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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Brief News Update for Saturday December 31st, 2011

Update on the McAuley Schenker reunion tour


This is one tour not to be missed, that is in the US at least ..., read on.

Yeah, I know I've already said as much, but I can't say it enough, Michael Schenker (Scorpions, UFO, Contraband), one of the greatest guitarists in the world - My fav! :) - has reunited with vocalist Robin McAuley, who for the last five years has been touring with Survivor, in a line up that produced no new music, simply the promise thereof ..., a number of good live shows.
This update regarding the forthcoming tours, not just the US, but in Japan and Europe too has just been posted on Michael Schenker's website:

Michael Schenker will be touring “Temple Of Rock” with different line ups all around the world.

He will feature each of the three singers from the brand new “Temple Of Rock” album: Michael Voss, Robin McAuley and Doogie White.
The “Temple Of Rock World Tour” will start in the United States in February / March 2012 featuring Robin McAuley - Vocals, Elliott “Dean” Rubinson - Bass, Wayne Findlay - Keyboards and Guitar, and Pete Holmes - Drums.

Then at the end of March, Michael will be in Japan with Michael Voss - Vocals, Herman Rarebell - Drums, Elliott “Dean” Rubinson - Bass, and Wayne Findlay - Keyboards & Guitar.

In April/May the “Temple Of Rock” line up will tour Europe featuring Doogie White - Vocals, Herman Rarebell - Drums, Francis Buchholz - Bass and Wayne Findlay - Keyboards & Guitar. Michael is planning to eventually take each line up to all continents. Don’t miss the new album “Temple Of Rock.”
Perhaps the European dates with three former Scorpions, will provide a number of Scorpions songs in the bands set list?! 

So there you have it, I for one feel very fortunate now living in the US, as when Robin was with M.S.G. the first time around, I never got to see that line up, but I really feel for European and Japanese fans.
I really don't know what to make of this and frankly I'm sure all it serves to do, is confuse fans even more.
Don't get me wrong I think both Doogie White and Michael Voss are good in their own right, but what is the purpose behind having a different vocalist behind each set of tour dates ...?
For more info on Michael Schenkers activities, go to:


The first sign from H.E.A.T is here, so says producer Tobias Lindell, who's been working on the bands current album recording.
A very very short sound clip is up and running for you at the link down below. I think you can hear what´s coming!
This album will kick some ass in 2012.

Direct link:
Swedish rockers H.E.A.T. were formed in early 2007, they released their debut self titled album in 2008 and then their second 'Freedom Rock' in 2010.
They've already caused quite a stir among the rock scene in a very short space of time, with their own brand of hard rock.
The band's line up is:
Erik Grönwall: Vocals
Dave Dalone: Guitars
Eric Rivers: Guitars
Jona Tee: Keyboards
Jimmy Jay: Bass
Crash: Drums
2012 brings a new album from the band, as yet untitled and hopefully for the many fans, new live dates!
Keep up with H.E.A.T. at:


Liberty N Justice - Hell is coming to Breakfast (CD Only)

Roxx Productions along with Liberty ‘n’ Justice are very pleased to announce for LNJ’s 20th Anniversary (1992-2012) the release of their 11th studio album ‘Hell is coming to Breakfast’. This marks the bands second release on Roxx Records after a successful partnership on the Limited Edition charity CD entitled ‘Chasing a Cure LP’ that the two teamed up on earlier in 2011. ‘Hell is coming to Breakfast' is set for release on March 1, 2012 with pre-sales beginning now.

Justin Murr of Liberty ‘n’ Justice has this to say about the release… “We recorded so many songs for our yet to be released 2 CD project entitled ‘The Cigar Chronicles’ and with the delay on this release not happening until late in 2012 or early 2013 we didn’t want the fans to have to wait that long to get some new LNJ in their hands. So when Bill (Roxx) and Roxx Records approached me and asked if we had anything else up our sleeves we could release, we realized we had to many songs that were not all going to fit on ‘Cigar’ so we took the 6 songs that we couldn’t fit and then recorded another brand new song which is the title track ‘Hell is coming to breakfast’ especially for this release and added 5 more previously unreleased rare cuts and demos just for this one, I am really excited for our fans to hear this collection”
Bill from Roxx Records had this to say about the new release “We are very excited to be working with Justin and Liberty ‘n’ Justice once again, especially in the bands twentieth year! Justin and all the wonderful artists he works with continue to release nothing but top notch material and after twenty years it is just amazing how they keep coming up with so many great Melodic Rock songs again and again and again”
In addition to the 7 brand new tracks and various demos and rarities we are very excited to be able to include on this release and on CD for the very first time ever the original acoustic demo version of ‘Sin’ featuring the late great Jani Lane of Warrant out front on vocals.

