HardReviews 4
by Martin Popoff

Iron Mask - Revenge Is My Name
(Lion Music)

Belgian Dushan Petrossi of Magic Kingdom fame is actually an Yngwie clone that looks like Yngwie and actually strikes some of the same poses. Scary. But unlike much of the increasingly academic Lion Music fare, this is a full-on vocals power metal album in the crazy old self-serious Yngwie style. Outside of a suspect drum sound, the album is pretty palatable, given Petrossi's vicious attack and tone that leans into Michael Romeo terrain.
Rating 6.5

Silvertide - American Excess
(J Records)

With no more Black Crowes, Buckcherry or Guns 'n' Roses, it seems to be time to try this "new rock" thing again. That's not to say that that's the thought process of the band itself; they are likely pure as the driven snow. I'm talking about the hype and the push behind this Philadelphia act, the fact that this EP is going to quickly and calculatedly going to be followed by the full-length and the red carpet treatment. The music enclosed (three tracks) sounds like the basic loud punchy corporate rock that would result if Slash joined forces with Chris Robinson and the big label assigned the duo an efficient producer. It's all the Aerosmith-loving bands that the hair metal days spawned all over again. I'll reserve judgment until the full-length, but Silvertide's considerably twisty riffs and frequent shape-shifts bodes well for a record that is not too dumb.
Rating 6.5