While I don't generally cover reissues, there are some that deserve our attention. War & Peace's The Flesh and Blood Sessions is one such album. Released in 1999, it's roots go back to the late Eighties, and is a perfect picture of the end of an era. With impending demise of Dokken, War & Peace was formed by Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio, Foreigner) on lead vocals and guitar, Vinny Appice (Black Sabbath, Dio, Kill Devil Hill) on drums, Michael Diamond (Legs Diamond) on bass, and Randy Hansen on lead guitar. (The title of the album comes from the band's first choice for a name, but it was being used by another at the time.) The majority of the material was recorded in 1988; Heaven Knows (the bonus track) in 1990; and, What I Hide Behind in 1992 with a guest appearance from Robin McAuley. Unfortunately, between line up changes and other variables, this record was never released.
It's no surprise The Flesh and Blood Sessions didn't see the light of day then, and it probably wouldn't have been successful anyway. Eighties glam/sleaze/melodic hard rock and metal was on it's way out, grunge on its way in. It's neither a surprise that it wasn't successful in 1999. In those days, critics and fans were still shitting on that era. They still are for the most part.
But, say what you will about Eighties rock, its formulaic predictability or simply its flamboyance, The Flesh and Blood Sessions is still a terrific album. It's loaded with metal-edged melodic hard rock. If played loud enough, this would be perfect for Lyle aka The Napster, from 2003' The Italian Job, to blow the clothing off a woman. Basically, War & Peace pull no punches from start to finish offering strong and driving melodic metal. There's even a touch of blues in Nailed to the Cross. The closest thing to a ballad comes with I Don't Want to Be Lonely, but even this gets heavier in the latter half. There's also some of that clever, some would say cliche, lyrical twists that made Eighties rock sleazy. Part of the chorus for If I Put My Love in You adds, 'Will the truth come out.' That's at least worth a small grin. Fundamentally, the songs are propelled by good songwriting and sound musicianship. War & Peace's The Flesh and Blood Sessions is a timeless snapshot of a time past, that's just as important today as then. Recommended.
War & Peace's The Flesh and Blood Sessions is a timeless snapshot of a time past, that's just as important today as then. Recommended.
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