Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gus G & Michael Sweet Guest on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 372 - God Damn Fearless


Double shot of metal goodness once again as we bring not one but two great chats this week. First up we talk with guitarist Gus G about his brand new release “Fearless” and we follow that up with a chat with Michael Sweet about the latest from Stryper “God Damn Evil”. Both of those releases are due to drop this Friday so this ought to get you in the mood for release day.

Here's a taste of what to expect from Gus


and of course some new Stryper


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Review - A Sound of Thunder "It Was Metal" (Mad Neptune Records)



A Sound of Thunder's seventh studio release "It Was Metal" is due to drop on June 15th. These guys will probably never have a release qualified with the statement "long awaited". The way these guys write their next one is written and probably the one after that too. Detractors would say that being that prolific leads to less than stellar output but in the case of A Sound of Thunder they would be very very f#%king wrong.

According to guitarist Josh Schwartz, "the mission statement was to write fast, heavy, catchy songs that are fun to play and fun to listen to. I Think we've accomplished that goal and then some. This is an album meant to be blasted in your car while you speed down the highway at 100mph singing at the top of your lungs." Interestingly, that pretty much matches up with one of my litmus tests for a good metal album. And it's exactly what I was doing while listening to it. So does that mean "It Was Metal" aces the test? In a word, yes but not without at least one speed bump.

So the last few releases have shown a good chunk of the prog metal side of this band (not counting the covers album) with a healthy dose of humor from vocalist Nina Osegueda but on this one they go for those fast punchy songs that leave the hook in your brain. I gotta say I've been waiting to hear this side of ASOT again and I wasn't disappointed. This, for the most part, is their version of classic hard rock and metal and they're wearing their influences on their sleeves. I've been cranking this one for about ten days now so I think I've had a good chance to absorb the whole deal.


So let's dig in...

11 tracks with a running time of 59 minutes. So a bit longer than a classic LP but still in the ballpark. Most of the songs come in around 5 minutes so again I'm a happy camper on that score.
A cool note on this is that the mix is awesome. Rather than go with the current trends of massive low end this sounds like both the album and the digital media may actually be mixed very similar. It's quite possible that this vinyl like mix brings the old school vibe of the album on on a subconscious level.


"It Was Metal" kicks off with Phantom Flight. Great 80's style intro that hooks you right in. This is the perfect opening track. Super hooky chorus that gets stuck in your skull. And if that wasn't enough it also feature Accept singer Mark Tornillo trading vocals with Nina. So right out of the gate you're in classic metal heaven.

From there we head to Lifebringer. Again impeccable sequencing. This is a one-two opening salvo. Opening hook just screams Maiden and the segues to a sweet galloping rhythm. About halfway through we get treated to some Theremin and some classic ASOT atmosphere. Not sure how they're gonna pull this one of live, there's a lot of stuff going on in this break. Not even mentioning all the Nina vocal tracks here. I used to be amazed at how Brad Delp of Boston could track against himself but I think Nina takes it to a new level. We also get some tight soloing from Josh at the tail end of the tune too.

Track three is Atlacatl. The rhythm section of Jesse Keen on bass and Chris Haren on drums are the all stars of this song. Let's just say tribal rhythms with a sheen of crunchy guitar. So far this puppy is hitting on all cylinders.

Track four is The Crossroads Deal. It's a quick swampy bluesy intro to the title track. With a final harmonica whimper and a scream from Nina the title track It Was Metal blazes from your speakers. This is a tune that coulda been on any of the classic Dio albums. It's got the Vinnie Appice drum swagger from Chris and right before the break Jesse steps in for a little solo bass grooving. Speaking of that solo, dunno why but it's one of my favorites from Josh. This is another tune that will stick in your head for days. I think it's an unqualified metal anthem. It's even got a brief appearance from the Thunder Choir.

So five tracks in and it's all going really freaking well and then there's that speed bump. Track six Obsidian & Gold just ain't doin' it for me. At over 9 minutes long it's already got a big strike against it. This album should be all about the get in get out, next song please. Don't get me wrong the playing is top notch. There's some great Hammond going on that just says Deep Purple. There's also some great bass that really benefits from the great mix since it sits perfectly in there. Besides Nina's always impeccable vocals we've also got former Rainbow player Tony Carey dropping by to lend some keyboard prowess too. And the guitar is solid too but i'm just just not connecting to it. I think between the length and the overall slower tempo it would be a great song on The Lesser Key of Solomon but it just doesn't sit well on this one.

I like to think of it as a palette cleanser to prepare for what I like to think of as side two. Second Lives kicks off slow and moody and builds to a nice tempo. More great Hammond in here and another one with a Rainbow/Purple vibe. Not a bad thing in my book. But this one is just a runway to get to track 8 Els Segadors (The Reapers). Yes this one's slower but it's got a killer anthemic feel. Probably cuz it's a defacto legit national anthem for Catalonia (if your keeping score at home). If any band can pull off a metal version of a national anthem its A Sound of Thunder. This track has been an international success for them and deservedly so.

