Tag Archives: shaw blades

Revisiting “Metal Edge” Magazine: The CD Reviews – Part 9

These album overviews were originally written for Metal Edge Magazine when I was a contributor to their “Hear Us Out” CD reviews section back in 2006-2007. With the magazine wrapping up publication a few months ago, I decided to add them to the context of our PiercingMetal presentation. I felt that by doing this I would not only be raising the horns in remembrance of the magazine but would also be able to showcase just how different writing for a major publication was when it all came down to it. Since “Hear Us Out” notations were usually “100” words in length, these posts will feature several reviews each until we run out of them. The freelance writing tenure at Metal Edge Magazine was discussed on THIS LINK so please check that out when done. Here are the reviews, so “Hear Us Out”.

Righteous Jams: “Business As Usual” (Abacus Records)

As much as I think elements of Hardcore truly work in the various brands of Metal as we have seen in bands like All That Remains, and I Killed The Prom Queen we are pointed out to how stagnant it can be if there is no change whatsoever. The RJ guys surely give it their all but there is nothing that stands out on this release and much of it comes across as repetitive. Similar riffs and vocals on top of a very short album make this as uninspiring as it was uninteresting for me. Want something original? Keep looking.

Sentenced: “Buried Alive” (Century Media Records)

Live recordings are not unusual these days but one that captures the final show in a bands career are rare. Presenting Buried Alive as it brings you the end of the band Sentenced who ended their life on The Funeral Album (their studio recorded suicide note to the world). The concert features most of that album as well as older material and allows their fans to pay last respects one final time before the casket is lowered into the ground. The intended purpose of this Dark Gothic Metal band completed, its members have moved on. May they Rest in Peace.
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“Influence” by Shaw Blades

Artist: Shaw/Blades
Title: “Influence”
Label: VH1 Classic Records
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Rock
Rating: 4/5

Their names are very well known in the hallowed halls of Rock music history for the numerous and often memorable contributions with Styx, Night Ranger and Damned Yankees. This time around, Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades join forces for an album that presents their fans with music that both inspired and helped to foster their own musical beginnings as well as form a solid foundation on which music would build. Presenting “Influence”, an album of material that reminds you of how special the building blocks of Rock music actually were. You might be saying “oh no, another covers album”, but on this CD are some of the most important songs ever to be recorded. Together the pair presents classics from Simon & Garfunkel, The Zombies, The Mamas & The Papas and many more. Recorded with acoustic guitars, light drums, keyboards and vocals this is bare bones music, and it required nothing more than these ingredients to make it work. Many of the songs are precise renditions and this is found in the “Sounds Of Silence”, “Lucky Man”, and “California Dreamin’” most specifically. My Mother was a fan of all of these bands and as result, I was raised on this stuff and hold it very close to my own heart as some of my very favorite songs despite what I might listen to today. While those favorites were lined out I was also very impressed with the Yes tune “Your Move”, for they hit the same pitch as Jon Anderson straight on, and even slip a little “Give Peace A Chance” (John Lennon) in the chorus. “Time Of The Season” and “Dirty Work” were pleasant additions and really sound as fresh as the time when they were introduced to the world. Tommy and Jack are great singers and finding them doing this stuff in tandem again makes the release a very special piece of music. The pair experiments just a little on the album by delivering a knock down version of “I Am A Rock”. It serves as the heaviest number on the recording and does complete justice to the original.
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