Music Review |
Scorpions |
Return To Forever

 
In 2010 we caught the Scorpions in Berlin on their Farewell Tour, thinking it would be great to see them live one last time. When they released their MTV Unplugged album, we were there for their Cologne show too. Fast forward another year and not only are they back with Return To Forever, but the band is also celebrating 50 years in the music business!

The Scorpions revisited their metal roots with Sting In The Tail and Return To Forever is consistent with that choice. The opener, Going Out With A Bang, is a perfect choice to get the party started. Rudolf Schenker and Matthias Jab deliver their distinctive guitar riffs energetically and Klaus Meine is at the height of his game. The second track, We Built This House, was also the first single released. A typical Scorpions song with a heavy chorus, it will no doubt have the crowds singing along during the upcoming 50th anniversary tour. Great chorus on Rollin’ Home too and the chords solo on Catch Your Luck And Play is amazing.
 
Scorpions Return To Forever Album Review
The Scorpions are also famous for writing some of the most beautiful ballads in the history of hard rock. It will of course be hard to ever top Still Loving You or Wind Of Change, but unlike on Sting In The Tail, this time the band does a pretty good job. The three ballads on the album all have their signature sound without being cheesy. My preference goes to the soulful House Of Cards with its mellow acoustic guitar arrangements.

Do I need to say we own the Deluxe version of that album too? ;) Four tracks have been added for this edition. One could say the word “rock” appears a tad too often, but overall Return To Forever is a showcase for some pretty masterful song writing and impressive musicianship/vocals. Having sold over 100 million albums worldwide, Scorpions has nothing to prove anymore but still delivers.
 
Scorpions MTV Unplugged Tour Cologne Return To Forever Music Review
 
PS: This week is “music week” on my blog. I will add links at the bottom of each post leading to the previous reviews.
Monday: Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses
Tuesday: Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
Wednesday: Europe – War Of Kings
Thursday: Revolution Saints – Revolution Saints

 
 
SCORPIONS

Klaus Meine – Vocals
Rudolf Schenker – Guitar
Matthias Jabs – Guitar
James Kottak – Drums
Pawel Maciwoda – Bass
 
 
TRACK LISTING

1. Going Out With A Bang
2. We Built This House
3. Rock My Car
4. House Of Cards
5. All For One
6. Rock’ n ‘Roll Band
7. Catch Your Luck And Play
8. Rollin’ Home
9. Hard Rockin’ The Place
10. Eye Of The Strorm
11. The Scratch
12. Gypsy Life
 
BONUS TRACKS

1. The World We Used To Know
2. Dancing With The Moonlight
3. When The Truth Is A Lie
4. Who We Are
 
 
 
 

Music Review |
Revolution Saints |
Revolution Saints

 
For today’s review, I am excited to be talking about a new band, Revolution Saints, and their self-titled debut album. Well, when I say new band, its members are hardly inexperienced musicians. Lead singer is Deen Castronovo, Journey drummer. Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake and Dio) is the guitarist. Jack Blades, bassist of Night Ranger, completes the trio.

The first thing that struck me when I listened to Revolution Saints was: “Why has Deen Castronovo never been a lead singer before?” Serafino Perugino, head of Frontier Records, must have been asking himself the same question, but it took him a long time to persuade Castronovo. It is a very good thing he succeeded. The impressive voice of Revolution Saints frontman, at times reminiscent of Steve Perry’s, is pure rawness with lots of nuances. It blends incredibly well with Jack Blades’ on the duet Turn Back Time. The album channels 80’s rock vibes and Doug Aldrich, known for a heavier guitar sound, demonstrates his talent throughout by delivering melodic riffs while retaining his own style.
 
Revolution Saints Album Review Self-titled album
These guys have known each other for years and a feeling of unity comes across. We own the Deluxe Edition of the album, which includes a DVD with the making of and the music videos. When listening to the various tracks I detected a definite sense of fun; this was confirmed when I watched the making of. There was great enthusiasm about this new collaboration, but also a lot of respect for each other’s skills.

