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Book Review: “Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed” by Michael Sweet

honestlydetail-01Honestly: My Life and Stryper Revealed
Michael Sweet
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

When I first heard about this book I basically expected a pretty vanilla offering from a very well known singer/songwriter/guitarist who just so happens to be a very devout Christian while fronting a heavy metal band called Stryper. I have been a very big Stryper fan going back as far as 1985, seeing them play in a small club in Boston and have never missed a single tour since. That being said, I was hoping that Michael’s book Honestly was going to give some insight to a number of questions I have had during the 30-plus year career of my fandom of Michael in Stryper such as who came up with the yellow and black outfit design? Why did Tim leave during the recording of To Hell With The Devil? Whatever happened to his short lived replacement Matt Hurich? Why in more recent years was their obvious reluctance to play songs off In God We Trust? Why did Michael essentially break up Stryper in 1992? Who got the band back together in 1999? Trust me, I got my answers and a whole lot more. Honestly is a no-frills look into the mind and soul of a man who has made mistakes, had musical and personal regrets but at the same time has been a loving husband and father while maintaining his stature as one of the top rock vocalists of his generation. Read more

CD Review: Hour of Penance / Regicide

May 1, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News


regicideHour of Penance
Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Italian death metal stalwarts Hour of Penance have spent their career taking no prisoners, and extremity is assured on their sixth album Regicide. Kicking things off with an intro reminiscent of a dark fantasy film, the band immediately shifts into high gear with “Reforging the Crowns.” From there to album finisher “Theogony,” Hour of Penance have created a solid slab of high-octane death metal that runs at full speed. Read more

CD Review: Winger / Better Days Comin’

April 22, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Better Days Comin’
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Winger has always been a band structured around songwriting and performance, yet in the early days bassist and founding member Kip Winger could always be found on the cover of a magazine or a staple through his mid section as the centerfold. Too often the band had more articles and photos due to their physical attributes and sex appeal than their actual playing. Nevertheless no one can argue that the first two Winger albums were hugely successful and in spite of the sometimes grotesque overuse of Kip’s “whiter than white” teeth I’m sure the general philosophy was “any press is good press”.

Well thankfully in the 2014 rock world Winger gets press now ONLY for their music, a welcome change for me personally having been a fan since the first time I saw “Madalaine” on Headbanger’s Ball in 1988. Better Days Comin’ picks up right where 2009’s Karma left off with some more heavy rock tunes, complete with signature harmonies and some memorable licks direct from riff master himself Reb Beach on guitar. All of these elements put together will allow Better Days Comin’ to take its rightful place amongst the previous five Winger albums but at the same time contains some individual moments which make it unique. If I were a professor set to study this new Winger album I would title my essay “Superior Time Emergence”. why Winger appeals to my five senses with their past five records and album six gives me added depth with a new sense to be able to predict future events. Better Days Comin’ indeed. Read more

CD Review: Madman’s Lullaby / Unhinged

MADMANs-LULLABY-UNHINGED-345x350Madman’s Lullaby

Kivel Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

It looks like 2014 is getting off to a killer start for Kivel Records with its latest release Unhinged, first from new labelmates Madman’s Lullaby.   Right from the first track “What If” I could hear the influence from some of the late 80’s best hard rock acts such as Tesla and, especially vocally, early Lynch Mob.  This record has tons of groove and some very clever lyrics.  If you’re looking for a feel good kind of album with romantic tunes with everyone in a happy state, turn away! Read more

CD Review: House of Lords / Precious Metal

81F7t+HTJUL._SL1500_House of Lords
Precious Metal
Frontiers Records
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

It’s really hard to imagine that Precious Metal is the 9th studio album from House of Lords but then again after 1992’s Demon’s Down who would have thought that HOL would have to wait another 12 years to get to record album number 4?  In fact during those 12 years from 1992-2004 I played those first three albums constantly, always in regular rotation especially on long drives because those records were just that damn good.  Read more

CD Review: Adrenaline Mob / Men of Honor

March 3, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

81QfK5pwNVL._SL1500_Adrenaline Mob
Men of Honor
Century Media
Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Russell Allen may well be the greatest singer on the planet at this time and I was really looking forward to the Mob’s second album Men of Honor.  What really was going to be the wild card with this release was new drummer A.J. Pero of Twisted Sister fame. With the success of The Winery Dogs, Mike Portnoy had to leave yet another band he created. 

