You can find older reviews and everything else in the Reviews Archive.

SODOM: "Sodom" 8

SPV 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
11 April 2006

I never did enjoy the early albums with Germany's Sodom. I always found their song structure to be too messy, too noisy, and basically too sloppy to be awarded any attention. Things certainly improved though and "Agent Orange" turned out to be one of those cult albums of German Thrash Metal. Fast forward to 2006 and Sodom now returns with their best album release in ages, way better than previous attempts during the late 90's and this century.

The selftitled album simply oozes of 80's Thrash as they have captured a very "classic" sound with more melody and a slower tempo. Not that things have slowed down completely or anything, however, the melodies are back and the guitar riffing by Bernemann dates back to the school of eighties metal. You can definitely draw similarities to Kreator's latest release (Enemy Of God), and that's a very positive remark in my books.

The powerful Thrashing of "Axis Of Evil", a title which goes back to a quote by American president Bubba Bush, turns out to be one of the better songs of the genre in a v-e-r-y long time. Sweet sister of mercy, why can't Metallica play this kind of music anymore??? [wimps]. "Lords Of Depravity" continues with the mayhem and "No Captures" is a lovely mix of 80's Sodom, Slayer, and Metallica. Sodom may never achieve success on a grand scale in the states, but something tells me they're not really trying that hard. Tom Angelripper are probably just in for the beer and the exercise. Recommended!

BLUE TEARS: "Dancin' On The Back Streets" 8

SunCity 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
9 April 2006

"Dancin' On The Back Streets" is the second compilation with Blue Tears demos and at the same time a retrospective look at the MTV sound of long gone days. The golden era of melodic hardrock and hair-metal brought us acts such as Bon Jovi, Def Leppard and Autograph. Blue Tears simply blue copied them all and put together a f-i-n-e, but hardly original sounding debut album in 1990. It was all about having a rockin' good time though and there's absolutely nothing wrong about that!!!

The majority of these songs are straight out of the same MTV hardrock mould as those legendary acts. The opening track "Summer Girl", will instantly have you thinking about glory days and partying all through hot summer nights. "Loud Guitars, Fast Cars & Wild, Wild Women" was a song that Fulkerson/Spears wrote in about ten minutes and started originally out as a joke. Contraband, the late 80's project with Michael Schenker & Tracii Guns recorded the song on their one and only album and released it as their first single. "Kiss And Tell" is a KISS sounding rocker that fits nicely in with numbers such as "Let's Put The X In Sex" and "Crazy Crazy Nights".

Evey Mother's Nightmare recorded "Slip And Fall" on their second album and it's a average rocker in the vein of Aerosmith (Blue Tears' version sounds even more like Aerosmith), and all of their songs for the last twenty years. It's a mid-tempo boogie-woogie tune going nowhere fast... until it eventually falls down into the ditch (zzz!). "A Date With Destiny" is the song Meat Loaf turned down back in the days and I can't say that I blame him. Nope, don't get me wrong, it's not a bad song at all, it's actually darn good, it's just that Steinman wrote 'em a dozen a day and why bother when you can get the original. "Forever Yours" was first included on the first Michael Sweet (Stryper) solo album and it's a fine ballad, "Livin' In The Movies" is Blue Tears reply to Bon Jovi's "Wild In The Streets", and there's a couple of songs here which Fulkerson later re-recorded under the moniker of Attraction 65 (Storm In My Heart, Strong). Bottomline: You can't go wrong here if you're into the "Blue Tears" sound and if you can put up with the not-so original approach of the band. But honestly, who cares... as long as they keep it catchy.

The QUILL: "In Triumph" 7

SPV 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
7 April 2006

Get into the stoner groove with Sweden's The Quill. "In Triumph" is their fifth album recorded in Area 51 studios in Celle/Germany, using the skills of acclaimed producer Tommy Newton (UFO, Helloween, Victory, etc). Soundwise, the intention was to go for clarity and a less is more approach. It doesn't take long to realize that opener "Keep The Circle Whole" sets the pace and standard of the entire album. The music style is darn familiar though and I believe they used to label this a part of the Seattle's "Grunge wave" in the early 90's.

"Yeah" is blessed with a similar "psychedelic" groove as Soundgarden's "Jesus Christ Pose", and hey, give the guys a break as they're merely 15 years behind their time. I'm surprised that it actually works in 2006 though and the following "Slave/Master" continues with the same metal sludge and Soundgarden groove. It's darn easy to simplify everything with saying that The Quill is Sweden's answer to both Soundgarden and Monster Magnet... and you could definitely be further from the truth.

In fact, there's not a shred of evidence here that would imply *The Quill* innocent of stealing the fire of above mentioned acts. Nevertheless, they are surely capable of writing some memorable tunes with soaring vocals and ripping guitarwork. "In Triumph" is indeed a rock solid album with no real filler nor major disappointment. "Trespass" is a uptempo track with a Led Zeppelin feeling (much due to Jolle Atlagic's furious "Bonham" drumming), "Black" continues with the Led Zep' formula only with the brick heavy work of Sabbath /Soundgarden in the back of your mind. There's a couple of duff tracks among the nuggets, but it's overall a fine CD for the stoner fan.

FATE: "V" 5

MTM Music 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
12 April 2006

Another comeback of an 80'ies cult AOR band...and again another disappointment. If you're expecting something similar to "A Matter Of Attitude" or "Scratch 'n Sniff", do listen to this album first in your record store, if possible, because Fate '06 has very little to do with the old Fate. First of all, the personell has changed, only original bassist Peter Steincke (aka Steiner) is still in the band. On vocals there's Per Johansson who sang on "Scratch 'n Sniff", but there's a twist here...he has changed his vocal style quite dramatically, and there are only one or two songs where he sounds like "the old Per". I have no idea why he has chosen this new, highpitched and piercing style...all I know is that I don't like it. Damn, he sounds like Randy Jackson of Zebra these days, and in my books that's not a good thing.

I would have probably tolerated Johansson's "new" voice if the material he'd been given to sing was great, but it isn't. More than half of these songs are forgettable, sometimes even annoying, and the remaining few are just okay. The one track that was featured on an MTM sampler, "Everything About You" is probably the best one and easily the most Fate-like of these all. I kind of liked "Nobody Loves You The Way I Do", "Memories Won't Die" and "Toxic" as well, but that's about it.

If this is the direction this band is wanting to go, then okay, more power to them...but a change of name might be a good idea. There was a change of direction from the Jeff Limbo-fronted albums to "Scratch 'n Sniff", but it never struck me as being that drastic, merely evolution. Most of the die-hard Fate fans will have a hard time accepting this as The new Fate, and I don't think that they'll be too interested in the band's next album. Besides, maybe the younger generation of fans might be more open to their music if they weren't burdened by a name of an "80'ies poodle hair band"!

FATAL SMILE: "Neo Natural Freaks" 4

GMR 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
9 April 2006

I believe that Yuksel Unutmaz ("Y" among his friends) has turned... ehem, better make that tuned down his guitar yet another notch since last time. It's otherwise a major deja vú experience as "Neo Natural Freaks" pretty much follows in the same footsteps as "Beyond Reality". Not necessarily a bad thing if you'd like another slice of the same pie, however, this falls into every pitfall of basic new metal of today.

The approach is way too simple with a couple of real winners (Bleeding Kiss, Learn Love Hate, Quite Chaos, Practise What You Preach) and a bunch of fillers, it's basicially not as vicious as you'd expect. It's too darn predictible and I actually had to listen to "Beyond Reality" again, just to make sure they had not recorded the same album twice??? It's close enough though and keep in mind that we're merely talking about their second attempt here.

Sure enough, "Y" is a excellent string-bender with a wicked tone in the vein of Zakk Wylde (Ozzy Osbourne) and the Ozzy/Black Sabbath inspired "Quiet Chaos" will send shivers down your spine. The production by Jonas Östman (Yngwie Malmsteen, Mental Hippie Blood, Thåström etc.) is top class stuff and it's productionwise a nice piece of craftsmanship. There's however no way escaping the fact that the song material is way too average.

MOONSPELL: "Memorial" 4

SPV 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
6 April 2006

The most famous Portuguese band ever present us a new work of art where power and soul flow together in perfect "harmony". Ehem, it's a rather gloomy and dark picture they have painted to us with a Gothic display and atmosphereic keyboards. They have actually gone back to their heavier roots with "Memorial" and it's filled with aggressive overtones and matching grunts by Fernando Ribeiro (vocals).

I personally prefered the "laidback" approach of previous albums and find "Memorial" to be two steps back rather than one step forward. Simply check out the excellent "Type O' Negative" inspired mid-tempo goth of "At The Image Of Pain" or "Sanguine", and then try telling me they're not the best two tracks of the album. The latter is a perfect work of atmospheric goth with groovy double-bass drumming and haunting keyboards in the background.

The rhythmic, jet black pulse of "Once It Was Ours" is a shocking display of violent behaviour and a 50/50 mix of goth and black metal. The instrumentals (In Memorian & Proliferation) are both thought worthy and full with guitar/keyboard duels performed by the two of Pedro Paixão and Ricardo Amorim. However, if this would be the quality of Moonspell's "Memorial" album, I believe it's for the better to skip the funeral and head directly for the exit door.


