Reviews

Music Reviews

Satan Reviews Necrophobic’s New Album “Dawn Of The Damned”

Hell yeah! Just look at these guys! Now, this is what I'm talking about. The album cover has goats and pentagrams, so they definitely had me at "Hell-o".  This is some serious old school Black Metal shit and I'm a sucker for the classics! Death Metal mixed with Black Metal is always a good thing! The opening song which sounds like a hymn for his infernal majesty "Aphelion" would make a great entrance theme for me to enter one of my many chambers within Hell.  "Darkness Be My Guide" follows closely behind and lyrically it's right up my devilish alley. The third song "Mirror Black" is the real deal.  It's ominous, heavy and you can fuckin' rock out to it! This whole album has evil...

John Petrucci – Terminal Velocity (Review)

While John Petrucci is best known as one of the founding members of the band Dream Theater, his instrumental skill is on full display in his second solo album Terminal Velocity.  If you haven't already, now would be the time for you to list his name among guitar greats like Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, and more.  The material throughout the album never fails to impress. Even if you're just a casual music lover, it's not hard to understand or hear the brilliance in Petrucci's playing.  While everything is still rocking along with some incredible solos, there are moments of heartfelt emotion and spiritual connection.  When you combine the technical ability with fluid-like playing, it's hard not to be amazed at this album.  Of...

Poor Little Things – Disco’s Burning (Review)

Do you miss straight ahead, no-frills rock-n-roll? I'm talking about bands like early AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, and The Rolling Stones.  If so, you should check out Poor Little Things.  Poor Little Things is a collaboration between vocalist Tina Jackson and Rollerball, ex-Kings Of The Sun, guitarist Dave Talon.  The entire album has a retro-cool vibe that pays tribute to the sounds of yesteryears.  Vocalist Tina Jackson has her own style, but it's not hard to tell that she must have been influenced by great female vocalists like Ann Wilson (Heart), Pat Benatar, Dale Bozzio and, Joan Jett.  This album has a bar-room swagger that can't be stopped.  Stand out tracks for me include The Rock 'N Roll, Wait'n On The Line, Don't Stamp It Out...

Firewind Reach Epic Level With New Self Titled Album

Artist: Firewind Album: Firewind Genre: Metal Label: AFM Records Release Date: May 15, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron   Review: Firewind has always been an underrated act if you ask me.  But this time around the band has delivered an album that takes them to a whole other level of brilliance.  The addition of new vocalist Herbie Langhans lifts these songs to a new place altogether.  Guitar virtuoso Gus G. simply shreds throughout this outing and should place him the realm of guitar hero to many who have overlooked his skill thus far.  While he's been known more as Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist for a brief period, all of the Firewind albums have been excellent.  Kicking off with the outstanding "Welcome To The Empire", you're in...

Grit Your Teeth May Well Be The Breakthrough That VEGA Deserves

What do you do with a band like VEGA? Full of talent, brilliant songwriters (Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott has worked with them) and fantastic live, oddly up to now the UK 6-piece have been far from a household name. Grit Your Teeth, their sixth album may just be the one to change that. Song quality has never been a problem for VEGA. Brothers Tom and James Martin, along with singer Nick Workman, have penned tunes for some big names in rock so it’s no surprise that Grit Your Teeth has top quality songs throughout. https://youtu.be/0pyIsFgU_eU Check out the lyric video for Grit Your Teeth What’s perhaps different this time is with production duties being handled by Joe and Sam Graves (Asking Alexandria, With One Last Breath) the band...

Aborted’s New EP La Grande Mascarade Is The Perfect Soundtrack To The Apocalypse

Artist: Aborted Album: La Grande Mascarade  Genre: Metal Label: Century Media Release Date: April 17th, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron   Review: Brutal and glorious all at the same time, Aborted have released a new EP called "La Grande Mascarade". If your favorite band is Bon Jovi, you won't like this as it's not for the faint-hearted.  But honestly, what does anyone listening to a band called Aborted expect?  I expected full-on metal brutality and I got it!  The bad news is it's only three songs so it's over so quick, you might be in a mid-headbang at the end and craving more.  The good news is that all three songs are crushingly good. The guttural vocals deliver the goods throughout and perfectly compliment the...

