Archive for Dio

DC4 – Atomic Highway

Posted in Alternative, CD, Metal, Rock with tags , , , , , , , , , on 22nd October 2018 by mickbirchy

DC4

Atomic Highway

Hard Rock, Classic Rock

Released: 21 September 2018

via Highvol Music

With over 40 releases under their belts combined, it’s really easy to expect a lot from these bonified legends of the industry. DC4 are a supergroup formed by brothers, Jeff, Shawn & Matt Duncan with their brother-in-metal Rowen Robertson, who between them have appeared in such bands as Armored Saint, Odin, Killer Bee & the legendary Dio. So their rock n roll pedigree is far from in question. We know they can do the job. The question is this, are they any good? My answer, in a word, yes. It’s all the great aspects of classic hard rock and none of the fluff. Their new record, Atomic Highway is an enjoyable experience that will get any rocker’s mojo going. If the talent on display didn’t impress you, then know that Bill Metoyer produced and mastered the record. With bands like Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, Corrosion of Conformity and the aforementioned Armored Saint under his belt. You can bet the album is going to sound as good as it can possibly be.

This album gives you everything you expect. Powerful riffs, gut-busting solos, commanding vocals and grooves for days. The band sounds so good, with strong songwriting and well-executed performances all around. It’s amazing how this automatically feels like a classic record with those familiar guitar sounds that you could swear you’ve heard before. The band just rides the groovy riffs and then go wild during the solos, whilst still maintaining that great control of the rhythm. No one member feels more important than the other, everyone plays their part beautifully. Sure, the rock style may be formulaic, but at this point, it’s a tried and tested formula of rock n roll and it guarantees that people keep listening and enjoy the songs. The impressive guitar solos are what sell this record for me. When the guitar is let loose, I can feel goosebumps shiver through my body. The precision and skill, blended with a wonderful rhythm section make the solos pop and really stand out.

Jeff Duncan’s vocal performance is great as well. He has a dynamic singing voice that ranges from powerful with a rough edge, to tender and well toned. When he sings, his voice sores above the production. The music matching the lyrical subjects really well and the squealing guitar contracts well against his vocal style. I really don’t think there is a dull moment of the album. A real shock for me came with their unique cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Reily”. Although it’s not a flawless cover version, this song is a beloved favourite of mine. So anytime I get to hear it, a smile comes to my face. It also comes with cameo appearances from Guns ‘N’ Roses’ Dizzy Reed on the keyboard and John Bush (Anthrax, Armored Saint) on guest vocals. So that was pleasant and made the song more whole then if the band just tried to do it outright.

In all honesty, you get what you pay for with this record. It’s meat and potatoes rock n roll. If you love your classic rock and that old school flair, then this is for you. As a kid who grew up thumbing through his dad’s old albums, this album is right up my alley. It’s familiar and new in all the right ways. It doesn’t beat you over the head with nostalgia. It simply feels like a record right out of the past with newer production. Atomic Highway is a solid album that will please people who love unapologetic rock music. Let me tell you, I’m having a ball listening to this record.

4/5

Mick Birchall

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Dio, Lemmy and others to be inducted into the Hall of Heavy Metal History

Posted in Metal, Misc., News with tags , , , , , , on 16th January 2017 by izaforestspirit

The very first Hall of Heavy Metal History awards gala and induction ceremony will be held at the Anaheim Expo Center in Anaheim, California, USA on this Wednesday (January 18th 2017).

The following artists have been nominated for the induction:

Ronnie James Dio, (Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio)


Lemmy Kilmister, (Motörhead)

Randy Rhoads, (Ozzy Osbourne)

Vinny Appice ( ex-Black Sabbath and Dio)

Ross “The Boss” Friedman, (ex- Manowar)

Scorpions

Don Airey  (Deep Purple)

Metal Blade Records (With Brian Slagel accepting the induction)

Rudy Sarzo (ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Whitesnake)

and others.

There will also be some live music during the ceremony with a variety of bands including Dio Disciples, Ross “The Boss” and Mike LePond.

The money raised by the event will be donated to Ronnie James Dio Stand Up And Shout Cancer Fund.

For more details about this event visit:

https://www.thehallofheavymetalhistory.org/

 

 

Helstar – Vampiro

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , on 18th August 2016 by izaforestspirit

Helstar
Vampiro
Released 26th August 2016
Heavy Metal/Power Metal with Speed Metal elements
Released EMP Label Group

 Helstar are veterans of the American heavy metal scene. The band was originally formed back in the early ’80s and they have released a number of albums including the critically acclaimed ‘Nosferatu.’ Their latest opus ‘Vampiro’ sees them return to the vampire theme with more tales of Dracula and other blood-suckers.

