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

Band Curated ‘The Greatest Hits’ Marks 30 Years of Thunder




Band-curated ‘The Greatest Hits’ marks 30 years

LISTEN TO THUNDER’S COVER OF
LED ZEPPELIN’S ‘YOUR TIME IS GONNA COME’
AND PREORDERS HERE - 
https://thunderband.lnk.to/TGHPR
 
Celebrating thirty years of music, Thunder will release a 28 track album entitled simply ‘The Greatest Hits’ on 27 September 2019 through BMG. Featuring tracks from each of their 12 studio albums, it is the first ever collection to actually be sanctioned by the band, but also compiled by Thunder themselves. The tracks chosen for ‘The Greatest Hits’ shows perfectly the arc of evolution that the band has travelled over three decades, developing, challenging themselves and always moving on: without ever losing the core elements that make them special. ‘The Greatest Hits’ will be released in four formats: 2CD, expanded 3CD [featuring a live session recorded and streamed at the Planet Rock studio on 18 Jan 2019], 3LP and Digital. CD1 & CD2 are both closed by Thunder covers of classic songs.
 
Thirty years into their career, the time feels right to look back on what’s been done, taking stock of some fantastic work, but keeping one eye on the horizon and what is yet to come. ‘The Greatest Hits’ is a comprehensive, cohesive and career-spanning collection, taking in material from every single album since the debut that propelled them onto the world stage, 1990’s ‘Backstreet Symphony’ which hit number 21 in the Charts. That first salvo was followed by ‘Laughing On Judgement Day’ which hit No. 2 in 1992, and then ‘Behind Closed Doors’ which was another Top 5 hit in 1995.  ‘Greatest Hits’ includes material taken from releases right up till 2017’s ‘Rip It Up’, which hit No.3 in the Charts, and 2019’s ‘Please Remain Seated’.  In fact, the last three Thunder albums – ‘Wonder Days’, ‘Rip It Up’ and ‘Please Remain Seated’have all enjoyed UK Top Ten status in the Album Chart.
 
TRACKLISTING
CD1 [of both 2 and 3CD formats]
Dirty Love / Love Walked In / She’s So Fine / A Better Man/Backstreet Symphony / Low Life In High Places / River Of Pain / Like A Satellite / Stand Up / Living For Today / Love Worth Dying For / Just Another Suicide / All I Ever Wanted / Gimme Shelter [recorded for charity in 1993],

CD2  [of both 2 and 3CD formats]
I Love You More Than Rock N Roll / Loser / I’m Dreaming Again / The Devil Made Me Do It / On The Radio / The Rain / Wonder Days / Rip It Up / In Another Life / Right From The Start / The Thing I Want / Future Train [2019 Version] / Low Life In High Places [2019 Version] / Your Time Is Gonna Come [Led Zeppelin cover, recorded in summer 2018 during the Please Remain Seated album session. Previously unreleased.]

CD3
Bigger Than Both Of Us / Serpentine / She’s So Fine/ Blown Away / River Of Pain / Stand Up
 
Frontman Danny Bowes said, “Having been at it for 30 years, we now feel we have enough of a body of work behind us to do this properly. We explored and re-imagined our back catalogue with the ‘Please Remain Seated’ album, and now with ‘The Greatest Hits’ we’ve gathered all our key tunes together. It’s all killer, no filler, and we hope fans like having it all in one place.” Guitarist and songwriter Luke Morley added, “It was great fun picking the tunes for this compilation, and brilliant to put all of them into one big collection.”
 
For many bands, an album entitled ‘The Greatest Hits’ album would be a valedictory romp through past glories, for Thunder this is a collection of signposts that have taken them from where they started to where they are now. With a new studio album already under way and slated for release in late 2020, the Thunder story is far from over; if anything that rumbling is getting louder!