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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Carmine & Vinnie Appice

Drum Wars Live

Review by Gary Hill

This live recording definitely lands under metal because most of the music fits. It’s a live performance of brothers Carmine and Vinnie Appice. Since they are both drummers, this is a percussion heavy recording. It’s definitely well suited for fans of drums. I’d say that it seems that the music beyond that is a bit of an afterthought. There are some good moments, but the rest of the performers don’t seem of the same caliber as the Appice brothers. Still, killer drumming is the main idea, and there is plenty of that here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2015  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Intro

Combining dramatic music with a wrestling type tongue-in-cheek introduction, this is fun.

The Mob Rules
They scream out into this Black Sabbath classic. I’m not crazy about the vocals on this, but the thing is seriously on fire. It’s harder edged, even than the original was. The jam later in the piece gets pretty busy in terms of drumming. Given the theme here, though, that’s to be expected.
Drum Wars
This is a powerhouse jam with just the shouted “drum wars” for vocals. While the drumming is intense, there is some smoking guitar, too. It does have some full on drum soloing, as well, though. In fact, that section is the bulk of the piece, and this is an extended number.
Holy Diver
The vocals work a bit better this way, but the tune is a bit more raw compared to the original rendition. It’s much more pure metal for sure.
We Rock
Here is another screaming metal take on Dio. The vocals here are even less effective than they were on “Mob Rules.” Still, this is about the drumming really, and that’s exceptional.
The Flintstones
This is a full on drum solo, but with both drummers wailing.
Carmine Solo
Now Carmine gets to show off by himself.
Bark at the Moon
This time they turn to the music of Ozzy Osbourne. This is closer to the original than the other tracks were. I like this one quite a bit. In fact, it’s possibly my favorite tune here. It’s definitely got some of the best guitar soloing of the album.
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
A metal version of the classic Rod Stewart song, this a little raw, but quite cool. I love the change of “musical scenery” here. The audience gets to sing along later in the track, too. There is almost a Beastie Boys kind of vibe here at times, though.
Drum Wars Part 2
Now, we are taken back into the warring of drums.
Vinny Solo
Vinny Appice gets a chance to show off with his drum solo here.
Stand Up and Shout / Heaven and Hell
This Dio/Sabbath two-fer is delivered pretty well. The vocals on the little section of “Heaven and Hell” (they just do the non-lyrical chant part) are a bit hard to take, though. Still, like I said before, this is about the drums, and they are awesome.
Crazy Train
We’re back into Ozzy territory here. This version is pretty good, but the vocals leave a bit to be desired.
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