Alcatrazz – V

V Album Cover Art

Alcatrazz – V
Silver Lining Music
Release Date: 15/10/2021
Running Time: 62:32
Review by Chris Galea
10/10

A very quick recap of the rundown to this album…after an absence of almost 25 years Alcatrazz had returned in grand style in 2020 with the album “Born Innocent”. However, the buzz created by that album risked being wasted when founding member and lead singer Graham Bonnet (Rainbow, Michael Schenker) left to pursue a solo career. Alcatrazz quickly recruited Doogie White (Rainbow, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Schenker). On paper he was the ideal replacement for Bonnet but, as history sometimes tells us, the potential of a line-up doesn’t always give the expected results. Is that the case with this new Alcatrazz album?

Well, worry not…if “Born Innocent” was one of the best albums of 2020, then “V” manages to surpass it. The songwriting is impeccable and the music’s execution sharp and dramatic. Indeed for those, who like me, have a soft spot for neo-classical pomp, “V” should be a pure joy to listen to.

Several full-throttle moments enkindle the album…’Guardian Angel’ and ‘Turn Of The Wheel’ spring to mind. But like a Caravaggio masterpiece, there are various shades to the album. For instance, ‘Return To Nevermore’ is dominated by a Doomy riff and ‘Dark Day For My Soul’, one of my favourite tracks, is a sort of epic ballad with some amazing singing from Doogie. On the other hand, ‘House of Lies’ and ‘Alice’s Eyes’ are groovy songs while still steadily holding onto the neo-classical niche.

To my ears Doogie sounds slightly different from what he did with other bands, such as Tank or Rainbow, but his singing is still solid, powerful and melodic and fits with the music like a glove. And I loved Jimmy Waldo’s keyboards, particularly in ‘Grace Of God’ and ‘Dark Day For My Soul’.

Doogie White and shredmaster Joe Stump are responsible for writing most of the material on “V” and the band seems to have stumbled upon a solid songwriting team with these two. Comparisons with the solo music of Yngwie Malmsteen, while understandable, would give rise to a chicken and egg dilemma so best leave that alone and just enjoy the music we have here.

A number of guests drop by to make the album a more interesting proposition (details below) but really the material could have been just as worthy of one’s purchase with the five members of Alcatrazz alone.

I would say that the greatest quality of “V” is that it is perfectly balanced…all-round fantastic musicianship but never at the expense of the songs. An album clearly rooted in the classical heritage of Metal but that also feels modern. It is all I could have ever hoped for from Alcatrazz…and then some.

‘Grace of God’ (Official Video)

TRACKLISTING:
01. Guardian Angel
02. Nightwatch
03. Sword Of Deliverance
04. Turn Of The Wheel
05. Blackheart
06. Grace Of God
07. Return To Nevermore
08. Target
09. Maybe Tomorrow
10. House Of Lies
11. Alice’s Eyes
12. Dark Day For My Soul

LINE-UP:
Doogie White – Vocals
Joe Stump – Guitars
Jimmy Waldo – Keyboards
Gary Shea – Bass
Mark Benquechea – Drums

Guests:
Ronnie van Staven (Riot, S.A. Slayer) Bass on ‘Guardian Angel’, ‘Nightwatch’, ‘Target’
Nigel Glockler (Saxon) – Drums on ‘Guardian Angel’, ‘Blackheart’
Cliff Evans (Tank) – Guitar on ‘Grace of God’

LINKS:

Alcatrazz Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with JIMMY WALDO

Jimmy Waldo Interview Title Image

Video Interview with JIMMY WALDO
By Chris Galea

Keyboard player Jimmy Waldo has an impressive résumé. After finding success with New England, he went on to be a co-founding member of Alcatrazz and played with Blackthorne, Quiet Riot, The Graham Bonnet Band and many more.

For those not familiar, Blackthorne was a relatively short lived band that, thanks to the changing musical landscape arrived without much fanfare, in the early 1990’s. With a line-up that included Waldo, Bob Kulick, Graham Bonnet, Frankie Banali and Chuck Wright, they should have been huge but, unfortunately it was not to be. Now their only officially released album has been repackaged with a host of unreleased, reworked and demo material.

Chris recently had the honour to talk to Jimmy about the excellent Blackthorne 2CD reissue package, as well as the forthcoming, brand new, Alcatrazz album “V” and more!

Huge thanks to Jimmy for the interview and to Chris for putting it together

Enjoy!

