- 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, 31 January 2015
Impera are back!. If anyone out there liked the 2012 album ‘Legacy of Life’ or 2013s 'Pieces Of Eden' then hold onto your cowboy hats rock dudes and dudettes as the Jan release of ‘Empire of Sin’ sees the lads take their craft to another level.
The whole band consists of solid musicians who have earned their wings through hard work with an impressive number of world-class stars over the years. Their combined CV reads as a who’s who in today’s rock. In various constellations they have played with Vinnie Vincent and Bruce Kulick from Kiss, Brian Robertson from Thin Lizzy, John Levén from Europe and many more. Guitarist Tommy Denander alone has played with almost everyone. His track record is jaw-dropping, having made solo albums with key members of Toto and performed on albums with Michael Jackson, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper, Ricky Martin and Celine Dion. He is considered one of the world’s best session players and has contributed his axe work on an unsurpassed 2000+ albums. Yikes!!
Alfonzetti has been a sought-after voice for years with domestic success with Bam Bam Boys, Road To Ruin and Skintrade, as well as international stints with Red White & Blues, Scott Gorham from Thin Lizzy and British band Jagged Edge with whom he shared stages with the likes of Lita Ford, David Lee Roth, Vixen and Dan Reed. J.K. Impera himself can brag about having played with a number of KISS members, Graham Bonnet, John Corabi, to mention a few.
Impera is Latin for ‘ruler’. Which probably accounts for the make-up being an influenced mix of Ming the Merciless and Darth Vader. Either that or he has a 12” cock!
‘Empire Of Sin’ kicks of with the positively barnstorming riff of ‘The Beast Is Dead’. Couple Alfonzetti’s dulcet tones to this groove and ‘The Beast…’ chugs along at a great pace. ‘Evil (Become A Believer) takes Impera into heavier territory. Considering the pedigree of the band, they have departed from a more melodic stance and gone full throttle for pulsating riffs and heavy rock with a huge H! Don’t Stops riff reminds me of classic Ratt, only Impera have one of rocks best voices in tow. ‘Hole In The Sky’ comes out of the Tony Iommi book of Sabbath riffs and in ‘End Of The World’, Impera go for their album signature tune. ‘Thunder In Your Heart’ isn’t a cover stab at the Farnham classic (some things should stay original). ‘Lights In The Sky’ has a riff that I expect JSS of Steel Dragon to pitch in with ‘Stand Up and Shooooootttttt!!!!!!’
Impera have come on leaps over ‘Legacy..’ and ‘Empire….’ deserves a listen by the rock community. Whilst not a classic, Impera are a truly talented bunch who know how to write and perform songs in the true words that define them…CLASSIC ROCK!
J.K.Impera – Drums
Matt Alfonzetti – Vocals
Tommy Denander – Guitars
Mats Vassfjord - Bass
Night Ranger; the critically acclaimed San Francisco hard rockin’ band, will play a special concert at the London Islington O2 Academy on Thursday 12th March. The special London show is being treated as a rare and intimate, warm-up to their Hard Rock Hell AOR Festival appearance on Saturday 14th March.
Islington O2 Academy tickets are available from 0844 249 1000, and Ticket Web, Eventim, Gigantic or See Tickets. VIP Experience Packages can be booked from Night Ranger’s Website.
Night Ranger will perform songs from their multi-platinum 1983 album Midnight Madness, which includes their hits “Sister Christian”, “When You Close Your Eyes” and “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, plus songs 2014’s “High Road” album. They’ve sold over 17 million albums worldwide, performed over 2,500 concerts, and played with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, ZZ Top, Journey and Whitesnake.
LONDON, O2 ISLINGTON ACADEMY
THURSDAY 12th MARCH 2015
Tickets: £20.00 / 24 Hour Box Office: 0844 249 1000
or See Tickets
Doors: 7.00pm / Stage Time: 8.30pm
16 Parkfield Street, London, N1 0PS
Saturday, 24 January 2015
Now I’m sticking my neck out with an ageism thing here. But I reckon that if, like me you were (and still probably are) a fan of 80s Hair Metal/AOR, and into bands such as Ratt, Dokken, Stryper, Black N Blue, Joshua, Twisted Sister, fluffy era Whitesnake etc etc, then you are probably in the 39-59 age bracket. Also if, like me, that the above rocked your world, then the coming together of (not only) Michael Sweet of Stryper, and George Lynch of Dokken, but throw in James Lomenzo (White Lion), and the magnificent Brian Tichy (Foreigner/WS/S.U.N.), then that chances are that you would need Tena for Men (and Lady), such is the underpant/knicker wetting prospect of this band coming together! Phew!
Once again Sweet Lynch is the brainchild of Serafino Perugino head of Frontiers Records. Sweet recalls, “He asked me to basically sing on this record and then I suggested producing it and co-wrote the songs with George”, continues the singer. “It’s an incredible combination of classic 70’s and 80’s”, tells Michael Sweet. “You will hear some flavors of Journey, Bad Company, Dokken, Van Halen and Stryper. James and Brian are amazing musicians. They tore it up. The drums and bass are just as impressive as the guitars. Everybody really delivered... The musicianship level on this is top notch. It sounds as if we were all in the studio playing together and we were not. Basically, George wrote some riffs about a minute to a minute and a half long. I wrote lyrics and melodies then arranged them. Then Brian and James came out and tracked the drums and bass, as well as some rhythm stuff. We then sent it back to George to add the guitars."
On first impression, is more akin to Lynch Mob than Dokken, but add in the unmistakable vocals of Sweet and its given a whole new dimension. Lynch has never probably had a singer so good alongside him (or 2000 miles away as they recorded this separately!) For the past few years Mr Sweet has been on somewhat of a roll, a very good solo album and an excellent Stryper album, and following it up with Only To Rise. It has a different dynamic to Stryper and isn’t an in yer face preachy album, but is a straight down the middle rock album.
'The Wish' sounds as if its straight off Michaels solo album INYS, as it has Sweet running thru the whole thing like a stick of ROCK! 'Dying Rose' sees more of Lynch’s influence as its straight out of the Lynch Mob school of rock. As the pace was building nicely, S&L throws in the quality ballad 'Love Stays'. 'Time Will Tell's' chorus shows just how good a voice Sweet has got. The quality remains high throughout the remaining songs, with 'Hero-Zero', 'Recover', 'Only To Rise' and 'September' in particular being the pick of the bunch.
'Only to Rise', really does rise above the parapet of a lot of mediocrity that’s out there. Melodic Rock is currently on a resurgence and it goes to show that some of the old guard can still mix it with the likes of HEAT, Eclipse, Vega, et al.
I have to say that Sweet and Lynch as individuals are a match made in heaven. It should not be a 2-man show as both Tichy and Lomenzo play their parts to the full. My only gripe? It should have a band name and not just the 2 name pullers here.
One seed to plant to you Serafino, can you please get on the blower to a certain Mr Ritchie Blackmore please and write him a blank cheque for a Rainbow reunion.
Score – 90/100
Sweet & Lynch are
Michael Sweet – Lead Vocals, guitars
George Lynch – Lead Guitars
James Lomenzo – Bass
Brian Tichy - Drums
Sweet & Lynch have made a lyric video for the 9/11 inspired track ‘September’ which can be viewed here:
while an EPK featuring Michael and George discussing the project can be seen here: http://youtu.be/BPYIoe0fTqI.