June 22, 2004
Hmm? Still here? Amazing. For those that don't know this used to be a nearly daily updated website that had a decent sized enthusiastic staff now it is rarely updated but there is still almost (or over?) 400 reviews in the archives there for browsing. What have I been up to? Well the staff has dwindled to just moi and while I had planned on moving the site to another server with a domain name - two people view the page a day and geocities shuts it down, its ridiculous and unacceptable - but unfortunately the PC that houses the backup of the website crashed, and the hard drive is still not bootable. We are attempting to take care of the problem but its a long, annoying process. Since the site is now SEVEN years old, I refuse to take it down or leave it for completely dead. Occasionally I will come back with an album review when time permits and other features and assorted junk that doesn't quite fit with my other leisure time job, which is being a staff member at www.revelationz.net. You can keep track of my reviews HERE since its updated everytime I submit one, which is like, weekly. Why spend my time working for them when I have my own (and much older) site? For one thing, I don't have to spend a couple of hours on each review formatting it and uploading, or deal with anything really. Listen to the music, bang out the review, that's it. And their other reviewers are actually GOOD and the rating scale is tough as nails. Its an excellent site, so keep check on it. Since Ontherocks flipped over and died, its the best site on the web for news and reviews that you can use! Oh yeah.
Since March I've done about 15 reviews of current 2004 releases including Bowes & Morley, Crossfade, Vision Divine, Jorn, Eclipse and more. Up to bat this week is Token and the Vandenberg double disc greatest hits and in the future: Glen Burtnik, Human Temple, Over the Edge and probably Frontline. I love Frontline. Even if it sounds exactly like their last CD, I still love them. Assorted things of the METAL kind that have excited me lately: music retailer chain Strawberries has recently reinstated their metal section in the US! I picked up the new albums by Axel Rudi Pell, TNT, PC69 and Therion there the other day and could have taken home quite a few more. A BIG change from when the only thing resembling metal was scattered Def Leppard and Megadeth discs in the Pop Section. Commercials! Quiet Riot's "Cum On Feel the Noise" is selling oven baked french fry products (its a cover, not the original, but close enough) and Rainbow's "Man On the Silver Mountain" is the highlight of a Coors Beer commercial. Some say this is blasphemy and a big sell-out, but I'm just glad to see the music get some kind of play in the mainstream. Boos to VH-1 for their mocking metal programming, The 100 Most Metal Moments was just a sad piece of work that had few real musicians commenting on the events and some dubiously titled metal experts making the whole genre look like crap. Thanks alot guys... Oh and at a Stop N Shop in Connecticut I heard a Lana Lane song playing over their speaker systems. They try to choose the "safest" songs possible, (so they won't offend anyone of course) and it was unmistakably Lana's voice singing. I wonder who decided to dig her out for their elevator type music pop pap but it was one of her relaxing drift away songs that fit right in with their easy listening playlist. Definitely a "cool" moment. Oh and to anyone fence sitting on the Manowar - Hell on Earth III DVD, go ahead and buy it. Video quality sucks ass but Manowar in 5.1 doing "Hail and Kill" with Eric Adams going nuts on stage is worth the price of admission... not to mention it includes all their MTV vid clips. "If you aren't into metal, you are not my friend!" Oh yes and if you feel the need to contact me, I can still be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 10th, 2004
CD Reviews: No I'm not kidding. I hear the laughter already. Yes, we have not one but TWO brand new reviews for your pleasure only. Whoooops if you tried checking them earlier, the links were screwed up. Its all fixed now so feel free to....
Check them out:
Vince Neil - "Exposed" He may look like a "drunken Ron Jeremy without the beard" as my friend formerly known as Midnight put it, but back in 1993 he could rock with the best of them. Too bad the booze and the drugs have deteriorated him. Get to know "Exposed" all over again, then when you are done, check out Joseph White's old review of it too. This one lovingly banged out by Alanna Evans.
Symphony X - "The Odyssey" Symphony X returned in late 2002 to give us a new album of.... epic porportions? I believe Edd may think otherwise. Read his take on the latest from these New Jersey rockers right here. In full, glorious detail.
Bits N Pieces: The Europe "Rock the Night" DVD is out. In Europe. PAL only... like that's going to stop me. I want to thank everyone that has written in with their kind words of encouragement! I know I haven't replied to everyone yet but I will. The site will carry on in a more often updated capacity from here on out so those that do still read... check back. Eventually some things will be reorganized and it will look spiffier and be more up to date but these things take time.. and.. that's not something I have alot of. :) I'm glad people are still reading and well, it just means alot to me that even after all this time the site is still appreciated! So these updates are for YOU!
