And today we focus on two fabulous Rainbow reissues, the latest raft of Frontiers Records offerings from Jimi Jamison, Issa (pictured), Rick Springfield and Soleil Moon plus some pretty dark stuff from Nine Covens.
Every Sunday we review and rate the very best new releases.
And we deLIver our verdict on the RUSHONROCK ALBUM OF THE WEEK.
RUSHONROCK ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Genre: Black metal
It’s already been a vintage year for British black metal, with new albums from Wodensthrone, Winterfylleth and A Forest Of Stars proving these shores have much to offer the genre. And thanks to On The Dawning Of Light, UKBM’s 2012 just got even better.
For the mysterious Nine Covens – who may (or may not) contain members culled from the aforementioned acts – have created a mature, atmospheric and extremely powerful second full length.
A heady blend of BM styles, On The Dawning Of Light combines blasts of vitriol (Origin Of Light) with sweeping, windswept slow burners (White Star Acception) and in Over The Ocean’s Way, boasts one of the most hypnotic and potent black metal tracks you’ll hear all year.
Their identities might be concealed, but with this opus, Nine Covens’ do nothing to hide their phenomenal talent. Recommended. Richard Holmes
RUSHONROCK RATED: 9/10 Black magic
BEST OF THE REST
Issa (Can’t Stop, Frontiers Records) is on a prolific run of form right now with the silky tongued songstress delivering more classy pop metal on this collection of hidden AOR classics. The Norwegian singer has forged a reputation for delivering powerful melodic rock with an operatic edge and this compilation of previously recorded tunes is no lazy commercial cash cow. Issa performs with passion, emotion and sings from the heart – even when she’s singing other artists’ material (RUSHONROCK RATED: 7/10). Simon Rushworth
Rainbow (Long Live Rock N Roll/On Stage Deluxe Reissues, Universal) were – and in the eyes of many still are – the ultimate melodic hard rock act. Here we experience the final throes of the Ronnie James Dio era and, perhaps, the final glimpse of Ritchie Blackmore as a genuinely exciting and credible guitar hero. If LLRnR contains a series of made-for-arenas classic then it’s the live collection that truly brings home the power and ferocity of Dio and Blackmore in tandem. Terrific stuff and on this evidence still timeless (RUSHONROCK RATED: LLRNR 8/10 On Stage 9/10). SR
Jimi Jamison (Never Too Late, Frontiers) is like a classic malt – still maturing, worth savouring and smoother than ever. The former Survivor frontman may have sneaked into his 60s but Never Too Late is another compelling example of why there really is no substitute for experience. If it’s difficult to believe Jamison singing about riding into The Great Unknown – surely he’s seen and done it all after so many years at the top of his trade – then the piano-led title track is emotive, evocative and essential listening for any fans of classy melodic rock. Street Survivor‘s nostalgic Eye Of The Tiger meets Flash (Queen) intro. will delight die-hards but its canny mix of old and new is Jamison all over (RUSHONROCK RATED: 10/10). SR
Soleil Moon (On The Way To Everything, Frontiers) sees multi-talented AOR specialist Larry King hook up with top tinkler John Blasucci to deliver a record perfect for lazy, summer West Coast afternoons. Just how it fits into a mind-numbingly cold and dreary British winter is anyone’s guess but uplifting tunes in the vein of Love The Way You Love (with its Bruce Hornsby-esque piano), the stunning Goodnight Irene and the brilliant Blackbird might just provide a ray of light on the darkest of days. Jazzy, snazzy, bluesy and ballsy – On The Way To Everything is a masterclass in sensory songwriting (RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10). SR
Rick Springfield (Songs For The End Of The World, Frontiers) is on fine form as he rattles through a mind-blowing modern rock record with all the confidence of a musician boasting 25 million-plus album sales. There’s no lazy reprise of the Grammy award-winning Jessie’s Girl but plenty of evidence that the individual responsible for that massive global hit has lost none of his creativity or connection with an audience. Always able to write from the heart and with a smile on his face, Springfield still manages to sound spontaneous on the carefully juxtaposed standout tunes I Hate Myself and the You & Me (RUSHONROCK RATED: 8/10). SR