the Beginning" [instrumental] (1:31)
This solo outing led to Rock's departure from Impellitteri. Apparently everything was ok, until Chris heard the new solo project. Whether this is true or not, I do not know, but it is the rumor that was going around at the time of release. Too bad because Rob and Chris had chemistry. Still, this album smokes!!! It's leaps and bounds more interesting than "Crunch," which makes the rumor seem to be true. Of course Rob's signature wail makes this album sound like an Impellitteri disc. Rob Rock teams up with his Driver bandmate Roy Z, who plays guitar and produces. Roy is no slouch on the guitar either, so this adds even further to the comparisons. Also making a guest appearance is Jake E. Lee (ex Ozzy/Badlands). "Eagle" is an ABBA cover.
My Massacre copy of this
CD is signed by Rob's entire touring band, including Rob.(Thanks Olaf).
Rob Rock-The Ballads 1986-2001 (CDR compilation)
Killer collection of ballads by one of the greatest voices in metal. Rob himself put this collection together and is selling it on his website, complete with the cover art as seen above. The track listing features songs from Rob's entire career and almost every project he has sang on. There are several rarities, like "Beautiful Lady" a song that only appeared on the Japanese version of 'Rage of Creation', "Forever Yours" that only appeared on the Japanese version of Impellitteri's "Crunch" and the excellent cover of Ozzy's "Goodbye to Romance". A few others, like Driver's "Only Love" have never appeared on cd as far as I know. Only complaint, I wonder why he didn't include anything off Angelica's debut. Perhaps it was because he didn't actually write any of that material and only sang on the album. Still there are some stellar ballads with Rob's signature vox on that disc. Otherwise, an awesome collection of tracks. Great to put on late in the evening when spending some alone time with the wife (if you know what I mean.).
Produced, arranged and mixed by Roy Z. Executive producers Rob Rock and Roy Z. That alone tells me that this is an album that will be worth repeated listens. I have yet to be disappointed by anything Roy Z or Rob Rock have put their names to, and 'Eyes of Eternity' is no exception. (Roy is known for his work with Halford and Bruce Dickinson, while Rob is know for his long stint with Impellitteri.) Rob's second solo CD is heavy, guitar driven heavy metal that comes across as a bit more European sounding than "Rage of Creation." There are ten tracks that are all on level with each other. The exception is tracks nine and ten which are simply outstanding. The epic, twelve minute long "The Hour of Dawn" is a standout track. This song starts as an atmospheric metal anthem that reminds me slightly of mid-90's Stratovarius and ends with a 4-1/2 minute long guitar jam, that includes guitar solos by 15 different guitar shredders. Among the guitarists included are Narnia's Carl Johan Grimmark, Jack Star, metal legend Axel Rudi Pell and someone simply known as "The Warlock." Finshing out this CD is a bonus track called "Beautiful Lady" which is simply one of the best ballads ever written. As I recall this song was actually recorded several years ago and was released as a bonus track on the Japanese version of "Rage of Creation". Despite how much I like Rob's heavy material, he really does excel at ballads. Found it somewhat amusing that this CD contains a song called "Rage of Creation." I wonder if this song might have been written for the "Rage" session but not used until this disc. This song is a tight, crunchy mid paced rocker that leads into one of the albums fastest, and heaviest songs "Conqueror's Hymn". The guitar tones on this song are outstanding and prove to me that you don't need to downtune a full step to have a heavy sound or to write a monsterous riff. As usual, Rob's lyrics are honest and thought provoking, mostly deal with his faith in Almighty God. For me this was one the most anticipated metal releases of the year. Sometimes when I anticipate an album like I did this one, I am left disapponted. However, Rob Rock didn't leave me even slightly dissappointed.
