“Mighty Rearranger” by Robert Plant

Artist: Robert Plant
Title: “Mighty Rearranger”
Label: Es Paranza
Release Date: 8/25/2005
Genre: Rock
Rating: 8/10

After a six-year hiatus from recording new material bridged by the airing of favored cover tunes (on “Dreamland “) and the pre and post Led Zeppelin retrospective “Sixty Six to Timbuktu” Robert Plant returns with a dozen originals on the new album titled “Mighty Rearranger”.

Though much has been made in latter days of Zep’s willingness pilfer lyrics and licks from their favorite artists (Everly Brothers to Howlin’ Wolf) Plant’s musical strength, in tandem with his legendary vocals, has always come from his diverse musical tastes and his ability to assimilate them into his own creations. In that light “Mighty Rearranger” immediately lives up to its name on opening track “Another Tribe” which offers world beats, Eddie Cochran style acoustic guitars, an eastern string figure and a lyric lamenting the current state of a world at war – wondering if the meek will actually inherit the Earth.
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“Classic Albums: Nevermind” by Nirvana

Artist: Nirvana
Title: “Classic Albums – Nevermind”
Label: Eagle Vision
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Alternative

A welcome addition to Eagle Vision’s “Classic Albums” series is this DVD documenting the creation of Nirvana’s 1991 Number 1 charting album “Nevermind”.

In its time “Nevermind” hit a nerve with listeners across generations that immediately and effectively filled a gap in popular music of the day. The beauty of the album is that it offered a unique soundscape that drew in teens as well as older rock fans and provided music with more “real teeth” than all the latex makeup “Thriller” zombies MTV could screen in the early 90’s.
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“You Are Here” by UFO

Artist: U.F.O.
Title: “You Are Here”
Label: SPV America
Release Date: 5/2004
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 7.5/10

Legendary rockers U.F.O. have returned with a kicking piece of rock and roll for the world to enjoy. Singer Phil Mogg still has one of the more pure voices in rock music and he has held up over the years quite well. Some of the CD reminded me a little more of Bad Company style than that of earlier UFO, yet this is not a bad comparison to hold.
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Overkill @ B.B. King Blues Club (4/14/2005)

Logo - Overkill

Artist: Overkill
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club, NYC
Opener: Sonata Arctica
Date: 4-14-2005
Label: Spitfire Records

I have to admit that my personal excitement was at a very high level for this show and there are a couple of reasons for this being the case. Not only would Overkill be returning to home turf to lay down the metal in support of their latest Spitfire Records release “ReliXIV” but this show would also feature Finnish Power Metal kings Sonata Arctica. What made it extra special was the fact that this Sonata was going to be in NYC for the very first time. Originally, they were set to open for Nightwish but that tour had been mysteriously cancelled for the US Dates. Fans of Sonata were up in arms for now what were going to be the chances of seeing them play over here. Luckily Overkill placed them on some dates and they also grabbed a festival or two. The other great aspect of this night would be that instead of sitting through five bands, we would only have these two super groups. In this you would get lengthier sets from both groups. Mind you, I enjoy when all 5 bands are kick ass, but that is few and far between. B.B. King Blues Club was again the venue for this appearance and it would never be the same again. Metal would be present in a united front that took pioneers in thrash from the USA and put reigning European kings of power on the same stage. The show was completely sold out, and proves to those that say metal music is dead that they should keep their mouths shut. The venue hold about 1100 people and selling this out is no feat to be scoffed at.
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“The Phantom Agony” by Epica

Artist: Epica
Title: “The Phantom Agony”
Label: Transmission Records
Release Date: 3/9/2004
Genre: Symphonic Goth
Rating: 8.5/10

For many years the Heavy Metal world was missing the presence of talented women vocalists. Of course we had the wonderful Doro Pesch and Lita Ford but they were clearly few and far between. However, the past several years have seen this void filled to a very satisfying capacity. We can now count on the existence of bands that are fronted by these amazing singers who add both beauty and grace to music as powerful and complex as their voices. Joining the ranks of Tarja Turunen (Nightwish) & Floor Jansen (After Forever) is Simone Simons of Epica.
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