Friday, February 7, 2014

REVIEW - Red Dragon Cartel

Red Dragon Cartel
Self Titled

Axe man Jake E. Lee known for his stellar performances on Ozzy's Bark at the Moon and (one of my personal faves) The Ultimate Sin albums has released a blazing set of tracks under the moniker Red Dragon Cartel. Lee's new band features Darren "D.J." Smith of WARMACHINE, on vocals, Ronnie Mancuso of Beggars and Thieves, on bass and Jonas Fairley of BLACK BETTY. on drums. Lee has recruited a mixed bag of vets for 4 of the 10 total tracks. Cheap Trick's Robin Zander does his best "Ropert Plant meets Ozzy with a dash of Beatles" impersonation on the track "Feeder". Iron Maiden's Paul Diano grinds out some sweaty rock and roll on "Wasted". In This Moment's Maria Brink sounds like a wicked pussy cat on "Big Mouth". Sass Jordan's rasp adds some balls to the barroom bluesy "Redeem Me".

After years spent at the bottom of bottle, Lee makes the best of his "comeback" conjuring up some of the classic early to mid 80's Ozzy sound. D.J. Smith is the perfect compliment to Lee's soaring guitar riffs and solos. Smith has amazing range and his tone at times harkens to the mid 80's Ozzy sound as well. Overall the band rocks. The guest appearances showcase Lee's ability to work with pretty much anyone. The rest of the tracks are just as great. This is honestly the best guitar driven band I've heard in a long time. Welcome back Mr. lee.

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