Alcatrazz – ‘Parole Denied’ (Tokyo 2017) Album Review

Alcatrazz – Parole Denied (Tokyo 2017)
As part of the Graham Bonnet Band’s 2017 “The Book” tour in Japan, a three night special engagement and reunion of Alcatrazz was presented much to the delight of the Japanese hard rock faithful.

Founding Alcatrazz members, Graham Bonnet (vocals), Jimmy Waldo (keyboards) and Gary Shea (bass), reunited after 33 years for a unique series of shows in Osaka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan in March 2017. For the special occasion, the band was rounded out by Mark Benquechea (drums) and Conrado Pesinato (guitars), both from the Graham Bonnet Band.

In addition to this unique farewell performance captured on audio and video, Alcatrazz raided the archives and added some unreleased bonus tracks taken from the original sessions recorded in 1985, including one song, Emotion” with a young Steve Vai on guitar.

Alcatrazz was formed in 1983 by former Rainbow and Michael Schenker Group vocalist Graham Bonnet along with Jimmy Waldo and Gary Shea and made three studio albums in the 1980’s. The bands debut album included a young Swedish guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen and their second album, guitar virtuoso Steve Vai. Alcatrazz split up in 1987 after the release of their third album, Dangerous Games.

Bonnet is one of the true rock luminaries, despite the fact that he never thought himself a rock singer, as he fell into it with Rainbow, but common sense told him there was something here to be reckoned with, and after a fruitful but short lived stint fronting MSG, he put a band together in his own style and it was Alcatrazz, plucking two young and future guitar Gods into the spotlight in Malmsteen & Vai. You could even throw in a third in Impelliteri!

Graham Bonnet is not one who ‘goes with the flow’ so to speak. He has always been to me, someone who is single minded and knows exactly what he wants. Take his spell in Rainbow for example, when told to grow his hair by Ritchie Blackmore, he came back with it shorter than before. He did it recently on tour, and he does it again here on this album, with many classics omitted for some lesser (but not by some, OK…me) favourites.

Anywho, lets face it, Vai nor Malmsteen were going to show for Alcatrazz, which is a shame considering its where they were both catapulted into the mainstream. Who needs a prodigy when you have axe-slinger Pesinato who carries off all the right notes in all the right places, which is no mean feat in itself. Alcatrazz wouldn’t be Alcatrazz without Graham Bonnet. I had my reservations in seeing him recently, down to my stupid perception of his age! He may no longer have the foghorn blasting vocals of the 80s, but bugger me, he can still belt out a note, when he should be retired, sitting near a beach reading the papers. ‘Too Young To Die, Too Young To Live’ highlights his vocal histrionics – at 70! Yes, bloody seventy! Other highlights are the song he wrote for his mum, ‘Suffer Me’; the song that introduces a whole generation to Alcatrazz via GTA, ‘God Blessed Video’, and main tune from their debut, ‘Island In The Sun’.

Theres not a lot extra to say other than it’s a decent live album, but the real bonuses are contained within the package. Disc 2 is a side of demoes mainly from 1985. ‘Emotion’ is a typical Vai and shows what was to come on ‘Passion and Warfare’. Demo songs are always worth a listen, especially as you can mostly sense why they weren’t selected at the time, particularly  ‘Imagination’ and ‘Please Call me’, but also show the beginnings as to what they morphed into ‘Ohayo…’ and ‘Blue Boar’. Finishing up disc 2 is ‘Set Me Free’ from ‘Line Up’, and last on the list is a demo of ‘Rider’ from ‘The Book’.

Disc 3 is a DVD of the live show, and I expect is far more enjoyable watching Bonnet tear into the Japanese paying public. It you were not at the gig, I always find the DVD of it more enjoyable, unless its ‘Live and Dangerous’, ‘On Stage’ or ‘Strangers In The Night’

On its own, Parole Denied, is passable, but the added bonus of demo and DVD makes it a worthwhile pack for any fan of Alcatrazz or Bonnet

While people were commenting about Steve Perry recently, stating ‘dont expect the voice he had in 1981’, well…Graham Bonnet isnt making any excused and can strill strip the paint off a barn door from 20 paces. Long may he reign!!