Def Leppard: The Early Years 79-81′ Box Set (Review)

Artist: Def Leppard Album: The Early Years Box Set 79-81' Box Set Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Label: Ume/Virgin Release Date: March 20, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: If you were to add Pyromania to this box set, it would be the perfect box set of what I call Def Leppard Mach 1.  From their early beginnings, they had more in common with AC/DC soundwise, than the sugary pop sounds that defined their sound from Hysteria on.  Again, if you add Pyromania to this, it's my favorite timeframe of Def Leppard.  The newly remastered On Through The Night and High N' Dry albums sound incredible.  The mix is so much better than the original and really allows you to hear all of the...

Shakra – Mad World (Review)

Artist: Shakra Album: Mad World Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Label: AFM Records Release Date: February 28, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Here's a great band with that 80's hard rock sound that more people should be aware of.  These Swiss rockers are coming up on their 25th anniversary as a band in 2020 and have just released a really great and solid rock album in "Mad World".  The band brings the heat with the opening track "Fireline" and follows it up with one of my favorites on this album, "Too Much Is Not Enough". Shakra has a sound that is equally appealing to fans of bands like Krokus, but also Helloween, Gotthard, and Pretty Maids.  These songs are well crafted and the...

Anvil – Legal At Last (Review)

Review: Anvil have returned with another great album called "Legal At Last".  While you don't have to be Einstein to figure out what they're referring to,  Anvil also has some poignant and timely lyrics about various subjects that the occasional listener and metalhead might actually miss. The band covers some deeper topics about society other than just the legalization of marijuana.  Tracks like Chemtrails, Gasoline, and Plastic In Paradise venture outside typical metal lyrics and show that the band is way more than just stoners and loud musicians.  Although, thankfully they are loud.  Anvil has never pulled any punches. With Anvil, what you see is what you get. Now that Motorhead is gone, Anvil survives as one of the few, raw, straight-ahead metal bands out...

Dirty Shirley – Dirty Shirley (Review)

Artist: Dirty Shirley Album: Dirty Shirley Genre: Melodic Metal \ Hard Rock Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: January 24, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Okay, so I hate the album cover and the name of the band....but believe me when I say this is one of the best albums that George Lynch has done in years!  I mean, I can't get over how fantastic this album truly is.  This is a must-have for any fan of Lynch's work in Dokken and Lynch Mob.  This is obviously another one of Frontiers Music's band projects, but damn if it's not a perfect fit in every way.  The addition of Dino Jelusic on vocals just lifts this right over the top of most of these types...

Deaf Rat – Ban The Light (Review)

Artist: Deaf Rat Album: Ban The Light Genre: Metal / Hard Rock Label: AFM Records Release Date: November 1, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Wow! This is one of the best debut albums by a band that I've heard in a really long time.  Deaf Rat hit the scene with a darker image, but all of the sound and rebellion of the '80's Sunset Strip Heavy Metal scene.  Vocalist Frankie Rich often reminds me of Jamie St. James from Black N' Blue.  I've heard quite a few bands try to mix a more modern rock sound with classic metal and fall short, but that's not the case with Deaf Rat. In fact, this the first time that I've heard this combination actually work.  The...

Quiet Riot – Hollywood Cowboys (Review)

Artist: Quiet Riot Album: Hollywood Cowboys Genre: Hard Rock / Metal Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: November 8, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Well, this is a tough one to review.  There are several reasons why this is such a difficult album to review.  While it's unusual for a band to part ways with their lead singer between recording an album and releasing it, that's exactly what has happened here.  James Durbin sang on two studio albums and one live album with Quiet Riot before deciding to go back to his solo career. Musically this album is a throwback to the Sunset Strip days of heavy metal.  And I actually really like this album, quite a bit.  Durbin does a decent job of...

Cro-Mags – Don’t Give In (Review)

Artist: Cro-Mags Album: Don't Give In Genre: Hardcore Label: Victory Records Release Date: June 28, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: The Godfathers of Hardcore, The Cro-Mags have returned with brand new music and it's every bit as brutal and heavy as you hoped it would be.  While only three songs long, this EP is like a shot of adrenaline.  Not only is this a must listen,  but it's a repeat must listen.  I find myself wanting more because these songs are great examples of why the Cro-Mags are considered icons of the hardcore music genre.  If this music doesn't inspire you, if it doesn't make you want to move, chances are good that you are dead, my friend.  By the end of the title...

(The Other) L.A. Guns – Renegades (Review)

So, once again we have more than one version of L.A. Guns recording albums and touring at the same time.  Drummer Steve Riley decided to start his own version of L.A. Guns after vocalist Phil Lewis left to rejoin guitarist Tracii Guns after years of being in competing versions of the band.  This supposedly left Riley as the only person other than Lewis and Guns with a claim to the name L.A. Guns. I have no legal knowledge of who rightfully does or does not own the name. However, I have had a chance to listen to new music by both groups calling themselves L.A. Guns and in my opinion, there is no comparison between the two.  While I understand Steve Riley's frustration with the...