Full Track Listing …
1. "Hell Is Coming To Breakfast" Seann Nichols (Adler’s Appetite / Tarsha), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ)
2. "Madhatter" Donnie Vie (Enuff Z' Nuff), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Chris Dickens (Mission Of One) and Tommy Denander
3. "Whack A Mole" Johnny Lima, JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Jerry Johnson (SAINT) and Richard Lynch (SAINT)
4."Thankful Heart" Philip Bardowell (MAGDALEN/Unruly Child), Lynn Louise Lowrey (Vixen/Testify)  and Anthony Gravley
5. "Nakatomi Plaza" JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ), Greg Bishop (X-Sinner) and Scott Weisenborn (Testify)
6. "Stretch Armstrong" Louis St August (Mass), JK Northrup (King Kobra/ XYZ) and Keri Kelli (Alice Cooper)
. "Get Down" Tony Mills (TNT/ Shy), Mark Allen Lanoue (Chasing Karma/ Bilioxi), and Anthony Gravley
8. "Your Memory Just Won't Do" [Previously unreleased on CD] David Cagle, Alex Grossi (Quiet Riot) and CJ Snare (Firehouse)
9. "Thy will be done" [Demo] Jamie Rowe (Guardian)
10.”What do you believe?" [Original demo of ‘Do what you believe’] Mike Ledesma (FAR CRY), Vic Rivera (Crunch)
11. "Monkey Dance" [Alternate Mix] Jack Russell (Great White)
12. "Sin" [Original Acoustic Demo] Jani Lane (Warrant)

This is a Limited Edition CD Release for full details including pre-sale information and special packages please visit:

About Roxx Productions:

ROXX RECORDS is an indie label specializing in Limited Edition Releases focusing specifically in the Christian Rock and Metal scene. Working with both Brand New Artists and some of the Artists that have helped and continue to help define the genre!

Music documentary on the cards for local Windsor, Ontario band scene

OK, so this one is close to home, but it's certainly interesting stuff about the local music scene in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, right across the Detroit river.
The whole thing is the brainchild of one Jeffrey David, local musician, radio host, perhaps better known as 'Big JD,' the man behind weekly radio show here, "U Talkin' 2 Me" on CJAM 99.1 FM, Windsor / Detroit radio station.
He shared with me a little info on the whole project as follows ...

'Well, I'm currently writing/directing a new music documentary. It's about music being a universal language and it's based on local Windsor bands. We will shoot the actual "gig" - to launch the documentary - January 14th at FM Lounge in Windsor. 
My film company is OMS Entertainment and along with Evil Punkin Productions we are working on this film. We will soon have a page up too for submissions of video and music for the film. Again, it's all Windsor, Ontario based but it's a big deal over here.
It's to be called "4 On The Floor."

Editor's note: There's something special about the whole event, that I better not reveal anymore on, that JD also shared ...

JD went on to say, "Then we will have interviews all about music here in Windsor through the years. Once the submission form is posted online is when I personally feel it's official, but it is official, LOL. We have a production team, the band, the venue, a Twitter page and a Facebook page ...
The submission form is just the final piece to have it put out there.
We have someone we are assigning to man the Twitter and FB pages, lined up ..."

Facebook page - With just the wall active right now:
Follow on Twitter: @4onthefloorfilm
JD's Facebook:
Good luck with it all JD!

And finally .....

So folks, I thought this was kind of cool and as the year wraps up, I wanted to share a related bit of information with you that I feel quite pleased about, but it's not happened yet but hopefully will soon.

Big JD is due to interview yours truly, in due course - i.e. In the coming months. - for his weekly show "U Talkin' 2 Me" -!/utalkin2mewithbigjd - I feel kind of honoured to have been asked to do this to be honest, as it's a show that has previously featured interviews with Thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham and Canadian rockers Anvil, to name a couple of artists.
More details on the confirmed date of this event to follow. :)

Well, this will be my last posting ... - Probably ... - for 2011 and I sincerely apologize to so many people, that have sent me promo materials for review that I have not got to post yet ... Heck, half of them I never even got to listen to! Best laid plans etc. With so much personal stuff going on in my life and the last quarter of the year, with family back home in the UK, changing my day job and keeping up with family life, as anyone knows, the latter two are enough stress for any sane person, which perhaps that last point is a tough claim to make! LOL!

