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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rock News Late Update for Saturday November 17th, 2012


Hi folks,
Still trying to catch up with reviews ... Another coming any time now and another right behind it!
So, if you see a lack of news postings, yes, it's because I'm trying to get to share this new albums, DVD's and gig reviews to you!
Stick with me folks and keep on rockin'!
 Classic Rock's AOR Magazine is back!
Pre-order your copy of AOR mag now! 


On the cover: BOSTON, melodic rock’s most mysterious band. We delve beneath guitarist Tom Scholz’s shroud of secrecy to uncover Boston’s full amazing story.


A magazine dedicated to the burgeoning melodic rock genre, brought to you by the great team behind Classic Rock.

BOSTON Melodic rock’s most mysterious band. The brainchild of Tom Scholz – guitarist, perfectionist, mad scientist – Boston have sold millions of albums yet remain uncannily aloof. We delve beneath Scholz’s shroud of secrecy to uncover Boston’s full amazing story.

Into The Arena – featuring 15 of the very best brand new AOR and melodic-rock songs.

Also featured in this issue:
 •JEFF SCOTT SOTO One of the most celebrated and oft-imitated voices in AOR.
 •THE TOP 50 FEMALES IN AOR Counting down the greatest femme-rockers of the melodic-rock genre.
 •KIP WINGER Q&A with the man who masterminded not one but two platinum albums for his band.
 •FM The hardy UK AOR-sters have new nine-track EP coming out (Only Foolin’) and a tour with Thin Lizzy and The Treatment in the pipeline.
 •MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE A surprise new trend has emerged in recent years.
 •DARE Darren Wharton’s band have re-recorded their celebrated album, 1998’s Calm Before The Storm.
 •DANTE FOX Foxy featurette to tie in with the release of the Midlands melodic rockers’ just-released new album Lost Man’s Ground.
 •HEART Their new LP is called Fanatic. We send AOR’s very own Heart fanatic, Siân Llewellyn, to chat with celebrated sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson.
 •NUBIAN ROSE Mountain, the debut album from these hot new Scandi- rockers, is causing an almighty stir in AOR circles.
 •AXE Bobby Barth’s band are back with a new live DVD.
 •POMP ROCK BUYERS GUIDE The best (meaning: most bombastic) albums from Styx, Kansas, Touch, Prophet, Angel, Zon

Plus all the latest AOR news, and new-album, reissue and live reviews.
 Rock’n’roll doesn’t get any bigger than this!

KISS and Mötley Crüe. On the same stage. On the same night.
It‘s the news Australian fans have been waiting for with the spectacle of all spectacles announced today, KISS with very special guests Mötley Crüe will tour Australia in March 2013.

Presented by McManus Entertainment, the summer’s biggest, baddest rock tour will hit Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Mackay and Adelaide with guests Irish rockers Thin Lizzy along for the ride (*except Adelaide).

 KISS and Mötley Crüe’s 45 show US summer tour has already gone down as one helluva rock’n’roll extravaganza and now, finally, its Australia’s turn!

 Not only has it been five long years since KISS last toured Australia, but 2013 marks a very special milestone for this great band – their 40th anniversary. In all their bombastic and unstoppable glory, KISS will perform fan favorites from their treasure-trove of hits along with tracks from their just–released 20th studio album ‘Monster’, which debuted at #7 on the ARIA Charts. Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, with longtime members guitarist Tommy Thayer and drummer Eric Singer, are at the top of their game on ‘Monster’, which embodies all that is KISS and the music that first inspired them to pick up their guitars and flame-throwers and don makeup to entertain millions.

Mötley Crüe last toured here last year, but let’s face it, we can’t get enough of the Crue! They’ve recently become the first rock band in history to play an epic sold-out Las Vegas residency at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The band is best known for continuing to reinvent not only their live show (with mind blowing elements such as Tommy Lee’s 360 drum roller coaster) and music (brand new song due out soon), but remain on the cutting edge via social media interaction. Mötley Crüe’s New York Times bestselling book The Dirt is currently being adapted into a major motion picture.

With combined album sales of almost 200 million, KISS and Mötley Crüe are more than just iconic; they remain at the height of their popularity, the dominant powerhouses of rock music tallying 30+ chart-topping hits, countless sold out tours and awards and accolades from around the world. Known for their elaborate and spectacular stage shows, each band plans to give fans the ultimate concert experience with the most impressive lighting and sound production ever and their signature over-the-top pyrotechnics.