Armored Saint – Punching The Sky (Review)

2020 has been one hell of a year so far.  But if you're looking for something positive to help get through the madness, Armored Saint's latest album "Punching The Sky" is exactly what the doctor ordered.  The band has unleashed some serious metal fury with this album. With the opening track "Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants", John Bush and company are making sure that you know this is an "in your face" kind of album.  The album covers a lot of territories lyrically including the first single "End of the Attention Span", which laments the fact that people are in such a hurry that they can't enjoy things thoroughly.  The thrashy "Do Wrong To None" which explores mankind's treatment of one another and "Unfair"...

Satan Reviews The New Stryper Album “Even The Devil Believes”

XS ROCK has brought in Satan himself to give us his take on the new Stryper album, "Even The Devil Believes"...so without further delay, here's the review from the Prince Of Darkness himself: Just freakin' great...these guys again?  They never give up! I am just about at the end of my rope.  I mean, let's face it, I've done a lot of work to thwart these guys and their agenda.  I mean, I've caused turmoil within the band, leading to one band member being replaced. I've even inflicted one of them with a serious illness and now he's recorded some of his best guitar work since the beginning of the band. Don't forget I'm still ticked off about how this whole thing went down from...

Zakk Sabbath – Vertigo (Review)

For many people, this project is as dangerous to attempt as breaking some holy rules.  The classic Black Sabbath debut album is legendary. And, yes, I think most people would be afraid to do a cover album of this for many reasons.  Some of which include, how to match an album with such notoriety, without being critically assailed, If you're too faithful to the original, many will say why bother, just listen to the original, if you're too different from the Black Sabbath version, you risk being called a blasphemer.  With all of these possible backfiring scenarios, you'd think Zakk Wylde and company would just play these songs live and not take the risk of recording them.       However, they did, and I'm actually...

Vio-Lence | California Uber Alles (Review)

Vio-lence's cover of The Dead Kennedys' song California Uber Alles proves two things...One, that Vio-lence is still a force to be reckoned with their first recorded song since 1994 and two, that the message behind this song is unfortunately still relevant today, 40 years after it was first released.  Just remove the name Jerry Brown in the lyrics and replace the politician that you dislike the most and it's straight from today's headlines.  I really like this metalized version of the song and the band not only does it justice but it's just different enough to be a unique version.  Here' hoping that Vio-lence gets back to recording an album of new material soon because this track really delivers the goods. https://youtu.be/IvE322MYWlA Vio-Lence line-up: Sean...

King Buzzo Featuring Trevor Dunn – Gift Of Sacrifice (Review)

Artist: King Buzzo featuring Trevor Dunn Album: Gift Of Sacrifice Genre: Alternative Rock Label: Ipecac Release Date: August 14, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron   Review: Wow! This is a really cool acoustic album from King Buzzo of the Melvins with vocals by Mr. Bungle's Trevor Dunn, who also plays in Fantômas and with the Melvins as Melvins Lite. It's strange, dark, and moody reflecting our current times and brilliantly done.  The jangly acoustic styling gives this a creepiness that is also somehow reassuring and comfortable at the same time. Standout tracks for me are "Housing, Luxury, Energy", the folksy "Delayed Clarity", Science In Modern America, and I'm Glad I Could Help Out, which I can only describe as a song that should be featured...

U.D.O. – We Are One (Review)

Well, I have to hand it to Udo Dirkschneider.  He's managed to create a totally unique concept in metal music after being in the business for over 40 years!  So a lot of metal bands have tried making albums with an orchestra backing them, but Udo has the full concert band of the German armed forces backing him up here.  I'm not going to lie to you.  When I heard about the concept of this album, I though it sounded like a horrible idea.  But color me wrong.  Udo pulls this off and it's actually quite interesting.  It has a sense of charm to it while still being full on metal at the same time.  Not only is this a complete surprise to me, but...

Bloody Heels – Ignite The Sky (Review)

Review: After the band released their first single "Criminal Masterminds" several months ago, I have been eagerly awaiting this release. The album kicks off with the title track which is a high energy rocker with a melodic chorus.  It's a great track to start off the album and it's also one of the stand out tracks.  However, nothing on this album is better than "Criminal Masterminds".  It's simply a modern classic and one of the best hair metal anthems that I've heard in years. It's worth the price of admission (or the price of the album) just to get "Criminal Masterminds".  The band slows it down a little with the beginning of "No Matter", but it kicks it up and rocks hard as it builds....

