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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 20 May 2014
Loved the album and have played it constantly since its release. the opener deceived is a classic foot tapper headbanger of a riff,shout it out has a catchy hook to it, feeder has a cool bass groove to open the song another classic,fall from the sky is more melodic, wasted is a classic jake e lee tune,slave play it loud in the car whilst driving,war machine would not be out of place on an Ozzy album,redeem me is a melodic song with a good groove and a feel good vibe, exquisite tenderness ends the album with a piano introduction and a nice mellow feel to it.Really looking forward to the live show in early june should be a really good evening with a setlist comprising of some Ozzy tunes, Badlands tunes plus a few from this album if you're going enjoy!!
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on 12 April 2014
I am a big fan of Ozzy Osbourne's band, and discovered Red Dragon Cartel as Jake E Lee (who played for Ozzy in the 1980s) re-emerged publicly into the music scene.
It's nice and heavy, as you would expect with Jake in lead guitar, and I find it a nice fresh sound, with a surprisingly tender final track.
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on 16 December 2014
Not a lot more to say about this album what hasn't been said already. Great rock album by one of the most underrated guitarists out there. Great to have Jake E back again and a vocalist who is fit to match his sublime skills. This album is well worth a purchase if you liked Lee's work with Ozzy and Badlands but with a modern edge. Great stuff!
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on 28 January 2014
I'm a huge Jake E Lee fan.Unlike many Ozzy Osbourne fans(& Ozzy & Sharon themselves),I thought Jake did a fabulous job following the late great Randy Rhoads.Jake & Randy are totally different style of guitarists & Ozzy knew this when he selected Jake.Randy Rhoads in my opinion REMAINS the greatest hard rock/heavy metal guitarist ever.No,Jake wasn't as good as Randy.No-one is ,that includes you Zakk/EVH/VAI/Yngwie & Slash.But that's just my opinion. All that said,again I'm in the minority,I preferred Jake's stuff in Badlands who were very underrated.Imagine a cross between Free & a bluesy Van Halen,with the amazing Ray Gillen R.I.P. on vocals.Alas it wasn't to be;changes in musical tastes/record company problems/grunge/and band in-fighting cost Badlands dearly,& they never achieved anything like they should have!Aside from the forgettable Re-Traced solo album & the odd guest appearance,RDC is Jake's first proper album since Badlands 'Dusk'. Red Dragon Cartel starts with fabulous up tempo rocker 'Decieved' which is similar to 'Bark at the Moon/Rock n Roll Rebel'.DJ Smith is RDC'S lead singer (but there are 'guest singers' on 4 tracks).Smith himself sounds like a mixture of Alice Cooper/Perry Farell/Jizzy Pearl & on 'War Machine', Ozzy Osbourne.'Shout it Out' too is quite good on further spins ,as is 'Feeder' sung by Cheap Trick's Robin Zander.Growers definitely.'Wasted'(sung by Paul Di'Anno,if you can call it singing) is dire,although the bluesy solo is good,but doesn't fit the song to these ears,anyway.This solo,is probably as close to Badlands as the album gets.'Big Mouth' too is monotonous pants,with a dull repetitive chorus. Overall,the album has a very heavy, very dark,contemporary sound to it almost,nu-metalish/buzz-saw like/industrialish/N.I.N-like back-beat rhythms,at times.With song titles such as 'Decieved,Wasted, Slave, War Machine & Redeem Me',tell they're own story.A happy,positive album this isn't.Credit to Sass Jordan,for the best vocal performance on the record for 'Reedem Me'.For me,she should've done the whole album! The album isn't helped by the 'executive production & mixing' techniques of Kevin Churko, the same Kevin Churko that 'soundwise' recently hampered Ozzy Osbourne's last album 'Scream'. As for Jake himself,there's some decent playing,but absolutely nothing that top's/equals what went before with Ozzy & Badlands.Some of his solo's sound decidely average for a player of Jake's genius.Don't get me wrong,guitar solo's aren't everything,but Jakes were always sharp & entertaining & had a beginning,middle & an end, & that could enhance album/filler tracks. His recent gigs of December 2013,show he's quite someway from his best,(which is understandable due to lengthy inactivity),but his appearance last year on Eddie Trunks 'That Metal Show' & NAMM 2014 show were not good by his amazing standards, & were really sloppy. If this is the best the rest of RDC & Kevin Churko can inspire Jake to come up with,then,sorry,after the tour Jake should abandon RDC,& RE-CONNECT with former bandmates such as Bob Daisley/Don Airey/Greg Chaisson/Tommy Aldridge/Carmine Appice/Phil Soussan or his old friends Warren De-Martini or Nikki Sixx.These calibre of named musicians will raise the bar & should inspire Jake to write & play nearer his true greatness.This album,unfortunately, really disappoints this Jake E Lee fan.3 stars.Only just!