BlackLagoon 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
8 April 2006

This self titled debut is consequently tuneless, tiresome, and even dull at times. Perishing Mankind is a new act out of Austria that try to play their very own version of "melodic" death metal. They don't sound particulary Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, or American, it's basically a mish-mash of everything out there on the market right now, and that's something which first turns out to be to their advantage and eventually downfall. It's difficult to pick out any highlights or memorable moments as they keep stamping the same ground for way too long. The majority of the album tends to be pretty samey, samey, and not very original.

A million similar acts are making a billion similar albums at the moment and that's what let's Perishing Mankind down in the first place really. Sure... someone, somewhere, in a very distant part of this galaxy, will probably love this to death. Too bad it didn't end up at his desk instead (me grumpy? need more sleep?).

IGNITE: "Our Darkest Days" 7

Century Media 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
10 April 2006

Now here's a band that could very well be the next big crossover act. Ignite's melodic hardcore/rock/punk style is something that could appeal to a large audience, from hard rock fans to punk rockers. Make no mistake about it, this band has very little to do with the MTV punk rock acts of today - they don't have songs with funny lyrics and they don't have fashionable haircuts. What they do have is a bunch of songs with melodic hooks mixed with furious attitude and lyrics that might have a little bit more substance than "Pretty Fly For A White Guy". However, I think that their strongest weapon is vocalist Zoli Teglas. Instead of being a tuneless shouter or a sneering snotfaced kid like several of these new punk "singers", he is actually a very capable and versatile vocalist. His voice reminds me of Paul Laine (Danger Danger, Shugaazer) actually, and he sounds a bit like Tyketto's Danny Vaughn on the acoustic closing number...I know, I may hear everything through a hard rock filter...

The album seems to be split into two halves: The first seven songs seem to be the more hard rocking and melodic ones, while the remaining tracks are more hardcore/punk styled. There are two exceptions to this, namely the last two songs. First of them is an excellent cover of U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and the second is the aforementioned acoustic track "Live For Better Days". It's a rather bland track, but rescued from being totally forgettable by a great vocal from Teglas.

Naturally I prefer the first half of the album, which includes my favourite tracks "Let It Burn" and "Slow Down" amongst others. The second half is a bit too frantic for me, and the songs tend to sound a bit samey. Still, I must say that this was a very positive surprise!

SILVER DIRT: "Sonic Boom" 7

SUISA/Silver Dirt 2005
Review by Petri Kautto
31 March 2006

No tricks or gimmicks here, just your basic, very stripped down rock and roll from Switzerland. Silver Dirt is a band that started out as a Led Zeppelin cover but soon began working on some original material. “Sonic Boom” is their first full album and they offer a 13-song package that sounds like a mix of Zeppelin, early Hanoi Rocks, Rolling Stones and Iggy Pop, Gilby Clark’s solo efforts came to mind too.

Singer Silver Steff has a sleazy and rather rough voice and you don’t expect him to hit the high notes. But he does and you gotta give him credit for that since his voice is a good fit for this kind of album. The band’s sound on the other hand is not that unique, but then again I don’t think they’re trying to create something new with this album. For them it seems more important to play the kind of music they like as well as they can.

These guys couldn’t care less about the radio station’s play lists so it’s no surprise that their sound is very uncompromised. In many songs, like the opener "Go! She Said" and the title track "Sonic Boom", their gritty and sleazy sound just sits you right down to a bar with a bunch of friends and a few bottles of beer. In many ways they achieve with what they are trying to accomplish here. This is a solid first album but Silver Dirt still lacks the “Wow, I’m totally impressed” –factor. But nonetheless they can be happy with their first-borne.


UHO Production 2006
Review by Satu Reunanen
10 April 2006

Around the time when Rammstein and Tool were born, finnish Brüssel Kaupallinen started creating a similar revolutionary sound to the metal scene in Finland, yet not being inspired by neither bands. The band released their first mini-album ”Aika” ten years ago, which some describe as the cornerstone for finnish loud and fickle noisemusic. The band has a rough approach, spreading its wild and undefined notes, which make their music intriguing. Now being re-released, ”Aika” hasn’t gone through any changes since its first release date ten years ago, but offers their fans the original sound. And it hasn’t aged one bit in a decade.

Something which fascinates in BK is the hypnotizing spaceous, yet everchanging atmosphere they’ve built up, which has been the trademark for the US group Tool since day one. But BK isn’t as easygoing and literal as Tool. What sometimes turns into a Rammstein-like rush, surprises the listener suddenly with punk elements mixed along. The music is both schizoid and ferocious with harsh vocals by Janne Helttunen, with some spoken lines. What BK offers on this 6-song album is stable material, that rips anything out of its roots while at it. While having a certain amount of elements to technical noisemetal, it’s simply those crushing moments that really inspire the listener.
Brüssel Kaupallinen


Wind-up Records 2005
Review by Petri Kautto
31 March 2006

Having never heard of Scott Stapp before I thought it was strange that he sounded so familiar. After a more thorough look at the CD I got some help from the sticker “The voice of CREED” which helped the ignorant. I never was into Creed and this album didn’t make me a fan of Scott either but this album does have some qualities that are worth mentioning.

At times Stapp is able to come up with a good refrain and a melody that catches your attention. The title track is a good one but my absolute favorite of the album was “Justify”. It’s a song that suits his voice and he’s not sounding too rough. The melody is calm and intriguing and the chorus is powerful so hands down this is the highlight of the album. There are also some other somewhat similar songs to that but they’re just not that good. But they’re still better than the up-tempo songs where Scott tests his voice range only to find out that there’s a fine line between shouting and singing.

For me this album was over and done with after a few listens. It should appeal to Creed's fan base as it doesn’t really sound that much different to Creed. Ground-breaking is not the word to describe this album, but maybe safe songs for old fan-base would be close enough.


Mascot Provogue Records 2006
Review by Martien Koolen,
5 April 2006

Joe Bonamassa is one of those new super guitar players who has clearly been influenced by guitar masters like Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and John Lee Hooker. Joe already played with the likes of B.B.King, Muddy Waters, Peter Frampton and George Thorogood. His playing style is sheer magic and this new album rocks like hell and it is a definite must for guitar lovers. So, just the stuff I really enjoy, 50 minutes of brilliant guitar picking!!

The album kicks off with the mid tempo “High Water Everywhere”, which is in fact a tribute to the recently devastated city of New Orleans. Then in the second track Joe really gets going. “Bridge To Better Days” is packed with amazing guitar solos that remind me of guitar heroes like Robin Trower, Rory Gallagher and Stevie Ray Vaughan. “Asking Around For You” is a slow blues ballad with a truly sparkling solo that brings back memories of Jeff Healey. Next highlight is the blues ballad “So Many Roads”, again filled with extremely amazing guitar solos.

Then we have the first disappointment, namely the boring acoustic country & western-like ballad called “Tamp Em Up Solid”. “Django” is a phenomenal instrumental and it really has Jeff Beck influences. “Tea For One” is ofcourse a Led Zeppelin cover (from the not so well known album “Presence”) and although I hate covers I like Joe’s extensive guitar solo in this song. The second mediocre song of this album is called “Palm Trees Helicopters and Gasoline”, and it is nothing more than 1:47 minutes of Spanish guitar picking. The album ends with the really old-fashioned blues song “Torn Down”, a B.B. King sound-a-like track. Joe is an extremely talented guitar player and I cannot get enough of songs like “ Bridge To Better Days” and “So Many Roads”, which are truly addictive and that is only due to the heavenly guitar picking of Joe. He is my personal favorite guitar player of this moment, second to none!!


Perris Records 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
4 April 2006

"Deuce", the second album from Beautiful Creatures was released in USA and Japan last year, and now it gets an European release by Perris Records. The first BC album was released on a major label (Warner Bros) and seemed to be the band's ticket to stardom. Due to the merger of AOL and Time Warner, several bands were dropped by the label and BC happened to be one of them...end of story? Not quite.

In between the two BC albums, vocalist Joe LeSte has released one album with his old band BANG TANGO, although the line-up for that album actually didn't feature any other original members...It seems that Beautiful Creatures is his "main band" though, and I guess they do have a higher profile than Bang Tango these days.

So what do we have here? The sound of BC is far from the funky L.A. rock of Bang Tango. Most of the songs could be described as aggressive modern hard rock tracks with influences from Audioslave, Marilyn Manson and everything in between. Take a listen to a track like "Ton Of Lead" and you can easily spot the Audioslave influence, while "Superfly", "Never" and "Straight To Hell" represent the more industrial-flavoured side of the Creature sound.

I prefer the Creatures at their most melodic, and wouldn't mind at all if they dropped those boring post-grunge leanings and industrial influences. Most of the aforementioned tracks are really not very memorable at all. However, the band does know how to pen a track with a decent hook, as "Unforgiven", "Save Me" and "Empty" prove.

The biggest surprise for me were the last three tracks of the tracklisting (bonustracks notwithstanding) - the Creatures offer us three attempts at writing the perfect 80'ies styled power ballad! "I Still Miss You" is the first attempt, and it sounds totally like a vintage Poison-styled glam ballad. "Starr Cross" is a full-on Bon Jovi-ballad with keyboards and a big chorus, while the last one "I Won't Be The One" could have been taken from the acoustic side of Guns'n Roses' "Lies"!