Pretty Maids New Live Album “Maid In Japan – Back To The Future World” Is An Instant Classic!

Artist: Pretty Maids Album: Maid In Japan - Back To Futureworld Genre: Melodic Metal / Hard Rock Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: May 22, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: The Pretty Maids prove that they still have it with this live release more than 30 years after their iconic Future World album was released.  This is simply an incredible live performance from start to finish as the band plays the entire Future World album in its entirety,  plus a set of extra songs that showcase the bands' later songs.  Future World was the album that made me originally take notice of Pretty Maids.  Afterward, I was hooked as a fan and bought all of the band's previous albums and have continued to purchase...

Triptykon Live Release Is Art In It’s Purest Form

Artist: Triptykon Album: Requiem (Live At Roadburn 2019) featuring The Metropole Orkes Genre: Metal Label: Century Media Release Date: May 15, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Thomas Gabriel Fischer is one of the few metal performers that can make a project like this work.  The former Celtic Frost frontman has unleashed his vision that has been 30 years in the making and it is incredibly haunting and beautiful at the same time.  I'll be the first one to admit that avant-garde metal is not everyone's thing.  Truthfully, it's not my thing very often, but this live album is on a whole other level.   Its metal, it's gothic and it's brilliant.  Imagine if Pink Floyd did a gothic metal opera and you're getting close to...

Lucifer Delivers One Of The Best Rock Albums Of 2020 With “III”

Artist: Lucifer Album: III Genre: Label: Century Media Release Date: March 20, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Imagine the late 70's, early 80's Heart made a pact with the devil himself.  Now add a little bit of Black Sabbath to that sound and a little dash of traditional heavy metal in the mix and you've got a formula that's really damn close to the band Lucifer.  I can't get over how much fun this album is to listen to.  The beautiful vocals of Johanna Sadonis set over the top of a gritty, down and dirty rock soundtrack that perfectly complements one another.   This album is seriously contagious and I absolutely love it!  The album is damn near perfect from start to finish and has...

Cherie Currie – Blvds Of Splendor (Review)

Artist: Cherie Currie Album: Blvds Of Splendor Genre: Rock / Hard Rock Label: BLACKHEART RECORDS Release Date: April 28, 2020 Reviewed by: Angel Alamo Review: Former Runaways singer Cherie Currie is back with a new album Blvds of splendor. The album which will be released on April 28, 2020, via Blackheart Records showcases a surprise mix of heavy rock songs and blues style songs on the record that showcases how diverse the record is. The album was produced by former Guns N Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum who did an amazing job in making Blvds of splendor one of the best new albums. This is one of those albums that takes you on a musical journey where every song is important. In the age of...

Bleed From Within Delivers One Of The Best Modern Metal Albums Of 2020 With “Fracture”

Artist: Bleed From Within Album: Fracture Genre: Modern Metal Label: Century Media Release Date: May 29, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Hailing from Scotland, Bleed From Within have returned with a powerful album and sound that's anything but fractured.  Starting out with the first single, "The End Of All We Know", the band is here to prove that there is plenty of room left for great metal bands in the modern era. "The End Of All We Know" already has over 3.3 million streams on Spotify and with good reason.  If this song doesn't get your blood pumping, nothing will.  As we move through the album, it continues its brutal assault on your senses and demands that you pay attention. Songs like "Pathfinder", "Into...

Hellgarden – Making Noise, Living Fast (Review)

Artist: Hellgarden Album: Making Noise, Living Fast Genre: Metal Label: Brutal Records Release Date: April 10, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: This really caught me off guard.  Why? Because it's so damn good compared to most of the stuff that I've heard recently.  These guys sound like the closest thing you're likely to hear to a second coming of the mighty Pantera.  Not a straight rip off of Pantera, but with some similarities in sound and seriously raw and brutal metal.  The title is as awesome as the songs on the album Making Noise, Living Fast.  It explains what they're all about it a single line.  I love the passion these guys are bringing to their sound and with song titles like "Spit On...

Dio – The Studio Album Collection: 1996-2004 (Review)

Artist: Dio Album: The Studio Collection 1996-2004 Genre: Metal Label: BMG/Niji Release Date: March 20, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: The late great Ronnie James Dio is now a legendary figure in the Heavy Metal genre.  His untimely death in 2010 from stomach cancer was a loss that was felt worldwide in the metal community.  Listening to these newly remastered albums, it's easy to see why he's considered one of the most important figures in heavy rock history.  The sound quality of these albums is really top-notch. Being a huge fan of Dio's work, I already had the original versions of these albums, but the remastered sound is really great.  But for me, the bonus material was the main point of interest.  Being a...

