Archived Reviews: # A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Reviews Index

JIM JIDHED: "Full Circle" 9

Atenzia Records 2003
Review by 18 January 2003

Atenzia, ex-Alien vocalist Jim Jidhead's record company promised that "Full Circle" would re-introduce Jim as an AOR artist to be reckoned with, and sure enough, that wasn't your typical record company hype! This album is going to be hard to beat when it comes to pure AOR releases, and even though we're only a few weeks' into 2003, I'm pretty confident that we're talking about a Top 10 album on my list, and most probably many other AOR fans' one too.

If you're familiar with Jim's back catalogue, you already know that he has the pipes to rival any melodic rock vocalist out there, and with a well produced album and a set of remarkable songs, he has come close to releasing the best album of his career. It's kicked off with a catchy uptempo AOR track "I Will Never Leave You Now" and closed with a delicate, sentimental ballad "Marie". In between you'll find examples of AOR songwriting at its' best, with virtually no fillers in sight. Tracks to look out for include Toto-esque "Someday", hard-edged "Anyway You Want It", the awesome ballad "I Can't Go On" and magnificent AOR numbers "Now We Cry" and "Falling In Love". Jim has also recorded the Steve Perry/Clif Magness-written track "Lost Angels", that was released a few years ago on the Raine album "Peace". The only track that I would call average is the title track. Despite the lyrics being about "making a full circle and going back to rock" (if my old ears are to be believed), it's surprisingly lightweight and pop-oriented.

Thumbs up for Jim and producer/co-writer/guitarist Tommy Denander, a great job. The only thing that I could possibly complain is the fact that Jim's accent is a bit stronger than it used to be, maybe it's just that he may not have been singing in english a lot lately. It's not a big thing really, just something I noticed - you might think that it only adds character to his voice.

Apparently Atenzia gave the project a bigger budget than what AOR albums are getting these days, and it is evident in the final product. I hope that it pays off, and this album gets the recognition it deserves.


Frontiers/USG 1999
Review by

Eleven years after the release of "Too Hot To Sleep", the last Survivor album, Jimi Jamison returns to the scene with his version of Survivor. Original guitarist/songwriter Frakie Sullivan and vocalist Dave Bickler have another "Survivor", and they may have won the lawsuit, but that's not to say that Jamison's version doesn't do justice to the name. "Empires" is a fine piece of AOR for the nineties, faithful to the style of old Survivor, but with enough spirit and fresh ideas to keep it interesting.

"Cry Tough" opens the show with a traditional AOR style, yet not sounding dated, and Jamison sounds just as good as way back in the eighties. The song is an instant singalong anthem, and one of the best on the album. "Run From The Thunder" is an average hard rock number that sounds like it could have been taken from the disappointing Jamison solo album "When Love Comes Down", while "I'm Always Here" is indeed an old Jamison solo track, the theme song from Baywatch. Somehow it sounds a bit out of place here, but it's not a bad track and I am sure it's a wise inclusion marketingwise.

The title song is the only song co-written by "original Survivors" Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, and it's a good ballad that keeps getting better with every time I hear it. It also features the vocal talents of Lisa Frazier. "First Day Of Love" is a surprising track, starting like a typical melodic Survior track, but suddenly the guitars crash in with Jamison singing on top of everything like a hard rock semi-god! The chorus is still just as melodic as anything else on the album, and quite brilliant too. "Have Mercy" follows the same heavy melodic style successfully. A special mention must go the intro of the song - very cool!

"Just Beyond The Clouds" is a more traditional AOR ballad, and 10-15 years ago it would have been all over radio. With "A Dream Too Far" Jimi & co. return to the aforementioned heavy melodic AOR style and believe me, they do it well! This song is probably my favourite track, full of athmospheric keyboard textures and blessed with an amazing hook. Unfortunately, it is followed by the weak "Love Is Alive", which doesn't really go anywhere. However, as "November Rain" is an OK ballad and "Calling America" sounds very good too, the album ends with a high note. Except that it doesn't end, as two live tracks, Survivor classics "Burning Heart" and "Rebel Son" have been added to the album. Great tracks and well performed too, and I am sure they make this album more appealing to the common man. He might take a chance on an album that has a couple of songs he already knows, "the Baywatch song" and "the Rocky IV song", rather than a brand new product.