The bonus tracks are three demos and one live track, and they are a worthy addition to the album. "Get Up" is very average, but both "I Got It All" (featured on the first BC album) and "Tearin' Me Up" are really strong tracks. The live version of "Straight To Hell" doesn't convince me any more than the studio version.

Loud Crowd: "Guardians" 6

Poko Records 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
4 April 2006

Another piece of Finnish Metal History...this album was originally released back in 1988, and it remains the band's only full album release. Their brand of "old-school" metal (think Maiden, Priest, Queensrÿche) gained them a strong local following in their home region. They even managed to score the opening slot to the Giants Of Rock Festival in 1987, which featured such giants as Dio and Helloween. Still, the album didn't shake the world when it came out in November 1988, and the band slowly fell into obscurity.

The band's label has now seen it worthwhile to re-issue the album, and it has recieved the full re-mastering treatment by Mika Jussila. This must be good news to the band's fans, as I'm not so sure whether the album was released as a CD at all originally.

I remember hearing the band's indie single "Goodheart" on the radio, and being quite impressed. "This band must be Finland's very own Iron Maiden", I thought...I'm not sure whether I actually owned the album, but I certainly heard it back then, and vaguely remember being quite disappointed. Now that I've had a chance to refresh those memories, my memory seems to have served me correctly - this band had potential but they didn't live up to it.

I was kind of hoping that I'd like this album more, as it's always fun to find undiscovered gems. And sure, the band has sharp and catchy riffs á la Judas Priest, but those riffs don't carry the songs all the way. Almost every song on the album has a somewhat clumsy and forgettable chorus, and it doesn't help that the vocalist JP seems to be struggling to stay in key sometimes.

Despite its' flaws, this is still a decent CD and one that will find its' place in 80'ies Finnish Metal fans' collections. To compare them to their rivals in the eighties, they are less goofy than Iron Cross but not quite as METAL as Tarot...


One Eye Shut: "Days In The Sun"

Vallankumoustuotanto 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
5 April 2006

The previous OES CD was still reviewed in the A&R section, but with this 3-track CD the band is ready to move into the big league. Everything about the release looks and sounds professional, the packaging and the production...the rusty nail in the jewel case is worth a special mention!

The band's previous effort wasn't too bad, but I have to say that this one is quite a lot better. The band has really found their own style, mixing good melodies with immense power. The opener "Days In The Sun" is a good example of that - the song moves like a freight train, and the chorus hits you like a hammer! The second track "Yearning" is the weakest of the three, a very hard rocking track for sure but it doesn't really have a hook. No such worries with "World Behind", which has a stronger chorus again.

The band has been labelled as being "Stoner Rock" or "Street Rock", but these labels are simply unnecessary. This is Heavy Rock, with the emphasis on Heavy...if the band has more songs of this calibre, their first full album will be one to turn a few heads!

Band site:

ANTI-FLAG: "For Blood And Empire" 8

Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
26 Mars 2006

Damn Punks!!! don't you just find it all too much, the wacky image, the rude attitude, the constant abuse of the word "anarchy", and not to mention, the mandatory spike-like hairdo (oi! mohawk rules). Anti-Flag are U.S. underground heroes since the late-90's and they caused quite a stir on the "Rock Against Bush Tour", the other year. Through endless touring, hard work and excellent song writing ability, they have slowly but surely been building up a following that might just see them at the top of the pops this year.

Forget about the ordinary drink-til-you-puke, give-us-anarchy-now, kind-of punk-rock, Anti-Flag takes a stand for liberty and justice for all (and that includes people outside of America?) under the banner "What are we going to do about the USA?". Frankly, I don't know, a better and more appropiate banner might have read: "What are we going to do about the world" (whole lotta'nut-cases out there). Their first CD at RCA Records holds 13 tracks of melodic and catchy rock/punk songs that will have you up and dancing in no time. Opener "I'd Tell You But" sets the pace and standard for the entire CD. "The Press Corpse" with its absolutely mad ska inspired beat draws similarities to the early 80's and the U.K. scene. "Emigre" is like a melodic punk version of Rage Against The Machine with matching lyrics and everything. "The Project For A New American Century" is complete with a political message and a kick-azz refrain heavily inspired by The Clash. "Hymn For The Dead" continues with The Clash sound only more up-to-date and more melodic. The political message is very blunt and direct to the point. You could compare Anti-Flag's lyrics with a christian act and their beliefs and I tend to find it all a bit too much at times. However, the music kicks like a mule and it's sing-a-long choruses from start to finish.

Yup, "For Blood And Empire" is Anti-Flag's first major label release and they're still a needle in the eye to the Bush administration. I thought they had to get rid of the political agenda when they signed to RCA/SONY/BMG (whatever), but they're still spitting out their message like a raving mad Michael Moore in a donut store [damn punks]. Bottomline: there's really only one rule to music: a good CD is always a good CD - no matter genre or style. "For Blood And Empire" is a really nice rock/punk album with more attitude and hooks than the entire Britney Spears back catalogue (wait a minute, that makes no sense?). Damn Punks!!!

CRONIAN: "Terra" 7

Century Media 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
25 Mars 2006

The cold and majestic music of Cronian cuts through the night like a dagger in the hands of Jack The Ripper. It's a violent display of melodic, atmospheric, metal, with spanning elements from 70's art-rock (prog) to the current Nordic Black Metal scene. Cronian is a collabiration between Norway and Sweden and Mr.V of Vintersorg (vocals, bass, programming) and Øystein G. Brun of Borknagar (guitars, programming).

They both share a passion and interest for movie soundtracks and the complex system of avant garde b.s. (well, you try and explain the whole concept of avant-garde in a small CD review). It's layers and layers with gloomy keyboards and there's a cold feeling and attitude of an authentic winter manifesto all over the place. Lyrically "Terra" tells a story inspired by human near-death experiences and emotional extremities and a desolated soundscape of the artic landscapes(???). It's all very bombastic and even weird at times... you definitely need to be open-minded in your taste of music as its several genres and styles mix into a wicked stew of metal.

3/4 of the CD features clean vocals and "normal" singing by Mr.Vintersonrg while the remaining 1/4 is old fashioned grunting. It's basically a epic saga with father chaos and mother morbid as the thin red line throughout the CD. It's actually very experimental music at times and not too far off the mark of Norway's Extol and their latest release (Blueprints - also at Century Media). Cronian is however more into the whole concept of epic songs and athmospheric melodies. Like any concept album "Terra" works the best when the entire story has been told and there's no real highlights or downers to be found. The final mastering done by Dan Swanö (producer of every freakin' Swedish death metal act for the last 15 years) is top-notch stuff and it's overall a challenging CD with many hidden layers. Not everything that glitters turns out to be gold, but it's at least bronze & silver, and not some cheap-fake-copy made in china.

PETRUS: "Come What Might" 7

Playground 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
25 Mars 2006

Petrus is a new rock/pop artist from Sweden with a pretty unique voice and a laidback approach. His debut CD is filled with soft rock melodies and a mix of acoustic and electric guitars in the grand tradition of singer/songwriters. Trying to label his music could however be rather difficult as there are no real boundaries and it's hard to compare his music to other artists.

"Come What Might" has been produced and engineered by Mattias IA Eklundh (Freak's Kitchen, Fate), who also took care of the all the guitars, keyboard & percussion (the drums were actually recorded in Denmark by Torben Schmidt of Skagarack fame). Don't expect their kind of music to have rubbed off on Petrus though, this is definitely a "unique" sounding CD with Swedish melancoly, and just a hint of America (the early 70's records), Eagle-Eye Cherry (the most laidback moments), Beautiful South (dito), and various singer/songwriters (too many to mention).

Petrus have the kind of appeal which unless backed by clever marketing is likely to go over the heads of most folks. It's a shame really as you can find a bunch of thought worthy melodies and songs here. It all comes down to feelings and emotions which has been put into the lyrics and music of Petrus. The first single, "You Don't Know Me", has all the ingredients of being a radio favourite and works probably the best while solo driving your car in the middle of the night. However, it's unfortunately too many laidback moments on "Come What Might" and not a single uptempo track. Not a bad start and worthy some attention if you're into the extra mellow melodies. How about ONE uptempo track next time???

TRAIN: "For Me, It's You" 5

Columbia/SonyBMG 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
27 March 2006

Although I can't remember much of it, "Drops Of Jupiter", the breakthrough album from Train somehow left a positive impression on me. That's why I picked this one up in order to review it...and it's proving to be a bit of a challenge. The slightly alternative-tinted pop rock of Train works perfectly as a musical wallpaper - there's nothing wrong with it, it creates a certain kind of athmosphere to the room, but it won't take long before you forget it's there...

The 14 songs on the album all roll along nicely, none of them really standing out. The U2-like (but more "down-to-earth") opener "All I Ever Wanted" and the couple of more urgent and energetic rock tracks somewhere in the middle of tracklisting ("If I Can't Change Your Mind" and "All I Hear") are probably the highlights, but there rest of the tracks just start to annoy me in their blandess, if I pay too much attention to them. It's like mainstream radio programming - "Let's play tracks that won't bother anyone"...well guess what, I'm bothered by blandola!

Still, there are aspects of Train that I do like - their singer Pat Monahan has a really good voice comparable to Robin Zander of Cheap Trick or the vocalist of unknown 80'ies hard rock group Roxanne, and the band does sound good when they rock a bit more. If they somehow could come up with a bit of an edge to their sound and drop the folk-leanings, they might make a fan out of me too...but I guess they're doing okay without my support as well.