I would just like to take the opportunity though to wish each and every one of you a truly Happy or Happier and certainly more prosperous New Year in 2012.
I know the US economy has had a rough time but this past year has certainly shown elements of improvements and I do know that the rest of the world has certainly had more than it's fair share of troubles and tragedies with the various disasters that occurred.

A massive thank you all, once again for all that you have done in sticking with me at 'Chambers of Rock.' I sincerely hope the site moves on to better things and that I can keep you all, relatively entertained in 2012!
So as we say a big old goodbye to 2011, I wish you all a Very, VERY Happy New Year for 2012!
Al and the Williams clan at the Chambers of Rock abode!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Brief News Update for Wednesday December 28th, 2011

Rik Emmett jams on Rush track 'Red Barchetta'

Track artwork

For the first time Rik Emmett of the classic Canadian rock power trio TRIUMPH sang and played guitar in a unique “virtual collaboration” with a member of another legendary Canadian rock power trio, Rush. Rik performed as a guest artist with fantasy rock band “Sonic Elements” on a cover of the song ‘Red Barchetta’ which features drums performed by legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart via a music software sample library called Neil Peart Drums by Sonic Reality.

Dave Kerzner, CEO and founder of Sonic Reality, put together a unique music project called “Sonic Elements” where various singers and musicians of progressive rock perform and record along with sampled musical elements from the music software Sonic Reality creates for musicians.
“At Sonic Reality we record (aka “sample”) the sounds of musical instruments and drum grooves so that musicians can use these deluxe sound elements in their own music on the computer or mobile devices.” says Kerzner “I created the Sonic Elements music project to not only show what these inspiring Sonic Reality sounds are like in musical context but to also explore giving songs an alternate reality with different fantasy combinations of musicians and authentic sounds.”
A premium example of such a fantasy rock scenario is ‘Red Barchetta’ featuring Rik Emmett which is another take on the classic Rush song with new life brought to it by Rik’s passionate performance and interpretation.

Listen to an audio clip preview of ‘Red Barchetta’ featuring Rik Emmett:

Here’s what Rik Emmett had to say about the project:
“It was such a great day in the studio, jamming out to Neil’s incredible tracks, getting to play virtual ‘basement band’ and laying down my versions of Geddy and Alex parts. I felt like I had been transported back to 1980 for an afternoon. ‘Red Barchetta’ is one of my absolute fave RUSH songs… like an exciting, Ray Bradbury-esque SF short story, told by a progressive rock band… so to get a crack at it, with the actual drum takes that Neil performed, was an ‘artistic’ challenge – almost like accepting a dare.” Says Emmett “This is like “Rock Band” for the seriously, deeply committed.”

The full release of the song ‘Red Barchetta’ by Sonic Elements featuring Rik Emmett is coming in Q1, 2012 and is part of a larger collection of songs with Sonic Elements and other guest artists performing with Neil Peart Drums by Sonic Reality.

Follow progress on the Sonic Elements project:


About the Sonic Elements project and Neil Peart Drums:
Dave Kerzner of the music software company Sonic Reality has headed up a unique “virtual fantasy rock band” called “Sonic Elements” combining the sounds and performances captured in Sonic Reality music software and sound library products such as Neil Peart Drums with performances of guest musicians like Rik Emmett on classic covers like ‘Red Barchetta’ by Rush. Collaborating through the use of the sample library “Neil Peart Drums” which was performed by legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart and recorded by top producer Nick Raskulinecz is something that any musician who owns the product can do. Neil’s digitally recreated DW® Snakes and Arrows drum kit in software or soon to be released audio grooves to play along to or loops can be used in any recording software on the Mac, PC or iPad™. To celebrate that concept Sonic Elements have been working up an entire Rush tribute album as well as original songs all built around Neil Peart Drums with various guest guitarists, bass players and vocalists including Rik Emmett (Triumph), Billy Sherwood (Yes, Circa), John Wesley (Porcupine Tree, Marillion) and many other classic and progressive rock musicians.

