Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Guy Allison From Unruly Child Guests on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 431 - Unruly Child


Our guest this week is keyboardist Guy Allison. One of the bands Guy is known for is melodic hard rock artists Unruly Child. We last heard from the band in 2017 but they are back with their latest release “Big Blue World”. This week Guy will talk about the writing of the new album plus gives a lot of insight into the early days and first Unruly Child release back in 1992.

Be sure to check out Richie's full review of the album in his blog post https://focusonmetal.blogspot.com/2019/08/unruly-child-big-blue-world-frontiers.html

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

Hey did we mention that we got named to Feedspot.com's 

Top 20 Metal Music Audio Podcasts & Radio You Must Subscribe and Listen to in 2019

Check out the entire esteemed list of shows on that list as well as all the rest that Feedspot has to offer at: blog.feedspot.com/metal_music_podcasts/

And as always

Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Friday, September 6, 2019

ROB HALFORD GETS IN THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT WITH ‘CELESTIAL’ ANNOUNCES ARIZONA APPEARANCE



Without question, Rob Halford is one of heavy metal’s all-time great vocalists - as heard through his highly influential and groundbreaking work with Judas Priest. But over his career, he has also proven able to master a variety of other styles vocally - including holiday-themed music. And in time for this holiday season, Halford will be releasing an all-new album, entitled Celestial (released October 18th via Legacy Recordings), and a day later, will be signing CD or LP purchases of the album at FYE Arizona Mills at 2:00 P.M (in Tempe, Arizona). Details to follow closer to the event.

The album will also be available for pre-order on Rob’s artist store - with exclusive merchandise and a limited, autographed metallic-gold color version of the vinyl. 

Please visit the Rob Halford store here: https://RobHalford.lnk.to/D2CPR

Credited to Rob Halford with Family and Friends, the album mixes holiday classics with all-new compositions, and will appeal to lovers of traditional holiday music and headbangers alike. “The great thing about heavy metal is it’s got these kinds of multiple dimensions,” explains the man also known as the Metal God. “I think when you look at it from an outside point of view - if you’re not really familiar with the metal scene - it can look pretty intimidating. And it is a very strong, powerful experience. But it comes at different levels. I think the music that we’ve made on Celestial, for example, gives a display of that. Metal maniacs - as we call ourselves - are just as ready for the holidays as everybody else. And what we’ve tried to do with this music is to reach out to as many of those metal dimensions as we possibly can.” 
 
And judging from the “Rob Halford with Family and Friends” banner, Celestial sees Halford joined by a supporting cast of those very close to him - his brother (Nigel) on drums, his nephew on bass (Alex, son of Priest bassist Ian Hill), has sister (Sue) on bells, and twin guitar tandem of Robert Jones and Jon Blakey. 
 
Once all the contributors were in place, Halford “went away and listened to a lot holiday music and Christmas carols. Traditional stuff. 12 tracks - including original tracks that I’m particularly excited about. And in that way, because of the dimensions of each song and the messages of each song, I think we cover a really broad platform. To me, more than anything, I wanted it to have its own characteristics and be a little bit more different than the regular rock n’ roll Christmas album.”
 
Halford has certainly accomplished this goal, as evidenced by such standout originals as the album-opening title track, “Donner and Blitzen,” and “Protected by the Light,” as well as reworkings of such holiday standards as “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World,” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” among other standouts. “‘Donner and Blitzen’ gets the snowball rolling for Celestial - a song full of excitement, love and hope,” says Rob. “You can hear and feel the power of Christmas time - energy roarin’ with rockin’ reindeers haulin’!” The video for ‘Donner and Blitzen’ can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkSYiKHhp0E
 

“I think the holidays for any family are a mixture of fun and excitement and apprehension of the whole event. The magic of it more than anything else. It’s just a beautiful time of year - which a lot of us wish would be for every day of the year. It’s a beautiful thing as far as bringing families together. So, what better way to celebrate it than with your family, friends...and music. You must have music at Christmas time.”
 
