Aina - Days Of Rising Doom - The Metal Opera
Woah, Aina is pretty much the final word in the metal opera sweepstakes, the apex of achievement and effort versus the disproportionately minimal attention the thing is bound to get. Comprising two discs, a DVD, a book a quarter inch thick (all house in hardcover), plus the usual army of file-sharing performers, this is indeed a fantasy-steeped sight and sound package in which to get blissfully lost. A nice thing about this is that the pacing is truly dramatic, symphonic, often medieval and folky, not just an excuse to string together ballerina metal moshings. And even though Aina is the brainchild of the well-networked Sascha Paeth and Miro (plus Robert Hunecke-Rizzo and Amanda Somerville), the thing flows more like a vocal showcase, highlight being Glenn Hughes, nice touches being Candace Night and Sass Jordan. Wanna know more? Don't go to the website. It barely functions.
Quiet Riot - Live! In The 21st Century
(2RS/Trauma) Following a tried and true format, Live! offers a spirited, well-recorded fairly bare-bones live show along with a bunch of Quiet Riot home movies, the real bonus being the live CD. But these guys are old pros - Kevin is a great frontman with a powerful voice, Carlos and Rudy rock well enough, but Frankie is a monster, legendary drummer in the John Bonham tradition. Just check out 'Slick Black Cadillac' for proof of his prowess (there is also a finessed yet muscular solo in the bonus section). Elsewhere, one gets the usual studio hi-jinx (reaching back to the mid-'80s), a behind the scenes at an '86 video shoot, and all sorts of archival footage featuring Randy Rhoads and a rail-thin DuBrow. Some of the home movie stuff is pretty dull, i.e. moderate hamming for the camera, but it's quite interesting in that it covers much of the band's platinum years. All told, a satisfying combination of clowning and consummate old school rocking. See www.quietriotforce.com or www.frankiebanali.com for more.
Hard Reviews Page 4