Cool Kids: Kix

Rating: 85%

Kix-CoolKids1983 saw the return of Kix with their second album “Cool Kids.” Although, this album features a more of a New Wave style and is more commercialized, I really dig it from the time I first heard it way back then. I have had the cassette and CD versions of this album, but when i found the vinyl, I had to grab it.

Musically, this album isn’t nearly as hard rocking as their debut. It does have strong chorus lines, beefy riffs and sweet leads. That is what Kix was always known for. But what Kix does here is add other styles of music into their blend and experiments with it. The New Wave sound with all of the synths and the Pop Rock sound is perfectly balanced as to not take away from the tongue in cheek cheesy & riddled lyrics and hard hitting music. But I must admit, it is quirky. But, it worked on this album. And because of that, this album is very underrated.

You have one of the best front man of Hard Rock on lead vocals and his name is Steve Whiteman. He also plays the harmonica and saxophone. Replacing Ronnie Younkins is Wrathchild Americas bassist Brad Divens on guitars. He also is the talk box on “Body Talk.” You also have lead guitarist Brian “Damage” Forsythe. Keyboardist and bassist Donnie Purnell and drummer Jimmy “Chocolate” Chalfant finish out the tempo and rhythm sections of the band. 

Track listing:

“Burning Love” – 3:07
“Cool Kids” – 3:28
“Love Pollution” – 4:04
“Body Talk” – 3:39
“Loco-Emotion”  – 3:30
“Mighty Mouth” – 3:43
“Nice on Ice” – 3:25
“Get Your Monkeys Out”  – 3:20
“For Shame” – 3:11
“Restless Blood” – 3:50


A Fragile King: Vallenfyre

Rating: 80%

R-3418834-1329668619.jpeg.jpgThis album was released in 2011 as Vallenfyre’s debut, as a super group. It consists of Paradise Lost’s lead guitarist on lead vocals and guitar, At the Gates’s drummer Adrian Erlandsson, and My Dying Bride’s guitarist Hamish Hamilton Glencross. It also features Scoot on bass and guitarist Mully.

I really like this album simply because it’s old school Death and Doom Metal. Yes, old school Death Metal drenched in Doom Metal. Not Melodic Death Metal! Plus it features three guitarist. My most recommended song on this album is “Cathedrals of Dread”. 

The instrumentation has this doomy feel that goes with it’s overall sound. The guitars have this crunchy sounding tone along with screaming leads. The guitars are toned down which help to achieve that sound. The vocals are gritty are well.

The song structures are what you would expect from this genre of music. Slowed and heavy with some faster tempos thrown in. It’s got some really nice riffs that are super tight. Those leads and fill ins are just screaming. The drumming is pretty good too.

Track listing:

All Will Suffer 4:09
Desecration 4:56
Ravenous Whore 3:02
Cathedrals Of Dread 3:52
As The World Collapses 3:13
A Thousand Martyrs 3:24
Seeds 4:45
Humanity Wept 2:18
My Black Siberia 3:49
The Divine Have Fled 3:41
The Grim Irony 4:39

Flirtin’ with Disaster: Molly Hatchet

Rating: 90%

Molly_Hatchet_-_Flirtin'_with_Disaster.jpg1979 was the year for Molly Hatchet with the release of their second album “Flirtin’ with Disaster.” The one thing you’ll notice is the song structures are much heavier than their debut a year earlier. The musicianship is much tighter. Vocalist Danny Joe Brown sounds, oh so good behind that mic. The barrage of guitars of  Dave Hlubek,  Steve Holland, and Duane Roland are much more distorted and is what makes this album sound much heavier. The bass of Banner Thomas and drums of Bruce Crump are keeping a more faster tempo and rhythm which is what makes this album great. 

Musically, you have a more Hard Rock influence with tons of Blues and a dash of Funk and Country. There’s plenty of ass kicking riffs and guitar solos. I love the raspy and whiskey drenched vocals. This album is just a super hard hitter from start to finish, making Molly Hatchet a force to be reckoned with in the South.

