Archive for the ‘2011’ Category
I’ve talked about Riot more than once on this site and about how I really love the Thundersteel era over the Fire Down Under era. Don’t get me wrong, FDU is a great album and extremely influential, but I prefer the more metal/powermetal version of Riot, partially because of Bobby Jarzombek.
I was fortunate enough to see the Riot reunion show in June of 2009 in San Antonio. It was quite special. They mentioned at that show that a new album would be forthcoming, then I believe Tony Moore left…then came back. Great news!
Once the album buzz started getting posted around the web, it got me excited. I love this band with Moore on vocals. He sounded really good live in 09. I finally got the album via iTunes a while back after hearing a few songs that had been posted around the YouTube and such and liked what I heard.
Upon getting the full version, I gave it several listens, at least 15 now. This is a strong album and well worth owning if you’re a fan of that era of the band’s music. Bobby Jarzombek shows off his amazing skills as expected. That guy is awesome, period. The guitar work is really good, some of the best I’ve ever heard from Reale. I assume that Flyntz is doing some of the solos too, but not 100% sure.
Lyrically it’s what you would expect. They obviously made an effort to make this sound like the followup to Thundersteel and not necessarily the followup to Privilege of Power. The songs are strong and some have their fair amount of lyrical cheese, but it works well. It’s a fun album.
If I had to make a complaint, it would be on the vocals. To my ears there sounds like a lot of fixes to Tony’s vocals. Lots of harmonizer. It does get annoying in spots but generally doesn’t detract from the album as a whole.
Highlight tracks for me would be Still Your Man (which is basically Johnny’s Back pt 2), Riot, Sins of the Father, Fall Before Me, Wings are for angels.
If you don’t have this album yet, get it. 8/10
Last night I was able to see a small and rare performance of Billy “Blanco” White. You may remember Billy from such bands as Watchtower, Don Dokken and the Billy White Trio. The guy is such a great guitar player. He’s been spending much of his time in Mexico in recent years and primarily does flamenco style music now, although he said last night he’s been doing some guest spots on other people’s albums recently.
I first saw Billy play in 1991 and you can read about that here.
Last night performance was pretty cool, albeit a tad uncomfortable. He played in a small room that was about 20’x40’. Everyone sat on the floor and we had to remove our shoes prior to entering the building. Even sitting on a pillow, my back and knees were killing me but it didn’t matter, I was sitting a few feet away from a great musician. Only about 40 people showed up and it was a great experience. His playing was awesome. A mix of flamenco with a tad of fusion thrown in. He had a violinist and a tabla player sit in for a few songs as well. It was all pretty cool.
Afterwards I got to speak to him for a few minutes. He graciously signed The Book and some CDs for me. It was a fun evening, very relaxing.
Philm is a project that has been around since the mid-1990s according to their drummer, Dave Lombardo. It remained pretty dormant until the time(s) he wasn’t with Slayer and apparently they jam a bit. I had seen some of the YouTube stuff and I was pretty underwhelmed by it. When I saw that they were playing Austin, I was a tad excited about it because, hey, it’s Dave Lombardo. While I could never claim him as an influence on my drumming, he was certainly an inspiration. The guy is a beast of a player and given the chance to see him play outside of Slayer seemed pretty rad.
Originally this show was $15 but a few days beforehand they made it a free show. Slayer is in town this weekend for the FUN FUN FUN Fest so I guess Dave decided to try and float his other band here.
The opening band was called Unmothered from Austin. They were pretty good and I’d certainly go see them again. They were a 3pc sort of droning thing. There was a weird dark almost black metal undertone but this was no black metal band. Worth checking out again for sure.
Up next came My Education, also from Austin. Apparently they are considered “post-rock”, another sub-genre of rock. They were all instrumental and had a viola player through most of it. It was slightly prog and gave me somewhat of a Kansas (band) vibe. They weren’t awful by any means, but a bit boring to watch. Perfect background music, though. My friend made a good observation by saying that if they had some sort of film projection along with their live performance, it’d be more palatable in a live setting. AGREED.
Up next was Philm. By the time they came on, there may have been 150 at the show. I’ll go ahead and say it first, they were very underwhelming. Sure Dave did some cool stuff here and there, but it was pretty boring. I think if they went all instrumental it would have been a bit better. The singer killed it for me, not to mention that the music was rather generic. It was cool to see him do his thing on a tiny drumset though. Apparently he came out for a few minutes after they played. A few friends met him. I didn’t bother as I got to meet him while he was on tour with Testament back in 2000. It was cool because I got to meet his wife and kid too.
Rumors were flying around that Slayer was going to show up and do an impromptu set after Philm. I think it was all a set up to get more people to the show and sell some drinks. Slayer never played. That was unfortunate as it would have been cool seeing them do a few tunes on a barebones stage.
C’est la vie, eh? At least I got to see another one of my musical idols play again this week.