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Appice, Carmine: Guitar Zeus

In 1995 and 1997 veteran drummer Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck, Cactus, Rod Stewart) with a stellar cast of some of the best rock/metal guitarists in the world released a couple albums titled Carmine Appice’s Guitar Zeus. In January of 2019 Appice rereleased those recordings on CD and vinyl. The remastered CD version contains twelve tracks while the vinyl includes thirty-two tracks, including five new tunes. This is a review of the twelve track version.

The playing is very tight and if you like guitar this is the disc for you. The core of the band consisted of Appice (drums, percussion, backing vocals), Kelly Keeling (rhythm guitar, keyboards, lead and backing vocals) and Tony Franklin (fretless bass). When you take these three musicians, having written a bunch of tracks molded for a specific guitarist who also happens to be a tremendous player, well, you have a winning formula.

The first track “Mothers Space” is a new tune featuring Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses, Art of Anarchy, Sons of Apollo). Just a great lead off track of heavy hard rock with a few space rock elements as well. A huge bottom end will give your woofers a workout and Thal’s guitar work is just so impressive. One of the catchiest tracks is “Gonna Rain” with Richie Sambora (Jon Bon Jovi). A bit of a pop/psych ‘70s sound in this one. Love the lead vocals and Sambora’s fiery lead guitar. What guitar rock album featuring great guitarists would be without Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs, Kansas, Deep Purple)? Here he is featured on the track “4 Miles High” and it’s a beauty with its thundering guitar riffs and propulsive rhythm section. I can’t say enough of Franklin and Appice’s huge sound. Brian May plays on the catchy mid-tempoed “Nobody New” and as my esteemed colleague Pete Pardo mentioned in his review of the two CD release (2009) his guitar work is hard to identify as his signature guitar tone is nowhere to be found. Still a good tune though. Beatles-like melodies crop up in “Where You Belong” featuring Slash’s crystal clear guitar tones and on “Out of Mind” where the playing of Neal Schon is off the charts good. He has always been one of my favourite guitarists and he shows why here.

I think you get the picture. This is a damn fine album and anyone who appreciates talented guitar playing should really give this a listen. Recommended.

Track Listing:
1. Mothers Space (Ron “Bumblefoot”Thal)
2. Gonna Rain (Richie Sambora)
3. 4 Miles High (Steve Morse)
4. Nobody New (Brian May)
5. Where You Belong (Slash)
6. Out of Mind (Neal Schon)
7. This Time Around (Yngwie Malmsteen & Dug Pinnick)
8. Nothin’ (John Norum)
9. Doin Fine (Vivian Campbell)
10. Under The Moon and Sun (Mick Mars & Edgar Winter)
11. Code 19 (Zakk Wylde)
12. Days Are Nite (Ted Nugent)

Added: July 26th 2019
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Score:
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 271
Language: english

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