© Sonic Reality 2011. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Marco Mendoza returns home from Europe for hometown gig

After a successful series of European solo dates in Denmark, Austria, Italy and Germany, bassist / vocalist Marco Mendoza returns back to L.A. for a low key gig at his favourite club, The Baked Potato.

This Friday night, December 30th, 2011, Marco will be joined by Jeff Kollman (Guitars) and Joel Tayloer on drums, to kick out some rockin' R 'n' B and jazz jams!
Entrance is $20.00

Baked potato

For more details:
The Baked Potato
3787 Cahuenga Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
Phone: 818-980-1615

Good luck Marco, so ..., what's new in 2012 I wonder?
Perhap we'll get to see / hear that album with Neal Schon and Deen Castronova ..., I wish!

Keep up with Marco at:


Geoff Tate Photo by: Valerie Nerres

After touring extensively in 2011 with his band, Queensryche, lead singer Geoff Tate has announced that he will be doing a handful of acoustic solo dates billed as “Geoff Tate and Friends” beginning on Friday, January 27 at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, California.

What can fans expect on the brief run of dates?
According to Tate, he’ll be “playing acoustic renditions of songs from my solo album as well as some of my favorite Queensryche songs.” And that certainly gives him a lot to choose from…
Not one to remain idle, Tate is anxious to hit the road again next year despite an incredibly busy 2011 that found the band performing over 75 dates along their 30th Anniversary tour primarily in support of their 12th studio album, Dedicated to Chaos (Roadrunner Records/Loud & Proud), that was released in the summer.
Towards the end of the tour, Geoff and the band pulled out “all the stops” by performing Rage for Order in its entirety for the first time ever (New York City on Halloween) and Operation: Mindcrime from beginning to end on this year’s ShipRocked Cruise (with In This Moment’s Maria Brink handling vocal chores as “Sister Mary”) for the first time in three years.
Both shows were a pure treat for fans!

“Mindcrime” (1988) is universally respected as a classic concept release about rock, revenge and redemption and, ultimately, regarded as one of the most important and essential hard rock records in the genre’s expansive canon. 1990′s follow-up, Empire, yielded a number one single, the Grammy-nominated ballad “Silent Lucidity,” which Queensryche performed at the 1992 Grammy Awards accompanied by a supporting orchestra.
In 2006, the band released Operation: Mindcrime II, a scorching sequel to their original. The band then hit the road performing both albums Operation: Mindcrime and Operation: Mindcrime II back-to-back in their entirety in an incredible theatrical presentation throughout the year. The final performance was recorded at The Moore Theatre in Seattle that October and the Mindcrime at the Moore double CD/DVD release debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Music DVD Chart and eventually reached gold status.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years and more than 20 million albums sold worldwide later…
For 2012, Queensryche has plenty up its sleeve…
Geoff’s acoustic performances are just the beginning of what promises to be another exciting year.
For more information, please view the official Queensryche website at

Happy Holidays!

Those live dates are:

Jan-26 Thu San Diego, CA        Anthology
Jan-27 Fri Agoura Hills         Canyon
Jan-29 Sun San Juan Cap         Coach House
Jan-31 Tue Grass Valley, CA     Center for the Arts
Feb-01 Wed Chico, CA            El Rey
Feb-02 Thu Napa, CA             Uptown
Feb-04 Sat Snqoualmie, WA       Finapalooza

Monday, December 26, 2011

Quick Update for Monday December 26th, 2011

Van Halen Tour 2012 Officially announced!

A very brief update only folks ...

A quick check - Actually - on Facebook revealed this Van Halen news to me!

Yes, folks, here we go, official statement from Van Halen's official website, the 2012 tour is ON and the first tickets go onslae January 10th, 2012!
The EPK captured at You Tube reveals as much:

The down side as of right now, is neither the Van Halen Newsdesk - At this time 5.50am (EST) Monday morning 26th December - or the official Van Halen site, show the dates or cities that the band will play in right now ...

I even tried Pollstar, and the Van Halen search at this time, also revealed nothing:

Anymore updates, I'll of course let you know!
One though, this has been posted throught the site ... If this is the album cover below though, cheesy or what?!

