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”.
Madina Lake: ”From Them, Through Us, To You” (Roadunner Records)
Madina Lake is quite the Rock band as they work the angles of melody with clever abandon and throw down tasty riffs to bring out some memorable tracks on their major label debut. They present emotion without an Emo stain and rock as hard as the big boys on tracks like “House Of Cards”. Catchy hooks and detailed lyrical storylines bring listeners one classy piece of music that was thought out for a change and should appeal to a wide audience. Big things await the listener in the region of fictional town Madina Lake, lets let the guys take us on a tour into their world.
Marion Raven: “Heads Will Roll” (Eleven Seven Music)
The way I see it, Marion Raven stands ready to capture the hearts of music fans everywhere. This Norwegian siren was part of the Pop sensation M2M long ago, who shares the song writing today with rockers such as Nikki Sixx. The title track proves that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Her strong vocals and stunning look makes me confident that good things are waiting for her as she sings of strength and empowerment. Raven appears with Meat Loaf on the single “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” and with this on her resume I am sure she is paving a solid path to success. Are you ready for the next big thing?
Continue reading Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 7
Artist: Meat Loaf
Title: “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose”
Label: Virgin Music
Release Date: 10/31/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
So here we are at the final chapter of the apparent trilogy for “Bat Out Of Hell”, a saga that began almost thirty years ago by Meat Loaf and his song writing partner Jim Steinman. The original album from 1977 was a blockbuster and truly difficult to surpass for the singer, and none of his future albums would ever do that despite many valiant efforts. The second chapter gave fans a number of great memories as well and now in 2006 it would be time to close out the story. With “The Monster Is Loose”, the second part of the title we would get to enjoy a wider scope in the song writing, as Jim Steinman would not be the only person generating the creative flow on the recording. Chapter three opens up with song by one of these other contributors as Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx gives Meat Loaf that added level of Hard Rock power. It’s a solid track and a great opener at that. The second track is one that strikes hard in the typical Meat Loaf fashion of dishing out an incredible power ballad with “Blind As A Bat”. It was a song I felt should have been the lead single but perhaps it will be the follow up as it has all the elements of a breakthrough track. The main single from the album is a song that you might recognize entitled “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now”. The tune was a hit for Celine Dion, and was penned for her by Jim Steinman. While I am not sure of the reason to use it for this release it is done well and introduces a larger audience to the lovely Norwegian siren Marion Raven. Ms. Raven has a beautiful voice and compliments Meat on the track very well showing it works well as a duet as much as it worked as a solo piece for Ms. Dion.
Continue reading “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose” by Meat Loaf
Artist: Meat Loaf
Venue: Palace Theatre (New York, NY)
Label: Virgin Music
I was convinced that tonight was going to be something special from the moment that I heard about the show. The setting would be Broadway’s Palace Theatre and inside on this blustery night in New York City, the legendary Meat Loaf would perform music from all three of his “Bat Out Of Hell” albums. It’s been almost thirty years since the bombastic front man first appeared on the music scene with an album that would forever shake Rock & Roll history. Penned by Jim Steinman, “Bat Out Of Hell” was an album loaded with stories that had a tremendous Broadway aspect to them. It spawned the mega hits “Two Out Of Three Ain’t Bad” and the fan favorite Teen Romance epic “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”. The songs were radio staples back then and remain so to this very day. As a longtime fan of the recording, it would be great to experience these still fresh songs performed in such a setting. The event was sold out and a one -night only appearance and while the stage décor was limited to banners of the individual albums as banners the stage was absolutely loaded with music personnel and instruments. There was a sixteen piece strings and orchestra section, two keyboards, twin guitars, bass, drums, backup singers and of course – Meat Loaf. He arrived like a hurricane but only teased the crowd with “All Revved Up”, a song that I would have liked to hear the complete version of. Instead it was his lead in to “Paradise By The Dashboard Light”, one of the mega numbers in his repertoire and I admit that I was quite surprised to find this song so early on in the show. Yet considering the main idea was to showcase the new “Bat” album it made a little sense. Meat was in terrific vocal form for someone who has been singing at the top of his lungs for as long as he has and for this song the entire audience seemed to be doing the respective parts. It was during this song that we got to meet the lovely Miss Aspen Miller. Ms. Miller is perfect for the role of Meat Loafs foil for this track and an incredible vocal talent as well. During this song she pranced around stage in a skimpy cheerleader outfit which was met with levels of approval. She has a big voice and a lot of beautiful stage presence. Aspen is surely a welcome addition to the Meat Loaf touring company.
Continue reading Meat Loaf @ Palace Theatre (11/2/2006)
Artist: Marion Raven
Title: “Heads Will Roll” (EP)
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Release Date: 10/24/2006
The way I see it, Marion Raven stands ready to capture the hearts of music fans that enjoy Amy Lee’s Evanescence as well those other “safe” female performers that commercial radio dishes out. As a performer, this Norwegian siren is no stranger to the stage – having performed as a part of the European sensation known as M2M. Marion’s solo material of today is far from the Pop that she used to do and with this EP “Heads Will Roll”, we find her sharing some of the song writing with noted Hard Rockers such as Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx. Together the pair has composed the title track and it is a number that proves very clearly that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The drive of this particular track shows Marion’s innate Viking side coming to the surface as she stands against those who would wrong her. The video for this is included on the CD and gives us a glimpse into her soft and sexy side as well. “Spit You Out” is just a groove-laden Hard Rocker while “13 Days” finds her lamenting a soured relationship and using hints of the Gothic side across the tune. Her vocals are strong on the whole EP and I am confident that good things are waiting for this young Lady as she sings her songs of strength and empowerment. Ms. Raven also had the honor to be a part of the new album by the legendary Meat Loaf, where she accompanies him on the hit single “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” from his new release “Bat Out Of Hell III: The Monster Is Loose”. With this notable item on her resume I am pretty sure she is paving a solid path to success. Are you ready for the next big thing?
1. Spit You Out
2. Heads Will Roll
3. All I Wanna Do Is You
4. 13 Days
5. Good 4 Sex
6. Let Me Introduce Myself – acoustic
7. Heads Will Roll – video
Official Website: www.marion-raven.com