Score –

Disc 1 – 6/10

Discs 1,2,3 – 8/10
Review by Paul Chesworth



1.    Night Of The Shooting Star

2.    Ohayo Tokyo

3.    Too Young To Die…Too Drunk To Live

4.    Suffer Me

5.    God Blessed Video

6.    Will You Be Home Tonight

7.    Jet To Jet

8.    Witchwood

9.    Skyfire

10.Hiroshima Mon Amour

11.Island In The Sun


1.    Emotion (Studio Demo)    

2.    No Imagination (Studio Demo)  

3.    Losing You Is Winning (Studio Demo)  

4.    Please Call Me (Studio Demo)  

5.    Blue Boar (Studio Demo)  

6.    Ohayo Tokyo (Studio Demo)  

7.    Set Me Free (Rehearsal / Studio Demo)

8.    Rider (Rehearsal / Studio Demo)


1.    Night Of The Shooting Star

2.    Ohayo Tokyo

3.    Too Young To Die…Too Drunk To Live

4.    Suffer Me

5.    God Blessed Video

6.    Will You Be Home Tonight

7.    Jet To Jet

8.    Witchwood

9.    Skyfire

10.Hiroshima Mon Amour

11.Island In The Sun

12.Hiroshima Mon Amour (Soundcheck)

PRODUCED BY: Jimmy Waldo & Giles Lavery

Live Tracks recorded in Tokyo March 2017


Graham Bonnet – Vocals

Jimmy Waldo – Keys

Gary Shea – Bass


Conrado Pesinato – Guitars

Mark Benquechea – Drums




















The Three Tremors – S/T Album Review

“Three times louder than a sonic boom, three fingers on the hand of doom!” is how the Three Tremors is being described. And when you find out the stellar line-up, there is no denying the mighty vocal power that the newly formed outfit possesses – Tim “Ripper” Owens (JUDAS PRIEST, ICED EARTH, DIO DISCIPLES), Harry “The Tyrant” Conklin (JAG PANZER, SATAN’S HOST, TITAN FORCE), and Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck (CAGE, DENNER/SHERMANN, DEATH DEALER).
Vocal power is an understatement!! ‘Invaders From The Sky’ displays some strange yet awesome vocal arrangement. Very Rob Halford / Bruce Dickinson, as you would expect. Musically this opening track is very Manowar with hints of Judas Priest, but I suspect that this is how the whole album will pan out. We shall see!!
‘Bullets Of The Damned’ hits us with it’s heavy double bass drums and pacey power riffs and doesn’t let up through the whole song. This is proper heavy metal, with some nice solo’s. This album is definitely one for the 80’s era Heavy Metal fan. ‘When The Last Scream Fades’ is easily by far the best track so far. Power, potency and energy after an eerie intro.
I’m finding listening to an album with 3 x singers on it all going at it at the same time quite overpowering to be honest. I’m not quite sure it’s working. Musically it’s good, but something just doesn’t quite work for me. Occasionally, you can hear just one person singing and that works fine, but this album is definitely one for the true metal fans out there who will love it.
I can imagine these songs being very powerful live as you can hear this in the albums mixing which is second to none. To be fair, technically, there isn’t a bad song on here, but lyrically it isn’t for me.
If you enjoy listening to Maiden, Priest, Manowar and the like, then this album is for you.