LIBERTY N'JUSTICE: "Soundtrack Of A Soul" 5

MTM 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
23 Mars 2006

The Liberty N' Justice project returns with "Soundtrack Of A Soul", a 18 track CD featuring some of the most known singers and musicians of the 80's hardrock genre. The line-up is pretty impressive indeed and the following geezers sings lead vocals on one track each: Sebastian Bach (Skid Row), Tony Harnell (TNT, Starbreaker), Ted Poley (Danger Danger), Stephen Pearcy (Ratt, Arcade), Mark Slaughter (Slaughter, Vinnie Vincent), Pete Loran (Trixter), Russell Arcara (Surgin, Prophet), Jamie Rowe (Guardian, Adriangale, Tempest), Dale Thompson (Bride), Oni Logan (Lynch Mob), Scott Wenzel (Whitecross), Ez Gomer (Jet Circus, Leviticus), Josh Kramer (Saint), Joe Cerisano (Silver Condor, Transsiberian Orchestra), Mike Lee (Barren Cross), Phil Naro (Talas, Peter Criss), and Leif Garrett.

Add to this musicians such as: Timothy Gaines (Stryper), Mikkey Dee (Motörhead), Harry Hess (Harem Scarem), Tommy Denander (Radioactive), and I've surely managed to name-drop quite a few old poodle-perms. "I have a dream and I know God put this dream in my heart", project/band leader Justin Murr said. "For this new record I expended on the original idea. I thought how cool and what kind of ministry would it be to have 'known' rock singers singing Christian songs". A nice idea on the drawing-board and in theory, but did it work in reality?

Well, yes and no, there's a lot of up's and down's and the material still leaves much to ask about. When it comes to actual winners and losers I'll have pick the following as the best tracks of the bunch. "If The World Could Be Mine" (sung by Joe Cerisano of long lost early 80's act: Silver Condor) is a excellent ballad in the "what if Idle Cure would hang out with the guys from Signal", kind of approach. "Always Tomorrow" (sung by Ted Poley of Danger Danger) is a mid-tempo AOR song with both DD and Journey similarities. It's always living proof to the fact that a good producer can still bring out the best out of Ted. He sound better here than on all of his crappy sounding releases of lately. "Malice In Wonderland" (sung by Jamie Rowe) is a fine acoustic guitar ballad, "Killer Grin" (sung by Stephen Pearcy of Ratt) is a basic, but fun, rocker in the style of Ratt, and "Thy Will Be Done" is a nice duet with Mark Slaughter & Pete Logan.

On the other hand, "State Of Grace" (sung by Russell Arcara) is a AOR song with a (too) sugar sweet melody (icky-sticky), "Grenade" (sung by Dale of Bride) sounds like any Bride song of the last 15 years (zzz!), I have no idea what "Surreal" (with Scott Wenzel) is all about, "Another Nail" (sung by Sebastian Bach of Skid Row) is a standard rocker with no real hook or memorable melody, and the list continues. Bottomline: if only the song material could have been in the same fine quality as the musicians, this could have been a 10-pointer. Now it's all very average in the end.... shame on such a great line-up.


Frontiers 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
23 Mars 2006

Andersen/Laine/Readman - hmmm, I wish they could come up with a "normal" project name instead (simply call me Mr.Grumpy or Dumbo, whatever...). I'm however greatful there's only "Three" persons involved and not the entire melodic hardrock congregation, line-up follows next, vocals - Paul Laine (Danger Danger, Shugaazer, solo), vocals - David Readman (Pink Cream 69), keyboards - Andre Andersen (Royal Hunt). The latter musician is also responsible for arrangements, song writing, production... the mastermind behind the whole she-bang in other words.

It's ten tracks of "average straight rock tunes", Laine & Readman takes turn on being the lead vocalist (5 tracks each), and Andersen has even ditched the longer instrumental passages, elaborate intros and such. It leaves the material completely unprotected, ehem, bare naked, and it's all down to the catchiness of the songs to either make or break the album. It's unfortunately a bunch of pale and stale mate performances by the three gringos and I find myself thinking about the upcoming matches in premier league instead. Not a good sign, well, especially not when you're supposed to be into a new CD.

It's like listening to a watered down version of Royal Hunt, DD, PC69, and there's really no point with all of these side-projects. C'mon, hands up if you honestly believe that Andersen would leave out all the "goodies" here and not keep them until next Royal Hunt CD. The real winner of the bunch is "Straight To The Heart" that opens up with a keyboard intro 'ala Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again", before it quickly turns into a moster song with a killer hook. "Dust To Dust" is a average Black Sabbath song (Tony Martin era) on a date with Royal Hunt, with no real hook or meaning, and sadly, that goes for most of the ten tracks here.

ALEXA: "Alexa" 8

MTM Classix 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
15 Mars 2006

Aerosmith brought us "Dude (Looks Like A Lady)"... but what happens if the Lady sings like a dude??? Perhaps not quite as husky as I always tend to carry things too far and go to the extremes [;-)]. Nevertheless, Swiss born Alexa Anastasia was/is a real looker though with a lovely, gritty, singing voice, in the vein of Darby Mills (Headpins), Taylor Dayne (80's popstar - tell it to my heart), and even Alannah Myles at times.

This is a re-issue of Alexa's first and only album release from 1989, a real collectors item at eBay during the years with prices at $150 and more. Produced by the legendary Paul Sabu and with his backing band (at the time) as session musicians, it's a darn fine AOR/Melodic Hardrock album with the Sabu trademark at large. I definitely prefer this I favour of the recently re-issued Sabu album "Heartbreak", also at MTM Music (see review elsewhere on this site). The songs are catchier, the keys are fluffier, the production is sooo typical of its era, and it works even better now in the digitally remastered version.

OK, some of the tracks are v-e-r-y close to Headpins "Head Over Heels" sound (Let It Rock, Cool Wind, Heart To Heart). Not to mention that Alexa follows nicely in the footsteps of Darby Mills with a similar vocal approach. Opener "I Can't Shake You" is full of cocky strutting, dangerous curves, and hooks. I l-u-v the gritty voice of Alexa and the following "We Don't Remember Why" has been blessed with dut-dut keys and a groovy beat. "Dance The Night Away" is rather poppy, could actually have been a Taylor Dayne song back in the days. "Wanderlust" is a marvelous AOR uptempo rocker with more hooks than all the pirates at Port Royal. It's ten tracks of music of it's time, sadly not a single bonus track, the latter could "easily" have been solved if they only had included the two non-album tracks from the horror movie soundtrack, "To Die For". You can also find Alexa in the movie "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze where she had a small part included (no pun intended). Would I pay $150 to get a copy of Alexa? nope, but there's really no need to anymore, hint to why re-issues are good.

Ian PARRY: "Visions" 8

Escape Music 2006
Review by Endre 'Bandi' Hü,bner
16 March 2006

The fourth solo album by Ian Parry marks a bit of a step away from his usual progressive rock background you got used to listening to his work with elegy or the Consortium Project. "Visions" is a lot more straightforward, melodic hard rock with some symphonic metal touches. Dare I mention it's a welcome change to these ears because the album is more about compact, well-written songs than pointless 10-minutes long progressive wannabe experiments.

The album features long-time Elegy and Consortium Project partners as well as the rhythm section of Vanden Plas, and the quality musicians deliver a quality performance. The entire album is very tight, the production is bombastic, yet the thick strings pads, the keyboard parts, the piano arrangements and the lovely female choirs didn't get lost in the mix. Everything is balanced, audible, crystal clear, and Ian's voice shines, it's emotionally driven and diverse as always. The arrangements include everything from straightforward uptempo rock tracks through symphonic metal to piano-ballads and power ballads with acoustic guitar intro. Whatever you desire.

The opening "Innocent Minds" sums everything pretty much up, a beautiful piano-strings intro turns into a midtempo stomper built on great riffing topped with great vocal performance and fantastic female layer-vocals. If you don't like this track you won't like the album and the other way around: if this one strikes your fancy, you'll be satisfied with the rest. My other personal favorites included the power-ballad "Another Day", the melodic hard rocking "Fallin'" [probably the track that is the furthest away from what we are used to from Ian though I may mention he has already proved his fantastic ability to sing melodic rock on the Hungarian guitar hero's, Tamas' live album] and the moody "Slip Away" with the least-rocking yet interesting arrangement. The only downside of the album is that Ian tends to build a wall of sounds in every song with numerous guitar, keyboard and vocal tracks and this gets a little overwhelming towards the end. Sometimes a little less is a lot more, a loose arrangement, and some "air" in general is beneficial for the songs. This may be the reason I preferred the above-mentioned tracks to the rest while I'm sure that long-time Parry fans will most likely love the thick arrangements and symphonic approach of "Anything So Easily", "Angels" or the closing title track. Recommended and not only to those who were already fans but also to those who found Ian's earlier projects a bit too complex.

LOVEX: "Divine Insanity" 7

EMI Finland 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
22 March 2006

How the times change. Back in the eighties, when Mötley Crüe and Poison ruled the world and the sales of hairspray and eyeliner were at an all-time high, us Finns didn't really care about that sort of thing. Okay, we had Hanoi Rocks, but that's about it - the other bands were wearing jeans, t-shirts and leatherjackets. Fastforward to 2006...and suddenly we have a virtually dozens of Glam rock bands!

