Category: Uncategorized

PAUL GILBERT – Holy Diver [EP from The Dio Album] (2023) *Exclusive*

It was pure chance that led PAUL GILBERT to recording his upcoming release ‘The Dio Album’ (April 2023). The American guitar virtuoso, best known for his masterful fretwork in chart-topping hard rockers Mr. Big and high-octane trailblazers Racer X – as well as numerous solo records – was in his car when he saw something that made his heart start beating faster in a moment of unexpected, unadulterated joy. This was not a high value item of interest or even particularly rare, simply a baseball cap with the word ‘Dio’ emblazoned across the front. Sometimes, even for the biggest of guitar legends, it’s the little things that hit us in the most profound ways.
On his drive home, a plan was being formulated. Why not capture all of that raw energy and excitement on an album devoted to Ronnie James Dio’s most celebrated tracks – spanning across his career from Rainbow to Black Sabbath and the singer’s own solo endeavours?
The Dio Album‘ consists of 10 standout and career-defining tracks, from “Heaven and Hell” to “Holy Diver” and “Man On The Silver Mountain”. All these tracks from the upcoming album are featured into this EP, plus an exclusive, different, single version of “Holy Diver”…

BULLETPROOF – Bite Down Hard [Eonian Records] (2023) *Exclusive*

After listening BULLETPROOF‘s song ‘Drinking Too Much’, specialized melodic hard rock record label Eonian Records signed the band for the release of their debut album titled “Bite Down Hard“. BULLETPROOF’s music fits into the classic bluesy hard rock or metal slot, but the band simply calls it “rock and roll.”
With “Bite Down Hard” Bulletproof have not reinvented the wheel in any way. If anything, they borrow a hell of a lot from various acts from the genre; riff-driven tunes inspired by AC/DC, Airbourne or Krokus, the album title is the same from one of American rockers Britny Fox, and the lead singer sounds like Cinderella’s Tom Keifer (hear the track ‘Seven years of Hell’ for a proof).
But this collection of rockin’ tracks provide an entertaining shot of fun for sure…

LOGAN (Lillian Axe) – One Step Forward… Two Steps Back [FnA Digitally Remastered +10] [2023 re-pressing]

Here’s the long awaited release of recordings by the late, great Johnny Logan Vines, the original singer of Lillian Axe. Originally published by himself in 1992 with the title ‘One Step Closer’ as a 6-track EP, this FnA Records remastered reissue includes 10 extra songs as bonus tracks, re-titled “One Step Forward… Two Steps Back” and featuring new artwork.
Johnny formed LOGAN in the summer of 1991 with drummer Mark Kelley, guitarist Don LaFon and bassist John Jay in Houston, Texas. They immediately began writing songs and playing shows in the Houston area.
Later that summer Logan recorded a demo that gained the attention of multiplatinum producer/engineer Geoff Workman. In January/February of 1992 Logan recorded ‘One Step Closer’, a 6 song EP with Geoff Workman working his magic.

RAF (David Valentine) – Restless Spirit (1986) [Digital Reissue]

Scottish-based group RAF (also known as R.A.F.) revolved around David Valentine (vocals/keyboards) and Douglas Bogie (guitar). RAF first album released 1980, the segue is of the original demos which sealed the deal with A&M Records, Los Angeles in 1980. At the time David had to slip a few dollars to a security guard to get into A&M Records, and got a five minute meeting with Bob Schualmann, he loved it and sent the tape straight to David Kershenbaum, head of A&R at their New York office, and then flew on the red eye to sign RAF in Los Angeles.
The self-titled debut album was recorded in George Martin’s Air Studio, London, and then mixed in Cherokee, Los Angeles. Melodic and with nice hooks, the LP sold well and RAF recorded a second work appeared 1981. Unfortunately the group disbanded but David Valentine kept the RAF moniker.
In the mid-Eighties David decided to record a new album as RAF, although he was the only original member so it should be considerd a solo album. With the aid of London-based session musicians he pre-produced the new songs in his own recording studio in Edinburgh.
With a Lite AOR / Hi Tech / FM Rock&pop sound, the album titled “Restless Spirit” was released 1986. Despite interest in US musical circles, the album was not a commercial success. However this is fine slice of mid-Eighties melodic AOR, reissued on digital format for the first time…

NEW ENGLAND – The New England Archives Box [Hear No Evil / Cherry Red 5-CD Set]