JING CHI: "Jing Chi"

Tone Center 2002
Review by Endre "Bandi" Hübner 8 May 2002

Whenever I get a Tone Center release to review, shivers are running up and down my spine. Namely because the label describes its own mission as "to place highly talented, yet divers players in the studio, and let the tapes roll". So the albums are endless instrumental jam sessions recorded and put into "songs on an album" format.

Fans of this kind of stuff will surely be please by the new one too as it features Sting, Zappa drummer Vinnie Colauita who has played as session musician on many of our favorite AOR albums as well, Tommy Bolin's bassist Jimmy Haslip, and Robber Ford on guitars. No doubt they are all masters of their instruments and they give a strong proof of that again. It's hard to name highlights in an album like this my personal favorites were the moody "Tengoku" with its really cool guitar effects, and interesting guitar work by Ford that makes very good use of them, "Go Figure" that is probably the easiest song to digest with its mid-tempo rocking rhythm section parts and highly melodic, almost catchy guitar playing, and 'Train Song" in which very tasty acoustic and rocking electric guitar themes are "replying" to each other. The album is almost 70 minutes long so worth the investment, provided you are a fan of 6-10 minutes long jamming; want to learn new tricks, ideas, techniques because you are playing one of the featured instruments.

However if you aren't a professional or don't have any positive experience with these kind of releases you'd better stay away from it. You can reach the Tone Center website through Shrapnel:

JING CHI: "Live"

Tone Center 2003
Review by Endre "Bandi" Hübner 19 August 2003

What would you say if someone asked you the following [stupid] question: How would you define the aim of a live record? My take would be to capture that very special atmosphere and vibe of a live performance that is set by the contact between the performing artists and their audience. In my opinion a live record has to capture this unique atmosphere that makes the songs of the studio album reborn in a new form to entertain those who weren't there and only heard the studio album (or were there and want to re-live the whole thing). Now what's the point of a live album where the *only* sign of this contact is when they introduce the band in the end, not to mention that the studio album before the concert was mostly filled with studio-jamming anyway? [See the archives for a review of the album.]

If you happen to be familiar with the first Jing Chi album, you'll get exactly the same thing on the live record as well. Stellar musicianship, extraordinary soloing, the best you can get from a progressive jazz-rock trio as Robben Ford, Jimmy Haslip, and Vinny Colaiuta are masters of their instruments, no doubt. However if you aren't into free jazz, don't even try this record as – except for the opening "That Road" – this album does nothing to an "average" rock fan. So my advice would be to get the album if you had the studio record and liked it but definitely pass it if you are not a collector of jamming records or progressive jazz albums.

[Personal remark: Vinny is one of my favorite session drummers but I'd take ANYTHING he has ever played on to the music he plays in Jing Chi…]
Tone Center website

JING CHI: "3D" 9

Mascot Records 2004
Review by Martien Koolen,
15 June 2004

I was really looking forward to this CD. After “Jing Chi”(2001) and “Jing Chi Live”(2003) this is the third release of the dynamic power trio Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Jimmy Haslip (bass) and Robben Ford (guitar). Jing Chi summons up the aggressive power of jam bands like The Cream, The Band of Gypsies, The Allman Brothers Band and a few other rock icons of the sixties and seventies. So, this album is filled with instrumental rock/blues/fusion music, with one vocal track, namely the Blind Willie Johnson cover “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”.

“3D” opens with the hard rock Cream meets James Gang track “Colonel Panic”; a song with great guitar solos and pumping bass hooks. In other words, a song that is as solid as a rock. “Chi Town” is much mellower and has a certain Jeff Beck vibe. This song is dominated by a beautiful melody and sometimes Ford’s guitar sounds like Carlos Santana. “Move On” is a rather simple song, or better said it has a simple melody, and it really has influences from the famous Shadows. The first complex song is called “Hidden Treasure”, a real fusion track with an authentic organ solos a la Jon Lord and some excellent six-string work by Ford.

“Time Is A Magazine” is a bombastic song with extreme wah-wah guitar work and some Led Zeppelin influences, while “Mezzanine Blues” definitely brings back memories of the “Caravanserai”-period of Santana. “Blues Alley” is probably the slowest and most relaxed/laid back song of this album. Listen to that beautiful, nostalgic Hammond organ and the amazing guitar picking by Robben. Robert Cray plays some guitar and sings on “Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, a blues cover originally composed in 1927!! Just listen and enjoy is the true credo here. Jing Chi closes this album with the heaviest track “Tangled Up”; it is filled with a heavy wah wah pedal sound and some strange ambient interludes. What else can I say, nothing really, this album is a must for guitar lovers; Jing Chi take no prisoners here; excellent stuff!