And with the arrival of Celestial, Rob Halford has certainly done his part.

To download and stream the new album please visit here: 
https://RobHalford.lnk.to/CelestialPR

‘Celestial’ tracklist:

Side A

1.       Celestial [new song]
2.       Donner and Blitzen [new song]
3.       God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4.       Away In A Manger
5.       Morning Star [new song]
6.       Deck The Halls
 

Side B
1.       Joy To The World
2.       O Little Town Of Bethlehem
3.       Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
4.       The First Noel
5.       Good King Wenceslas
6.       Protected By The Light [new song]
 

FYE in-store details:
 
Date/time: Saturday, October 19th at 2:00 P.M        
Location: FYE Arizona Mills (5000 Arizona Mills Circle #612 – Tempe, AZ 85282)
 
 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Robin McAuley Guest Once Again on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 430 - Save Yourself

The sophomore McAuley Schenker Group release “Save Yourself” turns 30 this year. October 10th if you’re keeping track. This week, perpetually busy guy Robin McAuley drops by to talk about that classic album along with the upcoming sophomore Michael Schenker Fest release “Revelation” and a bit about the secret project he’s doing with Jeff Pilson, Reb Beach, and Matt Starr.

Here's a preview track off the new Schenker Fest release.

A bit of Robin showing he still does those 30 year old tracks as good as always.

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

Hey did we mention that we got named to Feedspot.com's 

Top 20 Metal Music Audio Podcasts & Radio You Must Subscribe and Listen to in 2019

Check out the entire esteemed list of shows on that list as well as all the rest that Feedspot has to offer at: blog.feedspot.com/metal_music_podcasts/

And as always

Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Tom#KeiferBand- Rise (Cleopatra Records)

 Image result for tom keifer rise songs

   Tom and I go back a long way. The first vinyl album I purchased with my own money was Cinderella's Night Songs in Dublin and I had to travel 100 miles to get it. My first big outdoor show was Donington in 1987 with 70,000 plus metalheads and Cinderella opened, imagine what that experience did for 16 year old me. After that every album with him on it was a first day purchase. When I moved to the US nine years ago I saw the band again 5 times in the first two years and even forgave the same set in the same order every time. So I am a fan.

   After his much publicized vocal issues and what he went through to get his voice back any new material feels like bonus time. The Death Of Me and the superb soulful title track tackle all of that. He could have taken the easy road and kept Cinderella active and just done live shows but he doesn't do easy. Start from the ground up, get a killer band around him and just be happy. Waiting On The Demons on Rise might be a veiled reference to his former Cinderella band member and his alcohol issues, like why go back to that situation.

   Elsewhere All Amped Up definitely has that rocking Cinderella sound, Hype sounds like nothing he's done before having a slightly modern feel and closing ballad You Believe In Me features Tom, an acoustic guitar and one of the most heartfelt vocal performances I've heard in years. This is a great album from a great talent. It's released on September 13th.

http://www.tomkeifer.com/

Richie.

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pat & Tony From XYZ on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 429 - XYZ

Our guests this week are Pat Fontaine and Tony Marcus of XYZ. Richie caught up with them while they were recording new music and took the opportunity to dive into the self-titled debut album, which is 30 years old this year. Having the perspective of original bassist Pat and new (since 2003) guitarist Tony adds an extra dimension to this chat.

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

Hey did we mention that we got named to Feedspot.com's 

Top 20 Metal Music Audio Podcasts & Radio You Must Subscribe and Listen to in 2019

Check out the entire esteemed list of shows on that list as well as all the rest that Feedspot has to offer at: blog.feedspot.com/metal_music_podcasts/

And as always

Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Sons Of Apollo- Live With The Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony (Inside Out Music)

 Image result for sons of apollo live with the plovdiv psychotic symphony 


   Ok, I'm not the biggest fan of live albums. Wait, let me clarify that, I'm not a huge fan of recent live albums. Bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rush and Kiss had a body of studio work out there before and between live releases. Live albums made bands, they were an event and if you didn't make the tour were the only way to hear any of it. Now the live album market is over saturated, the same bands release a studio album followed by the obligatory live release, some fans will not go to the show and wait for the Blu Ray with the surround sound. Why even wait, the show is on You Tube minutes after its ended.

