“Axes 2 Axes” by Eddie Ojeda

Artist: Eddie Ojeda
Title: “Axes 2 Axes”
Label: Black Lotus Records
Release Date: 11/3/2005
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
Rating: 5.5/10

Twisted Sister’s well-known axe man Eddie Ojeda has signed to Black Lotus Records and given us his very first solo recording. As a long time fan of his work with Twisted Sister I was interested in seeing what the end result would be on a solo effort that was for a change completely under his direction and control. Eddie performs a large amount of the lead vocals and his band is made up of Joe Franco (drums, who also played in Twisted Sister for an album and was a member of Dee Sniders Widowmaker) and Chris McCarvill on bass guitar. As I listened to the whole CD I felt myself wanting for something a little better and felt a tad disappointed in it more than I was put over the top. Eddie does not have a bad voice but I felt it would have been better to have someone else perform the vocals on the release who really could stand out and help him hold a great solo performer identity. He did have help from such vocal powerhouses as Ronnie James Dio, Dee Snider and Joe Lynn Turner but the Dio song seemed like Ron was just going through the motions on “Tonight”. Dee’s contribution is a very Twisted Sister-esque version of the Beatles classic Eleanor Rigby and I thought this was just terrible. Perhaps if it was featured on a Twisted album I could have looked at it differently but in this context it was awful. Joe Lynn Turner’s assistance on “Living Free” is not bad but I would have liked to hear the pipes that he possesses in an effort to kick the album up a little more. Eddie’s voice did manage to shine on “The Reason”. This power ballad worked for him since the vocals are in a lower register and did not push him to a point he could not attain. He also did pretty well on “Love Power” which is an overall throwback to a 70’s kind of groove. “Please Remember” was ok but that reminded me a lot of Sister in its main riffing.
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Yngwie J. Malmsteen @ B.B. King Blues Club (12/1/2005)

Logo - Yngwie Malmsteen

Artist: Yngwie Malmsteen
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club – NYC
Opener: Orange Sky
Date: 12/1/2005
Label: Spitfire Records

Yngwie Malmsteen is a legend in the halls of Rock guitar and as I have enjoyed his music for many years this was set to be a very cool memory to my concert coverage. As this was his first solo tour in some years there was something special about seeing his name up on the B.B. King marquee. When I shot my photo of this site I realized that while a fan of his playing that it would be the first time that I would see Yngwie perform in over 15 years. Outside of appearances on the G3 Tours, he did not perform solo shows very often. In 2005; Yngwie found a return to his classic style with his CD release “Unleash The Fury” and he would also make available his “Concierto For Electric Guitar” DVD. Both of these killer products came to the public care of Eagle Rock Entertainment and Spitfire Records. These added to the general Yngwie buzz and when announcements for the solo touring became news the shows sold out in minutes. If you were not on top of things you would sadly be one of those who missed out on a great evening of music.
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“Rapture Of The Deep” by Deep Purple

Artist: Deep Purple
Release: Rapture of the Deep
Label: Eagle Records
Date: November 2005
Genre: Rock
Rating: 9/10

A great album produced late in a band’s career is always a pleasant surprise, a welcome treat for longtime fans, and a deserved chance for a veteran group to refresh their repertoire. This year the stars must be in the right place because like The Rolling Stones (whose “Bigger Bang” album was their best studio output in decades) and Robert Plant (who offered up the awesome “Mighty ReArranger” disc), Deep Purple has recorded an amazing set of tunes on “Rapture of the Deep”. The eleven songs presented on their first release for Eagle Records rock as hard as any of the group’s “classic tracks” and many show great potential for live performance.
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“Black One” by Sunn O)))

Artist: Sunn 0)))
Title: “Black One”
Label: Southern Lord Music
Release Date: 10/18/2005
Genre: Doom/Subsonic Metal
Rating: 5/10

I began listening to this with an open mind and as it progresses into the first track on the CD you will find that this is a very smart and necessary position to take. The band Sunn 0))) perform what is called “Subsonic Metal” and call it what you will it seemed like I was listening to a lot of power chords being played or tune ups of the guitar that was brought to its lowest possible note and echoed over and over. It was not until track four which reminded me a little of an air raid siren in the distance or fire alarm that I even heard the semblance of drums. Don’t get me wrong, it is an interesting idea and it slows down so much that it makes Stoner and Doom Metal seem fast. I admit that everything seems to have an audience these days and that I clearly did not get what these guys were doing but there is an overall creepiness and drama showcased that is quirkily enjoyable. It was almost like listening to background music that is suitable for walking through a graveyard at night or some other spooky surrounding. While there are seven tracks on the CD the majority of them lead into one another and unless you are paying careful attention you will not realize you are in the next tune. It has some similarity to the band Monolithe who delivered a 45 or so minute song and used a lot of the ambient and atmospheric musical experiments that Sunn 0))) does here.
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“A Decade In The Grave” by Six Feet Under

Artist: Six Feet Under
Title: “A Decade In The Grave”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 10/18/2005
Genre: Death Metal
Rating: 8/10

After ten years of recordings and touring Chris Barnes and his band mates in Six Feet Under have released a box set that is sure to please every one of their fans. Tipping the scales at over 70 songs this is a superb collection that not only compiles a “greatest hits” of the band on CD’s 1 and 2, but then gives you CD of rarities (CD3). On CD4, the fans are treated to demos and other recordings that come from from the early years in Barnes career. Some of this is pre Cannibal Corpse as I have found. Disc 5 is actually a DVD concert from Berlin in most cases. Since I only had a sampler CD of this my descriptions are on the brief side, but this did give me an idea of the overall quality awaiting the fan of this band. Over the ten years they have built a strong and dedicated following and very rarely have they strayed from their course of delivering some of the most brutal Metal to have ever come out of Tampa, FL. Comparing this to other boxed sets that mostly feature songs that fans already have in the catalog I would have to say that SFU did a great job on this one. Limiting known tracks to 2 CD’s and giving you 80% of what you have already plus bonuses was smart. Also included in the set is a full-color poster. SFU trading cards, a sticker and a 30 page color booklet that is full of pictures and lyrics. There is bound to be a number of fan favorites on the set along with stuff that I am sure has been passed around on cassette tapes until finally making its appearance on this set.
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Where Heavy Music & Pop Culture Collide

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