Lovex is the latest Goth-Glam Rock sensation from Finland, and they have already two hit singles and a top 5 album in their pocket. They are clearly following in the footsteps of HIM and Negative, with both their sound and their image somewhere between those two bands. They've already taken some beating from certain reviewers because of their rather obvious influences, and I'd have to agree - an original band they are not, but they're still pretty good.

The album opens with the band's heaviest song, the high-octane rocker "Bullet For The Pain". It doesn't really represent the band's sound and I'd say it's one of the less impressive tracks here. The next six tracks do impress me though, starting with the catchy hit single "Guardian Angel". It has an intro that reminds me of Iron Maiden's "Rainmaker", but that's where the similarities end. Great chorus with lots of intensity. "Oh How The Mighty Fall" pales a little in comparison, but it's still a very strong track with a good hook. The ballad "Remorse" is probably going to be another big single for the band, and despite vocalist Theon's odd phrasing I like it a lot. "Bleeding" was the band's first hit, and it is definately one of the highlights of the album. I especially like the very 80'ies-styled keyboard work. Next up there's "Wounds" and "Die A Little More", two very HIM-like songs. I was quite indifferent about them at first, but they have grown on me, and have to be rated among the better songs now.

Unfortunately the band seems to run out of good songs towards the end, and we're left with four rather average ones. "On The Sidelines" is a tiresome, forgettable balladic song, while "Halfway" rocks harder, but the "Oh-Oh-Oh-Ooh" chorus just doesn't work. The title track "Divine Insanity" is another hard rocker, but somehow it doesn't leave any kind of an impression...well, it does sound a bit like slowed-down version of HIM's "Buried Alive By Love". The closing number is another ballad, a two-minute lullaby that might indeed put you to sleep.

LIVING THINGS: "Ahead Of The Lions" 7

Jive/Sony 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
17 Mars 2006

Living Things are apparently a bunch of U.S. cross-dressers(?), they play loud, punchy, rock, with roots deeply buried into the 70's groove of Stones, T-Rex, Ramones, MC5, Stooges. Nah, they're not really cross-dressers, or are they?, the three Berlin brothers do however all have fancy nancy pancy (pardon my french) names such a "Lillian" and "Eve", which could eventually lead to split personality problems and various mix-up's. There's something very Marc Bolan alike about singer Lillian at times and when they belt out a T-Rex song such as "Bom Bom Bom", you can't help to compare the two. Sweden's The Ark had a song with a similar approach and guitar riff as well.

Now, don't go thinking "they must be all about the 70's", since they do in reality blend above mentioned influences with 90's Nirvana and today's rock scene (Jets, Strokes, Ark, Vines). It's a psychedelic display of jerky and twisted melodies that purely and mostly relies on atmosphere and dynamics. For example, "I Owe", opens up with a verse in the vein of The Ramones, while the refrain takes off into the 'Thin Lizzy' formula and style. The lyrics are rather political at times and they're not quite pleased with the whole situation in USA today, I believe?

Straight-ahead numbers such as "New Year" and "God Made Hate", simply floats above the soundscape of past and present rock music and musicians. The first is a mix of Nirvana (verse) with a catchy refrain that definitely smells like teen spirit during the groovy 70's. Fans of The Jets and The Strokes will probably get a kick out of this too and you can't help to shout-a-long with the Iggy Pop rock of "No New Jesus". Since we all truly believe in the freedom of speech, you can't help to wonder how they could get banned from L.A.'s Viper Room Club, due to onstage politics(???). It neither make sense to mix politic and rock'n'roll all of the time though, but honestly, I can't hear any lyrics that would upset or shock people to such a degree. It's anti war propaganda with "Bombs Below", and I'm not even sure you need to believe in anything, except that: war = bad, peace = good. Crap, this is starting to feel like acid-dropping, doobie's talking, flower-power, b.s.

MEDUSA: "Clash Of Titans" 7

MajesticRock 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
16 Mars 2006

Medusa is the name of the snake-haired Gorgon of Greek mythology and also an original member of KISS? (well, not really, but it's ancient stuff anyhow). This particular Medusa turned out to be a obscure NWOBHM act out of Evesham in Worcestershire, U.K. and it all started in the beginning of 1979. The really interesting part follows next as they consisted of guitarist Lance Rocket, drummer Eddie Starr (both would later turn up in sleaze/glam act: Wrathchild), and vocalist out-of-ordinary, Steve Grimmett (later: Grim Reaper, Onslaught, Lionsheart).

"Clash of The Titans" is a compilation of demo recordings taken from several sessions during the year of 1980. Medusa's first original three track demo from the early year of 1980, recorded to the massive amount of £30, and with the tracks "Too far Too Soon", "Conquest Of The Skies", "Turn To Stone", happens to be the pure essence of a NWOBHM fan's delight. Falsetto and sky-high vocals by Steve Grimmett (in the vein of Rob Halford), pounding drums, galloping melodies, and it's all very much the sound of late 70's Judas Priest and early Saxon.

"Lady Killer" is a song written about Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be executed for murder in the UK back in the 50's. The Judas Priest link continues and Grimmett even admits to saying: "A lot of stuff written about this sort of time was 'themed', you know, like Judas Priest's 'The Ripper', that sort of thing, where the song tells a story". Like all this wasn't enough already, they also had a "Ripper's Delight" song and it's basically 70's JP right down to the core. Don't expect miracles when it comes to sound quality, and there's only eight originals and four live tracks to be found here. However, you can see the signs of greater things to come for Grimmett as he quickly joined Grim Reaper when Medusa split in 1982. Rocket & Starr would find "fortune & fame" with Wrathchild and album releases such as "Stakk Attakk" and "The Biz Sukks".

X-Prophets: "Freak Show" 5

EMI Finland 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
22 March 2006

As if Lordi wasn't enough, here's another masked band from Finland...only this band is something quite different. X-Prohets hide their faces behind skimasks and look more like a bunch of terrorists than movie monsters. Rather than making bigger-than-life characters out of themselves, the X-Prophets are aiming for anonymity. They are even hiding behind odd artist names like John Doe and Harden Loud (the drummer, of course!). The word on the street is that the guys are actually members of well-known bands, trying to let the music do the talking, without anyone having pre-conceived expectations.

What these masked men have to offer is 10 frantic nu-metal type of songs, with lots of attitude and aggression. I was already familiar with two of the songs, "Gotta Get Away" which was used as the theme song of Finnish Big Brother reality TV show and "So Long Goodbye". I never really cared for the first one, but the melodic hook of "So Long Goodbye" made me curious about the album. Now that I've heard it few times, it seems that "Gotta Get Away" was more representative of the album than the other hit single...and I must say that I'm not too much into this. Sure, the guys are doing what they do very well, just as well as the likes of Linkin Park etc, but apart from the aforementioned "SLG" and "Too Late", the songs just don't have enough hooks to keep me interested. Next please...

SHAKA PONK: "Loco Con Da Frenchy Talkin" 5

Edel 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
19 Mars 2006

What the heck is Shaka Ponk and what's up with the monkey suit??? The guys can obviously play and all sorts of different styles of music emerage from funk to punk to metal to rap and electro techo beats. I can hardly start to describe the entire sound of "Loco Con Da Frenchy Talkin", since this is the most varied sounding album of the year (so far). My first advice: simply turn off your brain, ignore the utterly crap lyrics, and get into your funkiest dance (metal) outfit.

Having left Paris, France, due to the overwhelming pressure of the local industry to sing in French, the band moved to Berlin, Germany to persure their musical dreams. Their incredible mix of music is every reviewers worst nightmare and I rather just say that you need to be open-minded about all different music styles and genres. I truly enjoy the funky approach during tracks like "Tekno Kills", "Hell'O" and "Fonk Me", on the other hand, I'm not too keen about the Rap during "Disto Cake" (yep, that's the actual name of the song). And it's not even cool rap-metal 'ala Clawfinger, nope, it's the real U.S. deal with a techno beat and a female rapper at large... it's all very wacky 4-sure. "Body Cult" is a pure techno beat with a really electro sound that I won't be mentioning again (and there's a bunch of these tracks). "My Boom Is Bumpin" is a groovy, laidback tune, "Dot.Coma" is metal with a catchy dance beat and nu-punk refrain (geeez), and "Spit" is a weird mix of old Faith No More melodies and again, pure techno with scratch and everything.

Bottomline, Shaka Ponk is music with high energy and a unique approach, or is it just a weird mix of pretty much everything? Anything goes I guess and to be honest, it's only "funny" to a certain level and that's also the rub here because I can see this wearing thin pretty fast. It's simply too varied music in the end and both camps (techno vs metal) will be left rather dazzled and confused about Shaka Ponk. This will obviously work better on stage, but at home infront of the stereo??? It's all some kind of "monkey business" and not really special enough to warrant hearing the joke/music over and over again. Close... but no banana... time to get the monkey off one's back.

