As a metalhead and guitarist, it was awesome to see some great work released by some of my favorite players & the bands they inhabit.
Todd La Torre is an amazing singer so much that I do not miss Geoff Tate’s departure. The drum work by Scott Rockenfield is tight, heavy, melodic too. The bottom rhythm is rounded out with some nice grooves from Eddie Jackson. Parker Lundgren and Michael Wilton exchange some nice trademark dual solos comparable to the DeGarmo/Wilton beginnings of the band. Michael “The Whip” Wilton is still one who influences my development as a player still. I like the trademark ambient/progressive stylings as well as the reggae and grunge flavors sprinkled throughout. For me, this was a better follow-up than Operation: Mindcrime II. I miss DeGarmo, but the airline industry has an amazing guitarist in their pilots’ ranks. Parker Lundgren is a guitarist I am definitely warming up to!
I absolutely love it!
Slave To The Empire by T&N
This album was released late 2012, but is a bit of an enigma. There are some Dokken songs (Jeff Pilson, George Lynch, Mick Brown minus Don Dokken) that are re-recorded in slightly different styles with some great guest singers like Tim “The Ripper” Owens, Sebastian Bach (formerly Skid Row), Robert Mason (Warrant), and Doug Pinnick (Kings X). The original songs feature Brian Tichy on drums rather than Brown and also feature Jeff Pilson(Foreigner, Dokken) on lead vocals. I like the way George does some of his signature styles, licks- but he really takes things to a more organic approach at times. George still is formidable on the guitar. Period. To hell with his critics. Seriously.
For me, both of these albums are from some of my favorite bands from 20+ years ago-I’ll not deny that.
But they are as fresh as metal in 2013 could ever be.
Rock on! \m/