Indie 2001

Review by Nick Baldrian 01-09-28

Wow the first track of this album started off really heavy, like Metallica!!Joboj is another sensational freaky player whom I discovered via the Joe Satriani tribute CD. His style is very experimental and is not what I expected at all, but certainly doesnt follow the norm of instrumental guitar albums, the opening track 'Thrown Down A Mountain' sounds like a bomb going off, perhaps Joboj has been taken his cues lately from Ron That's Bumblefoot or Mike Patton's side band Mr. Bungle or maybe even Primus?

Anyway once track two slides in called 'Clutch' we are into our more regular territory of commercial guitar rock. Now this song is great and could be a cousin of any Steve Vai song circa "Passion And Warfare", I love the funky edge to the song. I have to say that the crystal clear production of this album is out of this world, and the artwork is very eye catching. 'Clutch' is a very high tech piece. More Vaitastic antics add to the albums diversity on the next song the bizarrely titled 'Hooloovoo'. The song cleverly mixes together Vai and Satch influences, and races along both confident and inventive and delivers some riotous burst of mad fret action that will make Vai and Satch worry.

'Sleeping' calms the albums mood down and is a soothing lullaby which leads into my favourite track called 'Chameleon' this track is very laid back and will leave you humming along for days with its Gary Hoey style summery melodies, this is an inspiring track which goes to prove that Joboj isn't about 100 mile an hour solo everywhere, the guys has the knowledge to know when and where to let things rip and when to sit back and let the melodies flow like on this track which is a total classic!!

The title track is next and is an acoustic track driven by flamenco/Latin type breezy playing which can also be heard on he excellent 'Garden Of Eggs', 'Pooper' experiments with jazz fusion a'la Greg Howe whilst 'Inner' rocks the mood up again, this tuneful tune, reminds me of Macalpine and Satriani's first album "Not Of This Earth" and is very neo-classical.

'The Twiddle' is another fave track it's absurd and deranged weirdness makes it stand out. The Mr.Bungle/Bumblefoot influences come into play on 'Chumley', the guitar playing on here is wild 'n' speedy whilst 'Raw Sausage Finger' throws itself back to 70's influenced guitar playing and is a straight ahead rocker that leads its way into the final track the Paul Gilbert influenced 'Psychotic Circus' which is as the title suggests- bizarre, wacky and completely barmy, especially as when you think the track is over, it actually isn't as there's silence before he burst into action a few seconds later making you jump, the git!!.

Joboj is one of the most refreshing players around and this album is just so cool. Check him out at, or email:

The JONE'S BROS: "The Jone's Bros"

Also Records 1995
Review by

Jone's Bros are not your typical finnish rock group. First, they sing in English and secondly, they aren't afraid to show that their influences come from the other side of the Atlantic. Yep, their sound is firmly rooted in the "mainstream" rock of the Northern America.

I'd say the songs on this album are a rather tasty mixture of Tom Petty, Danny Wilde and Bon Jovi. The vocals of Jone Addic are very Danny Wilde-like, but he is capable of pulling off a nice Jon Bon Jovi-impersonation too...

The song material is quite strong, although the album is a bit ballad/midtempo-heavy, with only a couple of really uptempo numbers. The highlights are "Red Hot Dancing Fever", a very catchy pop rocker that was a minor radio hit here, melodic midtempo track "Powerplay Of Pride" and the summer anthem "Ten Meters", among others.

Two songs that especially deserve to be mentioned are "The Cage" and "Tonight". They are the last two songs on this album, and at this point the band suddenly turns into "Jovi's Bros". You see, these two songs are VERY heavily influenced by Bon Jovi. "The Cage" is almost like a carbon copy of "In These Arms" and "Tonight" is the bastard son of "I Want You" and "Always"! Good songs both though.

Jone's Bros have released a second album called "Dirty Movies" a couple of years ago, which I've yet to hear. What's more, Jone Addic used to be in a band called The Androids, who released an album called "Let It All Out" back in 1988. As I recall, it was a rather good album of totally un-Finnish pop metal, kinda like Fate mixed with Poison or something. I am not aware if it was ever released as a CD, but should anyone have a copy, I'd be interested...