Holy Hell Batman, this CD stinkin' rules! Within moments of the first notes of the first song I was already thinking to myself. WOW, this is heavy! One again behind the Rob is producer Roy Z, who also recently worked with Judas Priest on their comeback album. Rob's solo album is at least as good as Priest's, if not a step above and that is saying alot. "Slayer of Souls" is an all our power metal assault, one of the heaviest songs on the CD, and is complete with a big, gritty guitar sound. Likewise, the title track is a pummelling power metal romp. "I'm a Warrior" originally appeared on the Driver EP and then again on the Impellitteri "Answer to the Master" album. "Warrior" is a certainly a great song. This particular re-recorded version leans closer to the original Driver version, which has long been out of print. Likewise, "When Darkness Reigns" is a re-recording of "Fly Away" from the Driver EP. "First Winds Of The End Of Time" is a mid-paced rocker that reminded me a bit of Rob's work with Impellitteri. "I'll Be Waiting for You", which is listed as a bonus track, is one of the albums highlights. This emotional ballad is probably one of Rob's best yet. Roy Z's guitar work is excellent as usual. On top of the guitar talents of Roy Z, Rob also employs the talents of guitar shredder Carljohan Grimmar (Narnia). As any Rob Rock fan would expect, the vocals are outstanding. I read an article recently that put Rob on the same level as guys like Bruce Dickinson and Rob Halford. I would agree 100% with this opinion. Rob has a classic heavy metal voice and an incredible range that few can match. Rob does give up the mic a bit in the closing song "Move On" and allows Tobias Sammet (Avantasia, Edguy) to share lead vocal duties. In all honestly however, this is probably the weakest track on the CD. "Holy Hell" is without a doubt the best Rob Rock solo disc thus far. It manages to be heavier than the past two, yet more melodic and memorable at the same time.
Rob Rock - Garden of Chaos (AFM) 2007
1. "Garden of Chaos"
Rob Rock returns in '07 with yet another fine slab of melodic power metal. This time around, his band is made up of Narnia's musicians including Carl Johan Grimmark (Narnia, Beautiful Sin) in the guitar, Andreas Olsson (Narnia, DivineFire, Stormwind) as the bass player and Andreas Johansson (Narnia, Wisdom Call) in the drums. He also hooked up again with Gus G and Roy Z to pen most of the songs on this album.
Rock now has four solo albums under his belt, along with his work with M.A.R.S., Impelliteri, etc. It is only natural that people will start comparing anything new Rob comes up with to his past albums. Some are saying this is Rob's best CD ever. Many are saying it's better than his last "Holy Hell". What I would say is that "Garden of Chaos" is yet another excellent release. Those who loved "Holy Hell" shouldn't be disappointed with "Garden of Chaos". However, there is enough musical distinction so that the two albums don't sound like clones of one another either. What I think Rob has accomplished with "Garden of Chaos" is to fuze the melodic sensibilities of Rage Of Creation and the pounding metal of "Holy Hell." Basically, Rob walks a fine line between power metal and melodic hard rock. However, on "Garden of Chaos", there are some really fast songs that also border on speed metal. The title track would be one such song with it's fast double bass, staccato guitar picking and explosive energy. Likewise, "Metal Breed" is a fast heavy metal anthem, both musically and lyrically. However, as with all the Rock solo albums, this album offers a variety from song to song. "Millennial Reign" brings out the neo-classical metal elements that Narnia are know for. One of the standout tracks on the CD is "Satan's Playground", which is a thundering slab of classic heavy metal complete with Rob wailing over top. "Ride the Wind" has a similar classic metal feel to it, not unlike something you might here from Judas Priest. While there is plenty of heavy material, there are also the more mellow, melodic moments such as "Unconditional" and acoustic album closer "Ode to Alexander". This song was co-written by Rob and his wife Liza and is written about the Rob's new son. Of course, the star of the show here is Rob Rock's classic, smooth vocals. Rob even lets loose a bit with a slightly grittier delivery on songs like "Only A Matter of Time" and "Metal Breed".
"Garden of Chaos" is an outstanding metal album from the song writing to the performance to the production. In all of the albums that Rob Rock has recorded over the decades, if "Garden of Chaos" isn't the best, it certainly ranks high on the list
Rob Rock - The Voice of Melodic Metal - Live in Atlanta (AFM Records) 2009