Dream Theater-Metropolis Pt.2
     Scenes from a memory
           ©1999 Elektra Entertainment
This album will probably end up in my yearly top 5. This album is not only complete, but complex. This is a must have.

Concept albums are usually either really good or really bad. Metropolis Pt. 2 definitely fits in to the really good category.

The album opens with Nicholas being hypnotized, obviously to jump into the thoughts of his past. Musically, the opening track has the feel of Images and Words. This should please many loyal fans as that usually is their favorite album. The album continues in Act 1 changing pace from very memorable ballad's to the crunchy sound that has been missing since images. Don't get me wrong though, I am a fan from way back, but really prefer this style of guitar playing to the drop-D style shown on the last couple of discs. This is a return to the trademark sound that built the fan base. Act 1 ends very lightly and then...

Act 2 starts with a bang. "Home" has a little feel of Pink Floyd-The Wall at the beginning and then builds into a 3 dimensional slam-fest. Act 2 for the most part contains a lot of heavy stuff. I still haven't quite figured the story out, but, as like Operation Mindcrime, maybe never will. One of the cool things about this release is the addition of Jordan Rudess. This guy can really play keyboards.  I like his authentic sound as well as his technicality. Derek Sherinian really seemed to me to be effects driven. He's good, but Dream Theater needs someone like Jordan to retain their sound.

Go out and get this one. I didn't delve too deep into story or songs on purpose. The fun thing about a good concept disc is figuring it out. Take it highly recommended from me. You won't be disappointed.

Sebastian Bach-Bring 'em Bach alive
                  ©1999 Spitfire Records
Who says rock is dead?? Don't tell Sebastian that, he really doesn't care, he just rocks.

The first thought I had when I put this disc in was how damn good it sounded. This is a very good recording. You can really crank it without too much distortion. Good job on that end.

The album contains 5 new tracks and 11 live tracks recorded in Tokyo, Japan.

The new tracks are pretty heavy. Kind of a 90's sound, but not totally.  It's hard to have a 90's sound totally with Bach's style of vocals. As a matter of fact, I think his voice has matured quite a bit. He really lets you have it on the studio tracks. He has chosen some very good musicians, although the whole image thing is a tad bit unusual. I guess that is rock 'n' roll.

The live tracks are very well recorded and Bach interacts very well with the fans. He really knows how to work a crowd. I really dig how Monkey business changes to the Blue Oyster Cult classic "Godzilla". Imagine the reasoning for singing this tune to a Japanese audience. I really liked the humor displayed here.

The new band is very good as mentioned before and the ability to write new music with them is also evident.  If we can't have Skid Row, this will suit me just fine.

If you are into live discs, this one is worth checking out. I personally never had the chance to see Skid Row, but will hope for a chance to see Sebastian Bach and Friends. Nice job on this one Bas. Keep it coming. You are definitely a rock 'n' roll warrior!