Jim PETERIK: "Above The Storm" 5

Frontiers 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
5 Mars 2006

Jim Peterik is the name of the geezer that co-wrote/wrote many and most of Survivor's hit songs during the heydays. His musical history dates all the way back to the late 60's and early 70's with Ides Of March. The "Ides" geezers are actually quite heavily involved into this project with background vocals and the sound of both hammond and brass. The songs has been co-written with the Van Zant brothers (Johnny - Lynyrd Skynyrd & Donny - 38 Special), and it's overall a very laidback affair.

Opening track, "Live Life", walks slowly down the road like any old John Farnham song during the early 90's (zzz!). "Burning With A Reason" is the sound of the blusey Eagles and even more the Doobie Brothers (caugh-caugh) with a groovy refrain and everything (far-out, dude!). The title track is a nice slow burner in the style of Leo Sayer and various late 70's rock/pop idols. "In The Days We Have" has the strenght and warmth of Peterik's voice as the main theme and centre of attention. "Stand And Be Counted" is a feel-good song with singer Lisa McClowry on back-up vocals. "At This Time Of Night" could as easily have been a Tom Cochrane mid-tempo song (ex-Red Rider), "A Kiss To Remember You By" is a tune that works the best as a lullaby, "The God In You" is (yet another) fine laidback song, there's even some Elton John in a song like "We Believe", and "Secret Of A Woman" (featuring the entire Ides Of March brass section), turns out to be a blues/Toto inspired tune.

A total of 13 tracks and a tad too many in a similar laidback style and approach. It's hardly the Pride Of Lions sound and it's probably for the best, since you got quicky bored with the forced AOR music of the second CD. Bottomline: a wine drinking CD infront of the bonfire, that probably works the best as target practice for the middle-aged ex-rocker gone soft...

LORDI: "The Arockalypse" 9 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
15 March 2006

Shock! Horror! The monster rockers Lordi have always been a controversial act, but this year they have taken the controversy to the highest level ever. That was done by winning the Finnish Eurovision song contest final, which means that they will represent Finland in Anthens! As you can imagine, not everyone was too happy about it...

To coincide with their Eurovision shocker, Lordi has released their third album "The Arockalypse". Even without the aforementioned event, this would have been a big release for the band - it just might be their best album so far! Not to mention that they have managed to get some noteworthy heroes of theirs to quest on it, namely Twisted Sister's Dee Snider and Jay Jay Frech, ex-Kiss guitarist Bruce Kulick and Accept's legendary vocalist Udo Dirkschneider.

I rated the first Lordi album as "the most explosive collection of choruses" of its' year of release. The second album "The Monsterican Dream" had a few killer choruses too, but it also had a few really dull tracks. I'm glad to say that "The Arockalypse" is more in the line of the debut, with razorsharp hooks all over the place! And yes, Lordi still draws a lot of musical ideas from the late eighties/early nineties Alice Cooper albums...

The album starts with a suitably tongue-in-cheek "radio broadcast", featuring Dee Snider as the voice of the "monster". This intro leads us into "Bringing Back The Balls To Rock" and "The Deadite Girls Gone Wild, probably the two tracks I like the least. Their hooks aren't quite as sharp as what's still to come....

The "slaughter" starts with "The Kids Who Wanna Play With The Dead", and it doesn't really end until the album is over! The remaining tracks are all dangerously contagious, with each one of them boasting a supersized chorus. "The Kids..." features some cool and strategically placed "whoa-whoas", "Hard Rock Hallelujah" is the metal hymn that the whole Europe will soon love to hate, while "Good To Be Bad" rides on a killer keyboard riff and "Who's Your Daddy" will surely be a superb live favourite...even the ballad "It Snows In Hell" works, although Lordi's vocals are frankly quite ridiculous. It has to be said that without the suberb backing vocal arrangements by Kita (the drummer) these songs wouldn't be quite as good as they are.

PURE INC.: "A New Day's Dawn" 8

AFM Records 2006
Review by Martien Koolen,
13 March 2006

Last year I witnessed these Swiss guys alive on tour with Masterplan and I was flabbergasted. Such a power, such a dynamism, such an enthusiasm, that evening Pure Inc. really kicked some serious ass! This band is devoted to live gigs as I noticed that Pure Inc. really feels happy on stage and the songs sound so much better alive as well.

Their second release prove that the guys have gained maturity and also some routine as the 12 new songs are all thick as a brick. It is a rather heavy album, not far away from traditional rock, but it also sounds up-to-date. Take for instance songs like "Saviour" or "Break Free", which both sound heavy, up-tempo with raw vocals and steamy guitar parts. However just as on their debut album I sometimes have problems with the "forced" singing of Gianni Pontillo, especially during "Sick As I Am" and "Burst", where his vocals are really over the top and screechy.

Highlights are the power semi-ballad "I'll Let You Know"(very melodic and the best vocal parts on the entire album) and "The Thing You Left On Me" (with an addictive riff and a catchy chorus). The last song reminds me of bands like Staind and Nickleback, making it clear that these guys really know their stuff. There are many more rock bands from Switzerland (e.g. Gotthard, Krokus, and Shakra), but I consider Pure Inc. to be THE future of Swiss metal/hard rock music. So, look forward to a new day's dawn.

ASTRAL DOORS: "Astralism" 7

Locomotive Records 2006
Review by Martien Koolen,
15 March 2006

This is the 3rd album of Astral Doors and I am sorry to say that it is not their best effort so far. That is mainly due to the fact that all 13 songs have almost the same composition-like build up. The CD is dominated by up-tempo songs that remind me too much of bands like Black Sabbath, Dio, Rainbow and sometimes even Iced Earth. I truly miss the typical, individual Astral Doors sound.

Take for instance songs like "London Caves" or "Israel" which both sound very Black Sabbath-like, during their "Tyr" period with Tony Martin on vocals. "Vendetta" reminds me of Rainbow's "Kill The King" and in "Rock We Trust" also has those typical Rainbow characteristics. The best track "Apocalypse Revealed" is a mysterious, bombastic ballad-like song with amazing guitar work and a keys solo, but it reminds me too much of Ronnie James Dio (in fact this song could have been on Holy Diver!!).

As I already said before these guys know how to make my head band and the vocals are again of outstanding quality, but I truly miss their own sound. I am afraid that if they go on like this, Astral Doors will only be known as a good Black Sabbath/Dio/Rainbow clone. And I really do not think that the guys had this in mind when they started this band. So, there is more than enough musical potential, the question now is will Astral Doors use that and finally make a real Astral Doors album?????

(Robby) VALENTINE: "The Most Beautiful Pain" 9

Frontiers 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
5 Mars 2006

"The Most Beautiful Pain" is yet another set of imaginative, bombastic, arranged songs delivered with more punch than usual. Indeed, Robby Valentine (the bastard son of Freddy Mercury and Brian May?) has unleashed another package of material in the vein of "Bohemian Rhapsody" gone Dutch. It's as always a completely mad fusion of opera, symphonic, melodic rock/pop and AOR.

It's music you spend months and months in the studio to get everything just perfectly recorded with several layers of keyboards, grand pianos, guitars, and not to forget vocal harmonies. It would be interesting to hear Valentine live on stage one of these days... he's not exactly a live artist, if the memory serves me right. The grand piano is definitely Robby's best friend and thus why not all of the metal freaks will ever enjoy his albums. You need to be open-minded about music in general and it also helps if you're into the whole 'over-the-top' approach of Queen and Meatloaf.

Lyrically Valentine might not be just as powerful as musically. It's basically the same old 'heartbreak' and 'misery' stories as always. However, there's a couple of real nuggets among the clichés and especially "Everyday Hero" goes straight to the heart with its subtile message. It's a magical piano (duh!) ballad that grows into a monster song with lots of 'lights and shadow' moments. "She (Abandoned Hearts)" begins like "A Thousand Miles" with this pop chick and her grand piano (Vanessa Carlton), come to think of it... she's like the pop oriented version of Valentine at times. "Magical Moments" is Queen right down to the core and Robby sings: "I grew up with A Night Of The Opera", need I say more(?). "How Many Times" is more basic AOR where his past with Zinatra and 1st Avenue shines through like never before. The drummer with the funniest name in biz (Nop Ton) helps out an old 1st Avenue buddy as well.

"I'm Going Under (Sedated)" is simply catchy beyond belief, "One Of These Days" flirts with the Max Martin sound, and "Cold And Lonely Lie" is a fantastic ballad. Yep, it's all very un-metal, un-cool, over-the-top, pompous... and simply breathtaking. Yup, the little nerd has gone and done it again... great stuff!!! I could never stand listening to Robby Valentine music all of the time. However, when you're in the mood, "The Most Beautiful Pain" works like a painkiller to a worried mind.

ANNIHILATOR: "Ten Years In Hell" 9 [DVD]

SPV 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

"Control Freak" - two words that definitely sums it all up. Jeff Waters is the man behind Annihilator and a serious nut case of being demandant and most importantly demandant (yeah, I know, I wrote it twice). You will notice thoughout "Ten Years In Hell", exactly how much time Waters spend/spent on getting everything perfectly executed. Don't believe for a second that Annihilator ever had a "band-thing" going on, you could even say that Waters is Canada's Thrash Metal answer to Yngwie Malmsteen. Well, ok, he's still on talking terms with most of the ex-members and John Bates, Coburn Pharr, Russel Bergqvist, Mike Magani, Neil Godberg, and the unforgettable, Randy Rampage, contributes with their side of the Annihilator story.

