SUN RED SUN (Ray Gillen final band) – Sun Set [3-CD Box Set]

SUN RED SUN (Ray Gillen final band) - Sun Set [3-CD Box Set] - full

SUN RED SUN was formed in the early Nineties by ex- Belladonna guitarist Al Romano. While recording initial demos the band needed a strong vocalist for the classic hard rock / metal material. During the recording sessions it was suggested they get together with ex-Badlands vocalist Ray Gillen.
The demo tapes were sent to Gillen, who agreed to record with Romano. Bassist Mike Starr, fresh from his sting with Alice In Chains joined, and soon ex- Rainbow drummer Bobby Rondinelli filled out the lineup.
This super-group started to record the debut album at the legendary Electric Lady Studios, but Ray Gillen, after completing several of the tracks, passed away just as the band was getting ready to start touring.
The album “Sun Red Sun” was finally released, with other tracks sung by strong singer John West (Royal Hunt), and others by Romano.

Sun Set” is a 3-CD box set put together by Al Romano, including on CD1 the original “Sun Red Sun” album, on CD2 “Ray Gillen fifth Anniversary Memorial Tribute” featuring alternate Ray Gillen recordings & session outtakes, and on CD3 “Lost Tracks” there’s the songs originally performed by Gillen re-recorded by West and other unreleased tracks.
These are the last tracks recorded by Ray Gillen, raw, traditonal hard rock / metal, and while he was already sick the man gives his best, emotional, soulful performances.

The sound on “Sun Red Sun” is straight-ahead meat-and-potatoes ’80s American metal / hard rock, containing some ever-so-slight sleazy LA overtones, but also mixing elements of ’90s metal.
The Gillen tracks definitely worth the first disc and show fans a different perspective on the singer. ‘I Know A Place’ is the most vocally interesting, alternating straight-ahead verses with a fantasy-metal chorus.
Of the other four non-Gillen tracks, ‘Responsible’, with its insistent Rondinelli tribal drumming, is the best. This track also features a guest solo from Savatage guitarist Chris Cafferty. The remaining two tracks are slightly marred by guitarist Romano’s competent, but faceless vocal work, though ‘Deadly Nightshade’ does alternate between an interesting middle-eastern theme and more basic metal riffing, like a Savatage B-side from Hall of the Mountain King.

Disc 2 was originally released as Ray Gillen 5th Anniversary Memorial Tribute in 1998, and features interesting outtakes from the original Gillen sessions, including two additional takes of Outrageous, and additional versions of Hardlife, Lock Me Up and I Know A Place. There’s also a different mix of Lock Me Up.
A fine, brief instrumental, The Final Curtain closes the set and wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the first disc at all.

Disc Three is titled The Lost Tracks. After Gillen’s death, at the behest of his manager at the time, guitarist Al Romano was persuaded to replace Gillen’s vocal tracks with John West (who had coincidentally played with Badlands after Gillen’s departure).
So we find West on lead vocals using the original instrumental tracks, with a few additional SRS studio outtakes from the latter incarnation of the band, as well as two live cuts with bassist John Monte (ex- Mindfunk).

This recording is a great moment that captures Ray Gillen at his best with powerful soul drenched vocals. A Great Voice taken too soon. If you’re a fan of Ray’ this is a piece to have. If not a fan but looking for some straight forward, in your face hard rock / classic American metal this one is for you.
Highly Recommended


CD 1 “Sun Red Sun”
01 – I Know A Place
02 – Hard Life
03 – Outrageous
04 – Lock Me Up
05 – Final Curtain
06 – Responsible
07 – Deadly Nightshade
08 – Big Misunderstanding
09 – Intoxication
10 – How Do You Like Those? (Four King Bananas Missus)
11 – Outrageous (Alternative Version)

Ray Gillen – lead vocals on 1-4, 11
Al Romano – lead & rhythm guitar; bass on 6-9; lead vocal on 7, 8
Mike Starr – bass on 2, 4-6
Bobby Rondinelli – drums on 2, 4-10
John McCoy – bass on 1, 3, 10, 11; guitar on 1, 3, 11
John West – lead vocals on 6, 9
Chris Caffery – guest guitar solo on 6
Mike Sciotto – drums on 1, 3


CD2 “Ray Gillen fifth Anniversary Memorial Tribute”
01 – Hardlife
02 – Outrageous
03 – Lock Me Up
04 – I Know A Place
05 – Chillin With Gillen (Ray’s Jailhouse Confession)
06 – Hardlife II
07 – Outrageous II
08 – Lock Me Up II (Remix)
09 – I Know A Place II
10 – Outrageous III (Different Vocal Track)
11 – Outrageous IV (Different Vocal Track Low)
12 – The Final Curtain (Instrumental)

Ray Gillen – lead vocals
Al Romano – guitars; bass
Mike Starr – bass on 1-3, 5-8, 12
Bobby Rondinelli – drums on 1, 3, 5-9, 12
John McCoy – bass on 4, 9-11
Mike Sciotto – drums on 2, 4, 10, 11


CD3 “Lost Tracks”
01 – Hardlife
02 – Outrageous
03 – Intoxication
04 – Responsible
05 – Lock Me Up
06 – Bad Luck
07 – Heavy Metal Cowboy
08 – Ornamental Paper
09 – Prophets Of Doom
10 – The Hawaiians
11 – Deadly Nightshade (Live)
12 – Big Misunderstanding (Live)

John West – vocals on 1-5, 11, 12
Al Romano – guitars; vocals on 6, 7, 9
Mike Starr – bass on 1-5
Bobby Rondinelli – drums on 1-6, 11, 12
John McCoy – bass on 7-9
Mike Sciotto – drums on 7-9
Chris Caffery – guest guitar solo on 4
John Monte – bass on 11, 12


Try Here:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.