“Hell On Earth” Vol. 1 by Manowar

Artist: Manowar
Title: “Hell On Earth: Volume I”
Label: SPV Records
Release Date: 5/24/2001
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 6/10

The Kings Of Metal – The One and Only Manowar have begun a series of DVD releases that include both live concert footage and a great amount of backstage and interview footage. Those that have ever witnessed Manowar on the concert stage can attest to the larger than life nature of this legendary band. This DVD proves to the world that the activity behind the scenes is just as large if not wilder. While I enjoyed this single DVD piece to some degree I have to speak on some of the issues I found with it. First off, you are not able to single out the concert performances from the speaking sections and bantering. This might prove to be annoying to those that simply want to watch the live concert and bypass the talk. Everything as a result is mixed together and should you want to see any particular section you need to return to the main menu and choose it from the list. Another problem I caught was a little segment during one of the live concerts. It was some risky footage with scantily or non-clothed women. Of course Metal and Sex are often in the same sentence, but younger fans Parents might not appreciate the lack of warning on this segment. It was on the intense side, and honestly not for young viewers. Older fans will love it I am quite certain.
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“Il Demonio Nera” by Danzig

Artist: Danzig
Title: “Il Demonio Nera”
Label: Musicrama Inc.
Release Date: 7/26/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.5/10

Danzig is one of the great Metal legends without any question. The efforts in Misfits and Samhain all leading up to the brand of brooding and ominous Metal he would deliver on his own. This DVD features a number of unreleased and rarity videos from his career, primarily from the release “Danzig 4”. As this is the second release of such videos there will not be much in the way of older material for the casual fan; they would need to look into “Danzig – Archive De La Mort” for that. Given this being the case I found myself watching the video and being left wanting. Of the 12 featured tracks only 8 are unique and have different versions for you to watch. It’s cool if you are a Danzig diehard, but if you are someone who merely wants to enjoy a bunch of his Metal videos this will most likely leave you the same way.
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“Ogre Tones” by King’s X

Artist: King’s X
Title: “Ogre Tones”
Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date:
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

The new King’s X release “Ogre Tones” comes to us courtesy of the InsideOut Music label. Prior to this the band was associated with Metal Blade Records and while I am not sure of the reason behind the change it is nice to see the group go to another quality label. I feel that the music of Kings X is a little better suited to a label like InsideOut now, since most of the Metal Blade artist roster has become very heavy stuff. It might have had them lost in the shuffle accidentally. On “Ogre Tones” the band gives us a great piece of music with lots of bluesy riffs and harmony vocals. The trio has always had their roots in these musical principles but on the new CD is more apparent than on the last studio effort. They are a welcome addition to the new label with this type of music I am certain. Doug Pinnick still has the soulful voice that he is best known for; soft and subtle at time, and at others reaching a crescendo. Ty Tabors guitar work is very nice and clean on the release while Jerry Gaskills drumming is as solid as it ever was. The great factor in a band like King’s X was their ability to all sing in such great harmony with each other. From the opening track of “Alone”, “Hurricane” and “Fly” you can tell that the group has not lost an ounce of their vocal prowess and sound better than ever.
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“Cold Blooded Kings” by The Lizards

Artist: Lizards
Title: “Cold Blooded Kings”
Label: Hyperspace Records
Release Date: 12/14/2004
Genre: Hard Rock/Blues
Rating: 8/10

The Lizards are not exactly a new band but with the addition of drummer Bobby Rondinelli and singer Mike DeMeo it took on a refreshing new feel. The two join Patrick Klein (guitar) and Randy Pratt (bass) to form a kick-ass Bluesy Hard Rock band. If you are a fan of music along the lines of Led Zeppelin and Gary Moore you will certainly enjoy the type of stuff that The Lizards are delivering. In songs like “Cold Blooded Kings” it’s pretty much straight ahead Rock, but when the tune “Hyperspace” begins its more along the lines of Edgar Winter or Deep Purple. Clearly there is a strong love for the classical styles in the members of the band. Klein’s guitar work is both stylish and full of feeling while Randy’s bass work is smooth works so well. Randy also plays harmonica at times and it works in the context of the music. Rondinelli comes to the band after several years working in Blue Oyster Cult. Rock fans around the world will remember Bobby also for his contributions in Rainbow as well as an album with Black Sabbath and Doro. He is a seasoned Veteran and his work on the album is come of the best drumming I have listened to from him. Vocals are handled by Mike DeMeo who was a member of Riot, a powerhouse Metal act. The music that the Lizards do really showcases the vocal abilities that Mike has. He is also singing very different from soaring Metal epics that require screams and yells. It’s an interesting change, and he does it quite well.
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“All Over the World: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra” by Electric Light Orchestra

Artist: Electric Light Orchestra
Title: “All Over The World: The Very Best Of ELO”
Label: Epic Legacy
Release Date: 6/21/2005
Genre: Rock
Rating: 8/10

There is no denying the unmistakable sound that is the Electric Light Orchestra. The rich harmonies and lush musical orchestrations made this band a true hit maker for many years. The release of “All Over The World: The Very Best Of ELO” is proof positive of this status. Fans that own the first Greatest Hits compilation (which was essentially a CD version of an LP if memory serves me) will definitely enjoy this edition for it includes nine more tracks and reaches a little deeper into the Legendary bands catalog. “Cant Get You Out Of My Head” will be the only tune from the first hits piece to be excluded from this one which might surprise some since it was apparently the bands first hit. Beyond that it’s not so much the big deal when you consider that for a hits package that this one seems to include almost every other song you expect to find on such a release. As I listened I was taken back to my Youth when contemporary radio and LP’s (or 8 tracks) were the means of your sating the musical Jones. I again realized how much of this stuff I actually remembered and enjoyed. I seemed to also remember a lot of words and that amused me a little bit. Songs like “Telephone Line” and “Turnin’ To Stone” are classics and pretty much my very favorites. Founder and principle songwriter Jeff Lynne certainly has a lot to be proud of considering so many of these songs were truly radio hits and not just labeled as such for the sake of a greatest compilation. The music seems to have been given a little bit of a fine tuning in the mastering department so they also sound a little fuller and in the now of CD medium.
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