February 3rd, 2004
Bits N Pieces: If I don't post this now its not ever going to get done. Behold. Year in Review for 2003. So what if I only reviewed like... ZERO albums from 2003, it still doesn't stop me from picking my favorites. Does anyone even LOOK at this website anymore? If you do *let me know* and I might get it up and running again. I can be reached at email@example.com Drop me a line to say hi or if you want to chat about metal. So what's going on with the site? Well, it was my baby and priority for almost six years. There's alot of work in here and I even had offers to turn it into a published thing which fell through in early fall. The latter part of the year I was still sick - and still am. My interests in continuing the site depends on if anyone will bother even reading my thoughts and suggestions anymore. And hey, if you have a big metal site and want me on your staff - I'm willing to help. Anyway for those reading, I hope you enjoy my 2003 countdown, its not totally accurate but I did the best with what I know... now here's some random thoughts. Tobias Sammet is hot, just watched "The King of Fools" video and he's smoking. Adrian Vandenberg is finally back in the studio rerecording old Vandenberg songs. I love you man! Axel Rudi Pell's singer Johnny is singing the title song for the multi platform video game Sonic Heroes. Check it out, he's got a great voice even if its wasted singing stuff like this, its still 5.1 on XBox. Johnny in surround sound is +1 to coolness. Steve Overland has just recorded a full length cd under the band name Shadowman. FM fans rejoice. That's all for now.
June 7th, 2003
Bits N Pieces: We're not exactly "back" but we aren't really "gone" either. I have personally been very ill the past few months and have been unable to continue work on the website. However I have a couple of very nice discs to review in the future (including Empire) that are probably available all over the net by now but since I promised - they will be here eventually anyway. Also look for a Brazen Abbot review whenever that hits the shelves. Being a huge fan of Nikolo Kotzev, Joe Lynn Turner and Jorn Lande, all who are amazing in their own right, they deserve a proper review and who else better to write one? Other than that, I don't know what else the future will hold. We are contemplating moving into a whole new format entirely if interest can be generated and a deal struck in that direction. And for the record, this site turned six years old sometime in mid April. So Happy belated Birthday RFMD. I know I am personally still very proud of you... my email address has also changed, those that wish to contact me, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org which I recently re-activated after several months of downtime. Anyone that has tried to email me in the past few months - the messages are gone and I didn't get them. Please try again. If Torham, Midnight, Cobra, Ilya or Anwer are out there somewhere, I'd really love to hear from all of you... the five of them and SRElysian introduced me to so much music.... I appreciate you all. And lastly RIP to http://www.ontherocks.de. It was personally one of my favorite places to stop by and now its gone... RFMD is NOT GONE.... we're just on hiatus...
January 21st, 2003
Bits N Pieces: We didn't quite make it with the promises from last time, but never fear for there's plenty of new stuff here. Four new reviews and the positively gigantic Year In Review for 2002. Tons of information is packed within, Alanna, Ilya and Anders' diving into the heart of the year and pulling out only the best (or the worst as it may be). We also have a rather dusty Album of the Month (doh) and NO 80s Classic as of yet (what?) but the first of Februrary will see proper discs in those slots.... until then, this is what we've got for ya...
Year In Review for 2002 This is it, the verdicts are in. The best and worst from the year 2002 have now officially been exposed by the remaining members of the RFMD crew. Alanna Evans, Anders Olin and Ilya Ulberg offer their two cents on the subject matter at hand. Enjoy the results...! You can also access this feature by clicking on the winged horse (2002 was year of the horse!) on the right hand side bar, as well as past Year In Reviews that have been posted.
Axel Rudi Pell - "Knights Live" Still debating over owning an ARP greatest hits package? Then debate no more, "Knights Live" covers all the greatest bases and then some... Don't like live albums? This one might just change your mind... step inside to find out more about this double disc set.
Dio - "Killing the Dragon" A little late, but better than never, Ronnie James' latest outing is a pleasant power packed ride of grand metal porportions. Old school and cool as hell, be sure to check this out to see how it measures up to his sagging 90s material and his superb 80s rides.
Street Talk - "Restoration" All this guitar posturing and screaming metal stuff wearing you down? Need something more relaxing to melt away that post holiday stress? Then we have the AOR disc for you. Fluffy and dreamlike with the equally dreamy Goran Edman and Hugo on board, this is shaping up to be quite a package.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - "Christmas Eve & Other Stories" The ultimate holiday album for rock and metal lovers around the world... it may be six years old this year but is still superb stuff. Read our review within.