Score 6/10
Reviewed by Sty
Track listing:

1. Invaders From The Sky
2. Bullets Of The Damned
3. When The Last Scream Fades
4. Wrath Of Asgard
5. The Cause
6. King Of The Monsters
7. The Pit Shows No Mercy

8. Sonic Suicide
9. Fly Or Die

10.Lust Of The Blade

11.Speed To Burn

12.The Three Tremors

13.Disaffected World


Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens

Harry ‘The Tyrant’ Conklin

Sean ‘The Hell Destroyer’ Peck

Jean Beauvoir – ‘Rock Masterpieces Vol 2’ Review

Jean Beauvoir – Rock Masterpieces Vol 2
Back in June I reviewed Vol 1, and what a treat it was for one of rocks true icons, Jean Beauvoir. Well, now AOR HEAVEN is currently gearing up to release Vol 2 and was one of the soundtracks of the Summer. Vol 2 features more songs from his solo career, including his International multi-platinum debut “Drums Along the Mohawk” album, from his band Crown Of Thorns, his band Voodoo X, which also made music and video history, some fan favorites. As with Vol 1, Vol 2 songs will also be remastered. 

Beauvoir is also working with best selling British author Simon Cox (Cracking The Da Vinci Code) on a new book which will capture his storied career in music and entertainment. The iconic Blonde Mohawk of Jean Beauvoir has been an ongoing major influence on US and International pop culture in music, sports, film and TV; including several cartoons; influences that are still being seen and heard today. As a member of the Plasmatics, the most outrageous, controversial, successful Punk band ever and a longtime songwriter and producer for the Ramones, hailed as the greatest Punk band in the world, Jean Beauvoir is forever linked to two of the most revolutionary bands of the twentieth century. He was a member of the Plasmatics during their most successful and revolutionary time in music and is the only member of the Plasmatics who went onto a successful solo, production and writing career with over 40-million records sold to date and featured on over 240 albums.

Music from his solo debut album ‘Drums Along the Mohawk’ was hand picked by Sylvester Stallone for the film Cobra which led to Beauvoir making a deal with Al Teller (President of Paramount Pictures). Through working closely with Branson, Stallone and Teller, Cobra received the highest advertising budget for a Hollywood film to date at the time featuring the single “Feel the Heat” as its title track. 
Thank heavens for ‘No Limits’, a BBC show from one of the major importers of melodic rock/AOR, Jonathan King. This show was better than a lot of TV shows at the time (the UK had yet to receive the mecca of all music, MTV) so we got our hits in small doses through Top Of The Pops, ECT, and The Tube. King was ahead of the curve, introducing me as a 17-19 year old to bands such as Guiffria, Warrior, (Patti Smyth), and songs we would never have heard of from the likes of Lou Gramm, Sammy Hagar, Y&T, and Jean Beauvoir. This was my first interaction for his single ‘Feel The Heat’. I thought it was fantastic, a song that went against my rock upbringing on bands like Rainbow, Rush and Whitesnake to name just three. The guy had a huge mohawk, a great voice, and in FTH a huge chorus. I was in for the long run.
Thanks to grunge and music at that time having little to excite me in the way of music, bands like Crown Of Thorn’s passed me by until I heard ‘Hike It Up’ at a rock disco in Wigan. Yes, Wigan! I turned to my esteemed colleague to ask who it was. Once explained I picked up the phone (internet was still shite) and snapped up their debut about 3 yrs after it was released. It was that good, it filled a gap that had been missing. It was superb.
Vol 2 picks up where Vol 1 left off, and its all systems go with the opening salvo of Crown anthems, ‘The Healer’, Lost Cathedral’, and ‘Live and Die’. If you’re a JB fan already, I don’t need to sing the praises of these 3 songs. If not, where the fuck have you been and buy this album!!
There’s a few songs that are new to me – mainly the Voodoo X ones. ‘I’m On Fire’ is a rip snorter of a tune, a killer riff competing with one of the best vocalists in the business. Fast and frenetic from beginning to end – typical Beauvoir! ‘A Lover Like You’ was co-written with Paul Stanley and has KISS DNA running right through it, and I’m pretty certain that’s Stanley chipping in with background vocals, and is another gem of a song.
This Is Our House’ from ‘Drums..’ is about as lite as JB gets, and still manages to be anthemic. ‘Motorcycle Loretta’ is one of the best songs from Lost Cathedral, and is built around some splendid riffage. ‘Missionary Remedy’ Is as late in the day as it gets for a COT appearance. Its OK, but its nowhere near the same standard as anything from the COT debut. ‘Never Went Down’ is pure saccharine soaked pop rock, and sounds as if it was destined to be in an 80s flick, the type of song that John Hughes used to pepper his films with.
Winterland’ is probably in my top 3 all time JB songs, the type of song that just cheers me up, from the opening few bars, to the killer riff, and the awesome chorus it never fails to hit the spot. It always gets cranked up in the car. ‘Same Song Plays |On and On’ has US hit written all over it. And reprises some of the same sound from ‘Feel The Heat’, either that or I’m losing the plot. ‘Searchin’ For A Light’ couldn’t be any more eighties if I was sat here decked out in spandex and leg warmers and takes you back to the heady days of MTV. From the debut are a couple of songs, the balladic ‘Till The End’ but its the attitude laden ‘No You Don’t’ that gets my vote. Its Voodoo X that closes out Vol 2 with ‘Happy Birthday’. If you’re fed up of the one 30 billion people know, try this one next time outrageous
Volume 2 answered my questions from Vol 1, with COT songs making up over half the album
The PR info states “Today, Jean Beauvoir is also recognized as “One of the Most Influential Black Rockers of All Time”. In my eyes it should read ‘Influential Black People of All Time” Period.
This is essential for anyone that like their music with a huge slab of riffage and big anthemic, melodic choruses. I cant think of many better anthologies that showcase an artistes talent more than these two. If you’re already a fan, then there probably not a lot here for you, but it does put all the good stuff in one big collection. If Jean Beauvoir is a guy that passed you by and you are in the market for some killer tunes, buy Vol 1 and 2, and whilst you are at it, get the COT debut.
The Healer (COT Debut)
Lost Cathedral (COT Lost Cathedral)
Live and Die (COT Lost Cathedral)
This Is Our House (JB Drums…)
Motorcycle Loretta (COT Lost Cathedral)
I Wont Wait (COT Breakthrough)
A Lover Like You (Voodoo X The Awakening)
Missionary Remedy (COT Destination Unknown)
I’m On Fire (Voodoo X)
Never Went Down (JB Drums..)
Winterland (COT Debut)
Same Song Plays On And On (JB Drums…)
Searchin’ For A Light (JB Jacknifed)
Till The End (COT Debut)
No You Dont (COT Debut)
Happy Birthday (Voodoo X)