   A live release has to be special now to grab my attention. This one is special for a number of reasons. Their debut album was fantastic, I caught the tour promoting it and the show was one of the best I've seen in recent years, the choice of covers for the most part work really well and the whole thing feels live with few touch ups in the studio. Recording it in an old Roman theater in Bulgaria with an orchestra and choir is the icing on the cake.

   The first part of the set focuses primarily on their debut album, opener God Of The Sun and Sign Of The Times are one of the many highlights here. The band do throw in Dream Theater's Just Let Me Breathe that Mike and Derek played on and also show their sense of humor with The Pink Panther Theme.The playing all round is of course stellar.

   Put yourself in Jeff Scott Soto's shoes for the second set. He's only being asked to sing songs done by the likes of Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, Ronnie James Dio and Robert Plant. No pressure there so! The fact that he pulls them off shows how good a singer he really is and as I can attest to after seeing him a fabulous frontman to boot. Whoever picked Ozzy's Diary Of A Madman to cover please take a bow (I'm guessing it was Mike Portnoy). It's an album Ozzy more or less ignores now and hearing it here with an orchestra faithfully done makes it a highlight of the whole set. Throw in some more Dream Theater tunes and a great version of the Van Halen classic And The Cradle Will Rock sung by Jeff at the bar and what you have hear is one GREAT live album. It's out August 30th on various formats including double lp gatefold vinyl (yummy). They have a second studio release out early nest year with tour dates announced to follow, just go see them.


Richie. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Camden Cruz of Seven Kingdoms on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 428 - Seven Kingdoms

This week lots of discussion since we’re just coming off a break but also this week we talk with guitarist Camden Cruz of Florida power metallers Seven Kingdoms. I’ve been waiting to talk with this band for a while and since hey have just kicked off their latest Kickstarter campaign for the upcoming EP “Empty Eyes” it gave me the perfect opportunity.


Support the bands Kickstarter campaign at: kickstarter.com

Get all your Seven Kingdoms merch and past releases at: sevenkingdoms.bigcartel.com/

Hey did we mention that we got named to Feedspot.com's 

Top 20 Metal Music Audio Podcasts & Radio You Must Subscribe and Listen to in 2019

Check out the entire esteemed list of shows on that list as well as all the rest that Feedspot has to offer at: blog.feedspot.com/metal_music_podcasts/

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feed, or subscribe on iTunes.

You can hear us every Tuesday night on Pure Rock Radio
and each Wednesday afternoon on Metal World Radio

Visit http://focusonmetal.net/ for information on all the past episodes and to find the links to all our other social media sites.

And as always

Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Unruly Child- Big Blue World (Frontiers)

Image result for unruly child big blue world 

   After the band World Trade split up in the late 80s guitarist Bruce Gowdy and keyboardist Guy Allison decided to form another band with Mark Free (now Marcie Free) on vocals, former Hurricane drummer Jay Schellen and bassist Ricky Phillips who couldn't commit to the project because of the Coverdale Page album replaced by Larry Antonio. Settling on the name Unruly Child they signed with Interscope Records and under the guidance of Beau Hill went on to release their debut self-titled album, a melodic hard rock masterpiece that had everything going for it. Except for the year it came out,1992.

