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!!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Jean Beauvoir - 'Rock Masterpieces Vol 2' Review

Jean Beauvoir – Rock Masterpieces Vol 2

Back in June I reviewed Vol 1, and what a treat it was for one of rocks true icons, Jean Beauvoir. Well, now AOR HEAVEN is currently gearing up to release Vol 2 and was one of the soundtracks of the Summer. Vol 2 features more songs from his solo career, including his International multi-platinum debut "Drums Along the Mohawk" album, from his band Crown Of Thorns, his band Voodoo X, which also made music and video history, some fan favorites. As with Vol 1, Vol 2 songs will also be remastered. 

Beauvoir is also working with best selling British author Simon Cox (Cracking The Da Vinci Code) on a new book which will capture his storied career in music and entertainment. The iconic Blonde Mohawk of Jean Beauvoir has been an ongoing major influence on US and International pop culture in music, sports, film and TV; including several cartoons; influences that are still being seen and heard today. As a member of the Plasmatics, the most outrageous, controversial, successful Punk band ever and a longtime songwriter and producer for the Ramones, hailed as the greatest Punk band in the world, Jean Beauvoir is forever linked to two of the most revolutionary bands of the twentieth century. He was a member of the Plasmatics during their most successful and revolutionary time in music and is the only member of the Plasmatics who went onto a successful solo, production and writing career with over 40-million records sold to date and featured on over 240 albums.

Music from his solo debut album 'Drums Along the Mohawk' was hand picked by Sylvester Stallone for the film Cobra which led to Beauvoir making a deal with Al Teller (President of Paramount Pictures). Through working closely with Branson, Stallone and Teller, Cobra received the highest advertising budget for a Hollywood film to date at the time featuring the single "Feel the Heat" as its title track. 

Thank heavens for ‘No Limits’, a BBC show from one of the major importers of melodic rock/AOR, Jonathan King. This show was better than a lot of TV shows at the time (the UK had yet to receive the mecca of all music, MTV) so we got our hits in small doses through Top Of The Pops, ECT, and The Tube. King was ahead of the curve, introducing me as a 17-19 year old to bands such as Guiffria, Warrior, (Patti Smyth), and songs we would never have heard of from the likes of Lou Gramm, Sammy Hagar, Y&T, and Jean Beauvoir. This was my first interaction for his single ‘Feel The Heat’. I thought it was fantastic, a song that went against my rock upbringing on bands like Rainbow, Rush and Whitesnake to name just three. The guy had a huge mohawk, a great voice, and in FTH a huge chorus. I was in for the long run.

Thanks to grunge and music at that time having little to excite me in the way of music, bands like Crown Of Thorn’s passed me by until I heard ‘Hike It Up’ at a rock disco in Wigan. Yes, Wigan! I turned to my esteemed colleague to ask who it was. Once explained I picked up the phone (internet was still shite) and snapped up their debut about 3 yrs after it was released. It was that good, it filled a gap that had been missing. It was superb.


Vol 2 picks up where Vol 1 left off, and its all systems go with the opening salvo of Crown anthems, ‘The Healer’, Lost Cathedral’, and ‘Live and Die’. If you're a JB fan already, I don't need to sing the praises of these 3 songs. If not, where the fuck have you been and buy this album!!

There’s a few songs that are new to me – mainly the Voodoo X ones. ‘I’m On Fire’ is a rip snorter of a tune, a killer riff competing with one of the best vocalists in the business. Fast and frenetic from beginning to end – typical Beauvoir! ‘A Lover Like You’ was co-written with Paul Stanley and has KISS DNA running right through it, and I'm pretty certain that's Stanley chipping in with background vocals, and is another gem of a song.

This Is Our House’ from ‘Drums..’ is about as lite as JB gets, and still manages to be anthemic. ‘Motorcycle Loretta’ is one of the best songs from Lost Cathedral, and is built around some splendid riffage. ‘Missionary Remedy’ Is as late in the day as it gets for a COT appearance. Its OK, but its nowhere near the same standard as anything from the COT debut. ‘Never Went Down’ is pure saccharine soaked pop rock, and sounds as if it was destined to be in an 80s flick, the type of song that John Hughes used to pepper his films with.