Vandenberg’s Moonkings – ‘Rugged and Unplugged’ Album Review

Vandenberg’s Moonkings – ‘Rugged and Unplugged’
Rugged and Unplugged’ is a stripped back acoustic album which features songs from Adrian Vandenberg’s career. 
For me, the sign of whether a song is good or not, is whether it still stands up when its completely stripped down to the bare essence of it’, says Vandenbergh, and I for one categorically agree with this statement. He continues, ‘What I find with acoustic versions of songs you already know, is that they can touch you in a different way than the full band and even orchestral versions. You don’t get ‘impressed’ by big guitars, drums and even orchestras. As a performer you can’t hide behind all that, so whats left is the emotional content of the performance of the actual song’.
Back in the early 90s, Tesla took a steal on the market and brought out their ‘Five man Acoustical Jam’ and it was awesome. But then, every bugger was at it, MTV went through an unplugged phase and there were some cracking performances – Queensryche and Pearl Jam being personal faves. Its taken a back seat of late, but I’m happy to see someone give it a go and revive the format.
Basically, despite Adrian Vandenberg having a decent back catelogue, most of the songs are Moonkings ones, with only one Whitesnake song (‘Sailing Ships’) and one Vandenberg song (‘Burning Heart’, obviously) making the cut.
Jan Hoving’s vocals still sound as if he’s singing a full electric vocal of ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’, but I wont hold that against him, and he has a nice tone and timbre to his sound. ‘Sailing Ships’ is where most will draw comparisons as he is singing a Coverdale song, and the very first line of ‘Sailing Ships’, you know Coverdale’s legacy is in good hands as Hoving even sounds like Coverdale, not too much, but just enough. This is a Whitesnake classic, and is performed very well indeed, but its Coverdales blood running through it and few can match the master for tone and quality. Its almost the same version that is on the Moonkings debut album, and it does make you hanker for the original.
Burning Heart’ is the other biggie on offer here. Its stripped right back to the bare bones and does fall on Hoving’s emotion to carry the lyrics. ‘Out Of Reach’ isn’t a great deal away from the original, so why not pick something that would be better suited as an acoustical interpretation. I’m beginning to see a pattern, an acoustical album based on songs that are not too far removed from the original! ‘One Step Behind’ and ‘Breathing’ are the first songs I can really get behind acoustically as they are different from the originals, but there should be more like this, surely?
Up last is a brand new song, ‘Sundown’ – you guessed it, a 90 second acoustic instrumental.
For seven songs, and a new one, I was expecting a little bit more.
What Doesn’t Kill You
Sailing Ships
Out Of Reach
One Step Behind
Burning Heart
Walk Away

