathering’, building its intensity as the track progresses. The metal orchestra wades in before the chugging guitars kick-off of for ‘Infernal Hymn’, all taking part in this true metal opera, where we see The Tyrant making his appearance known to the listener with increasing tension, depth and power. All good stories/opera’s/concerts have to come to a conclusion and Ostura do this in style. With ‘Ashes of the Reborn’ the whole ensemble throw in the kitchen sink – great guitar work, power chords, and the vocalists all shine once more. A fitting end to a very decent debut album

I know that Lebanon is not what you would normally expect for a power metal band, but Ostura will certainly be putting themselves and their region on the global metal map. If the debut is anything to go by, Ostura have a very bright future ahead of them. If you’re a fan of Euro style Operatic / Power Metal/ Melodic Metal (Kamelot/Avantasia/Rhapsody of Fire), then look no further than ‘Ashes Of The Reborn. Ostura's meaning could ring true for them in the future!


Chris Naimeh - Drums/Lyrics
Danny Bou-Maroun - Keyboards/Music Composition/Arrangements
Elia Monsef - Male Vocals
Youmna Jreissati - Female Vocals
Tony Ghanem - Male Vocals

Jack Hayek - Bass
Elie Hnein - Guitars/Co-Music Composition [Former member]
Sami Gabriel - Male Vocals
Etienne Chlala - Growl Vocals
Wissam Tabet - Choir/Co-Keyboards
Naji Safiti - Choir
Michel Doumit - Choir
Wissam Saliba - Choir
Hady Barhoush - Acoustic Guitar
Rayan Seif - Violins

The album was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Karim Sinno at Mixdown Studios.