What happens when you combined edgy progressive rock, a European style and brilliant vocals? You get the debut album from Fiction Syxx, TALL DARK SECRETS from MelodicRock Records.
Fiction Syxx was put together by vocalist/guitarist mark Allen Lanoue who created an incredible line-up to help bring his vision to life. Joining Mark on guitar is JK Northrup who helps create an epic sound, especially on songs like Welcome To My Nightmare and Children Of The Night. These tunes are just two of the many that don't just riff you to death, but build something special that goes to many levels and places. The rhythm section features drummer Rory Faciane and bassist extraordinaire Tony Franklin who helped round out the sound like he did with The Firm and Blue Murder. The two hold everything and keep the music flowing. Adding color and imagination is keyboardist Eric Ragno who has done the same for Joe Lynn Turner and Graham Bonnet
The album's overall sound is epic and HUGE without being bogged down with the worst elements of progressive music. The songs are well crafted and self contained. Toe The Line starts off with some almost ska riff before turning into an amazing listen complete with slide guitar and a nice chorus. Where We Belong is a beautiful and flowing song that has incredible harmonies that could have been a request hour hit on 80's radio.
My favorite song on the album is the one that kicks it all off, Given Sight. Like most of the songs on the album this one has a very European feel to it with very thick keyboards, double bass drum action and of course, serious riffing and a guitar solo by my pal Jimi Bell. The song takes you on a journey that doesn't end until the final notes. Amazing!!!
I know musicians don't like their work to be compared to other artists, but if you like the power of Helloween, the depth of RUSH, the moodiness of Marillion and the soulfulness of Rainbow... than this album and this band is what you are looking for.
TALL DARK SECRETS by Fiction Syxx is 11 awesome songs with performances that scratch all my musical itches!!!!
Matman Rating - 4 out of 5 musical surprises!!!
AC/DC’s Malcolm Young Passes
Cinderella not getting back together
Work has begun on the new Def Leppard album
Moriah Formica on The Voice
Perry Richardson joins Stryper
Rock the Block Christmas Jam
Styx: Paradise Theater (1981)
AC/DC: Blow Up Your Video (1988)
Six Degrees of Frankie B
Comin’ Atcha Live:
Dennis DeYoung 11/3/17 at Mohegan Sun
Muse 11/4/17 at BlizzCon
5 to 1: AC/DC Songs
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E.S.O. by Michael Abdow
Normally I don't like instrumental albums, mostly because when it comes to music I follow singers. I need a passionate or 'blood curdling' voice to get me interested. For me a guitarist should be the complement to the vocalist. It must have been fate that while I was making my weekly visit to Music Outlet in Enfield, CT, Gary was playing some music that made me stop and take notice.
As the music entered my ears and went straight to my soul I asked Gary who this was. His reply was Michael Abdow and his latest release, E.S.O!
After buying the disc and popping it into the car cd player I was taken on a musical journey of truly epic proportions. The first track, Apple In The Sky is a 13 minute ride that is very King Crimson in its make-up as it dances in and out of styles and moods. Abdow's guitar playing is absolutely brilliant! On this particular song (and most of the album) he plays with the controlled fury of Michael Schenker, the heavy riffing of Tom Morello and then makes you all sad inside as he channels a little Gary Moore and Steve Rothery from Marillion.
Musically the album is a collection of nine songs that I guarantee will touch you. If you like your free style jazz interrupted with heavy riffing and thunderous drums and then an insane solo or two you will love Children Of Greater Men. If you want some talkative piano, Sally is just what you need. This album is a perfect Fall release, because it just feels right listening to it on a nice crisp day.
Not just an incredible guitarist, Michael is also as good a keyboardist and bassist. Joining him is drummer Mike Lamagna who not only keep s the pace, but keeps up.
This is easily one of my favorite releases of 2017! It's progressive, emotional and a bit edgy when it needs to be. Granted I still love my music with a vocal attached, but as I listen to E.S.O. again and again... I feel that a voice would just get in the way.
Matman Rating - 5 out of 5 dancing guitars!
When I think of the music that moulded me as a young rocker, Styx has got to be one of most influential. I love sensative songs, heartfelt lyrics, soaring vocals, heavy riffs and a chameleon like quality.. all the things that made Styx one of the biggest acts in the 70's and 80's. As with many bands and much success, Styx would eventually part ways with singer Dennis DeYoung and continue on. As a fan who needs to hear 'the voice' I was excited beyond reason for the chance to finally see Dennis De Young perform the hits of Styx in the intimate setting of the Wolf Den.
At 70, DeYoung still has the voice that help sell millions of records. On Lady, Come Sail Away and The Best Of Times, DeYoung sounded like he did in his heyday. His band; Suzanne DeYoung (backing vocals), August Zadra (guitar and vocals), John Blasucci (guitar and vocals), Jimmy Leahy (keyboards) , Craig Carter (bass) and Michael Morales (drums) were amazing and provided the incredible and sometimes difficult music that didn't miss a beat!
Some of the surprises in the set was Blue Collar Man and Too Much Time On My Hands, both songs originally sung by Tommy Shaw but rendered beautifully by August Zadra. If you are going to celebrate the music of Styx those songs along with all the ones Dennis sang is a must. BUT... one of my all time favorites, Desert Moon was performed and yes, I had to fight back the tears.
Three things I took away from the show tonight...
What an incredible showman DeYoung is. Not only does he have 'the voice' but he is incredibly funny and quite charming.
How much he loves his wife, who is not only the inspiration to many of his songs, but is his backing vocalist.
What an amazing catalog of hits Styx has... 35 million albums sold, 16 top 40 hits...8 of them top 10.
If Dennis DeYoung and his band show up in your town.. GO!!! This is an incredible night of music that song for song is one of the best set lists ever!!!
The Grand Illusion
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
Too Much Time on My Hands
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
The Best of Times
Come Sail Away
www.dennisdeyoung.com for more tour dates and information!!!
The Power Chords Podcast is a twice-monthly podcast celebrating rock and metal music of the '70s, '80s, '90s and beyond. The show is co-hosted by Matt Herring and Brian LeTendre.