And if that wasn’t enough, classic Irish rockers Thin Lizzy will be back in town with the line-up that has been winning over fans and critics alike for the past two years. Along with Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton, the additions of vocalist Ricky Warwick, guitarist Damon Johnson and Bass player Marco Mendoza, Thin Lizzy have been re-introducing their music to a whole new generation of fans to overwhelming success and now it’s Australia’s turn.
 Brisbane up-and-comers Diva Demolition have won the highly-prized local support act spot and will open all shows on the tour.

About KISS

KISS remains one of the most influential bands in the history of rock and roll. Having already broken box office records set by The Beatles and Elvis, KISS have more than 28 U.S. gold albums, the most for any American rock band, with 40 million sales in the U.S. and a total exceeding 100 million worldwide. Most recently the band announced the December release of “The Casablanca Singles 1974-1982”, a box set consisting of the band’s 29 singles on the legendary Casablanca label which began their career.
The KISS legacy continues to grow, generation after generation. The unparalleled devotion and loyalty of the KISS Army to the "Hottest Band in the World" is a striking testament to the band's unbreakable bond with its fans. KISS remains unparalleled as the juggernaut of them all, with 3,000 licensed merchandise products, including the KISS golf course in Las Vegas.

About Mötley Crüe

Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, the quartet - Vince Neil (vocals), Mick Mars (guitars), Nikki Sixx (bass) and Tommy Lee (drums) - has commandeered the rock pantheon for over 30 years. The Crüe’s bragging rights comprise worldwide album sales exceeding 80 million, seven platinum or multi-platinum albums, 22 Top 40 mainstream rock hits, six Top 20 pop singles, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three Grammy nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance, a New York Times bestselling memoir and countless sold out gigs across the globe, playing to millions of fans.
After three decades of decadence Mötley Crüe maintains its iron will, capturing new fans and influencing musicians across multiple generations. The group recently invaded Las Vegas with the city’s first ever hard rock residency, “Mötley Crüe in Sin City” leaving the loud impression that what happens in Vegas can be heard around the world.


Led by the incomparable Phil Lynott, the fiery Dublin band influenced generations of musicians with classic tracks such as ‘Jailbreak’, ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’, and ‘Don’t Believe A Word’. Twenty six years have passed since Lynott’s untimely death, but the amazing body of work that is Thin Lizzy still retains all of its vibrancy.
A new lineup formed to take Thin Lizzy’s music to a new generation of fans. Led by alumni Scott Gorham (guitar), Brian Downey (drums) and Darren Wharton (keyboards), all of whom played with Lynott in Thin Lizzy, and with Damon Johnston (guitar), Marco Mendoza (bass) and Ricky Warwick (lead vocals/guitar), this stellar line-up has been racking up the road miles since announcing this line-up in 2010.

Last month the band announced that after a lot of soul-searching and out of respect for Lynott, they would not release a new album under the Thin Lizzy name, and would also retire it from live performance next year.


Singer, songwriter and bass player Kylie Cowling and guitarist Sheree Newton head up Brisbane rockers Diva Demolition who will open all shows on the Australian tour. The band who morphed from Adelaide all-girl trio Legless, has just recorded their debut album with producer Craig Porteils for release in 2013, which while showcasing their exuberant Aussie rock, also fixes one firm eye on the international market.


Thursday February 28 PERTH ARENA
Bookings through & 132 849

Sunday March 3 CLIPSAL 500, ADELAIDE
 Currently on sale through & 132 849
 * KISS and Motley Crue only

Tuesday March 5 ETIHAD STADIUM (Intimate Arena Mode), MELBOURNE
 Bookings through &136 100

 Bookings through &132 849
 Bookings through & 132 849
 Bookings through & 136 100
For VIP packages, including opportunities to meet KISS and Mötley Crüe, please visit

Ricky Warwick commented ‘having an opportunity to play Australia on a bill as enormous as this is something dreams are made of , I know I can speak on behalf of the band when I say its gonna be one hell of a show and a perfect way to end the ‘World’ Tour!’

SAXON prepare to deliver their latest album "Sacrifice" in February 2013

WITH A storming new stomp in their boots and a renewed, lithe swagger to their legendary sound, Saxon will release “Sacrifice”, in February 2013 through UDR.
EUROPE: February 22nd, 2013
UK: February 25th, 2013
USA: February 26th, 2013

Taking a sharper, re-invigorated approach to the production, on this, their 20th album, Saxon have produced 10 of their strongest, heaviest and most inspired songs for many-a-year, and a more than worthy successor to their last album “A Call To Arms”.

