Impellitteri “The Nature of the Beast”

 Posted by on November 10, 2018 at 19:08  No Responses »
Nov 102018
 

It’s no secret that I love power metal; Finnish veterans Stratovarius a firm favourite. And so, when the first few bars of “Hypocrisy”, the first song on Impellitteri’s new album “The Nature of the Beast”, rang out, I was enthralled. Add to this lyrics that paint the world in dark hues, and you’ve got something captivating. Chris Impellitteri is a lauded lead guitarist, and is recognised in the media as one of the fastest guitarists in the shred style. Him, Marty Friedman and Paul Gilbert; all in the same league. On this album, Rob Rock is our “master of ceremonies”, and man, can he wail! His falsetto is perfection. Listen to the refrain, “Run for your life…” and you’ll know what I mean. The rhythm machine is anchored by James Pulli on bass, and propelled ever forward by Jon Dette on drums. Phew! This album is unrelenting.

The first couple of songs introduce the villains: there is the devil, the movie star, the werewolf, and the Phantom of the Opera. “Wonderworld” presents the listener with a future dystopia, a surveillance state bent on controlling the minds of civilians: “Computers taking over for you… Dependence on the virtual machine.” It made me think of George Orwell’s terrifying future visions in his book, “1984”. At the “Gates of Hell” a war is waged to end all wars! Continue reading »

Sep 102018
 

Frontiers Music is honored to announce the signing of a monumental project entitled Jesus Christ – The Exorcist, a Progressive Rock Opera written and produced by legendary musician and singer Neal Morse with performances by Neal and an all-star cast of singers and musicians.

Neal explains, “Sometimes providence comes with a whisper; sometimes it comes with an unexpected phone call. A friend of mine who works in the music business called me from New York one day in 2008 and said “Hey man, a friend and I were listening to Jesus Christ Superstar last night and were saying, ‘Man, somebody ought to do a new rock opera based on the Jesus story.’ I told my friend, ‘I know the guy!'” He went on to tell me I ought to write an epic prog piece based on the gospels. With a New York accent he said, “Ya gotta do it!” I laughed and said, “Well, I’m busy right now, but I’ll think about it.” Over the next couple of months, I began to feel that “yes” inside and spent a few months writing the first draft. The strong sense that I was onto something continued to grow and the people that sang on the original version were really into it. However, my friend from New York, (Michael Caplan) shopped it around and a lot of people loved it, but it never found a home… until NOW! Again, the phone rang and it was Michael. He said, “You’re not gonna believe this, but I’ve got a company interested in the musical!” I replied, ‘”That’s great, ’cause I am in the middle of a rewrite as we are putting it on at Morsefest 2018 in a few months.” Very timely! The company is called Frontiers Music Srl and after some communication, we struck a deal! Cool! So, here we are… ready to record and release this collection of songs and themes that is very dear to my heart and I believe tells the greatest story ever told in a powerful, new way.” Continue reading »

Stryper – “God Damn Evil”

 Posted by on June 16, 2018 at 15:21  No Responses »
Jun 162018
 

Reader, you’re going to laugh out loud. This is the first time I’m listening to anything Stryper. You might be wondering what island I’ve been living on and all I can say sometimes it takes long for a ship to arrive on the horizon.

“God Damn Evil” has proved to be a contentious album title, but Michael Sweet says that it comes as an earnest request to God when the band reflects on what is happening in the world. “Take It To The Cross” roars, and I get the feeling that it was fun to record. The enthusiasm is palpable, and Michael’s high register is from another world! As I continue to listen to “God Damn Evil” I get a “new wave of British heavy metal” (NWOBHM) vibe, as personified by Iron Maiden, Def Leppard and Saxon. There’s the lyrics that are sung, as opposed to growled, the melodic guitar solos and the choir of voices on the choruses. Sure, that’s not all that makes it sound traditional. Continue reading »

May 022018
 

Stryper continues to dominate the hard rock/heavy metal scene with the their critically-acclaimed tenth studio album, “God Damn Evil” (Frontiers Music srl). Released on April 20, the album debuts at #1 on Billboard’s Christian Album Sales, #2 on Billboard’s Top Christian Albums, #3 on Billboard’s Top Current Hard Music Albums, #5 on Billboard’s Top Independent Current Albums, #7 on Billboard’s Top Current Rock Albums, #12 on Billboard’s Top Current Physical Albums, #14 on Billboard’s Top Current Albums, #21 on Billboard’s Top Current Digital Albums and #77 on Billboard Top 200. In addition, “God Damn Evil” soared to #1 on the iTunes and Amazon Hard Rock charts immediately upon release.

“In today’s music world it’s miraculous for a band like Stryper to even chart at all,” says frontman Michael Sweet. “We’re absolutely thrilled that we’re still making our best music to date and climbing the charts 34 years later. We love what we do and we’re so blessed to do it. We’re grateful for so much support!” Continue reading »