One of the most influential bands from the late Seventies, NEW ENGLAND were way ahead of their time. Despite their lack of commercial success, their slim volume of work with 3 albums – New England (1978), Explorer Suite (1980) and Walking Wild (1981) – staked out a sizeable chunk of popular music territory that unfortunately did not ultimately translate into sales.
Thankfully New England did leave behind plenty of recordings, outtakes, demos, and unreleased songs, now collected by HNE / Cherry Red Records here for the very first time on “The New England Archives Box Volume 1”.
We have no less than 5 CD’s here, and the sound quality is very, very good.
“The New England Archives Box Vol 1” has been drawn and compiled from the band’s own collections of tapes and personal recordings, all cleaned and remastered obtaining a superb sound quality. Some of these takes are equally and even better than the final versions.
A must for Pomp-Rock fans, and quality rock music of all time…

DEPECHE MODE – Memento Mori (2023)

Hated with passion by any metalhead during the ’80s, over the years electro-pop masters DEPECHE MODE have become some kind of cult band for all Rock fans & musicians – no matter the sub-genre – with their classic songs covered by countless metal-related bands.
Memento Mori” is the upcoming fifteenth studio album by DEPECHE MODE, set to be released on 24 March 2023, their first album in 7 years and the first to be released after the death of co-founder and keyboardist Andy Fletcher on 26 May 2022.
Some of you knowing this website ‘Rock’ focus may result surprised to see DEPECHE MODE here, however we love as well everything related to the Seventies / Eighties. After our first listen on “‘Memento Mori” we can’t imagine a ‘more ’80s pop’ album recently appeared than ”Memento Mori”.
Sure, the sound approach, as always, is foreboding and sleek, sardonic yet soulful, but the songwriting all over this album is pure ’80s in spirit, perhaps musically the band’s more retro-Eighties writing ever. Lyric-wise, there’s an exquisite darkness, death-obsessed even by DEPECHE MODE standards. An it’s fascinating…

CHICAGO – Twenty 1 [Full Original Ron Nevison Mix 1990] [Unreleased] *Exclusive*

As requested, here’s the original version / mix – never released – of CHICAGO 1990’s album ”Twenty 1”. There’s an interesting story behind “Twenty 1″, the album officially in 1991.
Originally the record was produced, engineered and mixed by one of the best ’80s producer in rock & pop history; Ron Nevison. But at the eleventh hour, the project was handed to Humberto Gatica to re-mix. The record company was looking for a less ‘rock’ sound in favor of a more poppy, Adult Contemporary sound.
This original ”Twenty 1 [Full Original Ron Nevison Mix 1990]” was made available among collectors and Chicago fans by Nevison himself, because he was shocked about what Gatica did with the re-mix.
Nevison said: “Gatica ruined it. Took all the ‘real’ drums off, put in these soft samples — I mean, this is a fucking rock band. He took carefully nurtured songs and put stupid treatments on the vocals — like on “You Come to My Senses,” they’re swimming in all sorts of phasers and flangers. My God, I was shocked! They also re-ordered the track list in a wrong way. I’m not surprised the album didn’t sold well. It all would have worked if they’d left it alone. I promise you.”
There’s noticeable differences between this unreleased Nevison original mix and the one finally released.
This Nevison mix sounds like true Chicago, like ’17’, ’18’ or ’19, more clear, without all those echoes and voice effects, more real, more in-your-face, more natural.
A collectible rarity, and at the same time good music…

AXEWITCH – The Last of a Dying Breed: 40 Years in Metal (2023)

AXEWITCH were one of the earliest acts of what became known in Sweden as FWOSHM (First Wave of Swedish Heavy Metal) were bands like Torch, 220 Volt, Ice Age, Destiny, and of course Europe. AXEWITCH formed in 1981 and were very successful releasing three albums until broke up in 1987, but reunited in 2007 and since then were playing live and working in new music, which resulted in the solid comeback album ”Out Of The Ashes Into The Fire” (2021).
AXEWITCH didn’t wish to ‘update’ their sound, nor write songs of ‘modernized metal’, so decided to re-record the 10 best tracks from the band’s first 3 releases: “Pray for Metal EP” (1982), “The Lord of Flies” (1983), and “Visions of the Past” (1984) to commemorate AXEWITCH’s 40 years of existence.
The Last of a Dying Breed: 40 Years in Metal” comprises 40 minutes (as used to be) of pure 80s traditional metal / hard rock, with all the magic from the era both in songwriting style & sound, all very well performed and produced.
Despite the ‘heavy’ album cover, the band’s name and the era they formed, AXEWITCH’s music is much more hard rock than metal, and when they push the pedal, they deliver a very melodic, polished sound in the typical Swedish clean delivery. As example, their “The Lord of Flies” LP had not side A & B, but “Side Hard”, and the flip ”Side Heavier”.
This is wonderful stuff like a cross between 220 Volt, early Pretty Maids, Europe and the first Scorpions, Mama’s Boys, Praying Mantis, etc…

