Reviews November/04

James Christian / Meet the Man / FR CD 210


James Christan - One of the most significant voices of melodic rock! Tracklisting:After the Love has gone; Know you in the Dark; Surrender your Love; Meet the Man; End of Time; Love looked into my Life; Leave well enough alone; Strong enough; You should be blue; Circle of Tears; Hold back the Night.

I first heard James Christian as he fronted House Of Lords somewhere in the late 80's. And to me he is one of THE voices of melodic rock. His 1994 album "Rude Awakening" was released in a period when Nirvana was s### hot - but I still remember it as one of the album that dared to cross the stream and be something different - an alternative to alternative, so to speak! Not so long long ago the band House of Lords re-united, but I must admit that I haven't even heard the album yet, but if it is just half as good as this Mr Christians second solo album it will do! "Meet the Man" is almost perfect - it has all the classic vertues like a brilliant production, excellent song writing, great musicians and of course Christians classic hoarse voice which can lift a ballad to galactic heights and equally give a dirty rock'n'roller depth.
On the album Mr. Christian has joined forces with Biggs Brice on drums, Roberto Vanni on lead guitars, JM Scattolin on guitars and the wife Robin Beck as the pretty back ground singer has found her way to the record studio as well. The production duties and musical guidance are being handled by Fabrizio Grossi (of course) who also plays the bass - it seems like everhing he touches on Frontiers these days has "quality" printed all over it.
On the album there are songwriting contributions from band mates Chuck Wright and Lanny Cordola who co-wrote first track "After the Love has gone" and "Hold back the Night" and the big Stan Bush on "Strong enough" and the late Judithe Randall who was Christians artistic mentor - she was the one who brought him to the LA music scene in the first place.
As I said there are a lot of great tracks here - spanning from the ballads "Surrender your Love", "Love looked into my Life" and "Hold back the Night" all delivered with a lot of heart wrenching pain and emotion, luckily there are some first grade rock tracks here, too. Tracks like the magnificent opener "After the Love has gone", the infectious "End of Time" with its great outro and the brilliant "Leave well enough alone" with a very strong chorus and the riff based "Strong enough" and, and, and...
All in all this is a brilliant return from James Christian. The album proofs that he is as good as ever and remains one of my all time favorite singers! Rock on - ...

Iommi with Glenn Hughes / The 1996 Dep Sessions / MYNPRO30


Tony Iommi and Glenn Hughes - a powerful duo! Tracklisting:Gone; From another World; Don't you tell me; Don't drag the River; Fine; Time is the Healer; I'm not the same Man; It falls through me.

Tony Iommi is the "godfather" af many a metal riff and I suppose that he is the inspiration of many metal guitar freaks out there. Here he has re-united for a short period with bassist/vocalist Glenn Hughes and it seems to be a creative partnership. As on there first record "Seventh Star" recorded way back in 1986 (is it really that long ago..?) the general vibe is a combination of all several genres they both drag into the company - it is funky as Trapeze, melodic as Hughes/Turner Project, bluesy as Hughes/Thrall and metallic like Black Sabbath.
In 1996 Mr. Iommi and Mr. Hughes got together with Don Airey and Geoff Nicholls on a shared keyboard place - and the drum parts has been re-recorded by recent Tony Iommi skinsman Jimmy Copely and in general the recordings has been re-mixed by Mike Exeter.
The sessions in the DEP studios 1996 were never prober released because both artist went seperate ways. But now we can finally enjoy the heavy opener "Gone" (which is most Black Sabbath) and the HTP related "From another World" and "Don't you tell me" and the semi acustic "Don't drag the River" with a very powerful chorus. But all tracks are very convincing but my favorite tracks are the first ones - i'm not into the more funky stuff, and i have never accepted the screams in falsetto of Hughes (when he is in that mood..)
A good record, i'm glad that it was finally released. As far as I can read on the press material following this release it was supposed to be Tony Iommi's first "really" solo album - it is essential for my view on both Glenn Hughes as a vocalist and Tony Iommi as an eternal important guitarist after his weak solo album a couple of years ago.

Eyefear / 9 Elements of Inner Vision / MAS PC0449


Eyefear - Progressive metal with a lot af melody! Tracklisting:Elements; Two Souls apart; Illumination fades; Where Clouds divide; Dawn (a new beginning); While the World sleeps; Pt 1 Dreams; Pt 2 Altered Visions; The Script of sorrowed Tales; Vivid Window; Beyond the Twilight.

Eyefear was formed back in 1994, after a couple of line up changes it now features Danny Cecati on vocals, Kosta Papazoglon on guitars, Rob Gorham on bass, Sammy Giaccotto on keyboards and Zain Kimmie on drums.
"9 Elements of Inner Vision" is the bands second full length album - the first "Edge of Existence" was recorded in 1996 - and was more a classic power metal outlet with double guitars. And after that the musical style of the band has changed towards a more progressive attitude adding a keyboardist to the line up and finally the former Pegazus (from Australia) vocalist Cecati to the band gives Eyefear the possibility to outlive their inner visions of a progressive metal band with the focus on the melody - a bit like Queensr˙che but with slightly more guitars and a much more metallic sound.
It it a multi cultural project as the album was recorded at Palm studios, Australia by Enmdel Rivers (Black Majesty, Vanishing Point) and was mixed in Los Angered Studios, Sweden by Andy LaRocque (King Diamond, Death) - and the band is backed up by the Danish based metal-agency Intromental Management. Besides the album features backing vocals of Gio Cavaliere from Black Majesty... And of couse the magnificent artwork is made by Mattias Norén of
So if you are into intelligent and powerful metal with a lot of duelling guitar, keyboards and high pitched vocals combined with thunderous drumming and a good production I will assume that the progressive visions of Eyefear will be right up your alley!

İ Steen Peitersen 1999-2004