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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Badlands Dusk,
Badlands third album "Dusk" was actually recorded in 1992 prior to Ray Gillen's departure near the end of the Voodoo Highway Tour. On a basic level it mixes the best of their first two releases (Badlands and Voodoo Highway) and comes out sounding fresh and vital. Ray Gillen had an exceptional voice, perfect for the blues/rock genre within which the band operated. Added to the exceptional chops (more than a Bruce Lee Box set) of guitarist Jake E. Lee (Ozzy Osbourne, Wicked Alliance), Badlands deliver a traditional classic rock record of significant quality. Healer is the opening track and sets the tone, mid-paced and mean sounding. Lyrically there is some standard rock posturing, but there is also an undercurrent of religious imagery (redemption, forgiveness), which could possibly be aligned with Ray Gillen's state of health. (Gillen contracted the AIDS virus and sadly died in 1993 from stomach cancer, I believe). Song wise the aforementioned Healer, Sun Red Sun, The River, The Fire Lasts Forever and Lord knows are up there with anything Badlands every released. Often albums that are "historically" released are a hotch potch of demo's which lack quality and have little cohesion as an album. Fortunately this couldn't be further from the truth with DUSK. Lee's rhythm guitar playing is always a highlight as he seeks to add variance and interest, but always as an enhancement the song. His lead playing is also inventive and includes variety in terms of approach and technique within the confines of the band. In summary we are left with a great album and with a feeling of disappointment that the band couldn't have kept it together longer. Lee commented at the time of Gillen's departure (late 92) that Gillen was pushing for a more commercial approach that he didn't support. Other factors such as Grunge crossing to the mainstream and Gillen's deteriorating health may have ended the band anyway, but (selfishly I know) it would have been facinating to hear another album of development from a band that were so talented. With rock bands from that era being financially viable again (certainly in a touring sense), it's a huge regret that Badlands can't tread the boards again with their classic line up.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest bluesy hard rock releases ever!,
By A Customer
Quite simply a stunning final album from the would-be supergroup. Ray Gillen's [RIP] vocals are superlative whilst Jake E Lee's smouldering guitar work is more bluesy than that when he was in Ozzy Osbourne. The rhythm section of Gregg Chaisson and Jeff Martin recalls that of Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice - with the beat firmly in the pocket.
'Sun Red Sun' is possibly the finest track Zeppelin never wrote whilst 'Walking Attitude' is exactly that. A masterpiece! Great production too.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The epitome of hard blues rock,
This album is awesome.
Jake E Lee is such an under-rated guitarist, and his tone and playing style are a joy to listen to - loud !
To their credit, Ray Gillen, a soulful vocalist, and the drummer and bassist provide a synergy that is reminiscent of Zeppelin.
Highlights are : 'healer', 'the river', 'lord knows' and 'ride the jack'.
If you like classic hard rock, this purchase is imperative.
It will release endorphins in your brain in a Noah-like flood.
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant album from one of the classiest rock bands ever.,
This is an old album released in 1998 which was after the death of their incredible vocalist Ray Gillen in 1993. Badlands released two albums before Dusk, Badlands and Voodoo Highway both superb albums of rock with a bluesy edge. Dusk is no less of a great album with Ray Gillens fantastic vocals and Jake E Lee's expressive guitar licks dominating every track. If you know Badland's work then this is a must have album. Fantastic.
4.0 out of 5 stars Demo Heaven...,
Considering this is really a deluxe demo, the songs and sound are fantastic. How underrated they were and what a shame it ended with bitterness between the band members. Special mention for singer Ray Gillen who I saw sing twice with Sabbath and was one of the best singers that I have ever seen. This is a great secret treasure...Get it while you can!
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swansong for totally underrated group!,
Alas,this is where the Badlands story ends.These songs really are demo's that have been completed by Jake E Lee and bassist Greg Chaisson.This album is a real grower,maybe not as heavy sounding as the first 2 albums,but still there is plenty here if you like melodic ,blues-based heavy rock.This album has a very live sound and feel to it ,in parts improvised by all accounts.Unlike the 1st 2 albums where I think Jake is the slightly domineering talent to Ray (very,very close second),on Dusk ,for me Ray Gillens vocals are absolutely brilliant and is the shining light here ,and Jake respectfully plays 2nd 'fiddle'.It astounds me that these albums and this group are'nt hailed as legendary icons in this genre of music,but bad luck,bad timing and bickering amongst themselves,cost them so,so dearly.It was bad enough Grunge appearing at all,nevermind when it actually did,but before it there were some truly awful,awful hair metal bands like Motley Crue,Poison,Ratt,Bon Jovi that aren't fit to be in the same room ,as a truly fantastic group such as Badlands!Hopefully future generations of rock fans,will look back and delve a little deeper and discover this awesome and largely ignored series of amazing heavy rock albums!
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