Steve JONES: "Fire And Gasoline"

Mau Mau 1989

Review by 19 June 2001

Can you smell it? Can you feel it? Yeah, this is what rock n' roll is all about! Well, at least the biker way. An album filled with power chord driven riff-rock, cool lyrics, raspy vocals and huge shout-out refrains. If this does not get ya goin' nothing does.

"Freedom Fighter" sets the spirit, it opens the album with class, a great up-tempo rocker that roars like on old Harley. The difference between this album and an average biker rock album (that I usually find utterly boring) is the professional performance of musicians, the thick background vocals, and the great production done by Cult's main man Ian Astbury. Thealbum also guests him and Billy Duffy, along with Axl Rose and Nikki Sixx. This ain't no primitive stuff with an off-key whiskey singer for drunken bikers, this is quality stuff. The lyrics are for the thinkers (Hey! Don't stop reading here, it might be for you too! LOL). "God In Louisiana" is probably the best anti-church song but "I Did No Wrong" and "Suffragette City" are good in their class too.

Are you foot-fetishist too? You also think that red high heels are the only type of shoes women should be allowed to wear? Well, then "Leave Your Shoes On" is THE song for you! Ultra-cool lyrics and a great sing-along refrain! I know that song titles like "Fire and Gasoline" or "Wild Wheels" might make some people shy away from the album (thinking it's boring biker stuff ala "Steppenwolf No. 235 Tribute Biker Gang") but have balls and give it a try! You won't regret it! Pull the ears of the rocking horse while playing this album and roar as if you were sitting on a Harley. A chair turned back may do the trick too if you do not happen to have a rocking horse (what a shame!). The chair dancing would not suit though; this ain't no German beer metal after all. Rock steady!


Sass JORDAN: "Best Of" 7

Aquarius Records 2003

Review by 4 October 2003

Does anybody know what Sass has been up to lately? Well, I didn't. Then I came across this release. At first I was hesitant to pick it up not sure if it was official. Well, it appears to be and it is a welcome addition to my collection because though I had her early albums on tape, I never cared to update them on CD thinking they had far too many fillers and that she desperately needed a best of. Well, here it is, 9 or 10 years late but who cares anyway?

Out of the 12 tracks, 2 are new, 8 are from her early albums, and there are 1-1 tracks from 1997 and 2000, the period that I didn't follow her career anymore. Though the album contains the tracks in timely order beginning with the old classics, let me start it with the newer ones. Out of the 1997 album "Present" we have a song titled "Desire" here, a rather flat, acoustic driven pop-rock track. Not bad but if this was the best track of the album, no wonder we didn't hear about it. The same goes out for "People Talk" from "Hot Gossip" (2000), a modern sounding mid-tempo rocker that musically reminds me of Eric Brazilian's work with Amanda Marshall, yet I think it's quite obvious that Sass' vocal abilities are nowhere close Amanda's. The new tracks "Brand New Day" and "Trouble with Harry" carry on in the same fashion, the earlier being the better but still light-years from the classics. Out of those "Tell Somebody" opens the album followed by "So Hard", that is one of my favorites from her. "Tell Somebody" sounds a bit outdated, a remastering with updated sounds would have helped it a lot; but "So Hard" sounds as good in 2003 as ever. The same goes out for "Make You a Believer" that takes us to "Racine" from 1992, the strongest album by Sass. ["Make You a Believer" had a Hungarian version and was a minor hit around here performed by Keresztes Ildik¢]. The wonderful power ballad "You Don't Have To Remind Me" and the bluesy "Who Do You Think You Are" are featured from "Racine" and both are welcome additions. I could have done without "Ugly" from "Rats" (1994) as I personally think it's the worst song from the album and always hated its lyrics. "High Road Easy" fits here as it was her last big-time rocker, and the moody "Sun's Gonna Rise" smoothens the way to the above mentioned newer tracks.

Though the new tracks fail to impress me, I'm glad to see a sign of life from Sass. She's one of the few Rock-Godess' of my generation who are still active(?) and I hope there will be a new studio album following this release. Something more energetic than the new tracks featured here.

John JORGENSON: "Emotional Savant" 6

A2 Records 2000

Review by 25-11-00

"Emotional Savant" is a solo album of a popular session musician John Jorgenson. He is a member of Elton John's touring band, and has played on albums of Bob Dylan, Travis Tritt and Bob Seger, to name a few. He has also been a member of the bands Desert Rose Band and The Hellecasters.

