Stephen Pearcy, Red Dragon Cartel + Muse And More
Big week, lots of new albums, here is some of what come out today:
Stephen Pearcy – View To A Thrill
I got a chance to speak to Stephen last year. For as big of a pain in the ass he was to interview, his last two albums, last year’s Smash, and the new View To A Thrill have not disappointed at all. Sometimes you have to take the good with the bad, and in the end, we’re all here for the music right?
The two aforementioned albums are nothing alike, where Smash presented you with a musical landscape that displayed influences like Van Halen, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin mixed in with his signature voice and at times Ratt-like stylings, A View To A Thrill is just a straight-ahead top fuel burner. If you liked “Ten Miles Wide” off of Smash, or love Ratt, you’ll like the James Bond influenced A View To A Thrill.
Red Dragon Cartel – Patina
After years of no music from Jake E. Lee, we get two albums in four years. While the self-titled debut was a chalked full of guests, Jake put a band together for Patina consisting of returning lead singer Darren James Smith (yes, the guy from the infamous Whiskey show), former Ace Frehley and Lynch Mob bassist Anthony Esposito, and former Saigon Kick and Skid Row drummer Phil Varone.
While some of the tracks lean more towards a Badlands feel, this album also mixes in some of the same flavors Jake presented on his solo album Fine Pink Mist. So I wouldn’t say “Badlands is back” or that the album is a full return to anything.
It’s just Jake and the band hashing things out, mixing in all of the ingredients they’re capable of, and the results are Patina. From a production standpoint, the Churko influence is gone, and in that respect, the album isn’t as slick, it’s a lot dirtier, in a hard-rocking blues sense. If you’re a fan of Jake, especially his post-Ozzy work, check this album out.
Burning Witches – Hexenhammer
I have been posting videos by this Swiss band leading up to the release of Hexenhammer. All of the material I’ve heard off of the album feels like a mix between such classic heavy metal bands as Judas Priest and Accept.
I know what you’re thinking, haven’t we heard a million power metal bands already do this? No, not exactly, as the band is actually heavier than most power metal bands, mixing in some of the thrashiness of say Testament for good measure.
It is definitely an interesting blend of elements that I think will appeal to people that love old-school metal, and are looking for a newer band to captivate them.
Muse – Simulation Theory
Yes, I realize that I tend to stick to hard rock and metal releases on Friday, but whenever a big-time rock act comes along and releases an album, I like to spotlight it as well. Muse is also a band whose popularity has crossed over into metal, and as much as they love covering other bands, metal bands such as God Forbid and IWRESTLEDABEARONCE have covered tracks like “Stockholm Syndrome” and “Uprising”.
To say that they experimented on this album is kind of redundant, given that they push the boundaries with all of their releases. They always seem to mix in proggy elements or infuse heavier aspects of music into what they do, so that the casual music listener doesn’t realize they’re getting sucked into something that’s a little heavier than they’re accustomed to hearing on top 40 radio.
On the flip side, they mix in aspects of pop that some staunch metalheads wouldn’t get caught listening to unless it’s Muse. The trio once again works on a subliminal level, weaving in aspects of music that purists of several genres would say “that won’t work”, yet the band from Teignmouth makes it work.
This is the typical band where the purists have to look over their shoulders before discussing their love for the band.
Other releases that come out today that may interest you:
All That Remains – Victim Of The New Disease
Ashes Of Ares – Well Of Souls
Blaze Bayley – December Wind
Imagine Dragons – Origins
Lacuna Coil – The 119 Show: Live In London
Shvpes – Greater Than
Ted Nugent – The Music Made Me Do It