Reviews November/05

Tramp's White Lion / Rocking the USA / FR CD 265


Mike Tramp - and his own edition of White Lion, rocking indeed! Tracklisting CD1:Lights and Thunder; Hungry; Lonely Nights; Love don't come easy; Broken Heart; Fight to survive; Cry for Freedom; You're all I need; Little Fighter.
Tracklisting CD2:It's over; Livin' on the Edge; Tell me; Wait; Lady of the Valley; When the Children cry; Radar Love.

Mike Tramp's White Lion is very much alive. They where very big in my world at their peak in the late 80's. Mike Tramp (Michael Trampenau) is as you may know a Dane and had a career as a teen-star here in Denmark - so I was very excited when White Lion released their 3 most known major releases before calling it a day at the end of 1991.
But now singer and main man Mike Tramp has put together a "new" edition of the band together and toured the States with Enuff Znuff. This new edition is all fresh newcomers from all over the world, practically. Joining Tramp on the stages there are Jamie Law from Australia on guitar, Claus Langeskov (Longwood in English) from Denmark on bass, Troy Patrick Farrell from USA on drums and finally Henning Wanner from Germany on keyboards.
All the good tracks are here: "Hungry" "Broken Heart", "Lady of the Valley" etc. etc. all in very good shape - and delivered with a freshness and ability that is as good as the original tracks and musicians! One more clue to this release is that Michael Wagener who originally produced the "Pride" and "Big Game" albums mixed all the live tracks here. - and as Mike says: "We are not interested in fixing what isn't broke. We are here to play White Lion songs the way they were written". And they do...

TNT / All the Way to the Sun / MTM 0681 - 148


TNT - Back on the throne as one of the best melodic band in the World!! Tracklisting:A Fix; Too late; Driving; Me and I; Sometimes; All the Way to the Sun; What a wonderful World; The Letter; Mastic Pines; Black Butterfly; Save your Love; Ready to fly.

TNT had a really dramatic come back with "My Religion" last year - this record is a bit harder, and better I think! The choruses are more compact and the guitar work from the magnificent Ronni Le Tekro and the songs structures are a bit more experimental and complex - it must be har to re-new the genre everytime and still make it recognizeable.
One of the strongest things in TNT's universe is charismatic singer Tony Harnell with his high pitched vocals that covers every genre (even jazz in "What a wonderful world") in a very authentic way but also drummer Diesel Dahl deliveres a decent job.
There are may memorable tracks on this release _ and they keep getting stronger as I hear them again, and again, and again... I can't get enough of this record! At the moment the Led Zep-inspired "Black Butterfly is my favorite, but i have had "The Fix", "Sometimes" and the title track as favorites earlier on, so this is just for the time being.
The album is produced by Tekro and Harnell - but mixed by Tommy Hansen at the jailhouse studios in Denmark! And he can get all the facets in Tekro's fretwork with him - just listen to the solo in "Save your Love"! ...or the the rhythm structures in the final cut "Ready to fly" - marvellous!
"All the Way to the Sun" is a great record - i my opinion it is in some ways better than their last one, but i'm sure that other more melodic orientated music geeks will fight me on that one! If you have the opportunity you can buy the limited edition with a bonus DVD!

Astral Doors / Raiders of the Ark / Locomotive Records LM221


Astral Doors - very competent Swedish power metal with magnificent vocals! Tracklisting:Raiders of the Ark; Easy Rider; Far beyond the Astral Doors; Another Day in Hell; Moonstruck Woman; Time to rock (video clip).

As an appetizer towards their next and 3rd opus Astral Doors releases this little "EP" "raiders of the Ark" which features 3 songs that has only been available in Japan earlier, one brand new song from the upcoming album, aprevously unreleased song and a video clip for the song "Time to rock".
Vocalist Nils Patrick Johansson - known from Wuthering Heights and Space Odyssey - is very much in the vein of Ronnie James Dio, and the band also started out to make metal songs in the spirit of their old heroes Rainbow, Dio, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple originally founded by guitarist Joachim Nordlund and drummer Johan Lindstedt and Johansson. Later on came keyboard player Jocke Roberg, guitarist Martin Haglund and Mika Itäranta on bass.
The band kickstarted with a deal regarding Danish based management Intromental prior to their debut "Of the Son and the Father" - in Japan released under the title "Cloudbreaker". The band always had a big fan territory in Japan and their second coming "Evil is forever". The band toured supporting old Germans Grave Digger and Doro Pesch.
So if you're into some old school metal with a lot of fresh enthusiasm and roughness Astral Doors is definitely up your alley - the twin guitars figures combined with the thundering drums and magnificent vocal performance is absolutely great! And as an hors d'eovre this works really fine - i'm hooked!

© Steen Peitersen 1999-2005