Van Halen - The Future
Official weblinks:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Brian Howe – Emotions E.P. review

Brian Howe – Emotions E.P. review
Released through: iTunes / Amazon Release date: Available now

Following 2010’s excellent ‘Circus Bar’ album from the former Bad Company / Ted Nugent lead vocalist Brian Howe, I for one couldn’t wait to hear the follow up.
Around Christmas of last year Brian had told me that he was working on the follow up album with Brooks Paschal again and this one was already sounding better than ‘Circus Bar’ … I was thinking ‘Wow!’
Last year at Christmas, he released a taster of what was to come quality wise in the single, ‘Christmas’ which is a song that builds up through the laid back verses into a chorus that rocks in a melodic rock fashion, that was the perfect next step from ‘Circus Bar.’
 Around April / May time frame of this year, Brian had told me he wasn’t going to record another album and that he was done with recording, because of so much free downloading, what was the point?
He said that his ‘Circus Bar’ album had been made available – to those who looked – as a free download around two weeks or so prior to its release … Seriously folks, is there no justice in this world?! That’s bad …
Back around August, Brian said he planned to put out an E.P., of four or five new tracks, which would turn out to be this, the ‘Emotions E.P.’
He said it was different and it reflected how he felt about a number of things, someone he loved dearly, a friend he lost through alcohol and some other stuff …
It also included the ‘Christmas’ single for those that didn’t get it the first time around.
The opening track ‘I’m There’ starts slow, with a chug along riff and then the chorus kicks in and it’s as catchy as any of his songs come on ‘Circus Bar.’ Good one Brian!

‘Stringless Kite’ next is a laid back acoustic driven pop rock number, that then picks up the pace as the song goes on, written in a sub power ballad format. Nice!
Next song is ‘Drinking’ and comes across as a very emotional number, as the E.P.’s title suggests.
Deep track indeed, as the songs title suggests.
‘Runaway Train’ next has an interesting tempo through the verse, kind of laid back and then it picks up more in the choruses, that switch to a bridge midway through and then it kind of stops quite suddenly.
Still a good song though.

Final track is ‘Christmas’ and Brian told me that Christmas has never been the best time for him, but this really is a great, well written emotional song from the man, sung in his classic fashion.
I think it’s a very strong song that with a little airplay could find Brian with a sure fire hit, as there are many Brian Howe fans out there that may not even be aware of this at all, I’m sure.
So that’s all that’s here on display here and to be honest, if Brian doesn’t record anything again, I think it’s very sad.
This E.P. comes out as a self-financed deal, hence being sold through just Amazon and iTunes, without much plug at all.

To be honest, barring people seeing the odd review of this here and there, if they are not followers of Brian on Facebook, chances are fans of Brian Howe are going to miss out, so if you know a fan of his voice, go ahead and spread the word!
 Thanks for the music Brian, keep it coming, please!
Don’t quit on us yet mate, you have certainly still got it mate and I’m only disappointed that you haven’t given us a whole album of material.
This is good work indeed, but keep in mind, it is meant to be emotional music and in places, a little deep, but that’s what Brian is writing about here so I can accept that.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Official Weblink:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Europe ‘Live at Shepherd’s Bush, London’ DVD review

Europe ‘Live at Shepherd’s Bush, London’ DVD review
Released on: MVD Visual.  Release date: Available now

Well, so much for keeping these reviews down to a minimum in content, phew!
That said, these one deserves the attention, well worth checking out.

Europe is a band that has yet to really break through to America and win American hearts over, but it’s not for lack of trying.
They are probably best known for their album, ‘The Final Countdown’ back in 1986/7. They have tried returning to the States in time to time, but alas so far to little avail, which is a huge shame, as when the band played here last, about five years back, they were playing some club gigs, that the bands seemed to really enjoy doing, but clearly wasn't enough for them to consider coming back again since. I hope that view changes, as I'd love to see them again. 
Formed in Sweden in the early 80s, their debut self titled album was released in 1983 and then 'Wings of Tomorrow' - Great album! - in 1984. Following the success of ‘The Final Countdown,’ they have continued to go from strength to strength across Europe in and other parts of the world up until the early 90s when they decided to take a rest from, the band Europe and pursue their own solo projects respectively.