Winterland’ is probably in my top 3 all time JB songs, the type of song that just cheers me up, from the opening few bars, to the killer riff, and the awesome chorus it never fails to hit the spot. It always gets cranked up in the car. ‘Same Song Plays |On and On’ has US hit written all over it. And reprises some of the same sound from ‘Feel The Heat’, either that or I’m losing the plot. ‘Searchin’ For A Light’ couldn't be any more eighties if I was sat here decked out in spandex and leg warmers and takes you back to the heady days of MTV. From the debut are a couple of songs, the balladic ‘Till The End’ but its the attitude laden ‘No You Don't’ that gets my vote. Its Voodoo X that closes out Vol 2 with ‘Happy Birthday’. If you're fed up of the one 30 billion people know, try this one next time outrageous

Volume 2 answered my questions from Vol 1, with COT songs making up over half the album

The PR info states “Today, Jean Beauvoir is also recognized as "One of the Most Influential Black Rockers of All Time". In my eyes it should read ‘Influential Black People of All Time” Period.

This is essential for anyone that like their music with a huge slab of riffage and big anthemic, melodic choruses. I cant think of many better anthologies that showcase an artistes talent more than these two. If you're already a fan, then there probably not a lot here for you, but it does put all the good stuff in one big collection. If Jean Beauvoir is a guy that passed you by and you are in the market for some killer tunes, buy Vol 1 and 2, and whilst you are at it, get the COT debut.

8/10


The Healer (COT Debut)
Lost Cathedral (COT Lost Cathedral)
Live and Die (COT Lost Cathedral)
This Is Our House (JB Drums…)
Motorcycle Loretta (COT Lost Cathedral)
I Wont Wait (COT Breakthrough)
A Lover Like You (Voodoo X The Awakening)
Missionary Remedy (COT Destination Unknown)
I’m On Fire (Voodoo X)
Never Went Down (JB Drums..)
Winterland (COT Debut)
Same Song Plays On And On (JB Drums...)
Searchin’ For A Light (JB Jacknifed)
Till The End (COT Debut)
No You Dont (COT Debut)
Happy Birthday (Voodoo X)

Vandenburg's Moonkings - 'Rugged and Unplugged' Album Review

Vandenburg’s Moonkings - ‘Rugged and Unplugged’

Rugged and Unplugged’ is a stripped back acoustic album which features songs from Adrian Vandenburg’s career. 
 
For me, the sign of whether a song is good or not, is whether it still stands up when its completely stripped down to the bare essence of it’, says Vandenburgh, and I for one categorically agree with this statement. He continues, ‘What I find with acoustic versions of songs you already know, is that they can touch you in a different way than the full band and even orchestral versions. You don’t get ‘impressed’ by big guitars, drums and even orchestras. As a performer you csn’t hide behind all that, so whats left is the emotional content of the performance of the actual song’.

Back in the early 90s, Tesla took a steal on the market and brought out their ‘Five man Acoustical Jam’ and it was awesome. But then, every bugger was at it, MTV went through an unplugged phase and there were some cracking performances – Queensryche and Pearl Jam being personal faves. Its taken a back seat of late, but I'm happy to see someone give it a go and revive the format.

Basically, despite Adrian Vandenburg having a decent back catelogue, most of the songs are Moonkings ones, with only one Whitesnake song (‘Sailing Ships’) and one Vandenburg song (‘Burning Heart’, obviously) making the cut. Early Vandenburg fans may feel a little short changed and slightly miffed, especially as the album is only the eight songs long.

Jan Hoving’s vocals still sound as if he’s singing a full electric vocal of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’, but I wont hold that against him, and he has a nice tone and timbre to his sound. ‘Sailing Ships’ is where most will draw comparisons as he is singing a Coverdale song, and the very first line of ‘Sailing Ships’, you know Coverdale’s legacy is in good hands as Hoving even sounds like Coverdale, not too much, but just enough. This is a Whitesnake classic, and is performed very well indeed, but its Coverdales blood running through it and few can match the master for tone and quality. Its almost the same version that is on the Moonkings debut album, and it does make you hanker for the original.