“Less tricks, more power!” roars frontman and founding father Biff Byford, “my brief to the band was to be raw, be real and not be afraid to look back at the old classic material for inspiration.”

The album was recorded at LS Studios in Yorkshire and was produced by Byford with Andy Sneap mixing and engineering by Jacky Lehmann. It fairly bristles with muscular metallic intent, Paul Quinn’s and Doug Scarratt’s guitar work the best it’s ever been, while Biff’s vocals sound fresher and livelier. The songwriting too harks back to a classic era in Saxon’s history, with the likes of ‘Warriors Of The Road’, ‘Wheels Of Terror’ and ‘Stand Up And Fight’ evoking the halcyon days of yore with a contemporary twist, the classic Saxon sound absorbing the snarl, ferocity and attitude of contemporary bands (and fans) such as Megadeth, as evidenced by the crunching title cut ‘Sacrifice’.

“It’s certainly been done from a more early ‘80s thrashier perspective,” explains Biff, “and it’s not just guitars bashing away willy-nilly, they’ve got a fresh drive, purpose and perspective.”
Besides the new material, Saxon will also be adding some unique recordings of revisited classic to certain formats of the release, also produced by Byford and mastered by Andy Sneap, including an orchestrated version of ‘Crusader’ and an acoustic version of ‘Frozen Rainbow’.

“From the songs to the production, I wanted to focus on the raw aspects which made us great in the first place,” concludes Biff, “And living in that rawness, combined with some great classic Saxon-songwriting, has in my opinion made Saxon fresher than ever.”

Track listing:

01 Procession
02 Sacrifice
03 Made In Belfast
04 Warriors Of The Road
05 Guardians Of The Tomb
06 Stand Up And Fight
07 Walking The Steel
08 Night Of The Wolf
09 Wheels Of Terror
10 Standing In A Queue


Luck Of The Draw (on iTunes only)
01 Crusader (Orchestrated version)
02 Just Let Me Rock (Re-recorded version)
03 Requiem (Acoustic version)
04 Frozen Rainbow (Acoustic version)
05 Forever Free (Re-recorded version)

Tour Dates:

04/18/2013 UK Leamington Spa - Assembly
04/19/2013 UK Nottingham - Rock City
04/20/2013 UK Newcastle - Academy
04/21/2013 UK Glasgow - ABC
04/23/2013 UK Manchester - St. Georges Day
04/24/2013 UK Leeds - Academy
04/26/2013 UK Wolverhampton - Wulfrun Hall
04/27/2013 UK London - Shepherd‘s Bush Empire
04/28/2013 UK Bristol - Academy



Nearly 100 Donated Guitars Will be Auctioned on Saturday, December 1 at 2 P.M. at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, CA to Raise Money for Dio Cancer Fund

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, founded in memory of the world-renowned voice of Dio, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Heaven & Hell, will participate in the upcoming Icons & Idols-Rock ‘n’ Roll Auction at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, December 1 at 2 P.M. Nearly 100 donated guitars signed by a variety of celebrities from the music world will go on the auction block to benefit the Fund’s mission of cancer prevention, research and education.

The collection includes guitars signed by the Jonas Brothers, Slash, Tom Morello, Tony Iommi and members of Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, the Alice Cooper Band, Metallica and Iron Maiden.
Among the rarities are a prototype electric guitar made for and signed by Eddie Van Halen and a custom hand-carved Ronnie James Dio memorial guitar created by DBZ Guitars. Also in the collection is an Epiphone electric guitar signed by a host of country music stars, among them Taylor Swift, Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney, an ESP acoustic electric guitar signed by “Twilight” film star Robert Pattinson and three guitars hand painted by the famous elephants of the Asian Elephant Art & Conservation Project in Thailand.

Online bidding has already commenced, and items included in this auction are available for viewing at:

The Ronnie James Dio Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund is a privately funded 501C3 charity organization which has already raised more than $600,000 in its short history.

Monies raised have been committed to the cancer research work of the T. J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, AIDS and Leukemia Research and the gastric cancer research unit of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, where Ronnie was treated for gastric cancer during the last six months of his life.

Julien's Auctions, which specializes in entertainment memorabilia, is located at 9665 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 150, Beverly Hills, California 90210.

A free public exhibition of many of the items included in the auction will be available for viewing during the auction house’s regular business hours of 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. beginning Monday, November 19 through Friday, November 30.

