THE END MACHINE, SWEET OBLIVION AND BLAZE BAYLEY RETURN WITH NEW ALBUMS
The End Machine – Phase2
I love seeing people wasting their time bickering over who is in a band and who is out of a band. As if George Lynch and Don Dokken are sitting home keeping score as to who is up in the score. Hoo, hoo, hoo, I got one over more!
“It’s not Dokken without George Lynch”, hmmm, so the band is named after the lead singer, yet it’s not the band without the guitarist? There are way too many rules in hard rock and metal. Stupid crap, that just takes away from the music. At the end of the day this is all opinion, if you don’t want to listen to something because of your closed mind, then just move along, and let the rest partake.
You don’t like Dokken without George Lynch? Then you shouldn’t like the album Dysfunctional as he didn’t play on the majority of it. You’re also missing out on great albums like Erase The Slate and Lightning Strikes Again. God forbid that neither of these albums takes the place of Tooth And Nail or Under Lock And Key as your favorites. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them also. Again, you can like spaghetti and pizza.
And to set the record straight, in my opinion, Wicked Sensation and the self-titled Lynch Mob albums are classics. As is George’s first solo album Sacred Groove and the Lynch Pilson album Wicked Underground. George is one of my all-time favorite guitarists, he’s extremely prolific, but that doesn’t mean that I like absolutely everything he’s put out. There are certain things that have left me scratching my head over the years. But that doesn’t diminish my love and respect for George as a player.
So why my long-winded build-up for Phase2? There is no End Machine without Mick Brown dam it! It used to be “Wild” Mick Brown, now it’s just “Retired” Mick Brown! His brother Steve takes over on the drums, and although he does a great job filling in, he’s at least an unknown commodity to me. I’m sure someone can point out that he was part of some band over the years. I’m just ignorant of what he’s done in the past. For these guys to trust him is obviously a nod to his ability and their confidence in him.
The End Machine isn’t breaking any new ground with Phase2. Are you a fan of the classic lineup of Dokken? Then you’ll probably really like this album. But at the same time, if you’re looking for this to replace Tooth And Nail as your favorite album connected to these players, then don’t bother listening. Because that will never happen.
Now if you go in with an open mind, you’ll hear that all four members are on point. The melodies are great, the playing is great, Robert Mason is on fire with his vocals as usual. George even tips his hat to the solo from the track “Tooth And Nail”, with the solo in “Blood And Money”. The entire album is a tip of the hat to what brought these players to the dance.
Here is The End Machine with “Born Of Fire” off of Phase2:
Sweet Oblivion – Relentless
Similar to what I mentioned with The End Machine’s Phase2, Relentless is an album that brings Geoff Tate full circle back to what most fans want out of him. The first Sweet Oblivion album made people rejoice, Tate’s back.
For so many years fans of Queensryche were begging the band to put something out that was closer to their first few albums. But after Chris Degarmo parted ways with the band, they seemed to drift farther away from the groundwork the band had originally laid. It is a shame that the singer and the band had to go their separate ways in order for Tate to kind of revisit his past.
We have two great entities in both Queensryche now fronted by Todd LaTorrre and Geoff Tate with Sweet Oblivion and his Operation Mindcrime project. This project is almost a way of showing fans, and his former bandmates that he can still do music in a style that many accused him of no longer being able to do.
This album continues the path that the first Sweet Oblivion album blazed. The players have all changed, but let’s be honest here, they’re trying to give the fans what they want. When it comes to Geoff Tate, for most people that means something that sounds somewhere between the first self-titled Queensryche EP and Promiseland. I do believe they’ve accomplished that.
Again will this replace Operation Mindcrime, Empire, or Rage To Order? I highly doubt it, but it doesn’t need to. If you’re a fan of Tate’s work over the years, you’ll still hear that magic in his voice. There are distinct tones and things that he still does with his voice that are just unique to him. That alone will make die-hards check this album out.
Here is Geoff Tate and Swee Oblivion with “Wake Up Call” off of Relentless:
HERE ARE SOME OTHER ALBUMS THAT COME OUT TODAY
Blaze Bayley – War Within Me
Zao – The Crimson Corridor
The Treatment – Waiting For Good Luck
Motorjesus – Hewllbreaker
Wheel – Preserved In Time
Arion – Vultures Die Alone
Screamachine – Screamachine
Infinite & Divine – Silver Lining
Devil Sold His Soul – Loss
Assertion – Intermission
Primal Fear – I Will Be Gone Featuring Tarja
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Live At Knebworth 76
FM – Tough It Out Live
Nebula – Live In The Mojave Desert Vol. 2
L7 – Wargasm The Slash Years 1992 – 1997
Dog Eat Dog – All Boro Kings Vinyl
Grey Daze – Amends…Stripped Vinyl
Powerwolf – Blessed & Possessed Vinyl
Bill & Ted Face The Music – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Vinyl