Sunday, October 17, 2010

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

LILLIAN AXE "Psychoschizophrenia" (1993)

Lillian Axe had just begun turning people's heads with several hits from their "Poetic Justice" in 1992, just as the grunge wave came crashing in. The band tried to survive the change by releasing "Psychoschizophrenia", an album that incorporated a darker element and deeper essence to the music and lyric department, respectively. Big thumbs up to Steve Blaze who wrote all the songs - this man is simply a genius, not to mention the thrilling guitar solos he had on this album.

"Crucified" is a blazing opener, crushing forward with intense hard rock, followed by a groovy track of "Deepfreeze" with a wonderful solo. "Sign of The Times" has a combination of dark verses, a melodic bridge, and a catchy but rough chorus – it is a stunning delivery by the band and one of the best tracks off the album. A couple of great ballads on the record are unbelievably pretty. "The Needle And Your Pain" is dedicated to a late friend who died of cancer, and "The Day I Met You", an ode to the lost love, this track is emotionally sad and touching. Some other great songs that I like are "Stop The Hate", "Deep Blue Shadows", and the Japanese bonus track, "Here Is Christmas".

To sum up, "Psychoschizophrenia" contained a mix of early glam with a bit of alternative influence – it is a bit dark and heavy, but melodic and accessible at the same time. This is a grower and not an easy album, probably needs at least 4-5 spins to capture the magic of Blaze's ideas. A brilliant underrated album that came out in 1993!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.