I didn't know what to expect with this album, and the two first songs got me thinking that Jorgenson had very little to offer for me. "Easter Island Heads" was an instrumental, likeable yet somewhat forgettable, and "Off My Back" was a standard boring rock workout. However, the understated melody of the ballad "Black And Blue" caught my attention, and it caught it good. The Dire Straits/Chris Rea-like "Too Heavy For You" and "Let It Go" went over well as well, the latter sounding a little like canadian cult AOR hero Stan Meissner's music. I also enjoyed "To Tomorrow", another song that sounds like it could've been taken off Meissner's "Undertow" album, and the classic melodic rock of the closing number "It'll Always Be There".

Musically Jorgenson seems to move easily from one style to another, yet the album doesn't sound like a mixed collection of songs. For me, "Emotional Savant" doesn't offer anything earthshattering, but is certainly a decent album with a handful of nice songs - just the kind of music I can imagine being played on the mainstream radio stations inbetween the chrisreas and erosramazottis etc.


JORN: "Starfire" 8

Frontiers/Now & Then 2000
Review by 3-11-00

Jorn Lande (ex-Vagabond, The Snakes and currently in Millenium) is without a question one of the finest vocalists around these days, and this album is a fine way to prove it. Half and half covers and originals, "Starfire" gives Jorn a good chance to showcase his chameleon-like voice. The tracks range from heavy metal to pop rock and from Deep Purple to Foreigner, and Jorn proves that he can esily master all the required styles.

The selection of covers is quite awesome. Journey's "Edge Of The Blade" totally overshadows the orginal (sorry, Journey-diehards!) with a lot more powerful arrangement, and Foreigner's "Break It Up" is just as awesome. Cityboy's "The Day The Earth Caught Fire" is a track that I wasn't familiar with previously, so I can't compare Jorn's version to the original. All I can say that it is excellent on it's own. Same with Jefferson Starship's "Just The Same", I don't know the orginal but I like what Joen has done here! Deep Purple's "Burn" is also included, and needless to say, it's a good one. Jorn is known for his ability to do a mean David Coverdale-impersonation after all...

Jorn's own compositions cannot quite match the excellence of the covers. The Dio meets Whitesnake-style of "Starfire" and "Gate Of Tears" is likeable enough, but the pop rock of "Forever Yours" is somewhat forgettable, and the psychedelic "End Comes Easy" is just too plain odd. I didn't really like Black Sabbath-like "Abyss Of Evil" either. However, as an album this is a versatile collection of songs in several styles, and Jorn deserves to be congratulated for a successful first solo album.

JORN: "Worldchanger" 8

Frontiers 2001

Review by 30 October 2001

Second solo effort from this busy Norwegian singer (ARK, Millenium, The Snakes, Vagabond), who wrote all the songs (with the pen help of Tore Moren) and held the production duties as well. Unlike his first solo, this time all the tracks are original songs, no covers on "Worldchanger". The musicians involved are Tore Moren on guitars, Sid Ringsby on bass and Jan Aksel "Hellhammer" on drums.

The album contains some heavy stuff like the opener "Tungur Knivur", (an invented word meaning "heavy knife"), a Dio-esque song with a heavy, dense sound in which Jorn's vocals emerge from a wall made out of a heavy guitar riff and "Glow In The Dark", with some Thin Lizzy influences here and there. Apart from these "Bless The Child" deserves to be mentioned which is by far the heaviest track on the album, and quite too different and modern sounding for my taste (and I'm not a closed-minded guy when it comes to experimenting in music). Imagine a mix between Judas Priest's "Painkiller", Pantera, Sepultura, and some NU metal thrown around and you'll get the picture. I think it was a brave move from Jorn but way too out of place here. There are also a couple of Millenium oriented (or should I say related?) tracks, the sensational "Sunset Station", an uptempo song with a catchy as hell chorus, and a guitar solo which could have been on any Gary Moore record; and the final "Bridges Will Burn", with a good chorus, very good additional backing vocals and an excellent drums-driven ad lib ending. On the other hand, we can find "House Of Cards" which is a slow song with plenty of feeling and with lots of the obviously Coverdale resemblances Jorn has been known for; and "Captured", quite a melancholic track with some really good backing vocals. The title track "Worldchanger" has a fusion-like intro ala Steve Vai, but soon develops into the most melodic (even AORish at times) track of the whole album. It's another experimental track but this time with much better results than "Bless..". Finally, "Christine" is 80's US melodic hardrock mixed with some Purple touches to spice it up, a weak song IMO.

