At LAST! The first full length from Californias` OUTRAGE. Been anticipating this baby for a looooonnnng time, and man was it worth the wait! Essentially a re-recording of their first demo release

[Click here for my review of ".....Just a Demo"]
, "Outspoken" is MILES above the demo in all departments. 11 blistering tracks of pure MAYHEM, enhanced by superior production, song writing, as well as EXCELLENT musicianship courtesy of Tracy Houser, guitar, Ari Kohn, bass, Kurt Houser, vocals, and Liz Say, drums. Liz did not play on the earlier demo, but came aboard soon after. Her addition has given the band that extra kick in the ass, which is evident on every cut! A lot of care went into the arrangements; no two tracks sound alike, each one stands out from the other. Quite unlike the majority of bands in this genre, where once you`ve heard the first tune, you`ve heard their entire catalog; no such problem with OUTRAGE! Highest, HIGHEST reccomendation possible! Thanks once again, to the band for supplying the disc!! You can get the CD for $10.00 [with lyrics] by contacting the band at their website below.


Frozen Tears-"Voodoo"-2000

Good ol` fashioned Hard Rock from Germany! This 5-piece [J. Tears vocals,Crazy Peck,guitar,Michael Myers,keyboards ,Charlie bass, & Dom drums] crank out melodic rock of the type that burned up the US charts 15 years ago [people still knew how to play their instruments back then!], but hardly sound dated. This 4 track CD has two sides to it [most of them do these days; even I noticed that!]; the first 2 songs, "Voodoo Ain`t Enough", and "Fall" sound quite a bit like "Runaway"-era Bon Jovi,at especially the vocals. "Reach For The Sky", and "Wolf Among The Sheep" are the heavier of the four, bringing to mind Dokken circa "Breaking The Chains". The above comparisons are most definitely complimentary, and the band puts its` own personal "stamp" on the music.Highly accomplished musicianship, clear,heartfelt vocals, and crunching guitars make this a VERY enjoyable listening experience! Can`t wait to hear what they do on a full-length! How `bout it, guys? [Thanks to Celine for tipping me off to the band! :-)]

"This Is Spinal Tap"-1984 [Re-released 2000]

The greatest Metal band that NEVER was! Director Rob Reiner`s rockumentary, or "mockumentary", concern the fictitious "Spinal Tap", an aging British Metal band that re-defines the term "loser". Featuring David St. Hubbins, guitar [Michael Mckean], Nigel Tufnel, guitar [Christopher Guest] and Derick Smalls, bass [Harry Shearer], w/ commentary by film director Marty di Bergi [Reiner, who also co-wrote he script with Guest, Mckean, and Shearer], and an endless parade of exploding drummers. Set in 1982 during the bands disastrous "Smell The Glove" tour, the movie satireizes the ego-driven world of Heavy Metal superstar acts and life of a Rock band on the road with deadly accuracy. In fact, for some real life big name bands [Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, to name a few], the film hit a little TOO close to home! More witty than funny, the movie has been re-released with added footage and a 1992 video for "Bitch School", which was actually banned by MTV!! [Life imitates art?] One of my all time favorites! Buy it, rent it, whatever, you`ll LOVE it! [This review goes all the way to 11......]

