Tag Archives: album reviews

“Anomaly” (Deluxe Edition) by Ace Frehley

Artist: Ace Frehley
Title: “Anomaly” (Deluxe Edition)
Label: eOne Entertainment
Release Date: 10/6/2017
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4.5/5

Back in 2009, the world was excited as all heck about the return to recording by the legendary Ace Frehley, the forever Space Man of the band KISS where he used to sonically shred us on the lead guitar. The album was called “Anomaly” and at the time came care of Rocket Science Records. I reviewed that release on the website and you can see that care of THIS LINK. However, now that the Space Ace has been signed to the fine folks at eOne Entertainment AND re-issued this album as a spiffy Deluxe Edition, I am rehashing my original thoughts about the album (since they are the same as they were back then) and then closing out with words on the newly added Bonus Tracks. Take a look.

“Has it really been 20 years since the last Ace Frehley solo record was released? Yes my friends it has because in 1989, The Space Ace would release his final album with Frehley’s Comet “Trouble Walkin’” and eventually find his way back to KISS for reunion shows in full makeup. From this he would return to his solo career and that brings us to the present and to his stellar new release – “Anomaly”. I know what you are saying and that is probably something like “Twenty years? This better be good” and you have a right to be concerned because Guns ‘N Roses took sixteen to put out “Chinese Democracy” and that album was uhm well, let’s move along shall we. The great thing is that the Ace record does live up to expectations and delivers on all counts that one could have hoped it would have. We have been finding ourselves in the year of the throwback release and this means that a legacy artist is returning to a form that made them so special to us in the first place and as far as “Anomaly” is concerned, I would have to say that this is the natural successor to the groundwork first delivered on his 1978 solo release and then on his debut with Frehley’s Comet for their self titled album with just a touch of “Second Sighting” tossed in for good measure. I realize that I appear to be putting it on thick but in truth this is no exaggeration which the listeners will quickly understand as opening track “Foxy & Free” opens up with its crunching riff and rock solid drums. The first single Ace put forth for the release comes up next with “Outer Space” which is a good tune but not one I would have opted to make my first listen. A slight sarcastic wit comes out during “Pain In The Neck” where Ace shows us how not all relationships are peaches and cream. We get a tasty rendition of The Sweet’s “Fox On The Run” that while bearing none of the familiar synthesizers or high pitched vocals is still a nice cover.”
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“This Is Real” by The Last Stand

Artist: The Last Stand
Title: “This Is Real”
Label: Irish Voodoo Records
Release Date: 6/9/2017
Genre: Hardcore/Thrash
Rating: 4/5

Truth be told I really don’t do a lot of Hardcore reviews here on PiercingMetal.com and despite that oversight we’ve a strong appreciation for the bands of legend like Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front and even some Murphy’s Law when it all comes down to it. It’s important to stress that this oversight is not based on indifference and instead more of a “going with what you know” sort of things and with us that is a deep breadth of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Punk and this is what made my overview of the new EP by The Last Stand a bit of a quandary but once I started streaming “This Is Real” it became a little easier of a task. The EP begins with a building riff that leads to an almost Thrash Metal sort of crescendo and when the quick paced drumming kicks into gear it’s enough to get you off your feet and start the circle pit. The words for the album’s title lines out how this is more than just clever phrasing and is instead a lifestyle that is believed in firmly. Good stuff.
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“Transcendence” (reissue) by Crimson Glory

Artist: Crimson Glory
Title: “Transcendence” (reissue/remaster)
Label: Metalville/Roadrunner Archive
Release Date: 6/2/2017
Genre: Progressive Metal
Rating: 5/5

Way back in the bygone days of 2008, the folks at Metal Mind Productions began re-issuing classic Roadrunner Records releases as limited edition numbered imports. They generally released about “2,000” of them and once they were gone they were gone. There was no way that a fan was going to get another copy unless they found someone selling them on eBay or perhaps in some sort of brick and mortar close out sale. Fast forward to the “now”, the folks at Metalville are re-issuing many of these classics under a “Roadrunner Archive” banner and one such release is the sophomore album by Crimson Glory called “Transcendance”. Having reviewed this item already and only using a digital stream to compose my thoughts about it, I found my head in the same place about the album so I’m repeating that review since it completely applies for it.

If there was ever an album that I was dying to find a remaster done for then it would most certainly be Crimson Glory’s sophomore release “Transcendence”. Originally released by Roadrunner Records in 1988 this album is nothing less than a Progressive Metal masterpiece from beginning to end, and when Metal Mind Productions announced their plans on reissuing it I was very excited to say the least. The Florida band had been impressing fans of Progressive Metal for a couple of years now with an intense musical and visual presentation that began with their self titled debut album “Crimson Glory”. The band sported big hair and instruments and wore silver masks to conceal their faces but beyond the imagery we found out just how good they could play and it made the debut one of the strongest of its kind for the day. “Transcendence” takes us to the next logical step as the bands explorations into the realms that they first presented us with on their self-titled album grow ever more interesting and involved. The album, while musically along the same lines as their first (thought perhaps a little more locked in and melodic), found one major change in their visuals. As the early photos demonstrate, the band wore full face silver masks and only singer Midnight had his mouth exposed in order to sing with more ease than having it covered. By the time “Transcendence” was released the band had discovered that performing with faces covered was quite hot and difficult to do so they would move to donning half face masks that were very reminiscent of something out of the Phantom of the Opera. Each of these new masks was slightly different from each other and with it I felt that it added new levels of drama to them as opposed to taking any of it away. Thinking back on the original album I remembered that I never owned this release on vinyl and instead had only been able to find it on cassette tape back in the day and according to research it had never been on CD until around 2001.
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“Simon Templar” by Saint Blasphemer

Artist: Saint Blasphemer
Title: “Simon Templar”
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 10/15/2016
Genre: Alternative Hard Rock/Psychedelic Punk
Rating: 4.5/5

The band Saint Blasphemer caught my attention as soon as I heard their impacting name that crosses the pious with one who is anything but that. It makes you pause for a moment to rationalize it but there is no point and instead you should just dig into the music. With the EP “Simon Templar” they also piqued my curiosity because that is the name of a crime fighting series with a very popular man of mystery who goes by “The Saint”. Fans of a certain age might recall the show featuring Roger Moore but this was based on a series of novels that dated way further back but I digress. The album opens with “Nullify” and some of the groove reminded me of Warrior Soul and I guess this was from some of the vocal inflections of singer Thomas Monroe. There is a solid groove to the tune and you’ll find your head moving to the melody very quickly.
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“XXX” by Repulsur

Artist: Repulsur
Title: “XXX”
Label: Independent Artist
Release Date: 4/28/2016
Genre: Alternative Metal/Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The other day while attending the regional appearance of Wednesday 13, I hit the merchandise table and learned that working with the band on the tour was the lead singer of a group called Repulsur; She goes by the stage name of Lerin-gitis but I’m sure that you can call her Lerin if you are given permission. She had the bands EP “XXX” with her and I was happy to get a copy of it to discuss here on the website. “XXX” is a really driving 3 song EP that begins with a raspy growl in “The Learning Curve”. Lerin doesn’t have a sweet and demure sort of vocal register and instead came off with the kind of commanding voice that one might have found in the daughter of the late great Lemmy and Wendy Williams might have given us. The chorus of this one might find you raising a fist into the air along with her if you should see a concert performance.
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