Ross The Boss – Born Of Fire (Review)

Artist: Ross The Boss Album: Born Of Fire Genre: Metal Label: AFM Records Release Date: March 6, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: It's refreshing these days, to hear an album of full-on, raw, metal music in all of its glory.  That's exactly what you get with the latest album "Born Of Fire" by Ross The Boss.  Ross Friedman has a special place in both metal and punk history as one of the founding members of both Manowar and The Dictators.  Throughout his career, whether it be more punk based or metal sounding, he's brought the blazing guitar sound that fueled the fire for these bands.  Starting with the opening song "Glory To The Slain", which I find similar in style to metal thrashers Overkill,...

Neaera – Neaera (Review)

Artist: Neaera Album: Neaera Genre: Metal Label: Metal Blade Records Release Date: February 28, 2020 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Brutality unleashed! That's what the latest album by Neaera is like. I for one, love it.  The blackened metal style vocals over the furious sounding drums and ripping guitar and bass make this album a metal masterpiece.  While the guys have been AWOL for a while on the scene, they've returned bolder and better than ever before.  I was lulled into a false sense of questioning with the opening instrumental track, but all of my questions were soon answered when "Catalyst" starts to really open the record and practically rip the skin from the face of the listener. I simply can't put into words how...

Ozzy Osbourne – Ordinary Man (Review)

Review: So, none other than the Prince Of Darkness himself has returned with a brand new solo album called "Ordinary Man".  Pay close attention to the title... because it does an adequate job of describing a lot of the songs on this album.  "Ordinary" is what I'd call most of this album.  That's really unfortunate for me because I've always been a big fan of Ozzy's solo work as well as the legendary Black Sabbath. The album starts off fairly strong with "Straight To Hell".  It's a solid rocker that embodies a lot of what we've come to expect from Ozzy's sound.  Slash adds some nice guitar work to push it over the top. However, on the rest of the album, as good as Andrew...

Archon Angel – Fallen (Review)

Review: Most of you will know lead vocalist Zak Stevens from his stint with Savatage. And those same fans should be right at home with "Archon Angel".  Yes, there is a lot of similarity to the later work of the mighty Savatage, but it also treads new ground.  I simply can't get enough of the song "The Serpent", which is the second track on the album.  The drumbeat is heavy and uncompromising with a guitar sound that adds a menacing element. While it's definitely my favorite track on Fallen, there are lots of great songs to choose from. For instance, the song "Fallen" has a really memorable sound and lyrically is just as appealing.  Other standout tracks include "Hit The Wall", "Under The Spell", Twilight...

H.E.A.T Rise again – H.E.A.T II Album review

H.E.A.T are one of the finest melodic rock bands to have come out of Scandinavia. It was way back in 2012 when the talented Swedes released their third album, Address The Nation, their first with singer Erik Grönwall. ATN took the genre by storm and still stands in my opinion as one of the best of its kind. After follow-up, Tearing Down The Walls, the band released Into The Great Unknown in 2017 which had a different feel and is widely regarded as H.E.A.T's most controversial release. Now the band are back, returning to their roots and set to unleash H.E.A.T II. Picture: Steven Christie I’m never a fan of long albums, it often signals filler material, so I was pleased to see that H.E.A.T II...

Edge Of Paradise – Universe (Review)

Artist: Edge Of Paradise Album: Universe Genre: Melodic Metal Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: November 8, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Edge Of Paradise continues to impress with their latest release entitled "Universe".  I've had the opportunity to watch the band move up the ranks from being an unknown independent band to gaining serious notoriety by charting on iTunes, Billboard and Amazon Music.  Singer Margarita Monet has a powerful yet gentle sounding voice.  With "Universe" the band expand on what they have done in the past and move into the same modern metal territory as Halestorm, Within Temptation and In This Moment. This album features a little more electronic sounds and industrial style keyboards than previous albums, but never loses the heaviness or...

The Dark Element – Songs the Night Sings

Artist: The Dark Element Album: Songs the Night Sings Genre: Symphonic Metal Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: November 8, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Sweeping and epic, The Dark Element has returned with a brilliant new album called "Songs The Night Sings".  Anette Olzon's vocals are as beautiful as ever and Jani Liimatainen has some incredible blazing guitar solos throughout. Musically, these songs are really strong and lyrically they are the equivalent of brilliant story-telling.  This time out the band has a really mature sound and it's easy to tell that they were riding an incredible wave of creativity throughout the recording process.  The title track is simply outstanding, but to be perfectly honest, I was completely hooked after "Not Your Monster", the...

