Throughout his 40+ year career, Steve Vai has transformed the world of instrumental guitar, something that would seem to be nearly impossible, into a very successful career. From his early beginnings with Frank Zappa’s to his work with the ever-flamboyant David Lee Roth, then back to his exploratory solo work, Steve has continually challenged traditional guitar playing and composition into a mind-altering experience. He has revolutionized guitar playing and has influenced legions of fans and guitarists along the way, something he is very humbled by.
‘The Monster Roars’ is an album that can be described as Magnum roars. As all the other Magnum releases also the newest addition to the creative output is full of anthemic moments, great melodies, musical savvy, and a lot of feel for sound and expression of songs. This album is a treat for ears and mind and showcases a band that, even after four decades in business, is still relevant and a great example for continuity, passion and dedication.
When one thinks of Black Sabbath, names like Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio inevitably come to mind. Both contributed significantly to the success of the doom metal legend. The voices of both frontmen have influenced whole generations of metal singers.
“Gone” is one that’s pretty important to me. I just think it’s one that I wrote, really. All of that came from the heart. So I think people will hear that, I hope. That one. “I Am The Night” and “By My Blade”, are both comic characters, tribute to because I’m a comic fan. Comic nerd. We try to keep it as eclectic as possible.
Freddy is still a great singer after all these years and immidiately I am eager to play his 80s JAMES BYRD’s ATLANTIS RISING classic album after listening to this strong record. There are heavy faster pieces, slow epic tunes, a concept tune that is split in a trilogy, but there’s also time for a pure classic uptempo melodic hardrocksong in the style of FIFTH ANGEL or ROUGH CUTT, which is the superb Swallow My Pride and a beautiful power prog ballad in the shape of Candle In The Dark (featuring a lovely chorus like 80s QUEENSRYCHE meets ICON), and both of them bring you straight back to 1987. All together, a very enjoyable album that is a must-have for fans of classic 80s US Melodic Metal!.
This album is of such an incredible high level, and besides the aforementioned songs other highlights are are the PENDRAGONish midtempo melodic progrocker Shadows (including superb guitarsolo), the emotional KAYAKish theatrical symphonic Power AOR ballads The Harder That You Hurt and This Endless War, and the uptempo Spirit Of Mankind (almost reminding me of MARGARET BECKER during her early AOR/Rock years). Words cannot describe how incredible this album is, so do yourself a favor and check out this superb masterpiece a.s.a.p.!
The band flirts with those tiny bits of sounds and pieces here and there to make their classic melodic hardrock sound original, diverse and authentic, and this can be heard throughout the whole album. Other highlights are the uptempo classic rocker Devil Woman, the instrumental 70s pomprocking Great Big Genius, the 70s RUSH/TRIUMPH ish classic prog/rocker The Brotherhood Song (which also has a bit of southern rock influences) and the 70s HANOI ROCKS/NEW YORK DOLLS ish glamrocker Backyard Barbeque. Without a doubt, a must-hear band to check out if you want to hear high class original Melodic Hardrock!
Daniele is an amazingly talented composer, who definitely is up there in the ultimate upper league of modern day composers in a way BEETHOVEN and WAGNER were in the 19th century, so are HANS ZIMMER, VINCE DICOLA, JOHN WILLIAMS and Daniele the ultimate composers for this kind of bombastic instrumental music nowadays.
As a longtime Iced Earth fan who always thought the band was at their absolute best with vocalist Matt Barlow, I was both disappointed when his second tenure with the band ended quickly, and excited to hear his new project Ashes of Ares when it started in 2012. Working with fellow former Iced Earth member Freddie Vidales and Nevermore drummer Van Williams, the trio released an excellent debut in 2013, to much fanfare. Williams left the band in 2017 while continuing to contribute as a session member, and the band released a solid follow-up in 2018 called The Well of Souls, which seemed to go by largely unnoticed due to coming at a busy time. Now, though, the duo of Barlow and Vidales is back and ready to release their third full-length album, Emperor and Fools, and it is every bit as good as either of their previous albums, with a couple of tracks, in particular, standing out as their best work to date.