• Emil


Hello 2019! After a spellbound 2018 for metal and rock music in general, we're welcoming 2019, a year that already seems to shape into yet another amazing and abundant year for our beloved music. The first month of this year, January, turned out to be a balancing act when it came to what albums I've spent most time with. Making a distinct separation from albums that I've reviewed, and spent ample amounts of time with, and albums that I listened at my own leisure. Therefore, the albums that were subject for my reviews are, as usual, excluded from the tally. The following five albums were most listened to, outside any engagements and/or commitments.


Invention of Knowledge


CD, Inside Out Music, IOMSECD 460 88985326562

"Invention of Knowledge" is the debut studio collaboration by singer-songwriters and musicians Jon Anderson and Roine Stolt, released on June 24, 2016 through German independent record label Inside Out Music. The (neo) progressive rock album charted in a few countries, after its release, reaching #58 in UK's Albums Chart. Anderson, formerly of the progressive rock band Yes, and Stolt, a Swedish guitarist and songwriter for The Flower Kings and Transatlantic, first met in February 2014 when Anderson performed at Progressive Nation at Sea, a progressive rock-themed cruise voyage, with Stolt and members of Transatlantic as Anderson's backing band performing several Yes songs. Chris Roberts reviewing the album for Prog magazine, thought the collaboration between Anderson and Stolt seemed to be "one of those inspired ideas which is almost so obviously bound to work that you fear there's going to be a catch". He nonetheless praised the record, "a beautiful album that's effectively the best of both worlds. There's no sense of cagey compromise or polite deference, and both artists extend themselves freely, exploring and expressing vast swathes of musical terrain".


Sticks & Stones


LP, Provogue Records, PRD 7306 1

Released on August 22, 2011, "Sticks & Stones", Eric Sardinas' fifth album at the time, was received enthusiastically by fans. Besides Eric, handling the vocals and the electric & acoustic resonator & slide guitars, the other 2/3 of the trio, the Big Motor, its rhythm section, are drummer Chris Frazier and bassist Levell Price. Dave Schulz, outside the trio, being responsible for the organ and piano parts. Heavily rooted in Mississippi/Delta blues, the blues rock effort unleashes the trio's rocking side with the numerous rock and roll numbers present. A clean, rather raw, yet very effective production stripped of any unnecessary fillers, showcasing boogie and spunk, allowing Eric, arguably the swampiest of all contemporary blues shredders, to exploit the wide capabilities of his guitar playing and the instruments' sonic qualities. Shuffle!


Until Death Do We Meet Again


2xLP, Frontiers Music SRL, FR LP 886

After his tenures in Rough Cutt, Giuffria and DIO, among others, guitarist Craig Goldy's latest project, Dream Child, released their debut album, titled "Until Death Do We Meet Again", on September 17, 2018, via Frontiers Records. The supergroup's line-up consists of Craig Goldy, Wayne Findlay (ex-Michael Schenker Group) on guitars & keys, Rudy Sarzo (ex-Quiet Riot, ex-Ozzy, ex-DIO) on bass guitar, Simon Wright (ex-AC/DC, ex-DIO, ex-UFO) on drums & seasoned Argentinian heavy metal singer Diego Valdez (Skiltron, Triddana, Eydillion and Azeroth) on vocals. Regarding the album, Goldy says, "During the very first public memorial for our most beloved Ronnie James Dio, I had mentioned that whenever I do start writing original material again that I would utilize everything that I had learned from working side by side with the Master for so many years in such a way that I would hope to make him proud ... and here it is! The name is inspired by one of his lyrics on the 'Dream Evil' album and the nickname he gave me at the time, Dream Child! This album will bring back memories of the days most people have thought were long gone and never to return, yet it is also new and fresh enough to be unique with some unexpected twists and turns."


Human Remains


2xCD digipack, Nuclear Blast, NB 2721-0

"Human Remains", the first studio album by the UK heavy metal band HELL, containing re-recorded versions of songs originally performed by the band during the period 1982 – 1986, with minor arrangement changes and updates, along with the addition of new keyboard, orchestral, choral and soundscape parts, and was pieced together over a three year period principally as a 'hobby project' during occasional periods of downtime at Andy Sneap's Backstage Studios, in Derbyshire, UK. Sneap, whom credits Hell's original singer and guitarist Dave Halliday with teaching him to play guitar (Sneap later to form UK thrash metal band Sabbat), and Hell as one of his main influences, funded the entire project out of his own pocket and has been instrumental in the band's resurrection. The recordings were completed with neither hope nor aspirations of any outcome. The finished product, however, reached the attention of, and subsequently attracted bids from five record labels, with the band eventually signing to Nuclear Blast Records. The original formation of Hell splitting up, led to Dave Halliday's suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in 1987. The band's initial formation, Kev Bower (guitars & keys), Tony Speakman (bass) and Tim Bowler (drums), were permanently joined by Andy Sneap on guitars and Kev Bower's brother David Bower (who is known as David Beckford in his career as a stage and television actor) as the lead vocalist.


Serpent Temptation

1988, 2016 reissue

LP, Relapse Records, RR7320

"Serpent Temptation" is the debut album of death metal band Opprobrium (formally known as INCUBUS), founded in 1986 by brothers Francis and Moyses Howard in Metairie, Louisiana. The band's original incarnation featured bassist/lead vocalist Scot Latour. The debut effort was released in 1988, by Brutal Records on LP and MC, however, Latour departed soon afterwards, leaving Francis to take over vocal duties. Shortly after the release of their 1990 epic sophomore effort, "Beyond The Unknown" (Nuclear Blast), in 1991 Incubus disbanded, to reappear after a ten-year break from the music business in 2000, then forced to change their name in order to avoid confusion with a newly emerging mainstream rock band. The band was noted for their particular style of death/thrash metal crossover. In 2009 Scot Latour, had re-joined the band, after 20 years. Opprobrium is set to release a new album, "The Fallen Entities", on February 22nd 2019.

© 2019 by Emil Chiru

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