October 31st, 2002
Bits N Pieces: Its time for another jive-tastic RFMD update featuring only the greatest but not necessarily the latest in metaldom. This time there's a bit of a theme running here: world class guitarists. New cds by Schenker, Byrd, and Pell, allow an insight to what these fellows have been up to this year. Also we've got our Halloween selection on display which is none other than Fastway's fourth album and Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Yep you heard me... Want to check out our past holiday offerings? Then take a gander at 2000's fright special: Helloween - "The Dark Ride" and 2001's monster madness of the Iced Earth - "Horror Show". Next time around look for an ex-Yngwie Malmsteen vocalist series with hot new solo releases by Jeff Scott Soto and Mark Boals and the third edition of the Street Talk project with Goran Edman on board.
Westworld - "Cyberdreams" A couple of years down the line and Westworld is back after their successful dark journey, "Skin". Can this new disc top their stunning debut? Did they sell out? Is it TNT take 2 or maybe a disappointment like TNT's "Firefly"? So many questions and the answers are inside...
Fastway - "Trick or Treat: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack" Halloween is a time for spooks kooks and um, metal. Heavy style preferably. Fastway's 87 horror jaunt is a cool slice of 80s nostalgia. This also convienantly doubles as the 80s Album of the Month... coincidence? Nahh...
James Byrd - "Anthem" Last time we saw Byrd (about this time last year actually) he was aspiring to reinvent metal as we know it by tweaking certain genres into a style all his own. This is the second attempt at world domination... at this rate who knows what the future holds? The present makes it this month's Hot Spot.
ABBAmetal: A Tribute to ABBA (Various Artists) Power metal's take on Sweden's biggest export is a surprisingly fun release that contains some hefty material. Feel the power of a Nation, treat yourself to some Custard, cuddle up with the fine textures of Rough Silk and succumb to the sonic sorcery of Morgana Lefay.
Axel Rudi Pell - "Shadow Zone" Its third time around for Gioeli and the umpteenth solo disc by the German guitar wizard. Another solid chunk of neo-classical hard rock with fantastical themes and brings to life wonderous dreams. I have been working on this review for ages now... and am proud to finally have the opportunity to present it. Don't miss out on this one!
Shameless - "Splashed" So you thought glam was finally dead after Poison stuck the last spike heel in its weakening heart last summer. You're dead wrong! Glam is back but not as a brand new invention, all brought to you by 80s seasoned musicians from Tuff, Pretty Boy Floyd and KISS. Intrigued yet? Then come check it out!
UFO - "Sharks" Inner turmoil tore them apart time and time again, see how the shreds of the band are holding up in this quite uninspired mishmash of the 70s. It certainly isn't stacking up to "Walk On Water", but then again what other 'comeback' album is?
October 6th, 2002
Bits N Pieces: This month instead of one massive update, we are splitting it into two pieces. So look for another update in about a week or so. Next time look for reviews for the new Byrd and Meniketti albums, plus picking up some of the stuff that came out earlier this year with writeups for Axel Rudi Pell and Lana Lane.
Silver - "Dream Machines" *The* album we have been patiently waiting for, the much anticipated return of Silver. Please follow us inside October's Showcase Album of the Month for a spill all fest that reveals the changes, the drawbacks and most importantly, the best of the best.
Europe - "The Final Countdown" They were on top of the world with their massive hit single that charted in over thirty countries around the world. But for those having a field day ridiculing this more pop than metal band, should take a look inside this weak link but worthy release in the Europe catalog.
Yngwie Malmsteen - "Attack" After a disappointing duo of albums it seems Malmsteen is ready to get back on his feet and form an all out "Attack". Alanna Evans dives into the heart of the matter to answer the questions hovering over every fan: Is this disc another bomb or a surprising classic?
October 3rd, 2002
Starfire: This is not the proper update, you will get that later on down the line next week (if plans go accordingly). Instead, this is something I wrote five plus years ago... it was once posted on the frontpage of the site even before I started featuring metal reviews and turning RFMD into what it is now. Since she passed away last week, it feels fitting to revisit this: A Tribute to Starfire. Rest in peace my babygirl, I'll always love you, Alanna's Starfire Legend.
September 15th, 2002
Bits N Pieces: Despite the two week delay, we are back spreading the metal love. Better late than never we always say. So in order to bring you another whopping update, we have whipped up some quicker reviews that do not feature the song by song format and take on a more summary style form right alongside the monster reviews that you have come to know and love from RFMD. We invite you to step inside and enjoy another slew of reviews from assorted members of the RFMD staff.