The result is an extremely well produced album that has an incredible sound. Jorn's vocals are amazing even on the weaker tracks. And at this point I must say the downside of the album must be the songwriting, which - even if it's better than on his debut - is still not well developed. Jorn's pen abilities need to be improved, as (IMO) he gets better results when he co-writes the songs with others (Santolla in Millenium, or Tore Moren here).

All in all, this is an album that will appeal to heavy metal fans who are not closed to genres other than Germanic/Epic/Power/(or as Kimmo would say, Trottel) Metal. I would easily understand AOR/melodic rock fanciers around won't be that crazy about this release, but to those with open minds (and ears) I would definitely recommend giving this CD a couple of spins, since it's really worth of it. Most of the times when reviewing records one feels like giving a higher rate but the production holds you back from doing so, well in this case it's the other way round. Had the production not been this fantastic, a more suitable rating would have been 7. But this is not the case, and 8 is the final verdict.

JORN: "Out To Every Nation" 9

AFM Records 2004
Review by Martien Koolen,
14 March 2004

In 2001 this excellent singer surprised me with the “Ark"-album. Two years later he blew me away with his superb “Masterplan" CD and now he releases another killer album called “Out To Every Nation". Musicians on this marvelous CD are: bass player Magnus Rosen of Hammerfall, Pagan’s Mind Jorn Viggo Lofstad (guitar) and Stian Kristoffersen (drums), as well as keyboard player Ronny Tegner.

There are ten songs on this album and I can assure you that none of them is not worth listening to. From the opener “Young Forever" until the last track “When Angel Wings Were White", it is all pure enjoyment. Of course you can hear whom Jorn sees as his “idols"; Glenn Hughes and David Coverdale are all over the record. “Something Real" is a track which you could have “heard" on Whitesnake’s successful album “1987". It is a real bluesy rock track with outstanding vocals and steamy guitar solos. “One Day We Will Put Out The Sun" is also one of my favorite songs, again very bluesy, with howling guitars alongside Jorn’s vocals. “Rock Spirit" sounds like Whitesnake would have sounded in 2004; rather heavy, still very melodic and an excellent catchy chorus. “When Angel Wings Were White" is the most experimental song of this album. It has lots of rhythm changes and musical diversity and is packed with super vocal parts, which prove that Jorn Lande is one of the best rock singers of this time. To slow things down a bit Jorn has recorded a beautiful ballad called “Behind The Clown"; check out the furious guitar solo there.

The first single will be “Living With Wolves", a song with a heavy guitar riff (sounds like Black Sabbath) and superbly powerful singing. From this track you can also enjoy a video clip, which was recorded in historical surroundings at Vermork, an early 19th century electrochemical plant that produced heavy water during World War 2 and was the scene of sabotage plots to prevent the German Nazis from using the heavy water for nuclear bombs; today the plant is a museum. This a wonderful rock album which should be in your record collection as soon as possible. Release date: 26 April


JOURNEY: "Arrival" 9

Sony 2001
Review by 01-04-24

One of the most waited albums among melodic rock fans for a few years now and finally it's here. I have to say that this must be one of the best albums from Journey. I personally have never been too much into the band but this changes everything.

The album kicks off with a really good up-tempo song called "Higher Place". Then there are the obligatory ballads which are all great and especially "Loved By You" does the trick for me. What I have is the European version that has some different songs to the one that came out in Japan but sadly I cannot compare [Ed: I think the US/Euro? Print has three tracks not on the Jap version and the Jap version has one that's not on your copy].

This is really worth the wait and who misses Steve Perry on vocals - not me, Augeri does a great job here and the rest of the band seems to be enjoying themselves as well. There aren't any weak songs here so it's hard to complain about this album. Just go and get this. If you have liked Journey before you're going to love this and on the way this might also get some new fans. This is melodic rock at its best. Soft and easy tunes and then some really good rockin' tunes. It's all here. I'm getting too excited here so I better stop. There are 15 songs on this album and like I said earlier every single one is great, so it's even worth the money I spent on this.

