Def Leppard-X
© 2002 Universal Music
© 2002 Lion Music
It's been a long time since the days of 'High and Dry' or 'Pyromania' and it's been quite the rollercoaster ride for one of rocks most successful artists. The band has endured much yet at the same time had just as much success. Both sides of the spectrum I guess you could say. Well, there seems to be a renewed buzz surrounding the band's latest album 'X'. The album in my opinion is one of the band most honest releases since the early days. Sure the music isn't the heaviest the band have played, but it's very good nonetheless. There is a consistency in style on the album. Some of it is a bit poppy, but it finds the band in a comfort zone.  The bands first single 'Now' opens the album and basically sets the tempo for the rest of the album. The vocal harmonies are consistent with what you will expect from the bands previous efforts. This is evident on tracks like 'Unbelievable' or 'Torn to shreds'. There is some pretty good ballad material on the album as well in tracks like 'Long long way to go' and 'Let me be the one'. The oddball tracks of the album would probably be 'Gravity' due to its pop orientation. It's not a bad track, just seems a bit out of place. The track reminds me more of the stuff on 'Slang'. 'Cry' would be the other one. It's kinda heavy with a modern edge. With the style of most of the album, these 2 are an interesting mix. Guess it shakes it up a bit. Overall, the album is pretty consistent in quality.

I do really like this album. It may not be 'Hysteria' or 'Pyromania', but it's a damn good effort nonetheless. One of the bands best in a while. The music is very accessible and some of it has hit potential which is pretty common with the band. Most of the album is mid tempo and catchy and will appeal for the most part to the bands fan base. Definitely worth checking out!
Former Fifth Angel founder and guitarist James Byrd continues his amazing career with another album. The new album titled 'Anthem' is now released via Lion Music and is a progression of his direction on 'Flying beyond the 9'. The difference that I picked up on this release is that the album comes across as more of a production. The songs are big. The band is classified as a symphonic metal act and lives up to the name very well. Now it needs to be said that James Byrd is not making Rhapsody style music even though some find those comparisons. The bands are definitely different in their approach. The new album is also filled with a lot of emotion. When Byrd started to write his new album it was a pre 9/11 era. After the tragic events he totally shifted gears and offered a different presentation. Maybe this affected the emotional aspect of this release. Actually, I'd bet on it. The release is tight with good musicianship, writing, and vocals. Most of the tracks are actual very visual in their presentation. Take 'Anthem -Dealt by Darkness' as an example. It's a great opener that displays the aforementioned emotion as well as big production sound. This is consistent throughout the rest of the album. Some of my own favorites include the opener already mentioned, 'Omen', the melodic 'Some Day', 'All I want', the atmospheric 'The price of war', and the upbeat album closer 'Only Love'. It's hard to pick favorites however because the entire album is consistent and well written.

James Byrd is really writing some prestigious sounding music. This album is similar than 'Flying beyond the 9' but is different at the same time. The songs are well crafted with a bit of classical thrown into big production. An emotionally driven album that makes a statement where James is as an artist. He has his own identity and this album really solidifies this notion. This one is definitely worthy of your attention!