Pretty Maids – Undress The Madness (Review)

Artist: Pretty Maids Album: Undress Your Madness Genre: Melodic Metal Label: Frontier Music Srl. Release Date: November 8, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: The Pretty Maids have been making consistently great albums for several decades now.  Their latest, "Undress Your Madness" is no exception to that rule.  Reviewing this album is bittersweet though because lead vocalist, Ronnie Atkins recently announced that he had been diagnosed with Lung Cancer.  According to a statement by Ronnie, his prognosis is good and I certainly wish him well in battling this illness. It certainly did not affect his vocals on this album, as his voice sounds stronger than ever.  While Pretty Maids have always been one of those bands that should have seen a much larger audience, they...

Tyketto – Strength In Numbers Live (Review)

Artist: Tyketto Album: Strength In Numbers Live Genre: Hard Rock \ Melodic Metal Label: Frontiers Music Srl. Release Date: November 8, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Strength In Numbers is one of Tyketto's best albums so it only makes sense to cover it live.  And though Tyketto fans may be familiar with the studio album, there is something to be said for this energized live performance.  The production quality of this live concert is outstanding, which really matters to me. When I'm listening to an album, live or studio, I want it to sound great.  Tyketto has a great interaction with the audience introducing the songs and giving a little history about them along the way.  Strangely enough, the live album tracklist is not...

7 Miles To Pittsburgh – Revolution On Hold (Review)

Artist: 7 Miles To Pittsburgh Album: Revolution On Hold Genre: Hard Rock / Melodic Metal Label: A67 Records Release Date: October 19, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron   Review: So if you've ever wondered what happened to Andrew Elt, the lead singer for Sleeze Beez....wonder no more.  While this is the second album for 7 Miles To Pittsburgh, it's my first exposure to the band.  I am actually quite a fan of Elt's former band.  Sleeze Beez came into the mainstream at what could be only called the very end of the sunset strip/hair metal hard rock scene.  They scored a big hit with the single "Stranger Than Paradise" on their 1990 album "Screwed, Blued, and Tattooed", in part thanks to a heavy rotation of...

Steve Grimmett’s Grim Reaper- At The Gates (Review)

Artist: Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper Album: At The Gates Genre: Metal Label: Dissonance Productions Release Date: November 1, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper has returned with a fantastic follow up to "Walking In The Shadows".  For those unaware, Steve Grimmett battled through some very serious health issues after the last album was released, which ultimately resulted in the amputation of one of Steve's legs.  Opening with the title track "At The Gates", which references the gates of Hell, is a triumphant return for both the band and personally for Steve Grimmett following his life-threatening health scare.  The entire album is filled with great classic sounding metal songs that continue to delight and do justice to the Grim Reaper name and...

Airbourne – Boneshaker (Review)

Artist: Airbourne Album: Boneshaker Genre: Hard Rock \ Metal Label: Spinefarm Records Release Date: October 25, 2019 Review by: Bobby Caughron   Review: Airbourne has returned with another spectacular album, filled with the sweaty, alcohol-soaked sound that we've all come to expect.  If you're not familiar with Airbourne, where the hell have you been?  These Aussie guys don't mess around and get right to the point with this straight-forward rock album called "Boneshaker".  Although people often compare their sound to that of another Australian band, AC/DC, Airbourne have been doing this long enough to claim their own stake in the rock-n' roll game.  Make no mistake, "Boneshaker" is a top-notch, nitro-fueled rock n' roll rollercoaster ride from the opening riff.  This is exactly what I...

BlackRain – Dying Breed (Review)

Review: BlackRain channels the best of the 1980's hair metal style with their debut album, "Dying Breed".  The vocals are often reminiscent of W.A.S.P. singer, Blackie Lawless and musically it's a mixed bag of influences of everyone from Kix to Motley Crue.  Basically, they sound a lot like everyone from the 80's Sunset Strip scene without really sounding like a rip off of any one of them.  The songs are catchy as hell while covering the spectrum lyrically that you would expect with this type of music.  These guys have done their homework and have a really great retro feel that transports back to the time of hair metal greatness.  The title track is a great opener and it puts the bands' talents on full...

