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Rain: XXX

Celebrating thirty years of hard rock havoc and metal mayhem, Italian rockers Rain unleash XXX (or XXX: 30 Years on the Road 1980/2010 if you want the full title) upon the world in CD format and in vinyl LP format with a slightly different tracklist.

XXX is a collection of mostly solid straight ahead hard rockers which are generally uptempo and upbeat, thus providing the perfect soundtrack for good times. There is, of course, the occasional power ballad which sets a more melancholic mood, such as 'The Gate' and the acoustic version of 'Rain Are Us, both of which – while not belonging to my favorites on this album – are fine melodic tracks. I prefer the faster and edgier tracks like 'Born to Kill' (which has sort of the same drive as Rainbow classics 'Kill the King' and 'Fire Dance' and some Halford-esque shrill vocals), 'Fight the Power' and 'Energy' as well as more midtempo paced melodic rockers like 'Whiskey on the Route 666', 'Rain Revolution' and 'Only Your Dreams'. For some reason, tracks like 'Blood Sport', 'We Want R'n'R', 'In the Night' and 'Only fo rthe Rain Crew' remind me a bit Queensr˙che – mostly because the singer sounds a bit like a blend of Geoff Tate and Wolfsbane-era Blaze Bayley (and, I love Bayley's work on an album like Down Fall the Good Guys), but a track like 'Blood Sport' is also musically interesting like much of Queensr˙che's music is.

Although the tunes on this album all fall nuder the rubric of traditional hard rock and melodic metal, Rain inject some more modern elements into their music, and many tracks contain electronica elements (like electronic drum beats) and up-to-date synths. We are not talking a whole lot of that stuff – it is not industrial rock – but just enough doses to keep things fresh and interesting without straying from the conventional path of the genre.

In all, this is a very enjoyable release, which should appeal to fans of hard rock and traditional metal, with its upbeat and uplifting tracks. So, if you like good time metal-tinged hard rock 'n' roll, step into your cowboy boots, put on your leather vest, go down to your record store anf buy this album, and, when you come home, pour yourself a large whiskey, throw the CD in the stereo, crank it up and have fun rocking out.

Track Listing (CD):
1. Energy
2. Whiskey on the Route 666
3. Blood Sport
4. Rain in Revolution
5. The Gate
6. Born to Kill
7. We Want R'n'R
8. In the Night
9. End of Time
10. Only your Dreams
11. Fight for the Power
12. Only for the Rain Crew
13. Rain Are Us (acoustic version)

Track Listing (LP):
1. Whiskey on the Route 666
2. Blood Sport
3. In the Night
4. The Gate
5. Network
6. Only for the Rain Crew
7. Born to Kill
8. Energy
9. Rain in Revolution
10. We Want R'n'R
11. Only your Dreams
12. Fight for the Power
13. Rain Are Us (acoustic version)

Added: September 2nd 2011
Reviewer: Kim Jensen
Related Link: Rain official website
Hits: 4717
Language: english

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