Reviews October/07

Gary John Barden / Love & War / ESM 161


Gary John Barden - Still going strong! Tracklisting:Creatures of the Night; Unchain me; When the Lovin' dies; You; Last Samurai; Dragon's Fire; Voices in the Rain; Love lost; Burn on the Flame; Deja Vu; In Love & War.

Gary John Barden was already one of my favorite vocalist back in the early 80's discovering the joy of hard rock. One of my axe heroes was Michael Schenker and a compilation bought on a trip to Berlin with tracks from way back and even some live recording gave me a picture of the vocal capacity of Gary barden.
But taht was then this is now - and barden is still around - even more alive than before. As always his powerful vocal performance rocks out on this his third solo-album called "Love & War". When I say that the man has re-vitalized himself it has been done with the help of guitarist/producer Michael Voss (Casanova, Mad Max, demon Drive). he has made the sound updated, fresh and modern his music sounded.
Its hard to find some favorites here - all tracks are memorable. But the heavy drumming/bass and effective riffing on "Dragons Fire" is really great. The riffing continues on "Voices in the Rain" - boy, is Voss' guitar work impressive. The albums ballad "In Love & War" is a very touching moment, enjoy it! There has been time for som playing around on the record, too. Barden has recorded a very inspired version of Sweet's "Burn on the Flame" ;-) with almost authentic guitar sound to it.
This great new record is an absolute goodie - filled with inspired rock songs, outstanding vocals by Barden. Now I can hear the similarity to Fate's Per Johansson... Voss' guitar work and production supports this powerful vocals excellent. Definitely a highlight in 2007!

Milo's Craving / The more you know / KE001TMYK


Milo's Craving - A beautiful album! Tracklisting:Prince of Darkness: Chapter 1: When you fall; Chapter 2: Closer; Chapter 3: Beyond good and bad; Time Machine; Haunted House; Pictures and Voices; Wings of Stone; Draw the Line; Come out; Will you?.

I thank God for the inventor of the term "Progressive Songwriter Orientated Art Rock" - because this describes the German duo Milo's Craving exactly! Thee duo featuring the incredible talent of composer/producer/guitarist/bass player/eyecatcher Kathrin Elfman and keyboard/synth wizzard Klaus P. Rausch.
I haven't heard of either Kathrin or Klaus before - but according to the press material they are both very experienced and creative. In example Mrs. Elfman has taken lessons in flute, church organ, singing and dancing. Flirted with punk, metal, gospel and has written sci-Fi novels - and Klaus' musical landscapes are breathtaking.
The music on "The more you know" is inspired by Neal Morse, Rush and even Kansas - with stints of Genesis and Pink Floyd over it, too. It is a beautiful progressive concept album with autobiographical under- (and over)tones. It starts out with the over 18 minutes long trilogy "Prince of Darkness". This masterpiece in 3 chapters starts out with When you fall" and ends with the beautiful "Beyond good and bad" - great. Taht song has it all effective riffing and some blizz solos all kept together with exceptional keyboards. The whole album ends with the absolute breathtaking track "Will you?". The musical journey is accpmpanied with a 24 pages big booklet which also works as a travel guide through different facets of the most energetic human emotion: Craving. According to the press material the album: "...reflects a positive drug free philosophy of life. That's why the suicidal track "draw the Line" transforms into the uplifting hymn "Come out" in E-major"
It's a very challenging and diverse album - just as the term in the beginning suggested - breathtaking and enchanting. Just as the look and voice of Elfman. This is outstanding... I'm speachless! BUY BUY BUY

Terry Ilous / Here and gone / FYCO Records


Terry Ilous - The past, the present and ...some rare cuts! Tracklisting:Walk on Water; Ticket to Hell; The Road; Her and gone; Waiting for a Girl like you; Got to believe; Face down in the Gutter; save me; Inside out; American Woman; Out in the Cold; Soul to Soul; Unconditional; The Day I spoke to Dog; Maggie (live); Can't get over you; Make me blind; Silent Night.

My first knowledge of Terry Ilous was as XYZ singer - a bandin the slipstream of Dokken way back in the happy 80's (and early 90s, i think) the made a small return in 2003 with a new album called "Letter To God" - very autobiographic, as i remember. Now Terry is back and has made a compilation called "Here And Gone" with rare tracks from way back when... covering both XYZ and solo years. For the enthusiastic fans (like me) of Mr. Ilous this is a album filled up to the limit with 18 songs and over 75 minutes of music. It's funny - i think - with these albums with rare cuts and hidden covers. Mostly I can imagine that these tracks would work out as b-sides on singles.
The album kicks out with the alternative rockers "Walk On Water", "Ticket To Hell" and the great ballad "The Road" featuring Ilous' old mate JK Northrup (the track was on his latest album, too). The sound is very close to JK Northrups but where JK had focused on a more alternative guitar style Ilous has focused on semi-acustic approach. I especially like tracks like "Got to believe" and the Foreigner cover "Waiting for a Girl like you" and the bluesy dirty "Face down in the Gutter". On the album Mr. Ilous some major guys as allies: Vinnie Appice, Matt Bissonette, Tony Franklin, James Kottak, Randy Castillo (R.I.P), Chris Slade and Jeff Pilson just to name few...
This is an album for the die-hard fans of Terry Ilous but as a such it works very well. Just listen to "Save me" and you will realize that Ilous is one hell of a singer - and backed up by those capacities it's a pleasure to listen to "Here and gone".

Steen Elstrup Pejtersen 1999-2007