He will be sadly missed by family, friends and rock fans all over the world. We are all numb to the core. The Beard is back! Yep, that's right, with the departure of Nick D'Virgilio, we are presented with the third incarnation of the band. Have no fear, though as D'Virgilio is replaced by a pair of familiar faces.
Joining the band on a permanent basis is their previous touring drummer Jimmy Keegan and new to the band is former lead singer of Enchant, Ted Leonard. Brief Nocturnes and Endless Sleep continues that trend, the movement back towards the type of music and energy that gave the band its reputation in the first place.
The album has all the prog that you could want, tight rhythms, obscure lines, rolling bass lines, Mellotron, keyboards all over the place and catchy choruses. Neal Morse's contributions are strong, but meld beautifully with Leonard's writing style, each song great in their own right.
Don't miss this one-truly, the Beard is back, and better than ever. No comments:. Doors co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek died today in Rosenheim, Germany after a long battle with bile duct cancer. He was It was there he first met Doors singer Jim Morrison, though they didn't talk about forming a band until they Album) into each other on a beach in Venice, California in the summer of and Morrison told Manzarek that he had been working on some music. They quickly teamed up with drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger and began playing gigs around Los Angeles.
About a year later, the Doors recorded their debut album for Elektra Intro - Fish - A Feast Of Consequences (CD. The Doors didn't have a bassist, so Manzarek often played the bass parts on his Fender Rhodes piano.
He also played a Vox Continental organ, which can be heard on the famous intro to "Light My Fire" and numerous other Doors classics. The group shared credit on most songs and split all profits evenly. The group carried on for two more albums after Jim Morrison died in July ofbut they split in Luckily, in my opinion at least, this is not the case.
High Hopes feels like a complete album and if I was not aware of the songs' histories I would not ever guess that this was a collection of old songs. Many members of the E Street Band appear on all the songs but Springsteen also utilises the talents of many guest musicians, particularly Tom Morello Rage Against the Machine; Audioslave which has been a big part of the way the album has been marketed.
Morello's contributions are good, and he performs many of the album's guitar solos. He is more restrained here than on Rage Against the Machine's material but a few moments of weird guitar noise let you know it is him playing. This is one of the reasons I pre-ordered the album from Amazon and is worth watching. This is a new version however and features most of the E Street Band and Morello ripping through the song with ease. It has a slightly Caribbean feel, especially in the choruses, with extensive use of horns and tribal percussion.
Springsteen's voice is as good as ever. He has not lost any of his power as he has grown older and his performances throughout this album are excellent. Harry's Place is the first of the older songs and is a dark, groovy little number that features the late Clarence Clemons on saxaphone. A pulsing bassline from Garry Tallent drives the song and Springsteen's unusal lyrics create an interesting and strange atmosphere.
The subtle but key saxophone lines that really drive the gentle melodies hark back to classic E Street Band albums before Clemons' short solo takes the song to smokey jazz bar territory.
A great song, one I am glad that Springsteen plucked from his vaults. American Skin 41 Shots is another re-recording. A live version originally appeared on the Live in New York City album but a rare single track promo CD was also released with a studio version of the song around the same time. This is a new version though and it is great to finally have a definitive version of it.
Charlie Giordano's swriling organ and some distant snare drum backs up Springsteen on the first verse before the band gradually builds up the song's sound over the rest of the song. The lyrics are very poignant and highlights Springteen's talent for making a serious point within a song. Morello's guitar solo here is fantastic. It really fits the mood of the song and does not go overboard with fretboard pyrotechnics.
Clarence's nephew Jake Clemons, who now tours with Springsteen, gets a short saxophone solo. It is nice to see things are being kept in the family! Roy Bittan's trademark piano cuts through the sound like the days of old the big, anthemic chorus is classic Springsteen. Stevie Van Zandt's nasally backing vocals can be heard throughout which is another thing that makes it sound like a classic E Street Band number. The next highlight is the upbeat and rocking Heaven's Wall.
It has a similar feel to the album's title track but with a more anthemic chorus. There is nothing fancy about this song, it just rocks and would go down a storm live as all the crowd could get involved in the chorus. Frankie Fell in Love is another fun little song. Again, this is another very traditional Springsteen song that would have fit on any of his early albums. Van Zandt again helps out with the vocals and it makes you realise how key his backing vocals are to that E Street Band sound.
That sound continues on with This is Your Sword but it has slightly folky overtones with use of uilleann pipes and whistles. Again, it is uncomplicated but is a catchy little song that all the hallmarks of Springsteen's songwriting.
The next highlight is the new version of The Ghost of Tom Joad. Originally the title track of Springsteen's acoustic album, here it is reimagined with a full band arrangement similar to the one played live on the Wrecking Ball tour. Morello is featured heavily on this song, sharing vocals with Springsteen and playing a great Intro - Fish - A Feast Of Consequences (CD mid-way through the song.
I am not really a huge fan of the sparse original Album), but this one really rocks; I love it! Bittan's paino and Soozie Tyrell's violin help to give the song those E Street Band hallmarks, but Springsteen Album) Morello steal the show with their passionate singing and stellar guitar work.
This song is probably the highlight of the album and I am glad that Springsteen decided to revisit it and fulfil it's potential with this new arrangement. The Wall is a very mellow and reflective song that gives you a break after the epic and draining previous one.
It is another old song recorded a while ago as it features another late E Street Band member Danny Federici on organ. Stylistically, it reminds me of the ending of Jungleland with added folk courtesy of some delicate accordian and solitory coronet.
The album comes to an end with another understated number, a cover of Suicide's Dream Baby Dream which rounds out the album nicely. It fails to live up to the strength of the previous couple of songs but it still sounds nice and it is a fitting closing number. Overall, this is another really strong collection of songs from one of the biggest giants in the music industry.
It might not be an out and out classic like some of his previous albums, but there are more than enough great songs here to interest even the most casual of Springsteen fans. The new version of The Ghost of Tom Joad is worth buying the album for alone!
The album was released on 13th January via Columbia Records. Below is the promotional video for Just Like Fire Would. In my opinion, Iced Earth are one of the most consistent and enjoyable heavy metal bands of the past twenty-odd years. Despite numerous personnel changes, the band has stayed true to their sound and their discography contains plenty of gems. I never had a problem with the sprawling concept that spanned those two releases but I can understand why some fans did not enjoy them.
The fact that the first part, Framing Armageddon which is brillianthad Tim 'Ripper' Owens on vocals and the second part, The Crucible of Man which is decent but nothing specialhad Matt Barlow on vocals spoilt the flow of the albums and was a case of a band pandering to public pressure to bring back the legendary frontman which ended up to be a pretty lukewarm reunion. However, getting Stu Block into the band was probably the best decision that leader Jon Schaffer has made in a very long time.
His voice is very versatile and can easily handle the diverse range of styles used throughout the band's history. As a result, Dystopia was an exellent album that went back to a much simpler song-based format that brought the band much success such as on 's The Dark Saga.
Their new album, Plagues of Babyloncontinues from where Dystopia left off but is slightly darker in tone overall. The grisly artwork is in stark contrast to the more cartoonish covers the band have had in recent years and lets you know that this is going to be a no-holds-barred slab of heavy metal.
If you are a fan of Iced Earth and know their sound well then you will probably have already bought this album and are enjoying as you read this; but for those who have not, this might not be a bad place to start - especially if you like music at the heavier end of the spectrum.
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