24.6.16

Steve Vai - Modern Primitive / Passion & Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition) (2016)

Frankly speaking, Steve Vai's Modern Primitive is modern recording of his primitive songs. Yes it is. In Steve's own words :

"I’m [giving] an extra CD with material that’s never been released. It’s music the I’ve either recorded or written in between Flex-Able and Passion and Warfare. If you’re familiar with Flex-Able, it’s a very strange record: I recorded it when I was 20. And if you listen to Passion and Warfare, it seems [like] a completely different guy. So what happened in between? Where’s the missing link?" 

"Seven to eight songs are already tracked, and they just need a couple of finishing touches," Vai added. "Then I’m gonna have the old band get together that I had back then, just to lay down some other tracks we used to perform in that period. So it’s new music and frankly it’s turning out to be one of my favorite records." 

A whole CD worth of new Vai music is released in June 2016, bundled as "Modern Primitive". What's so new about this cd is as describe here: The first is "Bop!", is strangely having more funky slap bass than Steve playing guitar. We got Steve Vai in bit of background. If you like combination of funk and mind blowing Steve Vai dynamic, here the music for you. "Dark Matter", "Mighty Messengers" and "The Lost Chord" are vocalize songs, Steve Vai's own singing over his composition. Oh please mr.Vai, we wanted new guitar instrumental music from you instead. Luckily there is "Upanishads", which is the purely done with guitars. This one sounds very Ultra Zone era also. Then  finally the 7th song, "And We Are One", which is the ballad tune in that magic numbering (the 7th song in all Steve Vai's album will be a ballad). Remind us to For The Love of God.  "Lights Are On" are another straightforward , well short of straightforward, guitar instrumental track. If you notice, in Modern Primitive we got lot of power bass line, as in this one. "No Pockets" is sound very '80s glam rock atmosphere with its guitar riff intro. Steve (still) singing in this one, probably under his Whitesnake era influence. And then we got three parts of "Pink and Blows Over", another very Frank Zappa-ish composition. The whole suite is kind of jazz dominant. The third movement is the most mind blowing, worth the wait.

Interesting collection to any of Steve Vai crazy music. Remind you, the "seriousness" of these tracks is understandably "left over" category. Indeed the recording show what it could be like if Steve Vai going to record a song in between his 1984 to 1990 "blank" era.

Buy it Here - Amazon
Steve Vai - Modern Primitive / Passion & Warfare (25th Anniversary Edition) (2016)

CD1 - Modern Primitive:

01. Bop!
02. Dark Matter
03. Mighty Messengers
04. The Lost Chord
05. Upanishads
06. Fast Note People
07. And We Are One
08. Never Forever
09. Lights Are On
10. No Pockets
11. Pink And Blows Over: Part 1
12. Pink And Blows Over: Part 2 (Mars Attack)
13. Pink And Blows Over: Part 3 (Jazzbo Paddle-Foot)

CD2 - Passion And Warfare 25th Anniversary Edition:

01. Liberty
02. Erotic Nightmares
03. The Animal
04. Answers
05. The Riddle
06. Ballerina 12/24
07. For Love Of God
08. The Audience Ls Listening
09. I Would Love To
10. Blue Powder
11. Greasy Kid's Stuff
12. Alien Water Kiss
13. Sisters
14. Love Secrets
15. Lovely Elixir (Bonus)
16. And We Are One (Solo #2) (Bonus)
17. As Above (Bonus)
18. So Below (Bonus)

23.6.16

Derdian - Revolution Era (2016)

Derdian is the Italian power metal band that years ago known for their "New Era" trilogy. The trilogy offered full power metal acts. At the time, power metal seems on top of every album releases and Derdian must compete hard with other, well, almost similar concept and songs. The band put it lots of hard works and gained power metal community attention as a rewards. The two albums after that was "Limbo (2013)" and "Hard Reset (2014)", also in the style of bombastic power metal atmosphere. Over the years the band stand the test of time, as by now I see less power metal survived the era of 2000s-2015s, Derdian stood up still. And in this 2016 album, Derdian re-visited their "New Era" songs, a compilation of their most bombastic tunes. The new album is called "Revolution Era", is actually compilation album with the songs re-recorded with guest vocalist. Not much arrangements changes, except this one mixed with bigger low frequency, making it sound fatter and "modern". If you like traditional high pitch power metal mixing, then just referred to their original version in "New Era" album, part 1 to 3.