WALLNER / VAIN (feat Vinny Appice) – Duel (2023)

We were featuring previous material from the very good hard rock duo WALLNER / VAIN, and now they are releasing the new album “Duel“, again featuring legendary Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio) on drums.
WALLNER / VAIN was formed in LA by Will Wallner (current lead gitarist for White Wizzard) and female vocalist Vivien Vain when they met at the ‘Rainbow Bar and Grill’ on the Sunset Strip and discovered they shared a passion for hard bands from the 70’s and 80’s.
The duo already released their full length debut LP the past decade, a new album in 2021, and soon after an EP of Thin Lizzy covers titled ‘The Legend Never Dies’ as a warm up before starting work on their new album ”Duel”.
They teamed up with producer Chris Collier (Whitesnake, KXM, Lynch Mob) to obtain that classic hard rock sound, and succeeded on ”Duel”, as this is one of the best American classic hard rock ’80s sounding album recently appeared.
It was important to Wallner that ”Duel” showcase the guitar in a way that was authentic to his heroes. Everything was recorded with a Les Paul through a vintage Marshall stack at concert volumes. There are no plugins, samples, or autotune on Vain’s powerful, natural vocals.
“Duel” will surprise you with its quality female-fronted classic hard rock waves…

VARGAS BLUES BAND – Stoner Night (2023)

Spanish rock guitarist / songwriter Javier Vargas established in the USA during the Seventies, working as session musician for many and playing on several bands. In 1990 he put together his own outfit, VARGAS BLUES BAND, and many of his albums feature major guests ranging from Glenn Hughes to Jack Bruce. Vargas’ popular song, “Blues Latino”, was recorded by Carlos Santana and released worldwide on his 1994 album “Santana Brothers”.
Since then VARGAS BLUES BAND has released several albums, and Vargas involved on various projects, such as ‘Vargas, Bogert & Appice’ alongside the legendary Carmine Appice (drums), Tim Bogert (bass) and Paul Shortino (vocals).
Now VARGAS BLUES BAND is releasing a new album titled “Stoner Night“. There’s some important things to note about this new LP: this is not ‘stoner rock’, and the VARGAS BLUES BAND isn’t that ‘blues-rock with latin touches’ anymore.
“Stoner Night” is rocking Seventies / Eighties influenced classic hard rock / classic rock, with a bluesy foundation, yeah, but rock n’ rollin’ and quite punchy overall. Vargas is a top player on par with any of the greats from the genre, and his band is tight & oiled, with two very good lead vocalists in British Jon Byron Jagger (nephew of Mick Jagger) and Merrick Wells…

TED NUGENT – Fan The Flame EP (2022) + Spirit Of The Wild [RSD reissue + prev unreleased] (2022) *Exclusive*

TED NUGENT has released a special celebration edition of his 1995 “Spirit Of The Wild” album. It’s a limited LP edition done for the last Record Store Day (RSD) for the fist time on vinyl and including 2 previously unreleased tracks.
During the pre-production of the Vinyl reissue of ”Spirit of The Wild” for Record Store Day, producer Michael Lutz and long time Nugent drummer Jason Hartless dug into the archives and found two unreleased songs from the SOTW recording sessions: “Fan The Flame”, and “Guns”. Now these ‘lost tracks’ are added as bonus on this double vinyl LP reissue.
Additionally, there’s a Limited Edition (250 copies) EP Box Set titled “Fan The Flame”. It includes both songs plus an exclusive instrumental mix with extra guitar for the title track, plus a poster, sticker, backtage pass, etc.
“Spirit Of The Wild” ranks as one of Ted Nugent’s finest moments because it cuts away the filler and keeps the wild man’s tendency for indulgence in check. This album marked the return of Nugent’s original hard rock sound with the comeback of classic vocalist Derek St. Holmes…