Blacktop Mojo – Under The Sun (Review)

Artist: Blacktop Mojo Album: Under The Sun Genre: Hard Rock Label: Cuhmon RecordsRelease Date: September 13, 2019 Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron Review: Texas rockers Blacktop Mojo have returned with their third album, entitled "Under The Sun".  The band shows a much more mature side with this album.  The band sounds tighter, leaner and meaner than their last outing, which coincidentally, I thoroughly enjoyed.  It seems the members have defined their sound and developed stronger chemistry as a cohesive unit over the last two years.  Tracks like the infectious "Lay It On Me", It Won't Last"  and "Can't Sleep" make "Under The Sun" an outstanding rock album that should tear the charts on active rock radio.  I caught the band on tour last year and their...

KXM – Circle Of Dolls (Review)

  Review: To say that I'm blown away by KXM's new album "Circle Of Dolls" is an understatement.  Each album by the band has shown a musical progression and the willingness to take chances.  But this new album is simply the best of the output to date.  From the first few notes of "War Of Words," you know this one is going to be a banger.  Hell, why shouldn't it be?  The combined members of the band have had phenomenal success with their respective bands.  I mean, come on, you've got one of the best living rock guitarists in the world with George Lynch, an incredible bassist, and vocalist with King's X's Dug Pinnick and Korn's hard-hitting drummer, Ray Luzier. Anytime that you bring musicians...

Retro Reviews

Concert Reviews

Wednesday 13 Live Show Brings Chills, Thrills And Kills

Halloween may already be over for you, but it's never over for Wednesday 13.  I see a lot of concerts in my profession, but I don't always see a show.  Wednesday 13 puts on one hell of a show that is equally as interesting visually as it is musically. I caught their show in Tampa, Florida on November 16th.  Prior to the show, I spoke with Wednesday 13 and inquired about what I should expect.  Most of the material performed was from the two latest albums "Condolences" and the brand new album "Necrophaze". He explained that the band is really taking it to the next level with theatrical elements and would have no less than seven costume changes throughout his set.  True to his word,...

Wayne Static’s Memory And Music Live On In New Static-X Concerts

I'll admit that I was very skeptical when I heard that the original members of Static-X were going to tour and perform and tour to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of their debut album "Wisconsin Death Trip".  I mean, how can you have a Static-X concert without the late frontman and founding member, Wayne Static? In 2014, Wayne Static died in his sleep, accidentally of multiple prescription drug toxicity.  His death was a huge loss to the metal community.  Static-X was the frontrunners of bringing a new style of metal to the world along with bands like Korn, Slipknot, Disturbed and more. Now, 5 years after his death, original members, bassist Tony Campos, guitarist Koichi Fukuda, and drummer Ken Jay have hit the touring circuit in...

Curse Mackey Leaves Audience Somewhat Possessed After Brilliant Performance

Artist: Curse Mackey When: November 2, 2019 Where: Tampa, Florida The Crowbar Review by: Bobby Caughron   Review: Curse Mackey is a force to be reckoned with, as his recent performance as the opening act for My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult has proven.  Mackey has made a name for himself fronting the iconic band "Pigface" as well as "The Evil Mothers" and working with "My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult".  Recently, Curse released his first solo album entitled "Instant Exorcism".  These already great songs were elevated to a new level with an incredible, energetic live performance.  Having the ability to channel the influence of great artists like Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, and Skinny Puppy in your live performance,  without sounding like you ripped them...

My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult Continue To Thrill Live Audiences

Artist: My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult When: November 2, 2019 Where: Tampa, Florida The Crowbar Review by: Bobby Caughron   Review: "My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult" are true legends of the industrial rock scene.  Starting out on the Wax Trax Records label in Chicago, along with other visionary artists like Ministry, KMFDM, Front 242, A Split Second and Frontline Assembly, TKK (short for Thrill Kill Kult)  and those original Wax Trax artists are to industrial music what bands like "The Sex Pistols", The Ramones" and "The Dead Kennedys" are to punk rock. Over 30 years since their debut,  I can emphatically state that My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult still delivers the thrills with the same intensity.  Performing for a...

Adam Sandler – 100% Fresher Concert Review

Artist: Adam Sandler Tour: 100% Fresher Genre: Comedy Date: June 29, 2019 Venue: Amalie Arena - Tampa, FL Reviewed by: Bobby Caughron   Review: So,  many of our readers may be saying to themselves, "Why would they review Adam Sandler on a rock music site"?  Well, the answer is simple, really.  Who's more rock n' roll than the Sandman himself, Adam Sandler?  I mean, c' mon... everything that I like about Sandler is the same things that I love about rock music.  A rebellious spirit combined with energy and an overall atmosphere of fun. There is an actual disclaimer that lists the concert as being only for mature audiences.  Which strikes me funny in itself.  I mean, let's be honest here... All of his fans,...