The highlighted guest vocalist range from Fabio Lione (in Lord of War) to Ralf Scheepers. From D.C. Cooper to ex- Dark Moor Elisa Martion. Selection of songs are impossible because these are indeed the best song selected from their trilogy. Even so, I will say the first three songs are the best to represented Derdian, Burn, Beyond the Gate and Battleplan, are the songs that championed Derdian into front line of power metal. They are traditional "cheeky" yet you can't resisted to keep listening and headbanging. The only song I can't find references is "Lord of War" by Fabio, perhaps a new song. Forevermore is newer version to their "Part. 3" album, featuring Elisa C. Martin and Terrence Holler, they performed this beautifully as always. The most simple form of power metal can be found in the song "Eternal Light", you only need one hell of guitar melody, cliche singing line, the guitar power chords and double pedal drumming. Yet, this are the backbone of everything done since the day of Helloween's Keepers.... to Rhapsody of Fire. "Black Rose" is piano ballad in the intro then unfolded into full band, one of song which shine from their new singing intrepretation. The last notable song is "New Era" which is now sung by female voices, Elisa Martin, making this version the most difference to its original. The band also like to inserted comical piano passage, as happened in this song.

In short, Revolution Era is celebration of Derdian's career. Enjoy your power metal singers re-interpret Derdian's songs. They are in some way kind of "cover version" because the original version also stand out pretty well. Interesting idea by the band. In the line up notes, the previous Derdian singer is no longer there, which is the position in the band that always changing. If you are somehow interested in listening to Derdian, Revolution Era can be your best introduction. On personal note, we are fans of the band and enjoy this album very much!

Metal Harem class : ********** nine stars out ten

See New Era Pt. 3 review by Metal Harem

Derdian - Revolution Era (2016) 
Buy it Here - Amazon

01. Overture (feat. Apollo Papathanasio  - From "New Era Pt.2")
02. Burn (feat. Henning Basse - From "New Era Pt.3")
03. Beyond the Gate (feat. GL Perotti - From "New Era Pt.1")
04. Battleplan (feat. Davide Damna Moras - From "New Era Pt.3")
05. I Don't Wanna Die (feat. D.C. Cooper  - From "New Era Pt.2")
06. Screams of Agony (feat. Mark Basile - From "New Era Pt.1")
07. Lord of War (feat. Fabio Lione)
08. Forevermore (feat. Elisa C. Martin & Terrence Holler - From "New Era Pt.3")
09. Eternal Light ( feat. Roberto Ramon Messina - From "New Era Pt.1")
10. The Hunter (feat. Ralf Scheepers  - From "New Era Pt.2")
11. Black Rose (feat. Andrea Bicego - From "New Era Pt.3")
12. Incitement (feat. Leo Figaro - From "New Era Pt.1")
13. New Era (feat. Elisa C. Martin  - From "New Era Pt.2")
14. Cage of Light (feat. Apollo Papathanasio - From "New Era Pt.1")

Line Up:
Enrico "Henry" Pistolese - Guitars, Vocals
Salvatore Giordano - Drums
Marco "Gary" Garau - Keyboards
Dario Radaelli - Guitars
Marco Banfi - Bass

Guest vocalists:
Apollo Papathanasio (Ex-Firewind, Evil Masquerade)
Henning Basse (Metalium, Firewind)
GL Perotti (Extrema)
Davide Damna Moras (Elvenking)
Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear)
D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt),
Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire, Angra)
Mark Basile (DGM)
Elisa Martin (Ex Dark Moor)
Terence Holler (Eldritch)
Roberto Ramon Messina (Ex Secret Sphere, Physical Noise)
Andrea Bicego (4th Dimension)
Leo Figaro (Minstrelix)


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