The only reason I won't give this one a perfect ten is because it took so long to be released. [Ed: Yeah! Don't make us wait! We want our rock NOW! :)]

JOURNEY: "Red 13" 6

Frontiers/Now And Then 2002
Review by 19 October 2002

Quite of an achievement for Frontiers to get "the AOR band of all AOR bands" to their rooster, although it might be only for this one release. "Red 13" is a self-produced, self-financed 4-track EP featuring Journey doing things as they want to do 'em, without any label pressure etc.

So what do we get from a "free" Journey? Well, the first track "State of Grace" is a driving rocker with some oriental touches. It certainly shows that the band can rock, but unfortunately it doesn't have any memorable hooks. "The Time" suffers from the same problem, the chorus just doesn't work, and the song sounds a bit samey to these ears. And it's six and a half minutes long too...way too long.

The second half of EP is much better though. "Walking Away From The Edge" is a fine ballad, less "sugary" than some of the other Journey ballads, intense and moody, while "I Can Breathe" is a classy melodic rock track with a reasonably strong chorus and good bridge.

The production by Schon and Cain is good, less polished than one might expect from Journey, but I have no problems with it. All in all, I'm kinda confused about this EP: the first two tracks don't appeal to me at all, but the next two are pretty much what I was hoping for - good Journey tracks with a bit of a harder edge. I hope they represent the direction that the band is heading. If they don't and it's the first two tracks that do, the next full Journey album might be a very boring affair...
Now & Then Productions

JUDAS PRIEST: "Demolition" 4

Steamhammer/SPV 2001

Review by 01-07-02

The Gods of metal are back with their second release without the original and extra superb vocalist Rob Halford. Sure ... it might not be fair to begin the review of the new Judas Priest album talking about their old frontman. Still ... it seems like when he left, the rest of the band decided also to leave all good songs and melodies behind them.

"Demolition" is still better than the awful "Jugulator" album though, as we can at least find a couple of catchy tracks here. You don´t have to be old to be wise? Well, you sure as hell don´t have to be uncatchy to be heavy either! What´s wrong with some harmonies or hooks here and there?

The album begins pretty good though with opener "Machine man"; I enjoy the ultra heavy "One one one" with some really vicious vocals by Ripper Owens; and "Hell is home" is a nice semi ballad with the typical Judas Priest elements. The production by Glenn Tipton is a nice piece of craftsmanship, but I do miss his flashy guitar duels with partner in crime K.K. Downing. They are both very laid-back here and the guitarwork has really changed to the worse since the mighty days back in the 80´s. It´s a lot heavier and grungy and I can´t help thinking that they are kinda ten years behind! Heck ... it´s 2001 now and people do want to ROCK again! You can´t blame it all on Ripper either as he´s doing a fine job, it´s not even too heavy or too loud... the songmaterial are simply not good enough.


Nitro 2000

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom 01-03-16

JULIAN ANGEL is an angry young man from Germany who has recorded a self produced, independent CD that really is a good mixture of 80´s AOR & SLEAZE/GLAM. Julian who got nominated for the "German Songprize 2000 festival" in the category: Best Guitarist, has done everything from the vocals to all the instruments on this album. The biggest problem may be his budget for this project, as it wasn´t big enough and the drum-machine really gets to you after a while. Boy, a real drummer could have made this album a lot better and more enjoyable to listen to.

Still... I gotta give the man some credit for being able to write a couple of really catchy songs, and the guitars rock throughout the whole album. Give this man a drummer and a real budget and we might talk about a new sensation here. The music is in the style of JOHNNY LIMA, BON JOVI (in the 80´s), POISON, RAGE OF ANGELS, etc. with some really crunchy vocals.

Julian mainly sees himself as a lead guitarist and yeah, the vocals sounds a bit out of place sometimes. Highlights are the opener "Rock survivor", a party stomper with a very SLEAZY sound; "Push up your love", a really catchy AOR/GLAM rocker with some lovely keys in the background, the guitar solo really smokes... great stuff; and "Never forget" that sounds like a mix of BON JOVI and SHOTGUN MESSIAH. The funny thing about this CD is that the last 4 tracks are actually the best ones "Midnight Heartache", the superb "Tokyo Nights", and maybe best of them all "When the nights comes down" with a really cool chorus. Last track "Stick to your guns" is a BON JOVI inspired semi-ballad with a chorus that sticks at once. There´s a couple of fillers here too, but overall a nice CD from a German dude who may be something really big in the future. A real drummer, a bigger budget and maybe a singer?? (he is NOT that bad, but not THAT good either) and he´ll be up there, fighting the big boys. Check him out at: , email

JULLIET: "Passion" 7

Metal Mayhem 2002
Review by 18 December 2002

Originally formed in Florida back in 1985, Julliet released their debut album in the late 80's/early 90's at Enigma records. The label went belly up soon after though and no-one ever heard about the band again. Until recentely that is, when US label Metal Mayhem decided to release their illfaithed second album.