Burning Heart’ is the other biggie on offer here. Its stripped right back to the bare bones and does fall on Hoving’s emotion to carry the lyrics. ‘Out Of Reach’ isn't a great deal away from the original, so why not pick something that would be better suited as an acoustical interpretation. I’m beginning to see a pattern, an acoustical album based on songs that are not too far removed from the original! ‘One Step Behind’ and ‘Breathing’ are the first songs I can really get behind acoustically as they are different from the originals, but there should be more like this, surely?

Up last is a brand new song, ‘Sundown’ - you guessed it, a 90 second acoustic instrumental.

For seven songs, and a new one, I was expecting a little bit more. Maybe a couple more Vandenburg, another Whitesnake song. Theres a saying when actors aren't trying, that they are dialling in their performance, I feel a liitle bit the same about 'Rugged and Unplugged' as it could have been soooo much better. In fact check out Hellsongs, they do the metal cover better than most!

6/10

Tracklist
What Doesn’t Kill You
Sailing Ships
Out Of Reach
One Step Behind
Burning Heart
Walk Away
Breathing
Sundown

Monday, 5 November 2018

The Three Tremors - 'When The Last Scream fades' Video Release


THE THREE TREMORS release 'When The Last Scream Fades' single and lyric video, taken from their new self titled debut album which is set for release on 18th January.



Band quote on the lyric video:
"The Three Tremors song, When The last Scream Fades is a straight ahead heavy metal rocker that paints a tale of a post apocalyptic world from prophecy and lore.  Harry Conklin says, " We have been having a great time playing this one live at rehearsals.  It starts out with a somber dark vibe then takes off."
Peck says " There are a lot of bases covered on this record - all styles of metal are represented pretty much.  The diversity of the songs and deliveries makes it a fun record to perform all the way through like we will be doing starting September 26th."


THE THREE TREMORS
release their storming self titled debut album on 18th January 2019 via Steel Cartel Records.

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom!” is how the Three Tremors is being described. And when you find out the stellar line-up, there is no denying the mighty vocal power that the newly formed outfit possesses - Tim "Ripper" Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, DIO DISCIPLES), Harry "The Tyrant" Conklin (JAG PANZER, SATAN’S HOST, TITAN FORCE), and Sean "The Hell Destroyer" Peck (CAGE, DENNER/SHERMANN, DEATH DEALER)

And on January 18th 2019, metal-heads worldwide will be able to behold the power of the Three Tremors, when their self-titled debut album will be unveiled (with a full tour following immediately thereafter).

"One of the all-time great power metal albums!"
KNAC.com

Pre-orders can be made here: https://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/the-three-tremors

Sean's band, Cage, opened for Judas Priest on the ‘Jugulator’ tour in San Diego - that is where I first met him,” recalls Ripper. “He hit me up about resurrecting the idea and actually doing a record, and then a band, to put this out in the live setting also, and I thought it sounded really cool. The record came out really strong and I think the fans deserved to have a thing like this actually exist. We performed 2 of the songs live already when I was out in San Diego shooting the video for the first single, and it was a blast.

It was about 5 years ago, I was camping and thinking about the whole Three Tremors urban legend from long ago and what a shame it was that it never happened,” says Sean. “Then I started thinking about if there was a resurrected 2018 version of it, who would I get, and Tim and Harry were at the top of my list. I immediately reached out to Tim, who agreed to embark on this adventure and Harry quickly joined next. It took a long time to put it together, create the right songs, and get it properly arranged, but the results are beyond my wildest expectations. I think the fans are really going to freak out on what we have done with this record, and live it’s going to be almighty I assure you!"

“Sean and I ended up at a party together in Germany, where we were both playing the same festival, and he told me about the Three Tremors album he was putting together and asked if I would be into it
,” adds Harry. “He described the concept and how he wanted to bring this old idea to actual life and I said I was in. Once I started hearing the songs that were being sent over for me to record, I knew this thing was going to be really powerful. Then when I got sent the final mixes with all three of us on it, my jaw hit the floor on how well it all came together. For heavy metal fans, this is the ultimate.”

The Three Tremors nourish in heavy metal anthems, and feature the illustrious chops of guitarist Dave “Conan” Garcia, whose tenacity fuels the fire, allowing the music to naturally flow in complimentary tone. Second guitarist Casey “The Sentinel” Trask picks up the pace and really pushes the boundaries alongside bassist Alex Pickard, who highlights a melodic sensibility giving character to the overall tonality. On drums, the thrash machine Sean Elg adds in his perfectly placed fills and signature double bass patterns.