JIMMY WALDO Video Interview by Chris Galea

LINKS:

Alcatrazz Links:

Blackthorne & Alcatrazz Covers

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with DOOGIE WHITE

Doogie White Logo

Video Interview with DOOGIE WHITE
The Flying Scotsman
By Chris Galea

Sometimes it just takes a little initiative to change everything. For Doogie White that initiative was probably when he gave Ritchie Blackmore’s management a cassette containing some songs with him singing. That eventually led him to join Rainbow and his career has since flown from peak to pinnacle.

Douglas ‘Doogie’ White was born in Motherwell (Scotland) on the 7th March 1960. He sings or has sung with bands such as La Paz, Alcatrazz, Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force, Praying Mantis, Tank…and Rainbow and has collaborated with the cream of contemporary music.

In this interview Doogie and I discuss recent (and not-so-recent) musical involvements, the re-release of his only solo album (called “As Yet Untitled”) and ponder over the general state of things.

Enjoy!

DOOGIE WHITE Video Interview by Chris Galea

DISCOGRAPHY (Studio Albums, Unless Otherwise Indicated):
Long Shadows Dawn – “Isle of Wrath” (Out Aug. 2021)
Michael Schenker Fest – “Revelation” (2019) (On 5 Tracks)
Michael Schenker Fest – “Resurrection” (2018) (On 5 Tracks)
Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – “Spirit On A Mission” (2015)
Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – “Bridge the Gap” (2013)
Michael Schenker’s Temple Of Rock – “Temple of Rock” (2011) (On 1 Track)
Come Taste The Band – “Reignition” (2018) (On All But 2 Tracks)
John Steel & Doogie White – “Everything or Nothing” (2017)
Stardust Reverie Project – “Proclamation of Shadows” (2015) (On 2 Tracks)
WAMI (White/Appice/Mendoza/Iggy) – “Kill The King” (2014)
Doogie White & La Paz – “Shut Up and Rawk!” (2016)
Doogie White & La Paz – “The Dark and the Light” (2013)
Doogie White & La Paz – “Granite” (2012)
Doogie White – “As Yet Untitled” (2011)
Demon’s Eye – “Under the Neon” (2015)
Demon’s Eye – “The Stranger Within” (2011)
Tank – “War Nation” (2012)
Tank – “War Machine” (2010)
Rata Blanca – “The Forgotten Kingdom” (2009) (English Version)
Empire – “Chasing Shadows” (2007)
M3 – “Rough an’ Ready” (Live, DVD&CD) (2005)
Praying Mantis – “The Journey Goes On” (2003) (On 7 Tracks)
Liesegang/White – “Visual Surveillance of Extreme” (2005)
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – “Unleash the Fury” (2005)
Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – “Attack!!” (2002)
Cornerstone – “Two Tales of One Tomorrow” (2007)
Cornerstone – “Once upon Our Yesterdays” (2003)
Cornerstone – “Human Stain” (2002)
Cornerstone – “Arrival” (2000)
Nikolo Kotsev – “Nostradamus” (2001)
Balance Of Power – “Ten More Tales of Grand Illusion” (1999) (Only Backing Vocals)
Chain – “Eros of Love and Destruction” (1997)
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – “Black Masquerade – Rockpalast ’95” (Live, DVD & CD)
(2013)
Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow – “Stranger In Us All” (1995)
Midnight Blue – “Take The Money And Run” (1994)
La Paz – “The Amy Tapes” (Cassette Only) (1988)
La Paz – “Old Habits Die Hard” (Cassette Only) (1985)

LINKS:
Alcatrazz:

Long Shadows Dawn:

Doogie White:

Read Chris’s review of the 2021 reissue of “As Yet Untitled here:
https://ever-metal.com/2021/07/16/doogie-white-as-yet-untitled-reissue-2cd/

Doogie White Live Photo

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Video Interview with Gary Shea (Alcatrazz)

Alcatrazz Logo

Video Interview with Gary Shea (Alcatrazz)
Interview, Recording, and Editing by Chris Galea

Hi Everyone

In January 2021 Chris had the honour of chatting to Alcatrazz founding member/bassist Gary Shea, about their forthcoming album, the history of the band, and Gary’s musical journey.

Huge thanks to Gary for the interview and to Chris for putting this together.

Gary Shea Video interview by Chris Galea

Enjoy!
Rick
Owner/Editor

ALCATRAZZ LINKS:

Alcatrazz 2021

Disclaimer: This interview is solely the property of Chris Galea and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this interview, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.