Back On My Trail is the ideal opener, energetic and catchy, with a fabulous guitar solo. Another example of classic melodic rock is Locked Out Of Paradise. The whole album is such a fantastic mix of rock songs and ballads that I am having a hard time choosing a favourite. When pushed, I would go for You’re Not Alone (I love both Arnel Pineda and Deen Castronovo’s versions). I can listen to it in a loop and also find it helps with the inspiration while I am writing. :)
 
Revolution Saints Music Review Doug Aldrich Deen Castronovo Jack Blades
Alessandro Del Vecchio is the man behind this project, as composer of the majority of the songs and producer. His keyboard playing is the perfect addition to Doug Aldrich’s heavy riffs .

I have to credit Sexy Hubby, the “musical radar” in our home, for making me discover Revolution Saints. I am really glad he did, as Revolution Saints instantly became one of my current favourite albums. I have read about the band discussing playing live; between the three of them, there is certainly enough material they can tap into on top of the album twelve tracks. I very much hope to catch the band on tour when this happens.
 
PS: This week is “music week” on my blog. I will add links at the bottom of each post leading to the previous reviews.
Monday: Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses
Tuesday: Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
Wednesday: Europe – War Of Kings
 
 
REVOLUTION SAINTS

Deen Castronovo – Vocals/Drums
Doug Aldrich – Guitar
Jack Blades – Bass
 
 
TRACK LISTING

1. Back On My Trail
2. Turn Back Time
3. You’re Not Alone (featuring Arnel Pineda)
4. Locked Out Of Paradise
5. Way To The Sun (featuring Neal Schon)
6. Dream On
7. Don’t Walk Away
8. Here Forever
9. Strangers To This Life
10. Better World
11. How To Mend A Broken Heart
12. In The Name Of The Father
 
BONUS TRACKS

13. You’re Not Alone (Arnel Pineda version)
14. Way To The Sun (Doug Aldrich version)
15. You’re Not Alone (Deen Castronovo version)
 
 
 
 

Music Review |
Europe |
War Of Kings

 
War of Kings is Europe’s tenth studio album and their fourth since reuniting in 2003. The band has since been keeping the rhythm of a new album every three years, starting with Start from the Dark (2003), followed by Secret Society (2006), Last Look at Eden (2009) and Bag of Bones (2012), which I reviewed on this blog at the time. Their latest opus is the first one released under new label UDR Records and was produced by Dave Cobb (Rival Sons).
 
War of Kings Europe Album Review
The first thing to say is how amazing the whole album sounds. It reminds me of these essential 70’s hard rock albums going straight to the point, so to speak. As soon as the first notes of the title track resonate, you know War of Kings is going to be exciting. Joey Tempest’s voice soars in the chorus and John Norum’s guitar together with Mic Michaeli’s keyboard support the lead singer beautifully. Praise You, its bluesy tones in the vein of the Bag of Bones sound, is a great display of masterful song writing. The drum work from Ian Haugland on Nothin’ to Ya also deserves to be highlighted. Days of Rock n Roll has a lot of energy, with catchy riffs and a driving groove. As for the ballad Angels (With Broken Hearts), the lyrics, as well as the melody, are quite poignant. It comes close to another favourite of mine, New Love in Town (Last Look at Eden).
 
War of Kings Europe Music Review
Sexy Hubby and I have seen Europe live together twice. The first time was in 2012 during their Bag of Bones tour and the second last year at Steelhouse Festival in Wales, where we had the pleasure of meeting the band members. We are looking forward to the next opportunity to attend one of their great concerts.
 
PS: This week is “music week” on my blog. I will add links at the bottom of each post leading to the previous reviews.
Monday: Blackberry Smoke – Holding All The Roses
Tuesday: Black Star Riders – The Killer Instinct
 
 
EUROPE

Joey Tempest – Vocals
John Norum – Guitars
John Levén – Bass
Mic Michaeli – Keys
Ian Haugland – Drums
 
 
TRACK LISTING

1. War of Kings
2. Hole in My Pocket
3. Second Day
4. Praise You
5. Nothin’ to Ya
6. California 405
7. Days of Rock N Roll
8. Children of the Mind
9. Rainbow Bridge
10. Angels (With Broken Hearts)
11. Light It Up
12. Vasastan (Instrumental)