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Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 1

These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.

36 Crazyfists: “Rest Inside The Flames” (DRT Entertainment)

Newly signed to DRT Entertainment, the Post Hardcore meets Melodic Metalcore guys in 36 Crazyfists give us their third album “Rest Inside The Flames”. The release is a significant Metal punch to the teeth as they use the Hardcore vibe straight away but different from some bands that blend in the Melodic aspect, 36CF are often using the both at the same time. I found this a great dynamic instead of the switching off, and actually at the end of the listen wished that they had only used the clean vocal since it was so good. Songs like “On Any Given Night” are fantastic and serve to save the listener from the crop of Emo bands dished out and somehow popular. The drive and delivery of 36CF is bound to please those who are looking for some levels of anger in their music but also those who are seeking more melody than a lot of bands offer. There are a lot of flavors on the album and they even offer some tribute to their homelands on the cut “Aurora”, a song which they said is about love and its magic that can be inspired by the magnificent Northern Lights. If that’s not off the beaten path from other heavy bands I don’t know what else is. There is also a lot of cool music on the release as well as far as time signatures and overall technical display. The band has been around since 1994 so their time together shows in the tightness of the performance on the recording. This resulting tightness makes songs like “Felt Through A Phone Line” among the best on the album and a sure fire hit once it gets to the proper ears. Now despite the harmonies on a number of tracks there is still the continual assault which you find especially on tracks like “Elysium”; the number is a one-two punch of Metal force which makes it interesting to realize that the band takes their very name from one of Jackie Chan’s Kung-Fu movies. In similar fashion to that kind of film the band hits you hard and from a number of different angles leaving you as a listener very clearly remembering what has hit you. There is a lot of fun to be had with this album and there is a very live feel to the music that should transfer well to the group’s performances.

3 Legged Dogg: “Frozen Summer” (Perris Records)

When you take members of Dio, DLR and Quiet Riot you are bound to get a super group and this is exactly what you find in the Bluesy Hard Rock of 3LD. Singer Chas West reminds me of Coverdale while the riffs and drums thunder with Zeppelin/Purple finesse. It’s surprisingly fresh and catchy all around and the perfect band in a day where the old sound is sorely required once again. It’s a great new musical vehicle for Bain, Appice, West, Young and Cavazo but they should really change that name since it takes away from this truly impressive debut.
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“Frozen Summer” by 3 Legged Dogg

Artist: 3 Legged Dogg
Title: “Frozen Summer”
Label: Perris Records
Release Date: 10/17/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

While a VH1 “Reality” show used the name before the CD by this band was released I think it is pretty safe to say that the words “Super Group” apply best when you are teaming up former members of Dio, Quiet Riot, Lynch Mob and the David Lee Roth Band. By right the definition of such a term should be “music of heroic or epic proportions” and with that being said, this is exactly what the result is on this Hard Rocking Blues influenced quintet called “3 Legged Dogg”. Here’s why its so easy to stand by this statement; the bands core membership reads like a who’s who in “Big 80’s” Hard Rock and Metal with Vinny Appice (drums), Chas West (vocals, harmonica), Jimmy Bain (bass), Carlos Cavazo (guitar) and Brian Young (guitar). Singer Chas West (Bonham, Lynch mob) reminds me a lot of David Coverdale with a touch of Chris Cornell thrown in and behind him is air-slicing guitar riffs and thunderous drums that possess a quasi Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple finesse. The band is surprisingly fresh and catchy all around and a perfect band in a day where the old sound is sorely required once again. I felt this was also a great new vehicle for the players involved and allows us to see just how creative they are outside of the bands that we know them so well from. I had trouble finding preferential tracks here and I was pretty much just caught up in the overall groove that was happening but I did feel that “Rain On My Parade” had some moments where it really reminded me of Badlands and the late and lost too young Ray Gillen. “One Good Reason” crunches like old Whitesnake and I mean the really old stuff where it was much more Blues based while “Wasted Life” sounds like a tribute to Led Zeppelin or something you would have hoped that Audioslave would have come up with. The pairing of Young and Cavazo really worked and while we all know Carlos pretty well from QR, the world needs to see Mr. Young shine a little more since he is one incredible player and does not let you down on any of the tracks on the album. There is not much more to be said about Bain and Appice beyond the fact that they are probably the tightest Hard Rock rhythm section in the business and have proved this for years while working in Dio. With 3 Legged Dogg they merely remind us of this standing.
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