Rating: 8 out of 10
This was a very intriguing release for me, I’ve had both Vinny and Carmine on my show on several occasions and they’ve always been great to me. Hell, I have a picture with Gary Cherone, that Carmine took for me as there was no one else around to take the shot. What intrigued me as a drummer, and music fan was how were they going to incorporate each drummer on this album. Would it be one per track, would they trade off, how exactly would it play out? I’ve seen two drummers in bands since the 70s, and it’s usually one keeping time while the other one plays all the fills, not here. This album in my opinion is ground breaking, they have taken concepts that bands like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest have applied to their guitarists, where each guitarist has their own channel, one is on the left, and the other is on the right, with both coming together to fill out the spectrum of each song. Vinny and Carmine have done that here, and if you really pay attention you know that each brother has a different style and they’re complimenting each other throughout the entire album, much like guitarists usually do. And why not? Coming from a marching band background like myself, this isn’t something new, it isn’t exactly the same, but the concept of having multiple percussionists doing their own thing and working together like a sonic machine is something drum and bugle corps, marching bands, etc. have been doing for decades. So, it is beyond awesome that the Appice brothers would lay it all out there, take a concept like this and push the boundaries of hard rock/metal like this.
The album is very strong from top to bottom, and it is infused with all types of hard rock and metal you’ve come to know and love from the two of them. It has a lot of guests, which a lot of times is a letdown, but it really works well here, to the point where it sounds like a cohesive band, not your run of the mill money grab supergroup put together by some label. Both brothers have played on a ton of albums I’ve listened to over the years, and one of my favorites is the self-titled debut by Blue Murder. I looked over the song titles and saw Riot, but didn’t put two and two together until the song kicks in and I though wow that sounds like the fill at the beginning of, holy shit, this is that Riot! I love how they made this song their own, by changing enough of the song without altering it so much that I want to instantly grab for the original. The only thing I may have done differently with the album was the closing track Sabbath Mash, which is exactly what the title describes, a mashup of Ozzy era Sabbath material. I would of liked to hear, as a bigger fan of the Dio era, a mashup of the tracks that Vinny’s lineup of the band is known for. Then again, that leaves space for Sabbath Mash II.
Stand Out Tracks: Sinister, Monsters And Heroes, Killing Floor, Riot.