WHITE WITCH – A Spiritual Greeting [Digitally Remastered Collector’s reissue] HQ

Also requested, here is the second and final LP from Americans WHITE WITCH, their 1974’s LP “A Spiritual Greeting“. If this band and their self-titled first album – also featured at 0dayrox – are quite unknown and forgotten, this “A Spiritual Greeting” is even more obscure. This is the remastered Collector’s CD reissue from some time ago, hard to find as well.
While the band’s name and this album title might sound ‘occult metal’, the music inside is far from that: this is American Seventies rock n’ roll with hard rock riffs, rock&pop melodies, proggy & glam touches, moog, mellotron, and more. Think Alice Cooper (WHITE WITCH toured with him), early Aerosmith, some Montrose, etc.
Fronted by capable and versatile vocalist Ronn Goedert, this final album WHITE WITCH is definitely more American sounding than their first LP, which had some European bands influences.
”A Spiritual Greeting” was the band’s farewell – due to some internal friction, as the record label wanted to shoot WHITE WITCH to stardom – a pity, as this was one of the most interesting US bands emerging during the first half of the Seventies. A very good remastering job, not easy to achieve with analog tapes like these…

WHITE WITCH – S/T [Digitally Remastered Collector’s reissue] HQ

1972 was a really good year for progressive music, hard rock and glam rock. David Bowie released Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; T-Rex released Slider; Pink Floyd cut Obscured By Clouds; Yes released Close To the Edge, and Alice Cooper recorded Schools Out.
If you were a youth in ’72 and you wanted all of these albums, which would you choose first? “None”. The answer would lie with Florida’s WHITE WITCH self-titled debut 1972’s ”White Witch”. And simply because the other albums became classics and easy to find, but ”White Witch” is as good as these but went out of print for ages.
WHITE WITCH was America’s and Capricorn Records answer to the hard rock / Glam / progressive sounds, mostly coming from Europe. They were very melodic, accessible, a radiable.
Few weeks ago we featured here the new Bad Reputation Records remastered reissue of vocalist RON GOEDERT solo LP. Well, Ron sang for WHITE WITCH before, and here he shrieks like Ian Gillan at places. On a side note, Axl Rose confessed that Ronn Goedert was one of his biggest influences.
As requested, here’s the remastered version of ”White Witch”, a great listen for all ’70s aficionados…

ELLES BAILEY – Shining in the Half Light [Deluxe Edition +9] (2023)

Award-winning British blues rocker ELLES BAILEY is releasing ”Shining in the Half Light [Deluxe Edition +9]”, an expanded version of her most recent, past year album, which nearly doubles the amount of songs on the original album. What was a ten-track record is now 19 songs in length and includes two new originals, two covers, and five live tracks.
Classic Rock fans were clamoring for an enlarged version of the record that included live recordings of some of the tunes and Bailey decided to deliver the goods and then some. She assembled the original ”Shining in the Half Light” crew in the same room for the very first time at The Pool Studios in London and tracked five songs live. Bailey then took her cracking band to Middle Farm Studios in Devon and cut two new originals and a pair of covers live to tape, which was a new experience for the high-powered vocalist.
Elles Bailey is a smoky-voiced, dynamic recording artist who has risen to the top of the British roots and blues scene in the last few years, and quickly become one of Europe’s most popular contemporary blues rock artists.
”Shining in the Half Light [Deluxe Edition +9]” is instanly likeable pop-rock infused blues-rock, with irresistible hooks and a clean polished production. On the new tracks, especially these ‘live into the studio’, Elles and her band showcases a rawer feeling…

GABRIELLE de VAL – Kiss In A Dragon Night [ft. Robin McAuley, Terry Brock, Steve Overland] (2023) *HQ*

Kiss In A Dragon Night“, GABRIELLE de VAL first solo album, was conceived when the editor of Fireworks Magazine received the album “Back” from her band THE VAL to write a review for the mag. He shaped the idea to create an album with de Val involving vocalists such as Steve Overland (FM/Lonerider/solo), Mick Devine (The Roads/Seven), Robin McAuley (Black Swan/Michael Schenker Band), Mark Boals (Yngwie Malmsteen) and Terry Brock (Strangeways) as well as musicians such as Gary Pihl (Boston/Sammy Hagar), Eric Ragno (Joe Lynn Turner/Babys), Johan Kullberg (HammerFall) and Fredrik Folkare (Nordic Union/Unleashed).
Shortly before starting to work on this album, Gabrielle appeared on the Escape Music released Circle Of Friends album “The Garden” with the solo track “When He’s Gone”. Then the label agreed to release “Kiss In A Dragon Night”.
For Gabrielle, “Kiss In A Dragon Night” is a mindblowing adventure, with fellow artists who have “given me more than I could have ever imagined and with songs that I have put all my soul and dedication into.”
Already with the suggestive cover of the album, by Gaetano di Falco, a surprising journey begins, with songs by The Val transformed into duets, very powerful original songs by other writers, as well as versions of fascinating tracks such as “Stayin’ Alive” (Magnum) and “Moonlight Shadow” (Mike Oldfield)…