First they lure you in with a deceptively melodic intro to Awaken the Darkness – an eerie tale of Gothic horror brought to you with the aid some thrashing guitar riffs and high-pitched vocals. So that was the bait and now the real hunt begins. For what follows is Blood Lust – a much faster song with pummeling drums and aggressive guitar melodies reminiscent of the band’s early days back when they played speed metal. As for the vocals, singer James Rivera has an impressive range which incorporates all of the following: the clean, story-telling variety akin to the likes of Dio and Iron Maiden, the high-pitched style and the somewhat less pleasant screams.

From The Pulpit to The Pit is a slightly more complex track; featuring a progressive-style bass and drumming intro followed by some viciously fast guitar riffage and more pummeling drums. Yet it’s not all just thrashing and pummeling, this song also has some melodic parts to it, which are mostly audible in the guitars. Then there’s the Repent in Fire – a catchy power metal song packed with playful guitar riffs and powerful vocals which reminded me of Iron Maiden at times.

Overall, it’s great to see a band that’s been around for so long who can still produce something new and exciting. Rather than taking a stab in the dark in an attempt to produce something different or experimental; they have stayed true to their roots. ‘Vampiro’ is classic Helstar but with a new, modern spin on it.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Exorcism – World In Sin

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , on 24th May 2015 by izaforestspirit

Exorcism
World in Sin
Released 1st June 2015
Heavy Metal
Released via Dream Records

 photo ExorcismWorldInSin_zpswht7zlxk.jpg

‘World In Sin’ is the new EP from the Swiss heavy metal artist Csaba Zvekan a.k.a. Exorcism.The CD version of this will be a limited edition with only 666 copies available exclusively from the band’s website. Although the band is primarily a solo project of Zvekan’s, this EP and Exorcism’s debut album ‘I am God’ were recorded with the aid of various Total Master Sound studio musicians including Joe Stump and Lucio Manca (Dominici). His work has been compared to the likes of Black Sabbath and Dio.

First up is the is the title track and it seems that the Dio comparisons were spot on because Dio was first thing that came to my mind when I heard the vocals. Zvekan’s singing style is very similar but the music is faster and more aggressive. Certain tracks such as Virtual Freedom contain a tinge of thrash metal in the guitar riffs and remind me a little of early works of Megadeth. Then there is Sahara, which starts off with some slow groovy, doom metal bass guitar riffs and gradually speeds up with some catchy guitar solos towards the end.

The final track, Black Star – a ballad which is by far the most complex song on here featuring Zvekan’s powerful, story-telling vocals along with some skillful guitar work. It basically wraps up the EP in an effective way.

Overall I think that fans of Dio and Black Sabbath will enjoy this EP. Though clearly influenced by these two bands, Exorcism doesn’t just copy their style but adds a modern twist to the heavy metal genre.

4/5

Iza Raittila

Hammers of Misfortune – 17th Street

Posted in CD, Metal with tags , , , , , , , , , , on 24th July 2012 by mariadodarmata

Hammers of Misfortune
17th Street
Heavy/Progressive Metal
Released: October, 2011
Released via Metal Blade Records.

Image

You know that incredibly frustrating feeling you get when you hear something you know but you can’t quite tell what it is? After the initial perplexity that was caused because of my mind was being misled by the band’s name towards other genres, I spent a good couple of hours trying to figure out where I had heard that sound before.

I came to the conclusion it sounds like if you had thrown Dio, Helloween, Merciful Fate, Blind Guardian and the musical “REPO! The Genetic Opera” in a blender to then add 70’s Rock sprinkles. I have never been so unsure of under which genre should I classify a band! And to be completely honest, it feels a bit unfair to put under one classification music with such a rich selection of sounds.

Some songs are worthy of standing besides the mighty Power Metal marches while others could be included in Heavy Metal compilations. Some could easily be in one of those romantic rock ballad mix tapes and some others I would have definitely come from one of those modern Rock-Opera musical things. This album’s variety makes it exiting to listen to every time. You pick up on new sounds every time.

This is a band I can see both my 17 year old sister and my 50 year old mother enjoying. Although at first I was a bit confused by the sound of it, after several plays you understand it and the more you listen to it, the more you like it.

4.5/5

María Mata