For hours, visit:

Frontiers Records is proud to present


An exciting new AOR music star is born: Swedish singer Angelica Rylin (The Murder of My Sweet) has decided to pursue her childhood dream and thus started recording an all Melodic Rock album affair under the direction of Daniel Flores on the production. "I always wanted to record an album like this" says Angelica, "my childhood heroes were Robin Beck, Ann Wilson of Heart, Leigh Matty of Romeo's Daughter".

Some Melodic Rock songwriting luminaries worked hard to create the magic harmonies and music that will be displayed on Angelica's debut album. "Harry Hess, Daniel Flores, Robert Sall and Anders Wigelius all contributed" continues Angelica and some excellent guitarists such as Jesper Stromblad (In Flames), Magnus Karlsson (Primal Fear), Per Berquist (Smash Into Pieces) also appear on the album. There is also a very special performance by keyboardist Matt Guillory (James LaBrie). "This being my first solo record I now have the chance to show you another side of me. This is the next chapter, I hope you'll follow!" concludes Angelica.

You can enjoy some exclusive footage of Angelica recording in the studio following this link:


Frontiers Records is proud to present the new issue of MELODIC ROCK FANZINE. The 53rd release of our successful magazine is available for free all over the world through record shops, mailorders and every fine dealer carrying the Frontiers Records releases.
Here are the previews of the two MELODIC ROCK FANZINE covers:

This new issue includes reviews and interviews of Rick Springfield, A Perfect Day, Orden Ogan, Lionville, Sven Larsson, Royal Hunt, AOR; Lover Under Cover, Soleil Moon, Issa, Gene the Werewolf, Trail of Murder, Jimi Jamison, Y&T... and more!
Electronic readable version of the magazine is available on the Frontiers official site and here.

Magnum – ‘On the 13th Day’ album review

Magnum – ‘On the 13th Day’ album review

Released on: SPV/Steamhammer Release Date: Available now.
So here we have the latest release from classic British melodic rockers, Magnum.
‘On The 13th Day’ is the band’s seventeenth studio release, in their lengthy career started officially in 1972, although I really only became aware of their fine work in 1978, which makes sense, as they only released their official first album ‘Kingdom of Madness,’ that year, in 1979, I picked up both ‘Magnum 2’ and the live ‘Marauder,’ yet still did not get to see the band live for the first time, until 1980 when I saw them twice live, the first time as special guests to Def Leppard on their first headline tour – ‘On Through the Night.’ – and then at 1980’s Reading Rock Festival.
The band very soon became a staple on the UK gig circuit and I made a point of seeing them every year they toured.
A very unique and special band.

All through the 80’s - certainly in the UK - the band went from strength to strength and kept it going into the 90’s until ’95, when leading and founding member Tony Clarkin decided to call time on Magnum.
He and fellow founding member, lead singer Bob Catley formed Hard Rain, trying to be perhaps a little more mainstream, but clearly there were heavy Magnum touches.

Ed’s note: Hard to avoid when Tony Clarkin writes and produces most if not all of the material!

In late 2001 they reformed Magnum with long time Magnum keyboard wizard Mark Stanway, bassist Al Barrow (Hard Rain) and drummer Harry James (Thunder) and this is the same line up today.

Since reforming Magnum, including ‘On the 13th Day,’ they have released six studio releases, so as of right now it does not look like they are letting up any!
Although, I have to say that this album I have grown to enjoy more than some of the last few albums, as they just took a lot more plays to get into
‘All The Dreamers’ opens the album, building up from a very light, atmospheric and gentle intro, accompanied by Bob Catley humming and ‘wooo wooing’ and 'wooah wooah's' and then it kicks in well. Not fast, just a steady paced number.
It’s such a wonderfully epic track, classic Magnum through and through without a shadow of a doubt. Great riffs, great hooks and terrific vocals from Bob Catley! I really can’t say enough about how great this track is, it’s perfect Magnum!
Then ‘Blood Red Laughter’ brings back fond memories too of the likes of ‘Just Like An Arrow,’  'All England's Eyes,' ‘Start Talking Love,’ ‘Lonely Night’ or ‘How Far Jerusalem’ even, it’s so, so strong, once again hook laden riff, strong melodic verses and chorus. Again, can they do no wrong?!  
With ‘Didn’t Like You Anyway,’ it’s almost a little Queen like in structure or mid period Magnum, again, it draws on the band’s classic sound. It goes up tempo to a laid back bridge as it hits the final third of the song before getting back to the main riff / structure. Brilliant, just class Magnum! This really reminds me of just how much I miss seeing this band live and sadly, they will probably never venture back across the Atlantic again and for me to time a trip back to the UK to see them, has not yet happened. :(
Title track ‘On the 13th Day’ is next and ha, it’s almost an ‘Eye of the Tiger’ start!
Quick and punchy chords lead you into the first verse and I really like the little lead flashes here and there, really nice, yet not overbearing. This is a great up tempo punchy track and yes you know, there are elements in the underlying riff that sound like ‘that song’ but I’m taking nothing away for the track as it offers way more than the Survivor track and yes, I am a Survivor fan …
‘So Let It Rain’ is next, which starts with piano and vocal only and then builds on that and once again this a really strong track and if I was completely honest it kind of sounds a little like a punchier ELO, with its overall song presentation.

