December 01, 2018

Badlands - Badlands (1989)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Hard Rock
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© 1989 Atlantic/Titanium Records
AllMusic Review by Eduardo Rivadavia
Life after Ozzy is no easy task -- just ask the many guitarists (Brad Gillis, Jake E.Lee, Zakk Wylde) who played with the metal legend after the tragic death of original six-string genius Randy Rhoads. Could it be that there's a post-Randy curse? If so, Lee's Badlands project may just take the cake as the most turbulent and ill-fated of the bunch. Yet it was also possibly the best and most original of them all. With New York-bred singer Ray Gillen (fresh off a touring stint with Ozzy's old pals Black Sabbath) serving as the guitarist's perfect songwriting foil, Badlands' self-titled debut featured a refreshingly stripped-down blues metal sound, which cut against the grain of the polished pop metal then in vogue. Exploding with Lee's impressive chops and Gillen's powerful Robert Plant-like screams, opener "High Wire" sets the energetic tone, and leads the way to other outstanding melodic rockers like "Dreams in the Dark" and "Winter's Call" -- both of which received generous MTV rotation. Save for his distinctive soloing style, little here harks back to Lee's work with Ozzy and the band's intensity rarely falters as they storm through "Dancing on the Edge," get the blues out on "Rumblin' Train," then reach for Zeppelin-esque grandeur on "Seasons." In retrospect, the album's enduring relevance places it not alongside glam metal groups like Mötley Crüe or Ratt, but in the better company of other retro-minded hard rock bands such as the Black Crowes and Burning Tree which preceded the Seattle invasion. [Badland's first album was remastered and reissued in a limited run by Koch Records in 2001.]

tags: badlands, badlands album, 1989, flac,

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