Back to the more uptempo with Tomyris. Been really trying to think what it is about this track that connects with me and I thinks its because it reminds me so much of their sound on Out of The Darkness blended with an extra flavor shot of classic metal. So now we're on the backside of this puppy with two more tracks to go.

I instantly liked Charles II. It's a four and half minute run through a bit of history. I could totally see Maiden covering this one. This one is a great example of the versatility of Nina's voice as she voices multiple characters and tonalities. Great soloing from Josh backed by some solid rhythmic backing. on this too.

Sadly this bring us to track 11 Fortress of The Future Race. I'm surprised that Mark Tornillo isn't on this one as it sounds like modern Accept meets ASOT with some fine contributions from the Thunder Choir.

So what's the score on this one? 10 tracks that I can give a solid  out of five and one that although it's a  I'm still not totally seeing it fit on this release. Most of the tracks meet Josh's stated mission. They are catchy and you'll find yourself singing them once they are trapped in your skull. We get Mark Tornillo guesting. The mix is top notch and really adds to the depth of the album and goddamn this really has some sweet classic metal vibes going on. I should also mention the stellar artwork from Dusan Markovic too.

The only real downside besides track 6 is that there's no Nina evil freak out song on here. I've always looked forward to the next "Kill That Bitch" or "Hello Nurse".

So my final takeaway? Buy this thing!!! If you're already an ASOT fan it'll be an instant classic for you. Otherwise it's the perfect gateway to discovering this killer band. Nina has stated that she can't wait to play this stuff live. Well Nina, bring it on cuz I for one can't wait to hear it live.

"It Was Metal" is currently available for preorder at all the usual spots plus you can get special formats including vinyl and  the "It Was Metal" comic at asoundofthunderband.com




Tracklist:
1. Phantom Flight (featuring Mark Tornillo)
2. Lifebringer
3. Atlacatl
4. The Crossroads Deal
5. It Was Metal
6. Obsidian & Gold (Desdinova Returns) (featuring Tony Carey)
7. Second Lives
8. Els Segadors (The Reapers)
9. Tomyris
10. Charles II
11. Fortress of the Future Race

Total running time: 59 minutes

       Vocals: Nina Osegueda
       Guitars & Keyboards: Josh Schwartz
       Bass & Keyboards: Jesse Keen
       Drums & Percussion: Chris Haren


  Produced by Kevin '131' Gutierrez
  Recorded at Assembly Line Studios


Website: 
www.asoundofthunderband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/asoundofthunder
Twitter: @asotband
Instagram: @asotband



Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Little Caesar vocalist Ron Young on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 371 - Little Ceasar

This week Richie has a marathon chat with vocalist Ron Young from Little Caesar. Those guys just released “Eight” their first studio effort in six years. Like the title of their 2016 live album “Brutally Honest” Ron doesn’t mince words about the music biz.


To get more info and all the pertinent links head to LittleCaesar.net/ as Ron tells us, it’s not updated very often but its a good place to start.




Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Danny Bowes of Thunder on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 370 - Thunder, Stage

This week Richie checks in with Thunder vocalist Danny Bowes about their new live album “Stage”. Given that Thunder has always had a huge fanbase in Europe unlike here in the States it’s only fitting that we let the Irishman in the house do this one.

Wanna know about Thunder? Head to thunderonline.com



And as always Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

John Bush & John Corabi Guest on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 369 - Two Johns

A double header of metal goodness this week as we bring you chats with vocalists John Bush and John Corabi. Armored Saint will be celebrating the metal classic, “Symbol of Salvation” by embarking on a tour where they’ll play the album in its entirety. John Bush is making his first appearance on FoM and will be giving us the update on that. 

Here they are playing a classic off that album at Wacken 2015


Head to ArmoredSaint.com for tour dates and updates on Armored Saint.
Click over to IndieMerch.com/MetalBladeRecords to get your preorder in for the rerelease of Symbol of Salvation

On April 6th The Dead Daisies will be releasing their latest one “Burn It Down” and John Corabi stops by once again, this time to talk about that and everything else he’s got going at the moment.


Point your browser to TheDeadDaisies.com for your latest Dead Daisies news or head to JohnCorabiMusic.com to keep up with John Corabi.

Don't forget John's great live solo disc "Live in Nashville" available on RatPak Records where he performs the entire 94 Crue album.

Here's a crowd shot video from the show


And as always Focus On Metal…Everything Else is Insignificant.


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Mark Ruffneck from OZ Guests on This Weeks Focus on Metal


Episode 368 - Transition State

This week we talk with Mark Ruffneck founder and drummer of Finnish metal powerhouse OZ. Back in the fall they released “Transition State” via AFM records and after months of trying to square away schedules we finally got him on the show. It’s an awesome album and we want to really help get the word out.



Track of the week is off the latest from Voodoo Circle. Yep, Alex and the boys just released “Raised on Rock”. Another fine album for these guys.



Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Former Sounds Writer Garry Bushell on This Weeks Focus on Metal




Episode 367 - Sounds of Glory

This week we sit down with former Sounds writer Garry Bushell. He’s always been a guy we wanted to have on the show but the publishing of his book “Sounds of Glory Volume 1 Rocking All Over The World” was the icing on the metal cake. His Ozzy stories alone more than pay for the price of admission but this week you’re even getting some for free. 


Find out more about Garry and possibly order a book or two head over to: garry-bushell.co.uk

Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Monday, March 12, 2018

THE DEAD DAISIES “RISE UP” ON MARCH 9TH the first Single off their new album “BURN IT DOWN”



“RISE UP”, the first single off THE DEAD DAISIES’ new album “BURN IT DOWN” sets the scene for another huge year for the band. A massive, trailblazing beat, meaty guitars and a thundering vocal deliver a powerful, highly relevant message.
“RISE UP is a blistering old school Sabbath riff with angry lyrics about the state of the world!!! It‘s about the people in power that say they have our best interests at heart but don't!!!! We need to "RISE UP" and let our voices be heard and tell them we want CHANGE and deserve BETTER!!!!!” – says vocalist John Corabi.
In line with the single release, the band is premiering a provocative, extremely visual video underscoring these very issues.

The album “BURN IT DOWN”, set for release on April 6th, 2018 via Spitfire Music/SPV, is a muscular tour- de-force, a tornado of pounding drums, pulverizing bass, screaming guitars and in-your-face raw vocals. Evoking the best of 70s Rock, with moments of Birmingham’s finest, blended with the early works of Boston’s best, “Burn It Down” will do just that: Burn down everything in its path until there is nothing left standing.

The Dead Daisies will embark on yet another massive World Tour kicking it off in April with shows in Sold- Out venues all over the UK, then seeing the band play packed houses in Europe before making their long- awaited return to Japan the USA and South America.

The Dead Daisies are: Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake, Dio), John Corabi (Mötley Crüe, The Scream), Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake, Thin Lizzy), Deen Castronovo (Bad English, Journey) and David Lowy (Red Phoenix, Mink).

Rock is indeed alive and well!!! 


Link to video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJetFqrCzgg

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Michael Schenker Returns to Focus on Metal This Week.



Episode 366 - Resurrection


Back for his third appearance on FoM we once again bring you guitarist Michael Schenker. Besides being out touring and bringing the Michael Schenker Fest to his fans Michael has also teamed up with his musical compatriots to bring you “Michael Schenker Fest Resurrection” an all new studio album featuring the vocals of Gary Barden, Graham Bonnet, Doogie White and Robin McAuley. 


Also this week we bring you a talk with bassist Chuck Garric as we delve into his latest release with Beasto Blanco, “Live From Berlin”. An old school warts and all live album from our friends at Rat Pak Records. You can head to Rat Pak and pick up a sweet bundle for the new release.



Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

David Reece From Sainted Sinners is Back With A Vengeance on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 365 - Back With A Vengeance


Back on episode 321 we talked with David Reece about the debut album from Sainted Sinners. Here we are almost a year later and Sainted Sinners has released their second album “Back With A Vengeance” via El Puerto Records and we are happy to have David back on Focus on Metal. David gave us the rundown on the latest release as well as give us some back story on Accept, Bonfire and the genius of producer Dieter Dierks.


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Mike LePond is Back Again on This Weeks Focus on Metal



Episode 364 - Pawn and Prohecy


Yep, you guessed it we have yet another returning guest this week. This time we welcome back bassist Mike LePond. Most of you may know Mike from Symphony X but he also heads up a little metal outfit called Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins. They just put out their second release “Pawn and Prophecy” and we’ll hear all about it. 


Also this week we’ll bring you a chat with Rob Evan. Rob has been a big part of TSO and now he’s bringing his voice to Broadway as a creator and performer with Rocktopia. Rod will give us the scoop on the upcoming show due to open on March 20th at the Broadway Theater.



Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ty Tabor Makes Another Appearance on Focus on Metal This Week



Episode 363 - Alien Beans

Another returning guest this week as we once again sit down with guitarist Ty Tabor. Ty just released a double disc solo extravaganza entitled “Alien Beans”. Disc 1 contains new tracks while disc 2 has rerecordings of older solo material. Also this week we discuss the impending demise of Slayer.



Pick up a great bundle package for Ty’s new release at: Rat Pak Records


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Adrian Vandenberg Returns To Focus on Metal This Week.



Episode 362 - MoonKings MKII

As promised we are back and this week we bring you another chat with guitarist Adrian Vandenberg. Vandenberg’s MoonKings just released their sophomore effort MKII and this week Richie talks with him about it. Also we couldn’t come back without a little discussion on the whole reappearance of Vinnie Vincent deal.



Track of the week is from upcoming guest Mike Lepond’s other band Silent Assassins off their latest “Pawn and Prophecy”.


Get the this episode from the Focus on Metal SiteThe Focus on Metal RSS feedEarPeeler.com 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.