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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Alcatrazz

Dangerous Games

Review by G. W. Hill

This new reissue from Alcatrazz is cool. It includes the studio album that is a strong mainstream rocker. In addition there is a short live set as bonus tracks. The sound on those live numbers is pretty weak. Of course, it says that it's a previously unreleased audience recording, so that makes sense. Still, it is a bonus. The album proper makes it more than worth having. The rest is just the icing on the cake.
Track by Track Review
It's My Life

This cover of the Animals takes on a cool raunch and roll metal sound. It's quite hot. It's a big change from the style of the original version. It works quite well in this format.

Undercover
I dig this cut quite a bit. It's definitely built on a Rainbow styled rock and roll sound, but there are 80s metal elements, too. While 80s metal gets a bad rap (often deserved) there are things to be said for some of the genre. I like the vocal arrangement on this, but it could be perceived as a little overproduced at times.
That Ain't Nothin'
Straight forward metallic hard rock is the order of business here. This is a catchy tune that's quite effective.
No Imagination

Now, this feels more like the hard rock 80s metal sounds of bands like Quiet Riot and Poison. It's catchy, but not one of my favorites here. Still, it has some meat on the bones.

Ohayo Tokyo
This is in the same line as the last one in some ways. There are elements here, though, of more modern power metal. Some of the keyboard sounds and  the general mix feels a bit dated, but this song still works pretty well. The guitar soloing on this is technical and yet very passionate.
Dangerous Games
A rather anthemic cut, this is set in some great epic metal meets classic rock territory. It's a catchy tune that works really well.
Blue Boar
Melodic hard rock more in line with Rainbow, this is a classy tune. It's also a nice bit of variety. I dig the tasteful guitar solo on this.
Only One Woman
Here's a cover of  song written by the Brothers Gibb. This is sort of a power ballad.
The Witchwood
Here's another that lands in the power ballad vein. It's a cool tune, but would perhaps have done better separated from the previous number. I really like the vocal arrangement on this tune.
Double Man

A killer metal stomper, this is catchy and meaty at the same time. It rocks out quite well. It's one of my favorite tunes here.

Night of the Shooting Star
This is a multi-layer acapella piece. It's a nice change, but not my kind of thing so much. That said, this is short.
Bonus Tracks
                  
Live at Long Island, NY, USA
                                     
29th, November, 1986
                         
Island in the Sun

This rocker is a bit raw in this live format. It's also quite cool. I particularly enjoy the killer guitar solo on this.

It's My LIfe
Here is a live take on the band's Animals cover. The sound is weak on this, but the tune is good.
Undercover
More of a straightahead rocker, this has a good chorus section.
God Blessed Video
A straightforward hard rocker, this pushes forward with style, despite the weak recording. The extended instrumental section does tend to get a bit noodly at times.
Double Man
A straightahead hard rocker, this holds up a bit better with this lousy sound quality.
Wire and Wood
Hard rocking and raw, this screams. It's another that withstands the lousy sound quality a bit better. It's fast paced and pretty strong.
Since You've Been Gone
A version of one of the songs Graham Bonnet did with Rainbow, this one sounds better than a lot of the rest of the stuff here. This almost sounds a bit like Sweet here.
All Night Long
Another from Bonnet's Rainbow days, this one suffers quite a bit from the sound, but is still pretty good. Again the jamming gets a bit noodly.

 

 

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