The Three Tremors self-titled debut highlights artwork ingeniously created by renowned artist Marc Sasso (Dio, Halford, Adrenaline Mob, Death Dealer, Cage), to showcase an apocalyptic battle between demonic hyper-wolves and the Three Tremors, who marched into an underworld overshadowed by evil forces only armed with bullets powered by heavy metal sorcery to reclaim the dystopian lands.

The self-titled debut album will feature 12 new songs that depict monumental stories of time honored heavy metal themes as written by Sean Peck, focusing on original concepts to highlight three of the most revered and relentless voices in heavy metal.

The Three Tremors will court you in to an entirely new atmosphere unlike any group before. Prepare for the most thrilling heavy metal record to date!
THE THREE TREMORS ALBUM TRACK-LIST
01: Invaders From The Sky
02 Bullets For The Damned
03: When The Last Scream Fades
04: Wrath Of Asgard
05: The Cause
06: King Of The Monsters
07: The Pit Shows No Mercy
08: Sonic Suicide
09: Fly Or Die
10: Lust Of The Blade
11: Speed To Burn
12: The Three Tremors (Bonus Track)


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BILLYBIO - 'Feed The Fire' Album Review

With BillyBio, it’s 100% me. No influence from anyone else. This is who I am and what I’ve become. I’m a product of everyone I’ve met, talked with, shared my stories with…and a bit of their stories as well.” - Billy Graziadei

During the years of touring with BIOHAZARD, Graziadei collaborated with many different musicians. As a result of this the later friendship with Cypress Hill singer SenDog, turned in 2016 into the Supergroup POWERFLO along with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers (Ex-FEAR FACTORY) and guitarist Roy Lozano (DOWNSET). While Graziadei continues to work on new POWERFLO songs as he tours around, he decided that the time finally has come for his solo venture: Billy Graziadei is BILLYBIO.

Even the 12secs intro could not prepare me for what was about to hit me in the form of ‘Freedoms Never Free’;  An entourage of speed, aggression and anger is everything I would expect from Billy. Whoa, hold on!! ‘Feed The Fire’ has just totally confused me! We have now gone to a more mainstream rock track. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but these two opening tracks sound like two totally different bands! But I like it. Both songs so far have had a speed break mid-song and I think these breaks make songs. It’s something I always put in Carnage’s songs. It always works.

‘Apologies No Regrets’ now heads over towards the ‘S.O.D & M.O.D’ era. Awesome speed, great bass breaks and thumping beats that will send a live crowd into a frenzy. Crackin' stuff!!!! The songs are nice and short too as we head into ‘Generation Z’ and the thrashy ‘Sick And Tired’. This song does not relent and reminds me of 1980’s Metallica and Testament. It’s galloping chorus just oozes class.

‘Sodality’ has even more class, with its heavy opening riff and rapping-style verse. V is very Sum 41 (Fat Lip). It has lots of speed changes in this track which makes it one of the album’s highlights. ‘Rise And Slay’ with it’s Anthrax-style juggery just confirms what I was thinking that this album is getting better and better as it goes along. There’s no pause for breath as we hammer through ‘STFU’ until ‘Trepidation’. What a beautiful couple of minutes. A quiet mellow symphonic jam with electronic wording splattered in the background. It was needed.

The opening riff of ‘Untruth’ hits you like a steam train. This song has everything. Dark riffs, rapping verses and a galloping chorus. 'Feed The Fire' is damn fine album which begs to be heard. I would love to see Billy live on the back on this superb album. We finish with ‘Enemy’ and album stunner ‘Disaffected World’.

The photos included with this album show Billy trying to get a message across to us. I think he’s done that. Biohazard fan?? Buy it. Billy fan? You will be.


Score 9/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track listing:

1. Freedoms Never Free
2. Feed The Fire
3. Apologies No Regrets
4. Generation Z
5. Sick And Tired
6. Remedy
7. Sodality
8. Rise And Slay
9. STFU
10.Trepidation
11.Untruth
12.Enemy
13.Disaffected World