Sunday, October 19, 2008

JORN - The Duke

The Duke
Candlelight Records USA

First off, let us please not brand the overall sound of Jorn as being power metal. Finding foundation in the traditional metal of the eighties, Jorn’s The Duke is much more akin to the works of Dio, Whitesnake and Axel Rudi Pell than it is to what is generally accepted as power metal — Blind Guardian, Nocturnal Rites and Angra.

With the mountainous experience of Jorn making all of the difference on this particular record, fans are treated to a solid display of mid-tempo metal anthems and power ballads. Jorn betrays a considerable David Coverdale influence on the magnetic “Blacksong”, a cut where the vocalist’s power and strength lift the chugging backdrop to stellar heights. A steamy Zakk Wylde-style solo graces this powerful cut, which is also enourmously noteworthy for it’s intently dramatic arrangement.

A moving bridge provides depth and the song’s squealing, gloomy outro gives the track a surprisingly muscular exit. If you can imagine both Jon Sykes and the aforementioned Mr. Wylde tearing it up in tandem with Coverdale out front, “Stormcrow” comes into proper perspective. Hear the album’s title track for a distinctly convincing dose of sexual bravado. Although some critics may find this sort of approach to be overtly retro, Lande is factually as skilled at this sort of material as anyone going.

Other influences such as Lou Gramm are revealed during the stellar rocker “End Of Time.” Although themes of fast living and romance are interjected into the mix, the band’s music isn’t overly dated and the cheese factor is virtually zero. Lande and his bunch not only have mastered this particular style, the group’s execution is as forthrightly compelling as any other artist that’s attempted to achieve this swaggering, testosterone-fueled form of hard rocking heavy metal.

Written By: Whiskey Puss

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Perris Records

Enuff Z Nuff can’t seem to stop cranking out solid pop metal tunes with lush harmonies and textured guitar melodies that no one wants to listen to.

Pigeonholed by their material in the late eighties, the band continues to churn out inventive material that remains on a fast train to nowhere on account of their hippie metal image that they just cannot seem to shake.

Repackage this disc and release it under a different name and you would see the three best songs here dominate the radio. Alas, this record with the silly title, bad Riddler suit album cover and tired band that virtually nobody cares about does not stand a snowball's chance in hell of making any type of major connection with music listeners.


MENNEN - Freakazoid

Escapi Music

If you’re in the mood for some of the absolutely horrendous pop metal ever, look no farther than Mennen’s “Freakazoid.” The silly, highly irritating whistling repeated throughout “Down” is enough to have you reaching immediately for the eject button and things are all downhill from there.

From the grossly uninspiring “Above The Waterline,” to the band’s pathetic attempt at true metal during “Bob”, there can be no doubt that this is a record that should never have seen the light of day.

Overproduction adds to the outright laughability. Several bands managed to perform this style very well twenty five years ago, to execute this type of material so poorly in 2005 is simply inexcusable.

Today, so many talented bands being overlooked, beating the bar circuit to death, it’s a real shame that a label would put their money behind a mess such as this. To add value to this overblown nightmare, they have graciously included three extra cuts of substandard fluff.

With clich├ęd lyrics and unconditionally unoriginal ideas, the often slightly off key vocals almost seem right at home. Put this one in your mousetraps, music fans – it’s complete cheese.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rob Zombie - 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection

Rob Zombie
20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection
Universal Records

Here’s a catalog cruncher for you. Not only is the back lot of one Mr. Rob Zombie given the infamous “20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection” treatment, half this particular record is composed of White Zombie tracks, which we all know was a much different superbeast, indeed. Realistically, it’s like seeing the straight-up original Black Sabbath studio recordings wind up on an Ozzy Osbourne “Greatest Hits” package, which is probably is right around the corner as well.

Most often, these affairs are merely legal haranguing or contract fulfillment records. Now if anyone could prove that such moves are designed to cut J., Sean and John out of the picture ala Blizzard Of Ozz, then any true White Zombie fan should avoid this one like the Black Plague. At this point, there hasn’t been a great deal of gossip surrounding the reasoning behind the issue of this package, but if the object of putting forth one of these cheapo productions for mass, Wal Mart consumption is to pull “La Sexorcisto” and “Astrocreep 2000” from the bins and replace them with a product that offers no mechanical royalties to the original songwriters, that’s about the pinnacle of complete bullshit.

Motives aside, this compilation serves one primary purpose, and that’s effectually proving that White Zombie was a hell of a lot cooler than Rob Zombie. Of the tracks herein, the White Zombie cuts are far more exciting and the dismal selection of tracks near the end of this package indicates that Mr. Zombie as definitely at a creative low point in his career. House Of 1000 Corpses was a great, career-defining track? Hardly.

Where there’s smoke, there’s most definitely fire and no matter the logic or excuses for such a collection, it stands to be reasoned that the non-performing “Educated Horses” is part and parcel to this unexciting, bargain bin treatment. Of course, truck stops need CDs to sell for $5.99 as well, but the final analogy is that you’re much better off heading out and buying any combination of “La Sexorcisto”, “Astrocreep 2000”, possibly “Hellbilly Deluxe” and maybe even “Make Them Die Slowly” than falling into this marketing trap.

Liner notes - So flipping what? Give us the real Zombie. White Zombie.