I gotta tell you. There are some albums long overdue and thanks to labels like Majestic Rock Records, we are starting to get some of them. Some of the more anticipated of them would definitely be the out of print Mercury titles by Heavy pettin. After watching 'Rock Ain't Dead' going for big bucks on ebay, I was hoping for that market to drop out due to some reissues. Well, it has happened and the results are definitely worth the wait. The first of the two was probably my favorite. I know there is a fanbase that is fairly sizeable for 'Rock Ain't Dead'. I liked the style on this album. It was heavy, had attitude, and was one of those albums that was at the forefront when I was getting my feet wet in heavy metal and hard rock. For those unaware, this album is the same as the self titled release from Mercury that had the drive-in theater screen on the cover. Some of the songs off of this album that have remained favorites through the years include the opener 'In and out of Love', the rockers 'Victims of the Night' and 'Hell is Beautiful' and others such as 'Rock Me' and 'Shout it Out'. This album has some very good bonus material as well. The unreleased tracks 'Roll the Dice' and 'Shadows of the Night' are very good. Sometimes when you get bonus material, it tends to be filler junk in my opinion and usually is more appealing to the hardcore fans of the band. Not these tracks though. They are consistent in quality with the rest of the album. Probably the best thing about this album is the sound quality. I had to try to make my own with either tape copies or vinyl in the past. There was a reissue of this album that quite frankly sounded terrible. I was very disappointed at the time that one came out. Now we have this album and it sounds really good.
It is reissues like this that get you excited about certain labels. Majestic Rock Records is churning out not only some great sounding product, but also some very anticipated music. This album has always been on the top of my list as fans of the Wishlist page on this site will already know. The bonus music on this album is equally as good. It's definitely one of the best reissues of the year!
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Reviewed by Dave Palmer
Faraz Anwar is another one of those musical genius types that has a nack for writing very technical music without losing the sensibility it takes to keep the user interested. There are 6 tracks on his latest album, all instrumental. The first track is very smooth and atmospheric and one of the longest tracks on the album. 'Through the Passage of Time' is a definite musical journey that paints a different visual with it's changing tempos. The second track 'Maze' is a bit darker as is 'Prophet'. These two tracks don't embrace the same clarity in sound as the first. There is a visual aspect there as there was on the first track however which is something that Faraz has the ability to do with his music. This album isn't really a shredder as more of a technical masterpiece in the vein of something Alan Holdsworth or others in that same class would do. What is truly amazing to me is the fact that Faraz is from Pakistan. Not necessarily a hotbead for this type of music I wouldn't think. Looking at the other tracks on the album, 'Don't Ever Let Your Spirit Die' is uptempo with some good soloing going on throught the track. 'Last Summer' is probably the most accessible track to the casual listener with the same elements that made some of Satriani's songs more popular. Catchy and upbeat and not over technical. Just a track that flows well and sounds good. The final track 'Why' is kind of a hybrid in terms of sounds. There is a heavy edge, but the clarity and finesse are there as well. This track is the second longest track clocking in around 10 minutes total. The music is quite good throughout if you like instrumental based music. This album provides some relaxing numbers as well as some mood.
This is a good album but is instrumental in nature. I mention that due to the fact that this style is more of an acquired taste. If it is your thing, you will be very happy as Faraz really has a talent for writing music that you can daydream to due to it's visual nature. He's a talented musician and writer and should have a bright future for years to come.