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on 23 February 2014
Jake's back with his trademark guitar style with a fresh approach on the solos too. Main vocalist is quite good (though nothing amazing). Not really sure about the 'guest appearances'. Sash Jordan does a great job as you'd expect, but I don't know what the hell the producer was thinking by letting them keep the Paul DiAnno vocal, it's absolutely awful. He doesn't sound anything like the way he did back in the Maiden days, in fact he sound almost like a death metal vocalist.
All in all a reasonable album, but there are other 80's artists still out there writing better material.
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on 5 May 2014
I have always been a fan of Jake E Lee although I didn't get into his solo album. This is a great album in which his talents become part of the overall picture. Only 1 track I don't like - Redeem Me as I don't like the Tina Turner style vocals.
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on 12 July 2014
I have loved the guitar work of Jake E Lee ever since he was axe man for Ozzy Osborne and then after with Badlands. He is a great rock guitarist and this band he has put together augments his superb playing perfectly. A guitar legend and a stunning album from his new project Red Dragon Cartel.
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on 26 June 2014
Thank you Planet Rock. I have been listening to rock music, across the board for over 40 years and every now and then, although not so often these days, as I have seen it, heard it and got the tee shirt, a band comes along and releases an album that brings shivers to my spine and reminds me why we love rock so much. I can probably count only a dozen albums that have rocked my world and continue to do so everytime that I listen to them, even though I have played them to death (these are generally the bands first releases)......Red Dragon Cartel is such a album. Is it flawless, NO, is the production tight, NO, do the band hit every note, NO, but what it does, is prove that Rock and Roll, is not a perfect science, it is the pure rawness and the spontaneous association of instruments and vocals, that makes metal heads listen to rock in the first place. Most bands as they progress begin to spend more and more time perfecting the songs and tightening production, this leads to songs becoming over machined and less abrasive. So is the Red Dragon Cartel album any good.....OH YES ......its Brilliant.
Roll on the second album, can they progress and keep the energy that this has....I await with baited breath.
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on 1 February 2014
It has been a long time and Retraced had me slightly worried about Jake (along with the long period of inactivity), however talent is permanent and this album shows it.
He is simply one of the greatest guitarists of our time, from Deceived which sounds like something he wrote for Bark At The Moon to War Machine which is more Ozzy than Ozzy himself he rips through some tremendous riffs and solos which are up there with his best. Some of it is far heavier than I expected and in truth this is nearer his Ozzy period than Badlands but his Badlands stuff stands as a great body of work, it didn't need revising.
Obviously it is hard to get over the fact that not many singers could get near Ray Gillen (RIP) but Paul's track suits his style and I think Darren does a good job.
Overall delighted with the album which sounds modern and fresh, can't wait to see Jake play it live.
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on 17 April 2014
I am a Black Sabbath fan (among other rock legends!), and first heard Red Dragon Cartel on Planet Rock. I instantly recognised the Black Sabbath influence in their music (from Deceived), so bought the album. I haven't been disappointed! War Machine is classic Sabbath, with Shout it Out taking a leaf out of Limp Bizkit's book, and there is a bit of "System of a Down" in Slave. Saying that, the band have put their own twists to the sounds, so while some may claim plagiarism, I think they are just putting their own stamp on the music. This is classic rock/metal music with an up to date theme. Jake Lee's guitar playing is as excellent as ever, and Darren James Smith vocals are great; a little reminiscent of a young Ozzie, but that's not a bad thing!

All in all an excellent album, and Exquisite Tenderness finishes the album perfectly; a lovely piano solo that is haunting.

If you like any of the bands I have mentioned above, then I think you will love this album!
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