Avantasia - "The Metal Opera: Part II" The final chapter of the epic Avantasia saga comes alive with a bevy of top class vocalists including legends such as Bob Catley, David DeFeis and Michael Kiske, not to mention Edguy's own Tobias Sammet who wrote the opera and plays the main character. Alanna Evans breaks it up into pieces for the Showcase AotM.
Mydra - "Mydra" The cult classic has now been given the grand RFMD treatment! This was their only disc...that is until "Mydra II" was dug out earlier this year from the vaults and dusted off... recorded shortly before their demise..But is the original album stacking up to the legends that have been told? Alanna Evans' 80s Classic of the Month invites you to find out...
Adriangale - "Re:Program" One of the best AOR cds from this year or a load of...? We get to the bottom of the hype, trace the influences and mine Jamie Rowe's past in this comprehensive review on this red hot new outfit. We're giving it the Hot Spot by Alanna Evans.
Andre Anderson - "Black On Black" What happens when a well known keyboardist that is the leader of a popular band strikes out on his own? He creates something similiar to his home base's work. The second solo from Andre, but is it as good as The Hunt? Measure up to the first one? What's going on anyway and what's Ian Parry doing here? Alanna Evans answers some questions and raises some others in this in-depth review.
Boogie Knights - "Welcome to the Jungle Boogie" If you have no clue what this is, then thank your lucky stars (unless you are a disco nut that is). If you want to shake it like John Travolta on a Saturday night then get down with Jeff Scoto Soto and this disco cover band outlined by Alanna Evans. Oh yea!
Jaded Heart - "The Journey Will Never End" I have been working on this thing for months now on and off. Never properly inspired to finish it until now... retooled and rewritten and a little late, but here it is anyway! So is it "Mystery Eyes", "IV" or something a little more? Written by Alanna Evans, just step inside the AOR world of Michael Bormann and find out!
Mydra - "II" More Mydra, a review of the underground buzzer just wasn't enough for ya eh? Need more Mydra-style love? How about taking a wandering trip back into the early 90s with reviewer Alanna Evans for a disc that was compiled and recorded in 1990 but didn't see the light of day... until now. A different vocalist but the same formula.
Novembers Doom - "To Welcome My Fade" Don't like pansy AOR or European power? Want something more in the Tiamat or My Dying Bride sort of thing? Then here's a review for you penned by our newest review Richard Simons...a doom metal gem...
Sonata Arctica - "Ecliptica" Joseph White takes us back to Sonata Arctica's shining debut disc. It may be Stratovarius II but according to Joseph it is done well. If you missed out on this the first time around, take a look at this.
Thunderstone - "Thunderstone" More power metal on the Stratovarius scale. Typical in scope but alright in execution, Anders Olin takes us through the ropes and points out all the similarities to other bands, plus the special appearance by Timo Tolkki. Oh yes this Finnish debut is one review to not be missed.
Tour De Force - "World On Fire" The underground whispered of greatness, but what resulted from a record deal was not the kind of stuff legends are made of. But how did those demos fare and would they ever see the light of day? Yes, they would, and here's the result. Alanna Evans examines this perfect example of 'what could have been'.
July 28th, 2002
Bits N Pieces: A couple of Yngwie albums, a plethora of prog, bits of AOR, an investigation of the high anticipated and equally questioned new Def Leppard 'pop' release and lots more.
Frontline - "Against the World" I have wanted to review a Frontline album for months now, but my love for them is often too gushy to put into words and post on a website. With a new release that's getting too little publicity, I felt that it was necessary to bring atleast a small audience to the attention of this superb AOR act. They are truly one of the finest of the genre, and there's nothing but confidence that this will even top the last. This Showcase Album of the Month is written by Alanna Evans.
Yngwie Malmsteen - "Marching Out" Now legendary AOR/metal vocalist Jeff Scott Soto teams up with Malmsteen for this hard n heavy 1980s classic. Is it one of Malmsteen's finest? Almost everything points to 'yes'. Reviewed by Edd as an 80s Classic of the Month.
Def Leppard - "X" Being a fan of DL since the mid 80s, its always interesting to see what they pull out of their sleeves next, especially with their slow crawl towards embracing the pop mainstream. They promised us another "Hysteria", but what they ended up releasing is a different beast entirely. Just how heavy is the influence of the Backstreet Boys & N'SYNC producers? Is this disc doomed from the start as a piece of pop poop or what? Find out in Alanna Evans' review.
Dream Theater - "Falling Into Infinity" DT's followup to "Awake" put some to sleep but what does Joseph have to say about all this? Is there something about this misunderstood album that most haven't really picked up on? Read all about it here.
Iced Earth "Something Wicked This Way Comes" Iced Earth's breakout smash hit is now reviewed by Joseph White. Learn all about this American power metal classic.
