I wanted to share two pretty awesome new bands I recently discovered and their really good debut albums:
Beyond The Bridge- The Old Man And The Spirit & Neonfly- Outshine The Sun
Beyond The Bridge are a German progressive rock band that is full of professionally trained musicians and features both male and female vocals, Herbie Langhans from the band Sinbreed and jazz singer Dilenya Mar. Their debut album, which of course in prog fashion is a concept album, is full of great musicianship, riffs, vocals and melodies. I can’t stop listening to this album and I look forward to hearing more from this band in the future.
Neonfly- Outshine The Sun
Neonfly are sort of a mixture of power metal, melodic rock with a little progressive metal thrown in. Every song is filled with power and melody, once I get done listening to this album I just want to hit repeat and hear it all over again the songs just get stuck in your head. This is a great young band which hopefully will continue to keep growing and just get better and better.
I know that is quite the crazy comment, but just hear me out. I am not denying Ozzy as part of Sabbath was metal, but Ozzy solo, to me that is another question. I vividly remember he first time I heard a solo Ozzy song and thinking to myself this is Ozzy??? This is the crazy, out of control, metal madman that I had heard so much about?!?! The first song I heard was “I Don’t Know” from the classic, solo debut “Blizzard of Ozz”, and to me it just didn’t sound to me what I would have considered metal at all. I am not denying the greatness of that album or any of his other albums, but looking back on them and thinking about it I always think, is this really metal?
Clearly Ozzy’s stature as a metal icon came from his days in Sabbath, and like I said before, there is no denying that fact. I think after Ozzy left Sabbath and struck out on his own it was more the idea of Ozzy as a metal icon then the actual music itself, his behavior probably fueled this as well. “Blizzard of Ozz”, “Diary of A Madman” & “Bark At The Moon”, Ozzy’s first three solo albums I think are all classic hard rock albums, but not really metal. It feels like the more darker, heavier Ozzy came after he retired after the “No More Tears” album, and this “Prince of Darkness” persona started to really build up. His comeback album “Ozzmosis” I feel is one of his darker albums and was a manifestation of the legend of Ozzy and that he was the “Prince of Darkness”.
I know Ozzy as a great artist and singer has been tainted over the past few years, especially with his foray into reality tv, but Ozzy is and was an integral part of the evolution of metal and of music in general, even if I consider his solo output to not be metal.
In honor of the rumors that Richie Kotzen will be joining Mike Portnoy and Billy Sheehan to form a new power trio I wanted to highlight Richie Kotzen a little bit for those that have no idea who he is. Kotzen started out in the late 80’s as a shredder on the Shrapnel label, but as the 90’s came he morphed his sound into a more soul, funk & rock sound. He joined Posion and recorded their most underrated album “Native Tongue” and the went out to join Mr. Big afer Paul Gilbert left. Along the way he has release a multitude of solo albums, his most recent being 2011’s “24 Hours”. I’ve recently rediscovered this song “Special” from his 2004 album “Get Up” . I’m really hoping this collaboration happens and is successful and for Richie Kotzen to get the credit and recognition that he deserves.