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Slave to the System: Slave to the System

The new, self titled CD by Slave To The System (Spitfire Records) made up of veteran rockers drummer Scott Rockenfield (of Queensryche), Damon Johnson ( The Voice & Guitar of Brother Cane, & more recently a member of Alice Cooper's band), guitarist/vocalist Kelly Gray (ex Member of Queensryche & Seattle record producer) and bassist Roman Glick, is a solid bluesy based rockin' debut. Fans of the Prog Rock/Metal themes of The 'Ryche, are in for a very different but nice surprise!!

From the opening riff of "Stigmata", Slave To The System show their hand of a rocker and a roller of a record to come. This CD is a very '70's influenced Rock 'n Roll record, and would make the likes of Thin Lizzy, Bad Company, Aerosmith and Led Zep very proud. Fans of Guns 'N Roses, Velvet Revolver & Audioslave will also find this is a very "user friendly" record indeed!

Singer Damon Johnson shows why he had one of the best voices of the '90's and that he still has the soulful pipes that fueled the success of Brother Cane, and he just flat out wails on of this CD. Slave To The System takes the listener on a nice ride, from the all out rockers like "Disinfected" & the title track "Slave To The System", to an acoustic ballad like "Abyss", then to the moody and somber feel of "Walk The Line" & "Rag Doll".

Slave To The System is a strong, melodic record, and with over 30 albums made between the four members of the band, they show that they are more than capable of writing a seasoned, solid rock 'n roll album that will be very hard to classify. Any fan of good songwriting and good musicianship will find this CD a nice find.

Track Listing
1.) Stigmata
2.) Ruby Wednesday
3.) Slave To The System
4.) Live This Life
5.) Cruz Out Of Control
6.) Abyss
7.) Disinfected
8.) Gone Today
9.) Will You Be There
10.) Leaves
11.) Ragdoll
12.) Walk The Line

Added: May 14th 2006
Reviewer: Butch Jones
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 4375
Language: english

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Slave to the System: Slave to the System
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-05-14 07:12:36
My Score:

What do you get if you combine the forces of talent that have worked with both Queensryche and Brother Cane? Well, the answer is very simply "Slave To The System" a Hard Rock combo that brings drummer Scott Rockenfield together with Damon Johnson, Roman Glick and Kelly Gray. Gray worked in Queensryche for one album and tour while Johnson and Glick were members of the powerhouse Brother Cane. Two entirely different aspects of the musical spectrum with one being a Progressive Rock side while the other mainstream Hard Rock. The result is a very pleasing Hard Rock journey that has some serious radio potential on its debut and self-titled release. Damon Johnson has a great voice and it shows throughout the record that he has not lost his touch in the years since Brother Cane ended. Rockenfield is an established drumming presence, yet on this album he lays back a little and delivers solid Rock and Roll time, a nice change to see that he can adapt and make his level of play work with a totally different type of band. Gray seems to do well here more so than he did during his brief tenure with Queensryche. I admit to not enjoying his working with the band, but this is since he immediately followed the absence of DeGarmo so like most fans I was jaded going in. Glick holds it all together on bass while his Cane partner belts them out. In Slave To The System the whole unit works together very well, and it serves to prove that Hard Rock is not as boring as commercial terrestrial radio would have you believe. While there might be "hit makers" on it nothing really gives that push or the drive lately to remind you that Rock is very simply supposed to Rock. STTS makes sure to remind us of this fact and with tracks like their namesake, "Rudy Wednesday" and "Stigmata" there is plenty of proof that the band means business in this area. It's a welcome change to the existing supply.

The exciting nature of the recording gives the idea that this will be a great band in performance and the strong level of appeal in these songs is bound to give a wide variety of listeners something to be excited about in Rock music once again. The CD comes with all lyrics and photos as well so you can keep up with the songs as you like. Check this one out, as it's a consistent listen and you will find yourself enjoying it quite a bit. I know I did.

Slave to the System: Slave to the System
Posted by Jack Toledano, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-03-10 18:45:21
My Score:

What do you get when you cross the bands Queensryche with Brother Cane? You get a new collaborative effort called "Slave To The System". And musically, you get a very well rounded, albeit slightly commercially sounding collection of catchy hard rock tunes. The best way to describe STTS's sound would be that it is a very straightforward modern hard rock sound, and while it is not as progressive as what a Queensryche CD may sound like, it still possesses a great quality. That quality is that it has the potential to appeal to a mass audience; the older generation that is accustomed to rock classics, progressive rock (Queensryche fans in particular), the grunge sound of the 90's, and of course, the younger generation that listens to today's more mainstream hard rock bands.

STTS consists of Brother Cane members Damon Johnson (vocals/guitar) and Roman Glick (bass), and Queensryche members Kelly Gray (ex-member guitar) and Scott Rockenfield (drums). Highlights on this CD consist of the first 3 songs right off the bat, "Stigma", "Ruby Wednesday", "Slave To The System" (with its Black Sabbath-like opening riff), "Cruise Out Of Control" (with Damon Johnson sounding as good as Chris Cornell of Soundgarden/Audioslave ever did), and "Disinfected". For those that are looking for more melodic material, "Live This Life", "Abyss", "Will You Be There", and "Rag Doll" should definitely satisfy.

All in all, the CD that comes to my mind after giving this CD about 5 listens would be Soundgarden's classic Superunknown, that's how good and fresh I found the material on this CD to be. Great job, guys!!

Slave to the System: Slave to the System
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-02-17 09:29:56
My Score:

Fans of Audioslave, Bad Company, Velvet Revolver, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, Whitesnake, and even Cry of Love, should get a kick out of the debut from Slave to the System. Made up of Queensryche drummer Scott Rockenfield, Brother Cane singer/guitarist Damon Johnson, guitarist/vocalist Kelly Gray (former Queensryche) and bassist Roman Glick, Slave to the System have put together a solid album of heavy & bluesy hard rock, littered with professional chops and plenty of classy melodies.

The combination of catchy, chunky guitar riffs and Johnson's soulful vocals take songs like "Ragdoll", "Walk the Line", and "Ruby Wednesday" to a level or hard rock and commercial appeal that many veteran bands can only hope to achieve. These guys have managed to find a great balance of hooks and thump on their debut. A song like "Cruise Out of Control" almost sounds like early Soundgarden with Johnson's Chris Cornell-influenced pipe and heavy riffs, and "Gone Today" is such a bright and organic sounding number, complete with rich harmonies and hooks, which recalled a real blast from the past, the band Riverdogs.

All in all, this debut from Slave to the System is just a great sounding work from four professionals who have been around the business for a while. If you are expecting anything like Queensryche due to Rockenfield's involvement, forget it. This is enjoyable rootsy hard rock, plain and simple, and a release that surely will find an audience.

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