Monday, April 18, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

LOUDNESS "Soldier of Fortune" (1989)

Released in 1989, "Soldier of Fortune" was the first album with Michael Vescera after Minoru Niihara got kicked out of the band. This was done to help them break through the American market, although the final result wasn't exactly what they expected. The whole album sounded very American and has a lot of 80s glam metal influences.

"You Shook Me" stomps on the ground with Takasaki's thunderous riffs topped with Vescera's raspy screamer. "Danger of Love" is another winner and sounds like an unreleased Dokken song. "Red Light Shooter" fires away some ferocious hooks with flashy tapping. Too bad the euphoria was soon over when they struck me with the blunt and boring ballad, "Lost Without Your Love". If you're looking for a down-tempo sentimental track, "Twenty Five Days" is a far better pick - check out the unforgettable intro lines. Thankfully, they refuel the album with several heavy tracks and close it with the fantastic "Demon Disease".

"Soldier of Fortune" is a truly great album with lots of powerful songs, stellar vocals, and exceptional guitar work. Although this ain't the same Loudness as in the early 80s, Akira still deserves a glass of beer for these magical and mind-blowing compositions!

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.