The Rods – Vengeance (2011, Niji Entertainment Group)
1. “Raise Some Hell”
2. “I Just Wanna Rock”
3. “Rebels Highway”
4. “Ride Free Or Die”
5. “The Code”
6. “Livin’ Outside The Law”
7. “Let It Ripp”
8. “Fight Fire With Fire”
10. “Runnin’ Wild”
David “Rock” Feinstein – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Garry Bordonaro – Bass, Vocals
Carl Canedy – Drums, Vocals
Ronnie James Dio – Lead Vocals (“The Code”)
Producer: The Rods
After David “Rock” Feinstein turned in his solid Bitten By The Beast solo effort last year, I was pretty much expecting The Rods’ Vengeance to be more of the same. I mean, just look at these song titles. The Rods aren’t setting out to reinvent the wheel, all they want to do is crank out some rock solid heavy metal and that’s exactly what they’ve done on this release.
As with Bitten By The Beast, the song on this album featuring Ronnie James Dio is the true point of interest (for me anyway). “The Code” could easily be from a latter day Dio album and I think I prefer it over the cousins’ collaboration on “Metal Will Never Die” from Bitten By The Beast.
As for the rest of the album, there’s nothing here that’s going knock your combat boots off. Songs like “Raise Some Hell” and “I Just Wanna Rock” are typical heavy metal bashers but it’s 100% pure old school heavy metal and that’s good enough in the middle of the summer when you’re washing your car!
Highlights: ”Raise Some Hell”, “I Just Wanna Rock”, “The Code”, “Livin’ Outside The Law”, “Vengeance”
David Rock Feinstein – Bitten By The Beast (2010, Niji Entertainment Group)
1. “Smoke On The Horizon” … 4:49
2. “Evil In Me” … 6:44
3. “Break Down The Walls” … 4:27
4. “Metal Will Never Die” … 5:20
5. “Kill The Demon” … 5:42
6. “Rock’s Boogie” … 4:04
7. “Give Me Mercy” … 4:04
8. “Run For Your Life” … 4:13
9. “Gambler Gambler” … 4:05
David “Rock” Feinstein – Vocals, Guitar, Bass
Nate Horton – Drums
Ronnie James Dio – Vocals (“Metal Will Never Die”)
Garry Bordonaro – Bass (“Metal Will Never Die”)
Carl Canedy – Drums (“Metal Will Never Die”)
Producer: David “Rock” Feinstein
A significant album if for only one reason, it features one of the final vocal performances of David’s cousin — Ronnie James Dio. So I admit that was the major selling point for me because I had picked up Feinstein’s Third Wish CD when that first came out I was disappointed by it. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this album but it’s a solid slab old school hard rock and heavy metal. Though I’m not familiar too much with the band (other than a few songs), I’ve read some reviews saying the sound is similar to The Rods, which Feinstein is a member of. Though this is a solo album, when it comes to the Dio track “Metal Will Never Die”, it’s the complete Rods line-up of Feinstein, Bordonaro and Canedy backing him up. Pretty cool!
There’s a heavy blues influence to this album with Feinstein showing his roots in Elf. “Rock’s Boogie” and “Gambler Gambler” are like Elf on steroids while “Smoke On The Horizon”, “Evil In Me”, “Run For Your Life” and “Kill The Demon” are just pure heavy metal with some blistering guitar work from David. Of course, “Metal Will Never Die” is the real highlight of the album — it’s Ronnie & The Rods! A typically great vocal performance from Dio. It’s a mid-tempo number sounding like something he may have recorded on a later Dio album, maybe Killing the Dragon or Master of the Moon. I had read there was talk between Ronnie & David about doing a full album together, it’s a shame we’ll never get to hear that.
My one complaint about this album is the mix. The vocals are pushed way too much in the back. At first, when listening to “Smoke On The Horizon”, I thought maybe that was the effect Feinstein was going for with that particular but it’s the same case throughout the CD. This is especially apparent on “Metal Will Never Die”, the mix just doesn’t do Ronnie justice. It’s almost like there is some weird vocal effect going on throughout the whole album. The guitars sound great though, nice dirty sound to them and Feinstein is definitely a gifted guitarist and knows how to write riffs. It’s puzzling he never found more success during heavy metal’s ’80s heyday.
Overall, DRF has turned in one fine old school metal album!
Highlights: “Smoke On The Horizon”, “Evil In Me”, “Metal Will Never Die”, “Run For Your Life”
Knowing me, it’s probably going to take two (maybe three) weeks to get through all these albums but I just wanted to let the world know that, yes, there are more NEW music reviews on the way!
The latest from Dio, Helloween, Death Angel, Exodus, The Sword, David Rock Feinstein, Jettblack, Skelator and Evestus should all be popping up soon. So keep checking back!