Track listing:

Whiskey Man 3:38
It’s All Over Now 3:40
One Man’s Pleasure 3:25
Jukin’ City 3:49
Boogie No More 6:05
Flirtin’ With Disaster 4:56
Good Rockin’ 3:16
Gunsmoke 3:10
Long Time 3:16
Let The Good Times Roll 2:56

Graveyard Classics: Six Feet under

Rating: 30%

3665In 2000, Six Feet Under decided to have a little fun and release a covers album. Why not? Every other band decided to do it. The problem was, I don’t think it worked very well for this band. I mean, I have used Youtube to look up various things like, Judy Garland singing Death Metal as well as Louis Armstrong and thought it was hilarious.

Well, this album is along those lines. The songs are just not meant to be Death Metal. It would have been cool if they redid songs that could have crossed over, but they choose instead to do the more popular songs, Deep Purple and Jimi Hendrix. It’s just not well thought out. So, looking at this album several years after I purchased it? It’s worth a giggle or two, but the fun soon wore off. 

Track listing:

1. Holocaust (Savatage cover) 04:39
2. T.N.T. (AC/DC cover) 03:29
3. Sweet Leaf (Black Sabbath cover) 05:22
4. Piranha (Exodus cover) 03:51
5. Son of a Bitch (Accept cover) 03:39 s
6. Stepping Stone (Paul Revere and the Raiders cover) 02:41
7. Confused (Angel Witch cover) 02:50
8. California über alles (Dead Kennedys cover)
9. Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple cover)
10. Blackout (Scorpions cover) 03:44
11. Purple Haze (Jimi Hendrix cover) 02:52
12. In League with Satan (Venom cover) 03:59

All The Witches Dance: Mortuary Drape

Rating: 80%

2000.jpgIn 1995, Death Metal became very black with this release by Mortuary Drape. Blacken Heavy Metal is a term I’ve heard from others to describe the music.

Musically, this album is pretty dark and gloomy. It’s almost as if the band took several lessons from the Doom Metal movement and combined it with a dash of Thrash Metal to make their signature Death Metal sound. The tempos are pretty fast with crunching riffs and lead guitars. I’m thinking along the lines of Six Feet Under’s mixed with some Venom style of music rather than Obituary or Death. This album has some pretty good drumming and the bass is out of this world. All in all, a good album!

Track listing:

My Soul
Astral Bewitchment
Funeral Chant
Tregenda (Dance In Shroud)
13th Way
Intro (Chain)
Medium Mortem
Occult Abyss

Refuge Denied: Sanctuary

Rating: 85%

Sanc_refdenied.jpgIn 1987, Sanctuary released their debut record, after being discovered by Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. When this album was released, I was blown away. It was the most original sounding metal I’ve heard. It was fresh.

Musically, this is just good ol’ Heavy Metal that some Thrash and Power Metal influences thrown in. It’s well balanced and very creative. If you were looking for a band that was going for the middle ground of what was out there at the time, but trying to separate themselves from the mainstream, then this was the band. It has many good riffs, killer leads and solos. This album has very interesting tempos. It also has some great offbeats that seems to give an edge to the music, making it a great listen. Awesome screaming high pitched vocals that range upwards to the soprano levels considering the vocalist is a natural baritone.

The musicianship is very good. Warrel Dane is one hell of a front man. His style actually comes from his training as an opera singer. Be cause of that, his vocal range is very broad. Guitarists Lenny Rutledge and Sean Blosl are dominating this album with fast riffs and excellent lead solos. You can almost describe their style as classical. Bringing up this rich sounding rhythm is bassist Jim Sheppard and drummer Dave Budbill.

Track listing:

Side 1
1. “Battle Angels” 4:52
2. “Termination Force” 3:40
3. “Die for My Sins”  3:42
4. “Soldiers of Steel”  5:30
Side 2
5. “Sanctuary”  3:57
6. “White Rabbit” 3:10
7. “Ascension to Destiny” 4:57
8. “The Third War”  3:52
9. “Veil of Disguise”  5:55