   The whole genre died, the band were dropped but continued over the years with different line-ups including current Foreigner vocalist Kelly Hansen on Waiting For The Sun in 1998. The resurgence of melodic rock in the early 2000s saw many bands return to their traditional sound or as markets opened up lead to full blown reformations and in 2010 the classic line up from the debut released Worlds Collide. Since then we've had Down The Rabbit Hole (2014), Can't Go Home (2017), a box set Reigning Frogs (2017) and last year a live album Unhinged Live From Milan featuring the majority of their debut album.

   Now we have Big Blue World featuring Marcie Free, Bruce Gowdy and Guy Allison. I was a fan of the last album Can't Go Home but found it a little guitar light in the mix, a little too polished. The guitars are definitely more in your face on this especially Down And Dirty, The Hard Way and cracking opener Living In Someone Else's Dream. Breaking The Chains is a great acoustic ballad but the highlight of the whole album for me is Beneath A Steady Rain featuring mostly Guy on piano and Marcie on vocals and sounds like something you would hear from Elton John and nothing from past Unruly Child albums.

   This is one of my favorite melodic hard rock albums of the year and I haven't stopped playing it. The songwriting is fantastic and the only downside to this is the band only recorded and released ten tracks. Now fingers crossed for some live shows, coming soon is my interview with Guy Allison all about this release.

Richie.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Richie finally has a blog post

  We did a discussion piece last night for our first show back from summer break (we took it later then usual and are coming back early) and I'm going to make an effort to post more on the blog. Doing the Facebook page is fun but I can't really post longer pieces or album/live reviews and I should be directing more people to the website. I get new music all the time and am always asked to do reviews. So I will. Soon.

Friday, August 9, 2019

RAT PAK RECORDS SET TO RELEASE MICHAEL SWEET "TEN" on OCT 11th.



RAT PAK RECORDS SET TO RELEASE MICHAEL SWEET "TEN"
Building upon the success of his 2016 release One Sided WarStryper front man Michael Sweet returns with his tenth solo studio release aptly titled, “Ten”. The new album is scheduled for release on October 11th via Rat Pak Recordsand will also be available in Europe via Frontiers Music SRL. Ten features an all star guest lineup that includes appearances by, Jeff Loomis of Arch EnemyTodd La Torre of QueensrycheAndy JamesTracii Guns of LA GunsRich Ward of FozzyJoel Hoekstra of WhitesnakeGus G of FirewindHowie SimonEthan BroshMarzi Montazeri, Will Hunt of Evanescence , John O’Boyle, Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa of Firstbourne and more.

On the subject of guest musicians Michael comments, “There is a different player appearing on every song. It started out where I was just going to have a couple of guest appearances on it, then I decided that it would be really interesting to bring in different players for every song. I started putting names out there and reaching out to people, and they started agreeing to do it. And then I had guys reaching out to me."

Regarding the musical direction of the album Michael states, “I’m very excited about this release, there are old-school, straight-ahead metal ideas in the vein of Judas PriestDio and Iron Maiden, all the stuff I love listening to!” 

As for the "Ten" album title, Sweet recently stated, "It's called 'Ten' cause it's my tenth album, and because there is a title track on there about the Ten Commandments — a really powerful song. There's real heavy stuff. It starts kind of smacking you in the face and it ends kicking you in the gut."


TRACK LISTING
01 Better Part of Me (featuring Jeff Loomis of Arch Enemy)
02 Lay It Down (featuring Marzi Montazeri)
03 Forget, Forgive (featuring Howie Simon)
04 Now Or Never (featuring Gus G of Firewind)
05 Ten featuring (Rich Ward of Fozzy)
06 Shine (featuring Ethan Brosh)
07 Let It Be Love
08 Never Alone (featuring Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake)
09 When Love Is Hated (featuring Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake)
10 Ricochet (featuring Tracii Guns of LA Guns)
BONUS TRACKS
11 With You Till The End (featuring Mike Kerr and Ian Raposa from Firstbourne)
12 Son Of Man (featuring Todd La Torre of Queensryche and Andy James)

Head over to ratpakrecordsamerica.com/michaelsweet to get your preorder bundle