Magnum really have got back on track to a sound that I know for sure, fans of the older more classic Magnum song style – Think ‘ ... Storytellers ...,’ ‘Vigilante,’ ‘Wings of Heaven,’ ‘Breath of Life’ or even ‘Brand New Morning’ to some extent. – and I for one am really, really enjoying it! Again, I only wish I could see them live again.
Bummed about that big time …

‘Dance of the Black Tattoo,’ starts with some really dark and heavy riffs, holy …, I’m thinking Metallica!
Seems quite strange hearing Magnum doing this, then the pre-chorus picks up some from the darker verses, then into the chorus it’s more in keeping with up tempo Magnum rockers, but overall this is quite a new path for Magnum to me. It’s fresh for the band, that’s cool to me.
With ‘Shadow Town’ it’s funny as it’s a driving riff, yet nowhere near as heavy as the previous track, once more it’s classic Magnum and Tony Clarkin has really done himself proud here, this is such a strong album. Wonderful hooks and it’s just such a great song!


The huge ballad that is ‘Putting Things in Place’ is next and this is where Bob Catley excels as his vocals with Mark Stanway’s simple piano and loads of strings too, with an easy going bass and drum track and power chords in all the right places sell the song well.

‘Broken Promises’ next starts with a guitar riff, that if played a little heavier could be Def Leppard, Bob Catley sings along with this until wham! It then drives almost AC/DC like and briefly eases back and it almost sounds like it wouldn’t be out of place on say Def Leppard’s ‘High and Dry’ album! Yes, it really is that strong and some great lead work from Clarkin and Bob Catley of course does the song proud. Great stuff indeed in my books! Thank you Magnum for some seriously fantastic new music!
There really is a certain new edginess to a lot of the material here, without losing any of the band classic style and with ‘See How They Fall’ they keep this going.
Simple repeated yet punchy chords can make for such strong song structures and Tony Clarkin knows how to do that oh so well, yet there’s so much more going on in every Magnum song and on this track, a surprising little flurry of upfront keyboard work appears.
I often wish, from what Magnum fans of old will know all too well, that Mark Stanway could get more ‘highlighted’ moments.


I certainly think the guy has more than shown, that he can be up there with the like of Geoff Downes (Asia) in the past, but generally in recent times, he’s really not as prominent as he could be.
Don’t get me wrong, the man contributes great style to every Magnum album, but I just know he could add a lot more, if only given the room to do so.

‘From Within’ closes the album and it’s really a steady mid paced number that raises it’s game in the chorus as any good song should, perhaps a little laid back as an album closer, but still a very nice track.
Complaints? None! I know what I just said about Mark Stanway’s input, but that does not mean that there’s anything wrong with this release.  This really is a wonderful release from Magnum, best in years for me for sure, I love it.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 
Official website:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Black Country Communion – 'Afterglow' album review

