Red Dragon Cartel
Red Dragon Cartel
added: 2 Feb 2014
// release date: 27 Jan 2014 // label: Frontiers
reviewer: Andy Snipper
If you are going to play loud, hard and fast rock you had better have some serious chops or you are going to get buried in the mass. Jake E Lee has the history – he was with Ozzy on ‘Bark at the Moon’ and ‘Ultimate Sins’ and then with Badlands before taking a sabbatical that has lasted nearly twenty years – and definitely has the chops to go with it.
He is joined by Ronnie Mancuso on bass (ex-Beggars & Thieves), D.J. Smith on vocals and Jonas Farley on drums and the combination kicks over some very righteous bricks – rock, raw and unashamed.
The opener, ‘Deceived’, tears it up like a monster, fast and powerful with a terrific vocal from Smith and Lee riffing like a demon. ‘Shout It Out’ has a nu-metal feel to it with the whole crew working like a well grooved machine and you get the feeling that these guys have found a natural home for their talents.
The album is littered with guest stars including Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander, Iron Maiden’s Paul DiAnno, Pantera bassist Rex Brown and others and while they all bring something to the party the most powerful tracks are the ones where the band stand on their own merits. ‘War Machine’ as an example – Sabbath influences abound yes but the track has real integrity or ‘Slave’, deranged and taut with menace.
Of the guests the most successful track is ‘Big Mouth’ featuring Maria Brink with the band producing a huge slab of sound behind her.
It is great to hear Jake’s guitar again and the band rocks with awesome power – overall a fine album and never less than fine.
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