Kenny McGee (vocals), Jimmi Delisi (guitars), Ty Westerhoff (bass) and Quiet Riot/WASP drummer Frankie Banali. May not have done the most original sounding hardrock album here, but at least it rocks, most of the time. You could say they have the "Passion", but maybe not always their own ideas. Then again... name one original band for the last 30-40 years or so.

Julliet actually play a nice mixture of the late 80's music scene in LA with big hair and everything. There's a lot of Ratt influences here, add some Cinderella, Quiet Riot, Rough Cutt, and you're pretty close to the core. Not bad at all really, if you're into the above mentioned bands and style. Add that McGee is a powerful vocalist and many of the songs are really catchy. Highlights are "Lost & Lonely" ~ with its killer hook, "I'm No Angel" ~ like Poison with a guitarist (ouch!). The power ballad "Baby Blue", "Still I'm Dreaming" and "She's So Shy" are other favorites. Bottomline, the second CD by Julliet is American Rock the way you used to hear it, or watch it on MTV, back in the 80's. Loud, rude, and with lots of attitude!!! Keep in mind that it's not the most original CD you've ever heard though.

JUST IF I: "All One People"

Griffin 1995

Review by 23 April 2001

Now that the new Journey album was finally released officially I thought I dig this one up, as this record features Neal Schon of Journey, along with Mike Reno of Loverboy, and Matt Frenette of Tom Cochrane’s band. And to get right to the crucial point: I prefer this album to most of the Journey or Loverboy releases.

Surprisingly the album opens with a ballad: Cindy’s song, a touchy ballad inspired by a poem written by an abused child. The song is a wonderful piano based ballad recalling the most beautiful Jim Steinman or Diane Warren tunes. The title track, a catchy uptempo rocker follows; it has a powerful shout-out refrain with a cool brass-synth pad in it. Reno is shining on the song, and Schon’s tasty guitar work along with the well- balanced arrangement and the child choir towards the end satisfies any picky ear. The album is heavily ballad orientated (that does not bother me at all) and I doubt most of the Journey or Loverboy fans would mind that. “Anywhere Anytime” follows in the line; a ballad with huge melodies in the refrain in the Journey meets Loverboy vein - surprisingly. :) The pleasant surprise of the album is that the arrangements are not heavily guitar orientated but very well balanced with lots of piano, keyboard pads, percussion, additional vocals and huge choruses. “Go Ahead And Cry” is carved of the same wood as the title track. “Carpe Diem” starts out as a piano ballad but turns into a guitar riff driven midtempo rocker.

“After The Storm” has a typical 80’s rock hit refrain that made Loverboy huge back in those years. The weird thing with the album is that even though Schon is not credited as songwriter to any of the songs, some of them are very Journey-ish. So is “For Your Love”, probably because this one is the most guitar driven track of the record, a cool midtempo rocker with catchy guitar and vocal melodies. “My Turn” is the most modern sounding track of the album, I could compare it to Toto’s Mindfields album. Another nice ballad “It Feels Right” with all the characteristics mentioned above follows. The song that probably sticks a bit out for the first listening “For Those In Favour” is a raw uptempo shout-out rocker with rough sound reminding me of Tom Cochrane’s “Life Is A Highway” but with a big shot of steroids in the arm. However taking into account that Matt Frenette is also part of the record (even though not credited as a songwriter) it might not be that surprising, probably the song pleases the hard rocker annoyed by the ballad overdose. The most interesting track of the record is “Reprise”. To understand its tone and feel see what the artwork note says about it: “At the very end of recording at Little Mountain Studios we had an idea to do something unrehearsed to close the album. The 13 minutes 52 seconds you hear is a direct, spontaneous overflow of emotion… a magic moment. This is live and unedited. Wish you could have been there.” Well, we can’t go back in time to be there but we can always listen to it on the CD. If that’s what these guys can unrehearsed you do not wonder how come their records are so damn good and why they and their bands are superior to the majority of the musicians of the world.