Black Country Communion – 'Afterglow' album review
Released on: J&R Adventures. Release Date: Available now
Black Country Communion (BCC) being Glenn Hughes (Bass/Vocals), Joe Bonamassa (Guitar/Vocals), Jason Bonham (Drums) and Derek Sherinian (Keyboards) are now on this, their third studio album and their combined strengths just continues to shine through.
Sadly in recent months there have been words exchanged between the two main men, Hughes and Bonamassa not even face to face, but through social network Twitter with Hughes’ disdain that BCC cannot commit to full scale touring, due to Bonamassa’s own heavy solo touring commitments.
Apparently now, they have got back on good terms, thanks to their recognition of how great the band itself is and how they are being lauded with massive accolades for their combined talents and at the time of writing, ‘Afterglow’ has hit the charts globally in a big way!
Opening track ‘Big Train’ comes across in a similar fashion to much of the first BCC album, as it is all about quick snappy changes, riffs through the verses but the chorus goes for the throat with its hooks. As the song enters the final third, there’s almost a Police type vibe that kicks in. There’s lots to absorb on this first track which may take some folks some getting used to.
Second track ‘This Is Your Time’ when I first heard it I actually felt it reminded me of early Rainbow, with its heavy and borderline darkness, but then after a number of plays, I hear hints of Led Zeppelin about it, so no surprise there perhaps.
Good groove to it!
Wow! ‘Midnight Sun’ starts off by reminding me of The Who, but then the verse kicks in and it’s way different and that’s really what BCC are all about. They just loved to change direction in each song, it gives their music so much depth and variety it really does.
The chorus is just wonderful, really catchy, but I really do hear some elements that make me think of ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’
Tell me you don’t hear it, especially with the intro and then at the end, all the little accents. Good stuff!
OK, ‘Confessor’ was a track I had heard before I got the album and it just blew me away and made me want this album more than ever. It totally rocks out in great style, it again has an element of depth, but it really is a strong rocker. Earth moving vocals from Glenn Hughes, absolutely killer guitar and keyboard solos from Joe and Derek respectively, while Jason's drumming is just so kicking!
‘Cry Freedom’ is the first track on this album where Joe’s lead vocal starts to be heard, as he and Glenn actually share duties.
Some nice bluesy slide riffs from Joe here and there. It really is a track where you feel Joe is totally in his element, with its bluesy groove. Glenn’s vocals are still as strong and he’s giving it his all.
This is once again a very strong album from BCC, again it’s a grower with their unique style, but play it a few times and you’ll feel it!
Title track ‘Afterglow’ is very much in a Led Zep groove, initially with one of Glenn Hughes’ best soulful vocals to compliment it.
It has its light and dark moments too, some where it’s almost Beatles like in places and then during Joe’s solo, he takes the song in a different direction again. It moves in epic style proportions at times. Classy!
‘Dandelion’ is up next and it starts heavy, before easing right back with a haunting like vocal from Glenn, before the chorus picks things up again. Cool track!
Glenn Hughes vocals seriously never cease to amazes me where he suddenly throws it way up there when you really least expect it.

OK, fans of the band will know that BCC like to sometimes throw in a few tracks that rally go the distance – i.e. Six minutes or more. – so they can jam out a little here and there and ‘The Circle’ is one such track here. As was the title track.
The verses to ‘The Circle’ are more generally laid back, while the choruses really push more and where in the verses Glenn sings so soulfully, in the choruses, his vocal is pushed right up there!
  Nice solos from Joe on this one and Derek’s atmospheric keys compliment it all so well.
‘Common Man’ is next and Joe’s voice is heard here to a degree, but it’s clear that Glenn has taken the majority of the lead vocals on this album, whereas on the previous two, it’s been pretty evenly split.
There’s a great, yet short section in the first half where first Derek jams a riff, then Joe does one, then Glenn on bass and Jason a quick runaround too. Nice one guys!
It’s medium paced rocker, that’s a little busy in spots, but not too much. A little funky too in the second half, some great Fender Rhodes sounding keys, then Joe rips out a killer solo. Nice job again guys.
I really love ‘The Giver’ it starts all laid back and mellow and kind of atmospheric and then picks up with a controlled heavier riffing in each chorus, without getting too crazy. It’s almost that Zeppelin like sound again, but still true to what BCC is all about.
Solo from Joe just flurries along in fine fashion before it eases right back to close as it started, so gently. Wonderful!
‘Crawl’ is the final track and it’s dark and heavy style riffing, again quite Zeppelin like in its groove, but there’s something about the delivery from Hughes every time that makes these songs so unique, so Black Country Communion!
So overall, no complaints here on album number three, there is a special magic these guys pull together when they play, that simply is unique.
It’s funny though, as each album seems to take its own uniqueness, the first being perhaps a little more diverse, the second a little more mainstream directed and this third one, really a combination of the two predecessors.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5
Official website:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dio Disciples Live at Harpo’s, Detroit, Michigan


Dio Disciples Live at Harpo’s, Detroit, Michigan

November 10th, 2012
Ronnie James Dio was such a legendary artist, very sadly missed today in the world of rock ‘n’ roll.

He was the ultimate voice / songwriter in Rainbow, alongside Ritchie Blackmore and then the powerhouse voice and songwriter in Black Sabbath, when he replaced Ozzy Osbourne alongside Tony Iommi.

Seriously, to have played, sung and written alongside those two greats alone should speak volumes, but not only that he had his own band that was always something special to see, Dio!