Let’s face it A.J. has nothing to prove in terms of his chops to Mob fans and the metal community at large but it has to do more with his style and it fitting into the rest of the band while making sure there is no drop off with the departure of Portnoy.  Well I’m happy to report that not only is Pero a welcome addition to the Mob family but this record truly represents a milestone in the Allen legacy as this album is better than the first record Omerta (2012) and quite possibly my favorite Allen album ever.  Full of vigor, melodic charm and beastly range Allen carries Men of Honor which is now my favorite album so far in 2014 and will be tough to top moving forward. Read more

CD Review: Exmortus / Slave to the Sword

February 18, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

Slave to the Sword

Prosthetic Records

Reviewed by: B. Cross

Want some classic shred backed by harsh vocals and some serious power-thrash melodies? Your search has ended. Marking their Prosthetic Records debut, Exmortus recently unleashed their third album Slave to the Sword.

“Rising” kicks things right into high gear with blistering dual guitars that would make Judas Priest proud. Jadran “Conan” Gonzales and David Rivera showcase extreme talent and musicianship across the entire record, and the rhythm section of Jovanni Perez (bass) and Mario Moreno (drums) are not to be denied, either. There’s enough low end and double-bass pounding to make any fan raise their horns in triumph. Read more

CD Review: No Love Lost / No Love Lost

January 20, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

11158_547874088601518_1290252516_nNo Love Lost
No Love Lost
Kivel Records

Reviewed By: Roger Scales

What a banner year 2013 has been for fans of melodic rock music.  Search no further than Kivel Records which has added yet another stellar band to its already impressive Kamp lineup.  No Love Lost is a Carolina based band that brings aspects of Whitesnake, Triumph, early Def Leppard and Tesla thrown into a little bit of a mix of Badlands and Keel on the side.  These are the groups I heard when I gave their impressive debut self-titled album a first listen. Read more

EP Review: Edge of Paradise / Perfect Shade of Black

January 15, 2014 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News, Daily Music News

Perfect-Shade-300x285Edge of Paradise
Perfect Shade of Black

Reviewed by: Roger Scales

Perfect Shade of Black is the second release from the L.A. based band Edge of Paradise featuring the partnership of Margarita Monet on vocals and Dave Bates on guitar.  Formed in 2011 their first record Mask featured a rhythm section of Tony Franklin and Greg Bissonette added along with Monet and Bates.  The album was co-written by rock legend Robin McAuley and was guitar heavy, hook orientated metal but contained many modern progressive elements.  Fast forward to 2013 and the new E.P. Perfect Shade of Black picks up right where the band left off and also shows some musical maturity in the songwriting and production as well.  Also by adding in a new bass player Nick Ericson and drummer John Chominsky Edge of Paradise has the potential to be one of the top new bands to watch out for heading into 2014. Read more

CD Review: Sucker Punch! / AdrianGale

December 16, 2013 by  
Filed under CD Reviews, Daily Music News

999196_193118714193779_1736169713_nSucker Punch!

 Reviewed by: Roger Scales

After the release of Crunch back in 2004 I was hooked on AdrianGale heavily.  That album was so good it made me an instant member of Kivel Kamp and I have not looked back since.  When I think of tracks like “Tougher Than It Looks” and “When In Rome” I realized how much potential this band had and knew that if given another opportunity as a unit that more classic melodic rock was just a matter of time.  (Yes the band did briefly exist as “Crunch” but that came and went to so fast back in 2007 I nearly forgot.)  Well that time took nine long years but Sucker Punch! was not only worth the wait but far exceeded what I thought the band was capable of creating.  Considering I already had Vic and the boys high on my rock pedestal that is saying something!  This album is full of powerhouse production, quality songwriting, the return of Eddie Campbell in place of Scott Millar who performed on “Crunch” and of course Jamie Rowe who is still at the top of his game offering his passion and stellar vocal range throughout the record. Read more

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