Henk : The Appice brothers need little introduction. Carmine and Vinny combined play on more than one hundred albums. Chances are you will have one or more in your collection. Just look at all the artists they played with: Vanilla Fudge, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, Dio, Rod Stewart, King Kobra, Paul Stanley and Ted Nugent to name just a few. For the first time in their long musical career, they recorded a studio album together and it's great! With such a long career in music, there must of course also be a very talented circle of acquaintances and they are used in an optimal way on this album
For example, on guitar we hear Craig Goldy (Dio, Giuffra), Bumblefoot (Guns'n'Roses), Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake), Mike Sweda (Bulletboys), Erik Turner (Warrant) and David Michael Philips (King Kobra). On bass, Tony Franklin (Blue Murder, The Firm), Phil Soussan (Ozzy), Johnny Rod (King Kobra, WASP) and Jorgen Carlson (Gov't Mule). On vocals we hear Jim Crean, Paul Shortino (Rough Cutt, Quiet Riot), Robin McAuley (MSG), Chas West (Lynch Mob) and Scotty Bruce. Keyboards are played by Erik Norlander.
A pretty impressive cast so you can expect something. The question whether this succeeds can be answered with a full YES! The brothers have managed to put together a very varied album that both gentlemen drum together on all songs if I heard it all right. For example, on 'Sinister' and 'Monsters And Heroes' you hear both drummers very clearly, and the fills played by the brothers are divided between the left channel and the right channel. This is however not in all songs the case. Sometimes it's like only one of the two brothers is drumming.
The beautiful thing is that the record is not fully focused on the fantastic drum playing of the brothers but there is room for the other musicians (certainly the guitarists) to shine. Hear how Bumblefoot plays a fantastic solo on 'In The Night' and the same goes for Joel Hoekstra of Whitesnake who stars in the amazing 'War Cry'. In addition, the drums are very prominent in the mix and if a critical note can be cracked, they sometimes sound a bit overdriven. A problem we have heard before on Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' for example. All in all, an album where the musicality pours out on all sides and, despite the many different musicians, does not feel like a collection of single songs.