HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Dionysus - Sign Of Truth
(AFM)

For lovers of modern power metal, pure and unaltered, Dionysus will float boats, given the baroque guitar intricacies set to speedy, confident, hero rock structures. Production is co-handled by Tobias Sammet (Avantasia/Edguy) and the in-demand Tommy Newton and as expected, each frequency is laid out in crystal-clear, hi-fidelity manner. Dionysus is a bit of a supergroup, with guys from Nation being joined by Olaf Hayer, front man for Luca Turilli as solo artist, and a drummer from kicking posts Sinergy. The music mostly gallops down the true path of the middle, but on the edges, there's an adventurous ballad, some prog and some hair metal, making for at least a modicum of adventure not exhibited in the band name, record title, cover art, or production. It doesn't get any cleaner or more professional, but then again, borderline symphonic metal fans might find this a mere contributor to an already bulging glut.
Rating 5.5

Southern Rock Allstars - Danger Road
(Tazer)

Much more a cohesive record than their debut, Danger Road finds southern rock's bar-bustin', weathered heavyweights running the gamut of southern styles, from ballad to pop to southern metal in styles from both the '70s and the '80s. Leader of the band is Molly Hatchet's most relevant guitarist Dave Hlubek, while Blackfoot's Jakson Spires thumps the bottom end throughout 14 songs that combine traits from Skynyrd to the Allmans to 38 Special. Both the vocals and the production are a little bit thin, with an odd snare sound, but a number of guitar tones are utilized to dynamic effect (see highlights Messin' With My Living and Man On A Lonely Mountain). With 14 tracks in many styles, along with a sympathetic, passionate rendering of Thin Lizzy's Southbound, there's ample space to pick favourite styles and performances, but apparently the real rub is in seeing these guys live, which is reputed to personify the concept of "take no prisoners." Note the huge set of bigshot guest stars from the southern scene, which really emphasizes the relevance of the band name, the band and their brothers serving up what is pretty much a lost art. See www.southernrock.com for more info.
Rating 7

Hard Reviews Page 4