At the tail end of 1999 the band reunited to re-record a special version of 'The Final Countdown' to celebrate coming into the new millennium. This sparked great interest in the band again and they decided to try with Europe once more, a couple of years on.
In 2004 the band released a new album, ‘Start from the Dark,’ which clearly had a darker and more edgy sound, is actually managed to win them new fans and almost a fresh start.
They followed this album up with the ‘Secret Society’ and then in 2009 the latest album, ‘Last look at Eden.’
This DVD brings fans right up to date, recorded at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire in February of 2011, the band plowed through an excellent rock set.

‘Last look at Eden’ opens proceedings in powerful fashion, before the band rocks even harder with ‘The Beast.’
Anyone that still thinks of Europe as a ‘Parp, parp,’ band à la ‘The Final Countdown’ era is very much mistaken.
‘The Beast’ is seriously hard edged and clearly the fans enjoy this on their supportive response.

‘Rock the Night’ from the ‘… Countdown’ album comes up next and has always rocked the crowd like a ‘good ‘un’ and has perhaps been one of the most played Europe songs on radio today and Joey (Tempest), knows it’s popularity by getting the crowd to sing along.
I have to add here, that John Norum’s performances are nothing less than spectacular and on this occasion it is no different!
Then the band dips back further into their past, to the 'Wings of Tomorrow’ album with ‘Scream of Anger.’
To me it bears similarities to Europe’s favorite bands that inspired them like UFO, Deep Purple and Thin Lizzy.
Great stuff, a great guitar solo yet again from John Norum and thunderous powerhouse drumming from Ian Haughland.
Not to mention Jon Levin on bass is as solid as a rock!

After some atmospheric keyboard wizardry from Mic Michali, the band joins in for next song ‘No Stone Unturned,’ which is a massive epic like track, from ‘Last look at Eden.’
It is full of great all round performances from the whole band. Guitar and keyboard solos, clever drumming, great baselines and great vocals from Joey Tempest.
A nice piano introduction the mighty power ballad 'Carrie' follows next. Class stuff indeed!
Back to the hard rock next with ‘The Getaway Plan’ which is a seriously edgy number that rocks the house!
Joey then stops things to dedicate this next song to the memory of Gary Moore (RIP) by explaining that it was the playing of guys like this that inspired the band and then he says ‘Gary Moore this one’s for you!’
‘The Loner’ is a great track that I first remember hearing Gary Moore playing on Cozy Powell’s ‘Over the Top’ album, back in the day and John Norum's guitar playing here is top notch.
A worthy tribute indeed.

‘The Seventh Sign’ is next from the hugely underrated ‘Prisoners in Paradise’ album and a track co-written by former guitarist Kee Marcello who had stepped into Europe to tour with the band on ‘The Final Countdown’ tour and then subsequent albums, until the split in the mid-90’s.
It’s a really killer, dirty rockin’ track! Great stuff!

 The next track is introduced as a song that started life in San Francisco when the band were writing for ‘Prisoners …’ and then it reappeared as they were writing for ‘Last Look At Eden.’ As Joey explains that three years ago his son Jamie was born, in a London hospital, ‘as a very tired Papa, I started scribbling the words to this next song, it’s called ‘New Love In Town.’
The song is a great big emotional power ballad is the greatest possible sense of the word. Brilliant track indeed!

Then it’s ‘Love is Not the Enemy,’ which kind of reminds me a lot of something Phil Lynott would’ve written for Thin Lizzy in places. It’s killer!
Next is ‘More Than Meets the Eye’ from ‘Out of this World’ which is just great to hear again, as I thought that was a class album.

Time for a drum solo from Ian Haughland next as he rocks along with a backing track of the ‘William Tell Overture,’ and it’s not too shabby, but sorry Ian, not a patch on some of those epics we used to get when Cozy Powell would drum along with classic pieces.

‘Always The Pretender’ starts gently and then the rock kicks in and this is an excellent track from the ‘Secret Society’ that gave them a huge hit in their home country. It’s a track of light and dark, that’s incredibly strong and then the band play the title track from their comeback album, ‘Start From The Dark.’
It’s a song that has great impact, but it seems that sadly the Shepherd’s Bush’s crowd isn’t into it as much as the song and band deserves, it’s an excellent track, which the crowd do applaud at the end.

‘Superstitious’ from ‘Out of this World’ is a better known song in the UK for the band and it does have a better impact on the crowd of the evening. The band then goes into a sub-reggae groove before building back up again and clearly the crowd is more into it, as the song closes the main set of the evening.