Ronnie did so much in rock ‘n’ roll, but not just as a performer but for charity events too, just go and search out ‘Hear ‘n’ Aid' a project back in 1985 that Ronnie initiated, to aid the many Armenian's killed in a massive earthquake that left the country absolutely devastated.
So it was – as it is with losing anyone – an absolute tragedy when he passed away from stomach cancer back in 2010.
Ronnie could never, ever really be replaced and yes I know so many rock fans say that about so many bands, when someone passes on and then of course the bands often go ahead and do just that and people moan and groan and whine, etc, etc, but AC/DC did it have seriously become bigger today than anyone could’ve ever imagined, but one example where it won’t work is Thin Lizzy, where fans will never accept it with Phil Lynott having passed on.

Some will, but clearly too many have opposed it, to the point where former Thin Lizzy players Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton have decided to call it quits with Lizzy at the end of this year.

Anyway, former band mates of Ronnie’s clearly miss playing the man’s music and with the blessing of Ronnie’s former wife / widow Wendy Dio …, owner of Niji EntertainmentRonnie’s Estate essentially … - they have pulled together and brought in some great vocalists to help them perform Ronnie’s back catalogue or elements of it, as Dio Disciples.
Respect for Ronnie is clear, with the simple and clear statement that NO single vocalist could pull off singing a complete set of the man’s material, so each night they perform not one but TWO vocalists share the stage!
Dio Disciples - The Band!
The two vocalists touring alongside Craig Goldy (Guitars), Scott Warren (Keyboards), Simon Wright (Drums) – all part of the last Dio lineup – and bassist Bjorn Englen (Yngwie Malmsteen) are Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens (Judas Priest, Yngwie Malmsteen) and Oni Logan (Lynch Mob), both acclaimed talents in the rock world.
After opening act, Seattle's Witchburn, who’s music was really not for me, way, way too heavy and dark musically for my liking, although vocalist Jamie Nova(?), has a very impressive voice.
So to Dio Disciples, how would it sound though, really?
I tell you one thing that it was for sure, LOUD!!!
Boy was it loud?! We were standing in front of stage too, not the P.A. system, so that right there was something!
Dio Disciples onstage in Detroit November 2012 - Photo: Alun Williams
The band opened with ‘Killing The Dragon’ which in fact, the album cover of that album was the bands backdrop tonight.

Ed’s note: I wonder if they change it around each night, just curious?
They sounded really strong with Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens taking the lead vocal at the start of the show and doing a fine job, the rest of the band, equally impressive.

Wow! Then it was ‘Holy Diver,’ a track I would’ve thought we’d have to wait a while for but no, here we go and it’s fantastic to hear these tracks again live. Boy, do I miss Ronnie James Dio ….
Craig Goldy is a great guitarist, I loved his playing with Giuffria too and he’s a class act for sure.

 Tim then introduces Oni Logan to the stage and between them both, they give us 'Egypt (The Chains are On)' from Dio's the 'Last In Line' album, before we get ‘Stargazer’ from Ronnie’s Rainbow period in time and as I’m writing down the track in my notes, a friend we’ve made from bumping into at recent gigs – Also a drummer and huge Cozy Powell fan, like myself. – taps me on the arm and gestures towards the stage, as we both recall Cozy’s part in Rainbow alongside Ronnie.
Great to hear this again after so many years, when I last saw the Dio band live here in Detroit, which was 2003 with Iron Maiden and since Ritchie Blackmore will never resurrect Rainbow, this is possibly the closest anyone will get to hearing it done right!
Tim 'Ripper' Owen's and Craig Goldy live in Detroit - Photo: Alun Williams
Oni makes his comment to the crowd, as both he and Tim do all evening, reminding us all that we are all here to pay tribute to Ronnie James Dio and with that comes ‘Push’ next and it rocks out great! It’s a gem from the ‘Killing The Dragon’ album.
Craig Goldy is clearly in his element and loving what he’s playing and grinning from ear to ear from time to time. Sounds good to me too Craig!

I suddenly notice looking at Simon Wright that the monitor and concert toms to his left keep rocking side to side as he pounds away!
In between songs next, Oni says ‘We’re going to go back into a time capsule here folks …,’ as he then sings the opening, gentle lines to ‘Last In Line,’ before the rock kicks in and Tim rejoins the band, stage front!
The crowd really loves the show, there’s no big light show or lasers that many of us remember with Ronnie’s shows, it’s just great music and fantastic songs, written by the fair hand of the master.
‘Stand Up and Shout’ next which Tim handles very well indeed once more and it’s just one classic after another.
Tim then speaks to the crowds saying, ‘You know, Ronnie was the best singer in the world, not just in rock, but in any style of music ...’ Throughout the evening, both Oni and Tim continued to praise Ronnie up and make gestures in the upward direction of heaven.
Yes, we do all miss Ronnie, so, so very much indeed.


