James Durbin may have been the “metal guy” during his season on American Idol, but it’s been an uphill battle for him to get any sort of street cred in the actual scene. His subsequent solo albums seemed noncommittal in terms of style and his brief stint singing for Quiet Riot felt more like an odd novelty than a real step forward. It’s hard to tell how the reception towards The Beast Awakens (Frontiers Records srl) will compare but at the very least, it’s a notable turning point on his path to Heavy Metal legitimacy.
Celebrating 50 years in the music business, legendary guitarist Michael Schenker has recruited a wide selection of different musicians on the latest release, Immortal (Nuclear Blast), a hard-edged rock album that perfectly showcases his talent and versatility. With Ronnie Romero (Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow) acting as the main singer, the vocal side is bolstered by the likes of Ralf Scheepers (Primal Fear), the record’s co-producer Michael Voss (Mad Max) and former Rainbow frontman Joe Lynn Turner.