The band then return to present a new song in the shape of ‘Doghouse,’ which to a degree reminds me a little of M.S.G., not least perhaps because of John Norum’s, Michael Schenker like playing. It’s really not too bad at all.
Finally, the band could not escape any gig I guess without playing their breakthrough song from around the world, ‘The Final Countdown,’ to close proceedings.
I have to say, when I think back to how I saw Europe, back in 80’s in the UK and how the crowd responded, sadly it’s disappointing to not see a more appreciative response from the UK’s capital show.
Perhaps guys next time record the show in another UK city, not London. Shame …
Either way, I think it’s a great live show and worthy of a strong rating.

There’s bonus footage here too from their homeland, at a two big gigs, the first in Stockholm’s Ice Stadium, it’s a massive show that totally shows the band a lot more respect on the eight songs they have here.
Then there are four tracks performed from a show from a Swedish amusement park that kicks off with some pyro’s, excellent stuff!

There’s also some behind the scenes footage from the Shepherd’s Bush gig, with band interviews and more and a couple of promo video’s for both ‘Last Look At Eden’ and ‘New Love In Town.’
Overall, I think this a great DVD, loads on it to watch, all very worthwhile stuff worth checking out.
If you don’t already have it, maybe ask for it as a late Christmas stocking filler! Ha ha!
 Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Official band website:

Saxon – Call To Arms album review

Saxon – Call To Arms album review
Released on:  Udr label Release date: Available now.

OK folks, this is the first of a few reviews that will unfortunately have to be a little briefer than previous reviews, as there's so many to try and catch up on, that said, it's still longer than I'd planned on it being!

This absolutely stunned me from Saxon as their last few releases, well actually for me, most of their stuff for some time has not grabbed me, the last album of theirs I tried was 2008’s ‘Lionheart’ believing the press releases that it was a return to the traditional Saxon sound of old.  Far from it for me …
'Call To Arms' is huge step in the right direction and I love what they’ve got here.
The recent US tour was a good one, that took in Detroit this time and they put on a great show here and I can’t recommend enough, that you should check the band out, they are really on their game now, with an excellent album to back it up!
The opening track here ‘Hammer of the Gods’ is absolutely as good as anything the band has ever done before and it kind of reminds me of a stronger, yes stronger ‘Princess of the Night.’ Brilliant!
Then with ‘Back in ‘79’ it's a real ‘Denim and Leather’ style rocker, good memories here!
‘Against the Odds’ is a great solid and pacey rocker too!
I can’t believe what ‘Mists of Avalon’ conjures up, it’s great, keyboard flurries at the beginning, yes, keys!
The track then gets rocking in fine fashion, with perhaps a slightly commercial touch to it. Excellent!
Nice guitar work throughout the album and solid stuff on drums and bass, Biff Byford has certainly got possibly the best line up of Saxon ever here, brilliant stuff!
There’s two versions of title track ‘Call to Arms’ and next up is the standard version, which starts with dramatic style possibly a modern day ‘Dallas 1pm’ and it’s a very well written track indeed.
‘Chasing the Bullet’ is a good old steady rocker and already a live favourite!
OK, those speed metal fans of Saxon will be very pleased with ‘Afterburner’ as it powers along with Biff spitting out the lyrics with an angry passion indeed.
Slight Priest / Maiden elements about this one too …
Gotta love next track ‘When Doomsday Comes (Hybrid Theory)’ it’s like it conjures up thoughts of conceptual album about it and it has a riff here not unlike Deep Purple’s ‘Perfect Strangers.’ Maybe that’s why I love it! LOL!
‘No Rest For the Wicked’ sounds like Saxon’s twist on Metallica!
There’s a certain something about ‘Ballad of the Working Man’ that’s bring back memories of classic traditional Saxon, without doubt and it’s another great solid track here.
The album closes with the other version of ‘Call To Arms,’ played alongside a full blown orchestra.
It’s brilliant, it’s sounds so rich and the band together with the orchestra sound great, perfect song for it.
There’s also a bonus live album with this version, which is from Saxon’s performance at Donington’s Monster’s of Rock festival, the first year it ever happened in 1980, alongside Rainbow, Judas Priest, Scorpions, April Wine, Riot and Touch. It’s a fun if short live album, as there were early on the bill, nice bonus though.
Overall, 'Call To Arms' is simply a really strong album and based on this, I'm looking forward to the next one!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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