BILLYBIO – ‘Feed The Fire’ Album Review

With BillyBio, it’s 100% me. No influence from anyone else. This is who I am and what I’ve become. I’m a product of everyone I’ve met, talked with, shared my stories with…and a bit of their stories as well.” – Billy Graziadei

During the years of touring with BIOHAZARD, Graziadei collaborated with many different musicians. As a result of this the later friendship with Cypress Hill singer SenDog, turned in 2016 into the Supergroup POWERFLO along with bassist Christian Olde Wolbers (Ex-FEAR FACTORY) and guitarist Roy Lozano (DOWNSET). While Graziadei continues to work on new POWERFLO songs as he tours around, he decided that the time finally has come for his solo venture: Billy Graziadei is BILLYBIO.

Even the 12secs intro could not prepare me for what was about to hit me in the form of ‘Freedoms Never Free’;  An entourage of speed, aggression and anger is everything I would expect from Billy. Whoa, hold on!! ‘Feed The Fire’ has just totally confused me! We have now gone to a more mainstream rock track. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but these two opening tracks sound like two totally different bands! But I like it. Both songs so far have had a speed break mid-song and I think these breaks make songs. It’s something I always put in Carnage’s songs. It always works.

‘Apologies No Regrets’ now heads over towards the ‘S.O.D & M.O.D’ era. Awesome speed, great bass breaks and thumping beats that will send a live crowd into a frenzy. Crackin’ stuff!!!! The songs are nice and short too as we head into ‘Generation Z’ and the thrashy ‘Sick And Tired’. This song does not relent and reminds me of 1980’s Metallica and Testament. It’s galloping chorus just oozes class.

‘Sodality’ has even more class, with its heavy opening riff and rapping-style verse. V is very Sum 41 (Fat Lip). It has lots of speed changes in this track which makes it one of the album’s highlights. ‘Rise And Slay’ with it’s Anthrax-style juggery just confirms what I was thinking that this album is getting better and better as it goes along. There’s no pause for breath as we hammer through ‘STFU’ until ‘Trepidation’. What a beautiful couple of minutes. A quiet mellow symphonic jam with electronic wording splattered in the background. It was needed.

The opening riff of ‘Untruth’ hits you like a steam train. This song has everything. Dark riffs, rapping verses and a galloping chorus. ‘Feed The Fire’ is damn fine album which begs to be heard. I would love to see Billy live on the back on this superb album. We finish with ‘Enemy’ and album stunner ‘Disaffected World’.

The photos included with this album show Billy trying to get a message across to us. I think he’s done that. Biohazard fan?? Buy it. Billy fan? You will be.

Score 9/10

Reviewed by Sty

Track listing:

1. Freedoms Never Free
2. Feed The Fire
3. Apologies No Regrets
4. Generation Z
5. Sick And Tired
6. Remedy
7. Sodality

8. Rise And Slay




13.Disaffected World