Nitzer Ebb Live Concert Review

Nitzer Ebb May 20, 2019 Tampa, Florida The Orpheum Review by: Bobby Caughron   Review: When I heard that Nitzer Ebb was doing a U.S. Tour in 2019, I was determined to catch one of their live dates and see the band in action.  Nitzer Ebb, are performing as a duo on this tour with founding members Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris.  Personally, I have always thought of these two guys as Nitzer Ebb anyway, and I think most fans recognize them as the core of the band. Nitzer Ebb was the first band that really caught my attention that was outside of the traditional rock scene.  The band released their album "That Total Age" back in 1987.  I was simply blown away by the...

John Corabi Brings The Power To The Music With His Live Show

John Corabi February 23, 2019 Sarasota, Florida The Five O'Clock Club Review by: Bobby Caughron                                                                                                                                              Review: John Corabi performs an all acoustic set in Sarasota Florida. I have been a big fan of John Corabi's work for years.  He first came to my attention with the band "The Scream" upon the the release of their...

Don’t “Wait” To Catch Mike Tramp’s Live Show

Mike Tramp February 23, 2019 Sarasota, Florida The Five O'Clock Club Review by: Bobby Caughron Review: Mike Tramp is a singer that I’ve been familiar with for many years. I had the original "Fight To Survive” album by White Lion back when they were virtually unknown. That changed quickly with the release of White Lion "Pride" in 1987. The band saw a huge following in the 80’s that continued on into the early 90’s before the group eventually disbanded. While Mike Tramp has been involved in several other great bands since including Freaks Of Nature, it’s worth noting that he’s spent most of the years since then developing and concentrating on his own solo career. In fact Tramp is set to release his 11th solo...

Sebastian Bach Concert Review

Sebastian Bach November 3, 2018 Sarasota, Florida The White Buffalo Saloon Review by: Bobby Caughron Review: So any one riding the current trend that pop and hip-hop have taken over music and rock n' roll is dead, certainly wasn't at the Sebastian Bach concert this weekend.  Sebastian and his band ripped through a greatest hits collection that had the crowd on their feet for the entire concert.  Over the years, Bach has been quite an animated fellow and really charismatic front man, and Saturday's show was no exception.  He interacted with the entire audience throughout the night and provided more energy than most band members that are half his age.  If you need proof that rock music is alive and well, look no further.  Bach...

Budderside Live Concert Review

Budderside February 9, 2018 Tampa, Florida The Brass Mug Review by: Bobby Caughron Review: Motorhead Music, the record label started by the late Lemmy Kilmister and the members of Motorhead, signed the band Budderside as their first act on the label. You can't get any better than being hand-picked by the boys in Motorhead. Naturally, I wanted to catch Budderside perform live and I got my chance recently in Tampa, FL. Budderside took the stage around 9:30 pm to an eager and enthusiastic audience. The band opened with the song "Open Relationship" and the crowd jumped to their feet. Lead singer Patrick Stone is quite the charismatic frontman with an incredible voice. Bass player Michael Stone was energetic and animated throughout the whole show. Drummer...

L.A. Guns Reunion Concert Tour Review

L.A. Guns Reunion Concert February 9, 2018 Tampa, Florida The Brass Mug Review: When I heard that the almighty L.A. Guns were doing a reunion tour to support their latest album 'The Missing Peace" I jumped at the chance to see Phil Lewis and Tracii Guns on the same stage together again. The first time that I saw the band perform was almost 30 years ago. They were coming off of their (now classic) self titled debut album. I still remember that concert vividly. The band was filled with energy and played a lengthy set to a sold out audience.   Fast forward to present time and the band takes the stage with the same energy and enthusiasm that I saw years earlier. Phil Lewis still...

Jack Russell’s Great White Prove They’re The Real Deal

Jack Russell's Great White October 7, 2016 Englewood, Florida Englewood Event Center Concert Review: When I heard that Jack Russell's Great White was going to be performing nearby, I was excited but skeptical. Why? You ask? Well, I have heard all kinds of stories about the legendary singer, from people bashing him and writing him off as washed up and  others referring to Jack Russell as a dead man walking because of his addiction problems. As most of you know, Great White separated into two bands in 2011, with Jack Russell forming his version and Mark Kendall, Audie Desbrow and Michael Lardie continuing on with former XYZ vocalist, Terry Ilous.  So, how did Jack's version of Great White do, you ask? Let me start by...

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