"Ten Years In Hell" is in fact a excellent double DVD with a running time of approx: 230 minutes. Everything you ever wanted (or needed) to know about the records, and the recordings, during the first ten years of time are dealt with on the two disc's. Waters is the main storyteller and you'll also get all the old videos, backstage and release parties, various TV show appearences, pre Annihilator days, demo days, Japan tour diary, live songs, and studio outtakes.

I truly enjoyed listening and watching the whole she-bang and there's only a couple of downers to complain about. # 1 - why not the "entire" story and only the first ten years? # 2- what's up with the edited/deleted drummer (Randy Black?) during the "King Of The Kill" live tour? There's actually a big "blur" where his face is supposed to be. Minor hick-up's after all and I guess there will be a part:2 in the future to come??? Bottomline: essential stuff to any old Thrash/Annihilator fan and definitely value for your money (for once).

WARRANT: "Born Again" 9

MTM Music 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
5 Mars 2006

Here's a brand new chapter in the (un)holy book of Warrant und ze downboys. They've all been "Born Again" with a new preacher upfront, namely Jaime St.James of Black'N Blue fame. Indeed, this CD features all the original members from the first two platinum selling albums except singer Jani Lane. But to be honest... it's basically just another slice of the same old cherry pie as before??? Black N' Blue vs. Warrant = whatever??? it's pretty much the same kind of bump and grind, U.S. hairmetal and should appeal to the same kind of fan base... or?

Well... there's a new twist to the melodies as they have "matured" and added a slightly more ruff n' sleazy approach to the material. This will rather put "Born Again" in a similar category to say: Backyard Babies (Stockholm Syndrome), with the aggression of Mötley Crue's selftitled release with John Corabi added for good measure. There's still a "Warrant" sound here, however, opener "Devils Juice" comes actually out sounding like the perfect mix of the above mentioned acts with just a hint of Aerosmith. "Dirty Jack" is simple and raw sleaze music with no sight of being as "pop" oriented as the "Cherry Pie" days. It's more "Dog Eat Dog" for sure and even St.James has toned down his singing since the "Nasty Nasty" days. The following two tracks, "Bourbon County Line" and "Hell.CA" simply rocks and it's definitely 80's sleaze with a more updated production and stamina.

"Born Again" has a more ruff'n' tuff attitude with a raw n' sleazy approach overall. It's a really excellent album and I enjoy this way more than D.R.F.S.R. (which I found out to my horror the other day, that I really can't stand anymore, with the exception of a couple of tracks). They may have done better pop oriented songs in the past... but a better album? Born Again? Indeed, it's Warrant on steroids and a freakin' good if different comeback album in 2006. Recommended.

VON GROOVE: "Von Groove" 8

Z Records 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
2 Mars 2006

You can get far "On A WINGER And A Prayer", simply ask Von Groove as they pretty much nailed the "Kip" sound down to the very last nail. Originally released in 1992, the debut album was and still is a rockin' good time for the easy-minded, party rocker, with no intention of ever being involved with the suicidal or depressive ones (make that: those who wish to continue to walk among the suicidal and depressive rockers - hellooo kurt). Throw in a couple of Lynch Mob riffs on top of that and blend it all in with some Canadian beer (burp!) and you're all set to go.

It's pre-grunge, pre-anti-fun, pre-death of MTV, well, it's basically pre-everything that killed off rock'n'roll in the following years to come. Get the party started, get into the (Von) Groove with the opening track: "Once Is Not Enough", where they managed to refine the groove and drum beat of Winger's "Easy Come Easy Go". Check out the "funky" guitarwork by Mladen during "Can't Get To Much", or the manditory, sentimental, power ballad "Once In A Lifetime". The Dokken/ Lynch Mob inspired "House Of Dreams" is the perfect feel-good-rocker while speeding down the boulevard with yer roof down (on da'car).

The two bonus tracks "Soldier Of Fortune" and "King Of Your World" wont hurt, the latter will have you thinking about the Talisman debut actually. However, what's up with the booklet? like a poor printed photo copy of the original. Nontheless, if you're looking for a rockin' good time with no strings attached... go for it!

FRONTLINE: "Circles" 7

AOR Heaven 2006
Review by Kimmo Toivonen,
8 March 2006

After the rather disappointing "Seventh Sign" album, Frontline return with "Circles". With this album the band seems to have managed to steer their "ship" back to the right course, but they are still a bit lost at sea.

Let's take a look at some of the key tracks of the album - both positive and negative: Opener "No One" is very promising, a cool hard-edged AOR track with a strong hook. Funnily though, vocalist Stephan Kämmerer sounds exactly like Lita Ford on the verses - I had to check whether they've enlisted a guest vocalist for the track! It is followed by arguably the worst track of the album, "I Give You The Rest". With this track the band has clearly tried to "modernize" their sound. That's understandable and fine by me, but there's no excuse for writing a chorus as annoying as this track has...the vocal effects only underline its' monotonous melody and repetetiveness.

Next key track is "Don't Run Away", a killer melodic rocker that might just be the highlight of this album. This is what I want from Frontline, big melodies and huge choruses! Oddly enough, this great song is again followed by a somewhat disappointing one. "Hunter" seems to be another semi-modern metal track, but with a chorus that sounds suspiciously similar to the Dokken song by the same name...only less melodic and more boring. I've asked it before and will probably ask again - when a band tries to update (or harden) their sound, why is it that it's always done on the expense of melodies?

Out of the remaining tracks, I'd rate "It Is You" as a highlight, while the others fall into the category of "standard Frontline tracks", good stuff but not exceptional. A solid base for the "7" rating though.

BLACK ROSE: "Bright Lights Burnin" 8

MajesticRock 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

There's actually a bunch of hardrock acts that goes under the "Black Rose" banner (including acts from the states and Sweden as well). This is however the U.K. group, hailing a few miles south of Newcastle and with a history that dates all the way back to 1980. What started out during the wild daze of the NWOBHM era, would eventually stop when singer Steve Bardsley remained as the only original member as the band folded in 1989. There wasn't any bed of roses in between either as they had to struggle to make a living. Something which I find to be strange as this compilation tells a story about fine rock numbers and passionate musicians.

A rather famous U.K. journalist named them "third in line after Def Leppard and Heavy Pettin" and I'm almost willing to agree. Their first single "No Point Runnin" from 1982 is a guitar oriented full-frontal attack in the vein of "High 'N Dry" and the similarities continues. Soon the riffs start flying and "Boys Will Be Boys" (titletrack from the first album in 1984), will get the beat going in a very Heavy Pettin approach indeed. I kept thinking about who(m) singer Bardsley reminded me of and it's actually Luis Rivera of Teeze (a rather obscure U.S. sleeze act from the mid-80's with selftitled album release at Roadrunner Records). "Party Animal" will have any old Slade fan in tears of joy, also v-e-r-y similar to the Quiet Riot sound during the mid-80's for obvious reason. "California USA" from the "Walk It How You Talk It" album from 1987 is a catchy number in the Y&T vs. Quiet Riot (III) formula.

"Bright Lights Burnin" is a 15-track compilation that will provide you with three previously unreleased songs, rare b-sides, the best tracks from their first EP, and of course the two albums. Give these guys a break as they deserve to be something more than just a spark in the dark. Hell... Keep The Bright Lights Burnin' and look out for some brand new material coming soon.

Paul RAYMOND: "Man On A Mission" 6

MajesticRock 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

Paul Raymond is the famous keyboardist/rhythm guitarist with the even more famous U.K. act. He's a "Man On A Mission" and a real UFO, I may add. This is the re-issue of his 1998 solo album with the addition of a previously unreleased demo track (Michael Cain). Raymond's UFO band mate Phil Mogg handle lead vocals on two of the tracks, one of them is a rather pointless re-make of "Lights Out". The other (She's On A Roll) could as easily have been included on any UFO album during the 80's. Not great, neither poor, but somewhere in between with a steady beat and lead guitars by ex-Snowblind guitarist Andy Simmons. Simmons is also co-producer of "Man On A Mission" and takes a shot at being Gary Moore with the instrumental "Flights Of Fancy".

The singing voice of Raymond is heavily inspired by Mogg and there's even some Ace Frehley (KISS) about the man. The first couple of songs are very impressive due to its immensely UFO sound and crunching riffs, but to be honest, it quickly fades out into a "ok" album with no real up's or down's. Not everything is UFO related though, "Face Of An Alien" is very much the sound of mid 70's Alice Cooper, "Can't Let Go" borrows a lot from the 70's ballads of Aerosmith, and "Shining Star" is Ace Frehley with just a hint of...ehem... UFO.

OK, OK, it's UFO most of the time, just not quite as impressive and with a not-as-great singer upfront.

BLACKMORE'S NIGHT: "The Village Lanterne" 7

SPV 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
9 Mars 2006

"The Village Lanterne" is yet another display of soft-soft melodies in the style of renaissance rock with lot of folk and balladesque influences. Yep, it's once again Mike Oldfield gone "Moonlight Shadow" times 100 and utterly medieval. In fact, the entire CD would have been perfect as the soundtrack of "Narnia" with the lovely Candice Night as the white... ehh, nevermind. You either love or hate the laidback music of Blackmore's Night and it's like deep diving into a mysterious, fantasy world of hobbits, elfs, and gnomes [or the backstage room after a Dio concert??? ;-)]

I'm not sure if Ritchie Blackmore is slowly running out of ideas? I'm not too keen about the re-makes of both "Child In Time" (Deep Purple) and "Street Of Dreams" (Rainbow) though. What's up with that anyhow? And by the way, the limited special edition features an alternative version of "Street Of Dreams", sung by Rainbow vocalist Joe Lynn Turner. Again, what's up with that? Hey, "Blackie", if you're so keen about the DP and Rainbow stuff, why not record something under the original banner(s) instead. You can always continue releasing these kind of albums as well, however, would prefer new and original arrangements, thanks.

