• Emil


There is no secret that my musical tastes and preferences extend far outside the metal realm. With that said, I won't waste this space to vex the readers, and hopefully potential listeners, with music that is non rock or metal tangible. February was a balancing act as far as what music I've played: lots of wonderful new heavy/power metal was auditioned, resulting in published reviews for releases by FRENZY, BOOZE CONTROL and IRON FIRE, and also for music on the darker side of the metal underground, such as IMPRECATION and USURPER, among other things. So, to keep things in check, I dug deep in my vast music collection, and the following five albums spent more time than others, in my CD player, or on my turntable's platter.


Black Fingernails, Red Wine

2006, 2007

CD/DVD digipack, Rykodisc, ‎RCD 10922

Australian alternative rockers Eskimo Joe's third studio album, "Black Fingernails, Red Wine", originally released in Australia on June 10, 2006, reached the top position on Australian ARIA Albums Chart, debuting at the top spot on the chart week of 19 June 2006. The album has been certified 4x Platinum in Australia. It is their best selling album to date. The album was released as the band's debut album in the United States on September 25th 2007. The album is noted for being heavily influenced by the production techniques and sound of early 80's rock, with many similarities to vintage Icehouse and INXS. Eskimo Joe's Kavyen Temperley explains: "I always think of things in a concept-record type of way. So I wanted to make a record as if we were a stadium rock band (..) If we were like INXS, what kind of record would I want to write?".



1994, 1998 reissue

2xCD, EMI, EMI 7243 497038

Originally release on February 7, 1994, "Brave" is the seventh studio album by the UK progressive rockers Marillion. It charted at number 10 on the UK Albums Chart. The album, which mixed classic symphonic progressive rock with standard rock, was ranked by Raw as one of the 20 greatest albums of 1994. In 2000 it was selected by Classic Rock as one of the "30 Best Albums of the 90s", and in 2003 as one of "Rock's 30 Greatest Concept Albums". Based on a news story heard on the radio about a girl who was taken into police custody after being found wandering the Severn Bridge, the album was recorded at Château de Marouatte in France. The influence of these surroundings can be heard throughout the album in a lot of haunting atmospherics. Initially EMI wanted the band to do a "quick record" in order to gain some revenue, but this project progressively escalated, taking the band nine months to write and produce. EMI re-released "Brave" with remastered sound and a second disc containing bonus material in 1998.


Burnt Offerings


LP, Daptone Records, DAP-034

The Budos Band is an instrumental band recording on the Daptone Records label. Initially, the nine members band (with occasional guests) on their first studio albums, played instrumental music that was self-described as "Afro-Soul". With the arrival of "Burnt Offerings", their fourth studio album, the band has moved toward playing what they refer to as "70's Psychedelic Instrumental Music." Jazz, deep funk, Afro-beat, soul and heavy-metal influences can be heard on this Budos Band recording. Pitchfork wrote: "The majority of 'Burnt Offering' is built on the same framework that the Budos Band has always used - elegantly simple guitar, deep pockets of syncopation, and bold shouts of brass - but here it’s been wreathed in the thick organ vamps of the bands that helped inspire metal, namely Iron Butterfly and Uriah Heep." Get ready to be transposed!


Diamonds Unlocked


CD, Steamhammer, SPV 98072 CD

"Diamonds Unlocked" is the twelfth album by the German band named after its guitarist, Axel Rudi Pell. The album released on October 1st 2007, consists of ten cover tracks and one self-written introduction track, being Axel Rudi Pell's strong effort to make cover versions of tracks from typically "non-metal" artists including Phil Collins and Michael Bolton in order to show how these songs would be done in his signature melodic rock/metal style. Besides the aforementioned artists, the album contains great renditions of popular songs from legendary names, such as: Riot, U2, The Law, Kiss, Free, Montrose, The Mission & The Who.


Holy Hell


CD, AFM Records, AFM 091-2

"Holy Hell" is a heavy metal album released on April 4, 2005, by rock/metal singer, Rob Rock (Impellitteri, M.A.R.S., Joshua, Axel Rudi Pell and Warrior). This is his third solo release and it's known for being his heaviest and most aggressive album to date. It was produced by Roy Z who is also known for producing solo albums by Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson. Roy Z is also credited for performing some of the guitar and bass parts on the album. Many highly acclaimed musicians are featured throughout, including guitarist Carl Johan Grimmark of Narnia fame, and drummer Bobby Jarzombek who plays in bands such as WatchTower and Blotted Science, and played with Iced Earth and Spastic Ink. Tobias Sammet of Edguy and Avantasia also makes a guest appearance, singing a duet with Rob on the closing track, "Move On". Total headbanger!

© 2019 by Emil Chiru

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