Jacobs Dream - "Theater of War" A shameless Iron Maiden/Queensryche rip or something a little different? You be the judge with this quick review by Joseph White.
Marty Friedman - "Dragon's Kiss" Friedman's debut solo album is a fine example of guitar musicianship. Edd gets to the bottom of this album created even before his Megadeth outings.
Yngwie Malmsteen - "Alchemy" Another singer, another album, that's Yngwie's way. But this is the first time a singer has come back after being let go from his band back in 86. Mark Boals stretches his pipes and Yngwie shreds it up but that's the norm. What makes it different from the rest of Malmsteen's releases? This review by Edd reveals everything.
Sanvoisen "Soul Seasons" An often overlooked and generally forgotten about progressive release is a gem of a find. Joseph White offers up his take on this Queensryche inspired piece of progressive metal.
Pretty Maids - "Planet Panic" Every other album debuts a new Pretty Maids, with a refined and expanded sound. They have done futuristic AOR, straight up melodic rock, heavier metal, a weird glam/power hybrid and now they have moved in yet another direction. Does it work or not? Alanna Evans finds out in this review.
Tom Waits - "Alice" Ilya is known for writing about weird albums, but this one takes the cake (although they all seem to). It dives into the story of Alice in Wonderland but from a perspective one would normally not pursue. As always, a wonderful entertainment piece by Ilya Ulberg.
July 8th, 2002
Bits N Pieces: Another month, another assortment of metallic reviews fresh for your eyes only. We're covering all the bases with power metal, glam, melodic rock, and plenty of progressive, cds new and old. Also the DVD Audio blowout is delayed for another month or two until the Queensryche "Empire" disc finally sees release....
Arjen Anthony Lucassen's Star One - "Space Metal" Showcase AotM is Arjen's powerful pet's first outing, Star One. Created for Bruce Dickinson but taken charge by the likes of Symphony X's Russel Allen and ex-Threshold'er Damian Wilson, this is quite the treat for fans of Ayreon's heavier material. Written By Joseph White with some additional information by Alanna Evans.
Skagarack - "Skagarack" "Hungry For a Game" might be the band's crowning achievement, but is it their one and only? All directions point to no and this review for 80s Classic AotM by Alanna Evans unearths the band's hidden gems in this Nordic delight of pure Scandi melodic AOR.
HTP - "Hughes Turner Project" ex-Rainbow and current solo artist Joe Lynn Turner and ex-Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes collaborate on an album that many thought would never happen. We uncover the quality in this short but sweet review by Alanna Evans.
Balance of Power - "Perfect Balance" Gemini wasn't the end of Lance King, he went on to front this most unusual and fresh progressive outfit with their musical twists and AOR style gigantic vocals. Its all outlined by Joesph White.
Poison - "Hollyweird" Their first album since the shoved to the side "Power to the People", Poison is back and... well... let's just say they haven't changed much. Check it out in this new review by Alanna Evans.
Vanden Plas - "Colour Temple" Vanden Plas: its not just a Jaguar Sedan anymore! Was the DT influence showing up here or not until later in their career? Find out how this earlier piece of metal from Vanden Plas measures up to the stuff that was yet to come in this review by Joesph White.
Vanden Plas - "Far Off Grace" The third round with Vanden Plas, as good as "The God Thing" or falling somewhere below? Find out in this review by Joesph White.
June 20th, 2002
Bits N Pieces: We've put together a small mid month update thanks to a as of late, very prolific writer here and a little something extra that needed posting and just couldn't wait... dive in and see what we have in store for those of you that hunger for more...
Interview: RFMD interviews Jesse Damon of Silent Rage. With their first album since 1988, "Still Alive" on shelves now, and a solo album in Damon's near future, there's plenty to talk about. So step inside and check out what we have to ask, and what Jesse has to say...
Silent Rage - "Still Alive" But we don't stop at just an interview, we continue on with the silent raging celebration with an album review of their latest that outlines a musical obsession...the party hard atmosphere of the 80s in an album that doesn't quite match up to the appreciated past.
Singulatiry - "Color of Space" If you like Rush or Marillion, then this self produced debut ditty is just for you... step inside and take a look around with Joesph White as he points out their glints of originality and a vision of what could be their future.
Conception - "Parallel Minds" There were perhaps few finer progressive outfits in the 90s than Conception, who captured the inventive imagination and emotional pathos of the genre and converted it into some spectacularly smooth sounds. Joesph White examines the second disc out of four in their short but sweet lived legacy. Personally, I fondly remember a few years back when the prog fans were freaking out because Howard Stern had one of Conception's riffs in the background on either his show or a promo for it.
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