Halford-"Ressurection"/Iron Maiden "Brave New World"-2000

I`m putting these 2 together because: 1, Maiden`s Bruce Dickinson sings on one of the Halford tracks. 2, They toured together [Summer 2000]. And 3, I`m a little, well, SUSPICIOUS, of both albums! Here we go: After leaving Judas Priest in `93, Halford went on to form the GOD-Awful Fight, a mediocre thrash band that put out 2 lame albums before calling it quits. Worse yet, Rob made statements in the press declaring Metal dead, announcing a possible collaboration with Trent Reznor [?!], as well as releasing his own Industrial project "2"! [Number 2 is a VERY apt title, BTW] Yes, The Metal God had turned his back on the very genre he helped create! After "2" died the gruesome death it deserved, Rob woke up, came to his senses, and has now released "Resurrection"; "SCREAMING back to his senses", is more like it! Folks, this is damn near Metal perfection! The CD opens fire, all guns blazing with the title cut, and ALMOST never lets up. "Made In Hell" [an autobiography?], my favorite, "Nightfall", the aformentioned duet w/ Dickinson, "The One You Love To Hate" are modern Metal classics! The one clunker: "Twist". It just sort of...sits there! Oh, well! Can`t have everything. Rob, YOU ARE FORGIVEN! Just don`t let it happen again...... Iron Maidens "Brave New World" doesn`t fare as well. Not that it isn`t any good; on the contrary, it`s VERY good, actually! Sounding like a cross between "Piece Of Mind" & "Powerslave", it`s probably the best thing Maidens` put out in years! [But Blaze Bayley`s "Silicone Messiah" is waaaaayyy better, sorry chaps `n` all....] And the band has never sounded better! All the essential ingredients of an IM album are present: galloping bass line, a GREAT 3 [!] guitar line-up, a couple of 8-12 minute Metal epics [nobody writes `em like `arry!]. But here`s where I have the problem with both this and the Halford CD; it all sounds a little......forced. Let`s face it, Halford sold out, failed miserably, and then came crawling back to the fold! And Maiden? At times it seems like they`re playing by the numbers, ie: "Lets play it like THIS, and we`ll be giving them what they want". I`m not saying that`s what is going on, not at all! I just get the feeling that both bands are going through the motions. Maybe I`m wrong; God KNOWS I`ve been wrong before! In sum, these are great albums, and I DO recommend them. But the doubts remain......

Iron Maiden

Manowar-"Hell On Earth"-2000

The warning on the back of this video reads: "This program contains drinking, fucking, partying, nudity, explicit lyrics, obscene language, and more sex than most people ever dream of! This video is for the TRUE Metal animal audiences ONLY! Not recommended for losers, wimps, posers,and all other assorted assholes." Now what could I possibly add to THAT?! This first installment of a 2 [or 3, or...?] part series captures the bands Hell On Wheels tour in full glory, doing what they do best: destroying eardrums, annihilating concert halls, and just being themselves! OK, the last part of that sentence sounded lame, but the TRUE Manowar fan will know what I`m talking about here. [example: Joey Demaio`s, shall we say, PASSION, for the softer sex? Gene Simmons ain`t got NUTHIN` on this guy!] Curious non-fans shoud proceed with caution. My take? One of THE best Metal home videos EVER!! Thank you, Metal Mark, for the GREAT Birthday Present!!!


Raven Mad-"Corvus Insanus"-1999

More LA Metal Madness! One of the BEST new Metal acts to emerge from the underground, Raven Mad play a more `80`s influenced style, but they are HARDLY a Retro band. With a sound similar to early Exciter meets Piledriver, the band plows through this 4-song CD with all the subtly of a Wrecking Ball. The production is somewhat lacking, but who cares? Who needs production when you`ve got ATTITUDE! This is a quality Raven Mad has in abundance. You can tell the band enjoyed themselves immensely during the recording; tracks like "Leadfoot", and [My favorite!] "Call Forth The Demons" radiate enthusiasm and a genuine love for the music. But 4 tracks is NOT enough; WE WANT MORE! Don`t worry, though; the band should have more material out in the Fall. Just be patient! Greatness cannot be rushed.... [Huge, HUGE thanks to bassist Melanie Sisneros for sending me the CD!! :-)]


Honestly, most of the "Modern" Metal bands leave me cold! But Papa Roach is an exception. Unlike most of their whiney, talentless peers [KORN, Powerman 5000 , Limp Dipshit, etc.. ], These guys seem unafraid to let their Metallic roots show thru. Hell, with "Infest" taking Empty-Vee by storm, they may even start a trend that ensures Metal`s triumphant return to the public eye! Well, OK, maybe not, but ths CD still kicks some serious booty! My favorite tracks are "Last Resort" & the MASSIVE "Between Angels and Insects". The closer track, "Thrown Away" is a real surprise; Reggae inflected rhythms over distorted riffs that bring to mind "Outlandos De Amour" era Police crossed with Bio-Hazzard. Sounds like a can`t-miss combo to me!

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