Top: Craig Goldy onstage in Detroit Nov. 10th, 2012 
Bottom: Oni Logan with Tim 'Ripper' Owens looking on.
Photo's: Alun Williams

‘Don’t Talk To Strangers’ next which starts gently and then builds into a monster rocking tune. Brilliant guys, class! 

Oni returns to the stage to lead us into ‘Lord of the Last Day / All the Fools Sailed Away’ then Tim returns to add his mark.

Oni stays out front for ‘Catch The Rainbow,’ that then surges into ‘Kill The King’ and Tim returns, while Craig Goldy rips out a killer solo, so respectful to Blackmore.
Excellent! Boy, do I miss Rainbow too ….

Tim takes the microphone and says, ‘OK, now I want you to listen carefully …,’ the crowd yells back at Tim, ‘No seriously I want you to listen, because ‘If you listen to fools … What?’The crowd shouts back, ‘The Mob Rules!’Tim says, ‘What?!’ Crowd, ‘The Mob Rules,’ Tim,The Mob Rules!!!’Here Craig’s playing is a great tribute to Tony Iommi.
Now I’m wishing we’d get something like ‘Neon Nights’ or Die Young’ or ‘Turn Up The Night,’ but alas no, it’s not to be …
Top - Scott Warren and Bjorn Englen
Bottom - Simon Wright
Photo's: Alun Williams
Oni comes back out and says, ‘Do you think you can sing with us? Will you sing with us?’
A resounding ‘Yeah,’ he gets back and he starts by himself to just sing, ‘Long Live, Rock and Roll, Long Live, Rock and Roll,’ then in comes the band and it’s just killer and yes, I will say it, awesome!!!
A nice touch stopping halfway through to have us in the crowd participating in a sing-along!
Tim and Oni both share vocal duties on next track, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain,’ again with Craig doing a fine job!

The track closes with Tim shouting out, ‘Ronnie James, Ronnie James,’ to get the crowd worked up, then Simon Wright and bassist Bjorn Englen start the back beat to ‘Heaven and Hell’ and Tim takes the lead, getting the crowd to join him on the intro chanting vocal, ‘Wooooahhh wooah wooah woooahhh, woooooah woooooah wooah wooah wooah wooah …’
Basically the songs melody line and then the band takes over for the epic track.
Great stuff and this wraps up the main set.
Then just Oni Logan and Scott Warren come out and Oni says, ‘This was perhaps a strange song for Ronnie to sing from the Angry Machines album, it’s called ‘This Is Your Life.’ It’s a really strong beautiful ballad, really moving … The audience laps it up.
The full band then comes back onstage for ‘Rainbow in the Dark’ which just takes the roof off with the crowd. Love it!
Tim then yells to the crowd, ‘What do you do? What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO??!!’
The crowd gets it and shouts back, ‘WE ROCK!’
Indeed we all do as does this band and it’s a great closing number.
Killer set!
Dio Disciples - Detroit! Thank you and goodnight! - Photo: Alun Williams
This is truly a dedicated band, playing together to keep our memories of Ronnie alive.
Go and see them, I know you’re thinking, but it’s not Ronnie … BUT … The respect shown by all these players throughout the night onstage, is 100% clear. They, as do we, really miss Ronnie James Dio.
After the show, once the band had a chance to clean up a little, they came out of the tour bus to meet with fans, pose for photos and sign various memorabilia and I have to say, they were all so humbled by the fans support.
Each of them I spoke to said the same thing, we’re just doing this to keep the memory of Ronnie alive and I have to say, they do a great job of it.
I’m sure Ronnie is up there somewhere, smiling down on us all, that we are still appreciating the man’s incredible talent.
Side note: Various fans were saying to the various band members, ‘You guys sound so good, any chance of you writing anything new together, even though Ronnie’s no longer with us?’

The answers were yes, that they are writing new material, I just wonder how or what name it will be released under, whether Dio Disciples will go the distance or another name will be used?
Tim ‘Ripper’ Owen’s and Oni Logan, both possess fantastic vocal talents, some great ranges between them, I for one would certainly be very interested to hear what they produce. I’m sure it will be worth the wait!

Thanks guys, we loved the show, fond memories came back.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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