Candice (still) sings like a little angel and the titletrack is pink and fluffy to the extreme. "I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore" takes off in a galloping way and Blackmore even throws a tantrum or two with guitar solos in the Rainbow "fashion" of things. "Just Call My Name" is the most "hardrocking" tune ever by the two, it would probably even have worked on the latest, last?, Rainbow album. There's also a cover of Ralph McTell's old folkmusic hit, "Streets Of London", and a handful of ballads and other magical moments. Bottomline: it feels like they're starting to repeat themselves and it's not quite as excellent music as in the beginning. You can never escape an old drinking song such as "Olde Mill Inn" (where the bartender's name is Kim?), and then you have the whole "Narnia" connection of course.

KINRICK: "Sense Your Darkness" 7

MajesticRock 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

I have no idea why people decided to name Kinrick a true "Power Metal" unit. "Sense Your Darkness" is (in my humble opinion) uncompromised metal with roots buried into the 80's Bay Aera Thrash scene. It's a fine line between all the different genres and you could easily go wrong and utterly lame, you know, when you're trying to come up with the "true definition" of power metal. I guess we better just drop the subject before the mosh-man attacks.

Nontheless, guitarist Corbin King (Vainglory), beats the crap outta' his six string and manage to come up with some massive guitarwork and Thrash Metal chords in the vein of old Sacred Reich or Testament albums. It's crunchy and dangerously addictive stuff and you'll find yourself headbanging along to the sound of "Call Of Honor", "Throughout All Time", "I Fight Alone", "Stand And Fight" or "For Your Evil". Zanister bassist James Martin, former Firewind vocalist Stephen Fredrick and fellow ex-band member, Stian Krisoffersen (drums) are the remaining members of Kinrick. Thus why people enjoy to slob the "power metal" sticker on this CD.

Sure, you can also hear some Firewind (no s**t?), Warrior (Fighting For The Earth) and Vicious Rumors on this CD. The production by old metal guitarist, David T Chastain, works as a charm and the titletrack with its evil mix of early Ozzy and Sacred Reich melodies will send shivers to your spine. Ten tracks, not a power ballad in sight, and overall a impressive debut album.

DEATH BEFORE DISCO: "Partybullet" 6

Dockyard 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

"Death Before Disco" is the war cry of millions of horrified male youths after watching another boring re-run of Saturday Night Fever (yuk!!!). It also happens to be the name of a five piece rocking ensemble from Belgium. "Party Bullet" is their debut album and a weird mix of hardcore, rock, metal, punk, and jazz(???). I'm not entirely sure about the last statement, however, the technical skill of these lads are pretty impressive.

It's a ultra sonic display of emo and hardcore melodies in a similar way as say, Bullet For My Valentine. Not quite as impressive when it comes down to the actual song material, but tracks like: "Putting Power To The Pause", "Blink, Brake", "Kiss, Kill, Lolita", and "Like Serpico" are all winners in my book. The latter could as well have ended up in the same category as the Story Of The Year CD, "In The Wake Of Determination". The label writes in the bio that "any fan of refreshing and original music will love this band". Well, only if the "music fan" has been in a cave for the last couple of years, since this is pretty much a mish-mash of all the popular metal/rock acts of today.

Don't get me wrong, it's far from a lousy CD, and it's blessed with a certain amount of catchiness and melody. It's also darn fun to shout-a-long to the childish lyrics of "Kiss, Kill, Lolita", even though I'm not sure about why they wrote it in the first place(?). My favourite track will have to be "The Nations' Divide" as it fits just perfectly along the lines of the two above mentioned acts. Try it if you're hooked on the Bullet For My Valentine & Story Of The Year sound.

WITCHERY: "Don't Fear The Reaper" 6

Century Media 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
2 Mars 2006

What's up with the jungle drums??? The opening "Disturbing The Beast" is like a long 'drums of doom' intro that eventually works like the calm before the storm. It actually feels like you're standing in the eye of the storm as the following "Stigmatized" (poor Stig) and "Draw Blood" will have you up and jumping in no time.

I'm not entirely sure where to file "Don't Fear The Reaper", the new album with Sweden's Witchery. It's not exactly black metal nor traditional Swedish death in the vein of: At The Gates, etc. Pretty much like their previous attemps, Witchery do mix influences from 80's heavy metal, thrash, and 90's death. It's very doomy and dark music at times and especially tracks like "The Ritual" and "Ashes" will have you thinking about Samael (the good, old, days). On the other hand, you have fast speeding tunes like "Plague Rider", that reminded me a lot of Venom, "Damned In Hell" which is basically a traditional NWOBHM song with aggressive vocals by Tony "Toxine" Kampner, and the Iron Maiden/Metallica inspired instrumental: "The Wait Of The Pyramids". Add to this a cover version of Satanic Slaughter's pure death/black song "Immortal Death" and you're in for a bumpy ride.

"Don't Fear The Reaper" is their debut release at Century Media and was again recorded at Berno Studios, but mixed by Tue Madsen at his Anfarm Studios (The Haunted, Heaven Shall Burn, etc). Bottomline: heavy, darn heavy, a safe, but hardly groundbreaking album.

SARACEN: "Red Sky/Heroes, Saints & Fools" 4

Escape 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
1 Mars 2006

Another fine double digi-pack release from Escape Music, however, this time I'm not too impressed with the music. Saracen is something of a cult band in the U.K. and strangely hailed as the best symphonic rock act after Marillion (???). Hello? whatever happened to Magnum (???). The musical style is also said to be comparable with that of Styx and Kansas, although Saracen was more racy. I'm sorry folks, I simply can't agree or hear any of the above mentioned praise.

They sure produced long and complicated concepts, which of course excluded commercial success from the very start. "Heroes, Saints And Fools" from 1982 is a rather pale rock debut with only a couple of highlights (one of them being the end of "Ready To Fly", the very last track). You'll get the entire album, remastered, plus three bonus tracks, where the much more enjoyable song, "We Have Arrived", first appears. I remember watching a compilation video "Metal City" (about Newcastle and Neat records artists) as a tiny kid, thinking that Saracen must be a cool band with such a uptempo beat and performance. "Red Sky" is the comeback album from 2003, featuring 7 new tracks and 5 re-recordingd of old Saracen songs. Yet another "We Have Arrived" version and the same with both "Horseman of The Apocalypse" & " Heroes, Saints and Fools" from the 1982 album. Again, a couple of winners and sadly a bunch of fillers.

To quote a fine U.K. journalist: "if Saracen would have been an American band, it probably would have had more success". Again, I'm sorry, but I'd rather put it like this: "if Saracen would have had better song material, they would probably have had more success", and yes, you may quote me on that (not that anyone would care to).

SAMAEL: "Era One" 2

Century Media 2006
Review by Urban "Wally" Wallstrom,
2 Mars 2006

Ehem, oh crap, it's obvious that I've been out-of-the-loop for quite awhile. It's not like I expected another "Blood Ritual" or "Worship" album... you know, "the good-old-days". But... but... this isn't exactly top-notch stuff or well executed / performed music by the two ex-Satanic rockers. In fact, take any dictionary, search for the word "monotone" and you'll end up with a picture of "Era One" as description and true definition. I'm still not sure if I should laugh or simply cry about the utter monotonous display of Vorph (vocals). I hate to say (write) this... but it's like listening to a freakin' Robot, whatever happened to passion and not to mention the love to music?

Seriously... I don't mind the synth/machine approach or the updated "techno" sound. However, to leave out all the melodies and replace them with gaga and much worse is simply not ok in my books. Everything remains the same until the bitter end and the bonus CD is even worse as Xy gets to play with all his mechanical gadgets. Send in the clowns...


* * * * * REVIEWS OF WEEKS 6-10/06 * * * * REVIEWS OF WEEKS 6-10/06 * * * * *
Shadowman, Vandenplas, Blue Tears, Troels Skovgaard, Evergrey, The Flower Kings, Curt Shaw, Main Attraction, Umphrey's McGee, Marcel Coenen, Lacuna Coil single, Jorn, Kilpi, Sabu, Phenomena, Dragonforce, Legs Diamond (x2), Bloodbound, Toto, Speedy Gonzales, Sodom, Danny Peyronel, Sabre, Eric Burdon, Platitude and Eric Mantel.

* * * * * REVIEWS OF WEEKS 1-5/06 * * * * REVIEWS OF WEEKS 1-5/06 * * * * *
Devin Townsend, Age Of Nemesis, Ten, Rush, Jadis, Altaria, Diablo, Pump, Fireball Ministry, Zero Nine, Proto-Kaw, Tony O'Hara, Inxs, Mad Max, Sepultura, Ankara, Kilpi, Whitesnake, Rhapsody, Anastacia, Bob Catley, Square One, Ambition.

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