The Visitor is the third studio album by the British progressive band Arena, released in 1998. One of prog's great records of the 90's and beyond. With The Visitor Arena became a 'real' band, not just a Clive Nolan (Pendragon) project with ex original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer. Now with their best ever line up that included John Mitchel on guitar, John Jowitt (IQ, Jadis) on bass and vocalist Paul Wrightson they produced one of prog's masterpieces of all time. This concept album about a man facing a near death experience is really thrilling, both musically and lyrically. Contrary to his work on Pendragon, Nolan writes all the words here, and shows he is very good on that, even if his writing is quite darker and heavier then anything Pendragon ever done…
T2 were a British progressive rock band, best known for their 1970 album, It'll All Work Out in Boomland. It is generally regarded as an excellent album. T2 evolved from an earlier band, Neon Pearl, which was led by their drummer, Pete Dunton. Dunton was by 1968 a member of Please, which also included fellow Neon Pearl member Bernard Jinks. When that band broke up in 1969, due to Dunton's joining Gun alongside Adrian Gurvitz, Jinks became a member of Bulldog Breed.
The second studio album by the heavy metal band Killers, led by Iron Maiden's ex-vocalist - Paul Di'Anno. Coming together in 1991, Killers was one of the first metal super groups to exist. Featuring members from bands including Iron Maiden, Tank, Raven and Battlezone, they were hailed by the press as the 'Natural successor to Judas Priest'. With their album ""Menace to Society"" awarded Metal Hammer's best new album of 1994 and a world tour which included headlining the famous Wacken Festival in Germany, Killers represent all that is British Metal at it's very best. After the great response from the 'Murder One' album and constant touring, the band returned to the UK to start work on the follow up studio album. Unfortunately Di'Anno had decided to stay in Los Angeles for a while for a short break…
British one off project by Clive Noland and Geoff Mann. Clive Nolan is the synthesizerist of the famous English prog rock band Arena and his project with Oliver Wakeman. He's also a member of the English band Pendragon and many other projects. Geoff Mann was the ex-vocalist for the eighties' progressive rock band Twelfth Night. After leaving Twelfth Night he went on to form The Bond and A Geoff Mann Band. He also produced albums with Marc Catley and Clive Nolan as well as pursuing solo projects.
Although he only appeared on a pair of albums with Iron Maiden, Paul Di'Anno has carved quite a niche for himself with headbangers worldwide. He'll forever be associated with belting out such New Wave of British Heavy Metal classics as "Prowler," "Phantom of the Opera," and "Wrathchild," but Di'Anno has been issuing solo releases on a somewhat regular basis since the mid-'80s. His 2006 release, The Living Dead, catches Maiden's original vocalist in an extreme metal mood, as the rough, almost punk-esque vocals of his Maiden days are barely detectable. In its place is the album-opening title track, which surprisingly sounds very much like Bruce Dickinson-era Maiden, while "Brothers of the Tomb" features some Rob Halford-esque falsetto vocals, and the Nigel Tufnel-titled "Mad Man in the Attic" is classic thrash metal.
Dragontown continues the assault of Alice Cooper's gift to the new millennium that was Brutal Planet. Considered a third chapter of a trilogy initiated by 1994's The Last Temptation, this shadowy production plays like hardcore in slow motion. There is no one identifiable song like "Gimme" or "Brutal Planet" from the last episode, but the production values are high and the innovative riffs consistent. This work stands on its own, chock-full of the dark prince of pop's nasty humor. "It's Much Too Late" is supposed to be for John Lennon, but the Beatlesque backing vocals sound like Carole King's hit from Tapestry on hard drugs. There are references to the sacrilege spread out over Lennon's work from Plastic Ono Band to Imagine, but here Alice takes off the gloves and gives the church the finger: "I'm sending you all to hell/I'm tired and I'm wired here…."
With the future of the original Alice Cooper band in doubt by mid-1974 (they would soon break up for good with Alice going solo), Warner Bros. decided to issue a best-of compilation entitled Greatest Hits. If you're a newcomer to Alice, this 12-track compilation is a must-hear – all the selections are exceptional. While many have chosen to focus primarily on Cooper's theatrics over the years, the original bandmembers were indeed supreme rock songwriters; such anthems as "I'm Eighteen," "Under My Wheels," "School's Out," and "No More Mr. Nice Guy" are unquestionably among the finest hard rock tracks of all time. And the other selections prove to be just as strong – "Is It My Body," "Desperado," "Be My Lover," "Elected," "Billion Dollar Babies," and "Muscle of Love" are all outstanding as well. The only criticism of the original release is that the collection overlooked the band's key album tracks never issued as singles.
For the Alice Cooper fans who feel his output was spotty before and after the 1989 classic Trash on Epic, Brutal Planet is a cause to rejoice. It is a solid hard rock offering. Cooper is in great voice, and he sounds mean and spirited. The title track would be a blessing on radio today. It has great bottom, sizzling guitars, and wonderful backing vocalists. The most impressive thing about this album is Cooper's lyrics. "Sanctuary" could be Lou Reed meets Deep Purple in their heyday. Back in 1987 Cooper performed with an unruly band all over the map. It was very uncomfortable and a far cry from his heyday of "I'm 18" and "Under My Wheels": guitars too loud, and an artist obviously struggling with his personal demons.
Caught in the Crossfire is the debut solo album by the English rock musician John Wetton, released in 1980 by E.G. Records. Featuring guitarist Martin Barre of Jethro Tull, drummer Simon Kirke of Bad Company as well as saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, the album's release took place in a transitional spell after Wetton had left U.K. but before he had formed Asia. Caught in the Crossfire has been reissued numerous times with various album covers. The artwork of the original UK vinyl edition was designed by Hipgnosis art studio.
Gary Moore's tribute to Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, Blues for Greeny, is more of a showcase for Moore's skills than Green's songwriting. After all, Green was more famous for his technique than his writing. Consequently, Moore uses Green's songs as a starting point, taking them into new territory with his own style. And Moore positively burns throughout Blues for Greeny, tearing off licks with ferocious intensity. If anything, the album proves that Moore is at his best when interpreting other people's material – it easily ranks as one of his finest albums.