Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Phoenix Reign Flies High

When I first got into the rock and metal scene women were thought of as objects for the guys to drool over as they watched videos of their favorite bands. As I began my quest for great rock and metal I was awakened to the fact the woman can rock out just as well as the guys. From the all girl bands like Girlschool, Vixen, and Kittie to women leading the band vocally like Arch Enemy, Lacuna Coil, and Nightwish; the proof is in the music. And now is time to add Phoenix Reign to that list of stellar bands with female fronts with their album Destination Unknown.

The strong yet haunting vocals of frontwoman Theresa Gaffney will grab you and almost force you to listen. And her voice is only one of the tools used by Phoenix Reign as they put together an album full of intense songs that show the full potential off what they can do as a whole. YES, I said whole because while Theresa’s voice may the first thing to get your attention, it isn’t long before you entangled in the double guitars, much like that of the legendary Iron Maiden.

The riffs that Billy Chrissochos and Kostas Psarros pour out into every track on the album are amazing. They work together like a well-oiled machine and can blow you away with their individual abilities. They show that they have a true passion for their craft and have speed that would make Dragonforce feel like fools for using editing equipment for speed. And they work in unity with the rhythm that you almost forget about the bass and drums if they allowed you too.

Just when you might start wondering about the bass and drums you come across the title track where Wayne Noon and Chris Pallatos make their stand as they set the pace. And because the title track comes late on the album you are instantly triggered to go back to the first track and listen to the album over again. Resulting in new discoveries being made and having tracks remind you of places or people.

For me Masquerade Angel jumped out like a monster in a haunted mansion. With the line of “you’re a devil on disguise” triggers the thought of someone you might know now or someone you once knew that hid the true colors from you. And then you move on to the parts of Destination Unknown that show how talented this band is. Open Your Eyes opens your ears to the possibilities as it starts with a gentle opening that slowly builds to a intensity that shocks you as the speed kicks in.

And then there’s the epic of the album, Constantinople 1453 (On The Eve Of The Fall) coming in at just under twelve minutes at the end of the album pulling it all together. This track takes everything you’ve come to know about Phoenix Reign from this album and throws it all together into one amazing piece of work. It isn’t often you find a track that defies description, but this one does. It just needs to be heard to understand and appreciate its full potential.

Everyone knows that a Phoenix is a legendary bird that rises from ashes, but Phoenix Reign hasn’t risen from ashes. It is a band whose member’s talents belong together as if destiny set it in motion years ago. They are surely a band whose future is as bright as a blazing firestorm.

KILLCODE #2 of 08 on Blogs and Roses

Throw the horns up to Blogs and Roses for making "To Die For" second on their year end list of top EPs for 2008.

Check the entire list at

And if you haven't checked out KILLCODE yet then I urge you to do so immediately.

Monday, December 29, 2008


GODAMHATE playing LIVE January 2nd, 2009

Ace of Clubs
9 Great Jones Street

Show starts at 10PM, Start ’09 out with a bang by hitting this show

Monday, December 22, 2008

Plenty to Admire About ODD ZERO

With the current rock and metal scene going in so many different directions these days it’s harder to come across bands that stand out. ODD ZERO is without a doubt a stand out band. Their influences, ranging from The Clash to Metallica, show on their EP Admire The Liar from start to finish.

From the second Mike Friedman opens his mouth on the title track you can feel the 70s punk scene as if you were time warped to the early days of CBGB’s. And you won’t need to read liner notes to figure out what the song is about. He manages to bring the intensity and passion for the music without garbling up the words. Add in the insane riffs from Mike Fujii and the intensity level goes up another notch. Some off the riffs laid down, like the opening of the song Dirty Electric, would make the late great Dimebag Darrell put up the horns. It’s scary how Mike Fujii can blend all his influences together to create a sound that is his. And you reach the top levels of intensity when the strong drumming of Milton Hernandez and solid bass work from Tay Malloy. It’s often hard to have the rhythm section stand out but they make themselves known. The walking bass line on Nervous Around Me helps set the tone and rhythm of the song perfectly.

The tracks are solid from start to finish and all belong together. Often you find one track on an album that makes you sit and wonder what the band was doing by adding it in. ODD ZERO put together an album that rocks from start to end. Like a little funk in your metal? Then the title track is perfect as it breaks down into a funky little hit, as if you put No Doubt on a dose of steroids. And I can totally see Notorious becoming a landmark in sports venues worldwide. The intimidation and intensity that comes through on this track could easily make a visiting team rethink their abilities.

These guys are no liars, the intensity in the Admire The Liar EP is enough to make even the casual rock and metal fan go nuts. There ain’t nothing odd about ODD ZERO but there’s plenty to bang your head to.

Have A Rockin' Holiday

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

AREA 44 in Hoboken DEC. 19


12.19.08 Gig

Friday, December 12, 2008

Heard today while listening to 92.3 KROCK that Axl Rose recently broke his silence since the release of Chinese Democracy by having an online chat to answer some questions. And if you haven’t purchased the album yet I urge you to read my review of it in a previous blog and then get a copy of it.

As to the chat Axl took part in, two things mentioned by the DJ about the chat caught me by surprises. The first being that Axl did his best to avoid any talk of a GNR reunion. Axl should’ve known that people are going to harp on a reunion because so many bands have done so recently to great success. I would be the first in line for tickets for a GNR reunion tour but I also know that it’s a very unlikely idea right now.

The second thing mentioned was that Axl said that there was enough new material in the can from the sessions of Chinese Democracy to release 2 more albums of new material. If there are 2 more albums worth of material then when will we get it? Why not throw it together and make a huge comeback with 3 albums after a 14-year hiatus? I say go into the studio and polish them songs off and get those other albums out while it’s hot.

Axl knows to take it slow based on his history, but with the possibility to bang out more albums and get GNR back on the map again should be the next step.

ZANDELLE at Sundance on DEC. 18

Monday, December 8, 2008

Forever Rocking The Masses

It was four years ago that my mother woke me to say that the legendary Dimebag Darrell was killed by some psycho. That was followed by phone calls and e-mails as many of us in the rock and metal community racked our brains trying to figure out why this travesty happened and trying to accept the fact that the only time we’d hear Dimebag again is through the albums, videos, and memories we have of him.

For those of you honored enough to meet him and spend time with him, I envy you. The stories of how great a person he was continue to amaze me. To those who aren’t familiar with him I encourage you to find every song and album he’s ever played on and listen to the stories about him.

You may physically be gone, but you will rock lives for years to come.


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Catch Blackwood Live this Weekend


12-06-2008 18:00 at The Annex
152 ORCHARD STREET, New York, New York 10009
Blackwood will be performing with: Master Illusionist David Martin, Pop artist Nicollette Varanelli and other artists to be announced. This is a charity event for "CHILDREN WITHOUT A VOICE USA". Their charity helps abused children. The cause is a real good one so please come out and show your support. Tickets are $15 and all proceeds go to "CHILDREN WITHOUT A VOICE USA" If you care and want to help support a great cause you’ll be there! So please show your support! For more info go to: and