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Exxplorer - A Recipe For Power (Reissue) Award winner

A Recipe For Power (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 07 December 2012, 4:09 PM

Maybe this time I will start from the finish line than from the beginning, only for a little at least. Though I know EXXPLORER due to their debut classic release of “Symphonies Of Steel” and their latest comeback album ”Vengeance Rides An Angry Horse”, This here album, their second from 1994, is a release that I regret not knowing about ahead of time. As a major fan of US Metal, especially its old school Power Metal outputs of the 80s and early 90s, right before the fall to Grunge / Alternative Metal that took North American by storm, my hunger for the good stuff was fulfilled. There you have it, I provided a little of the finish and dashed straightforward to the beginning. “A Recipe For Power” came right before the decline of Heavy Metal and it surely presented a fighting state of mind. I have to thank Pure Steel Records for reissuing this album, a truly amazing Heavy / Power Metal, with a few Hard Rock elements, catchy and interesting deliverance and a wonderful listening experience of a great band, even though I didn’t much like their newest comeback offering.

From the first three tracks, I wasn’t too sure that I was listening to EXXPLORER as I always found them to be a bit rougher, speedier, closer to the heavier Power Metal outputs like METAL CHURCH, VICIOUS RUMORS and even to very early MELIAH RAGE. However, it seemed to me that EXXPLORER wished to diversify their music, even if it was virtually for just a little. The album begins with two Hard Rock / Heavy Metal outputs in the vein of early SAVATAGE, JUDAS PRIEST with some scent of old MALICE.

“Rockin’ Bound” was more than the usual catchy opener while displaying an amazing dual guitar lines filled with attractive rhythms and melodic harmonies. “Life's Seduction” is the album’s sole, touchy ballad that left me with my mouth wide open with incredulity. Such exciting elegance, and this is only the second song of the tracklist and it drove me to deep wonderings. The vocal line of the longstanding Lenny Rizzo sounded spectacular displaying a vocal pattern that reminded me of a fuse between Paul Stanley (KISS) and Jeff Scott Soto (ex-AXEL RUDI PELL, ex-YNGWIE MALMSTEEN, ex-TALISMAN), such an impressive full voice with a few AOR type hints in a heavier band is an extraordinary mix. The coming of “One”, the cover track for the late songwriter Hary Nilsson showed me a few signs of the band’s heavier nature of the past album. I don’t know the original song, and if there was an original recorded version, mashed me with a great sing along chorus that is an absolute classic and the riffing, simply outstanding.

After those three tracks, things changed in the album’s course. EXXPLORER had gathered more speed, a bit more guts, chunky riffing, and NWOBHM type melodies and definitive harmonies. Creative tracks like “Bible Black”, “Rock The Nation” and “Beg, Borrow And Steel”, reminded me of great Speed Metal tracks finding themselves grinding earlier IRON MAIDEN instrumentations. These moments of the album made me even more impressed. Of course no technical stuff here but fans of NWOBHM would party on this stuff. There is a tight drum and bass examples around enticed by tremendous riffing, even if some of it might sound familiar and a little bit dynamic vocals out of Lenny Rizzo. Nearly everything on this part of the album is explosive, especially with that amazing late 80s production that won’t seem to tire even for one minute.

Pure Steel Records, again, made a fine service to the Metal world to assist folks to remember the both the band’s and Metal’s better days. I more than recommend to head on and order a copy, go get yourself a bit of Metal history.

4 Star Rating

1. Rockin' Bound
2. Life's Seduction
3. One (Hary Nilsson cover)
4. Bible Black
5. Smelling the Roses
6. Rock The Nation
7. Beg, Borrow and Steel
8. Just a Dream
9. Ride the Storm
“A Recipe For Power” Lineup:

Lenny Rizzo– Vocals
Edward LaVolpe– Guitars / Keyboards
Kevin Kennedy– Guitars
Jimmy “G.” Gardner– Bass
Mike Moyer- Drums

Current Lineup:

Lenny Rizzo– Vocals
Kevin Kennedy– Guitars
Fred Gorhau– Guitars
Jay McCaffrey– Bass
Mike Sakowski- Drums
Record Label: Pure Steel Records


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