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November 2001 Reviews


Rating is 7.8 out of 10

The king of heavy metal is back!! Once again, Ozzy proves why he is the creator and king of heavy metal. Ozzy sticks to what he does best, which is why he is still as popular today as he was 20 or 30 years ago.

The album opens with its best overall track "Gets Me Through", which helps to define the sound and shape of the rest of the album - classic Ozzy with catchy, crunching riffs and blazing guitar solos.

Two excellent ballads appear on the album. "Dreamer" and "Running out of time"....Both of which could easily be staples on both radio and MTV.

Other Stand-Out tracks include "No Easy Way Out", "That I Never Had", and the epic, "Diary"-sounding "Can You Hear Them". Overall, the album sounds like a mix between Ozzmosis and No More Tears, with a little old school Diary of a Madman thrown in.


Rating is 7.5 out of 10

This is the only review on "Weathered" that you need to read! Simply put, "Weathered" is Creed's best album to date, with even MORE great songs that are sure to infiltrate radio and music video. If you liked the first two Creed longplayers, you are sure to enjoy this third opus from the band that has certainly earned the right to be called the best hard rock band over the past 5 years.

Scott Stapps is at the height of his power on this album, and the confidence he now possesses shines through on songs like "Who's Got My Back", "One Last Breath", and "Stand Here with Me". Scott can do no wrong, and vocally this album is a pure masterpiece. Just listen to the range he exhibits, and the emotion that is poured out upon each verse, bridge, and chorus. I find myself hanging on to each and every word, just to hear his vocal patterns and fluctuations.

One of the strongest characteristics of Creed's music is their use of melody. Although their music is built off of basic "rock" chords and structures, the riffs and melodies are so catchy - so hypnotizing - that you are drawn in and literally swept away. Each song contains its own hook, lyrical pattern, or riff that makes you want to listen over and over again. Every song stands on its own, but the best of the best include the thrashy, guitar driven opener "Bullets", the epic "Who's Got My Back", the title track "Weathered", and the classic Creed power ballads "One Last Breath" and "Hide". Oh, yes, the first single "My Sacrifice" is currently all over Radio, but just wait....I wouldn't be surprised if at least 5 others get continuous airplay over the next 12 months and end up at the top of the charts. Also, check out the Guitar solo on "Stand Here with Me", and tell me that Tremonti's blood doesn't bleed true metal!!

December 2001 Reviews

AGENT STEEL - Unstoppable Force (1987)

Rating is 9.0 out of 10

Agent Steel is surely one of the best, and unfortunately more obscure thrash/progressive bands of the '80's. Due to poor decision making within the band (including screwing up a chance in '86 to sign with Capitol Records and tour with Megadeth...OUCH!), and an unsettled line-up, they failed to reach their full potential.

However, Agent Steel did create one of the great hidden gems within the underground of HEAVY METAL...Unstoppable Force!! To give you an idea, Agent Steel has a sound all their own, but does seem to draw influence from Queensryche, Fates Warning, and Old Metallica/Megadeth/Kreator/Slayer. It is as if they mold Speed/Thrash Metal with the vocal and song writing ability of more progressive bands - Queensryche and Fates Warning.

The album is pure brilliance from start to finish. Agent Steel opens with the seering, ear melting title track, then blazes through the second song "Never Surrender". The best tracks are yet to come with "Chosen to Stay" - a great "Take Hold of the Flame" sounding tune - and the mid-tempo "Still Searching", which is still one of my favorite Metal songs no matter how many times I listen to it!!

The album also includes the Judas Priest inspired "Rager" (listen to the lyrics, and the singer's use of accenting sylables along with his overall vocal expression...aka Rob Halford). With lyrics like, "Hammering Metal into your Heads!", this pure piece of molten metal makes you want to split your head open, well...with a HAMMER!! Next comes a classic Thrash instrumental, "The Day at Guyana". The closer, "Traveler", is best listened to in a dark room with several lit candles, as you will need to meditate after being pumelled by the first 8 songs on this 9 song masterpiece! Basically, if you are a fan of the bands previously mentioned, or if you enjoy current European Power Metal Bands like HammerFall, or the Almighty SACRED STEEL, then this album is one you can not live without!!

January 2002 Reviews

DOKKEN - Breaking the Chains (1983)

Rating is 8.0 out of 10

Dokken's first full-length from 1983 only hints at what is to come from this elite-status glam/metal band. Indeed, if you consider yourself a fan of glam metal, this album is a great one for the collection.

My favorite Dokken Song of all time is the self titled "Breaking the Chains", so enough said there...the song simply KICKS ASS!!!

Many people have only heard the Title Track from this album, along with the closer, "Paris is Burning". Both, of course, are Dokken classics. But other standouts include "In the Middle", "Felony", and the ultra-melodic "I Can't See You". "Seven Thunders" has a great chorus, and everytime I listen to the song it sticks in my head for hours.

This album is more melodic, and does not really contain any "all-out" rockers in the vain of "Tooth and Nail", or "Till the Living End". The closest thing would probably be "Live to Rock", or even "Paris is Burning". Keep in mind that Dokken is still honing their skills on this one. However, if you enjoy tunes like "In My Dreams", "Into the Fire", or "Jaded Heart", you will really like this full-length opus. This is pure Dokken, full of memorable melodies and soaring guitar solos.