Johnny Lokke - Wrecking Ball 2003 Big Riff Records reviewed by: EC
1. Wrecking Ball 2. Human Race 3. In The End 4. Down To London 5. See You Around 6. Lightning And Fire 7. Take The World 8. Fuel 9. Eyes Of The Gods 10. War 11. Burn 12. Sins Of The World
We've heard alot about Rob Halford and Tim Owens of late. I think its time for someone to start talking about Johnny Lokke! This man has one incredible set of pipes, belting out classic metal ala Wade Black, James Rivera, and..well...Rob Halford.
Wrecking Ball is Lokke's second album, and finds him doing vocals as well as all guitars on this release. What an amazing talent from this Kansas metal madman!
This album really comes at you in different angles and directions. These days metal fans seem to think its okay to rip-off "Painkiller" riffs and wail like the Metal God (Primal Fear, Seven Witches, etc), and I'm perfectly fine with that. That is if they can mix the album up with some mid-tempo stuff and melodic hooks and passages. Johnny Lokke does this, and indeed does it well.
Sure there is Priest barn-burners on here, like "Lightning And Fire", "War", and the impressive title track "Wrecking Ball". However this record has other great elements to go along with it, such as the Warrior like "Eyes Of The Gods", the bluesy number "Down To London", and the Winter's Bane bite of "In The End".
"Human Race" has a Metal Gods feel, with an epic solo courtesy of guest guitarist Stefan Leibing, who helps out on "Down To London" as well. Check out the thrashy "Burn" and the memorable songwriting of "See You Around" to see the diversity and overall "stand alone" quality this album possesses. Really great stuff on here folks!
I haven't heard the prior Lokke release, but from what "Wrecking Ball" has to offer I can imagine its nothing short of brilliant. Great American releases like this make me proud of the US metal scene. It seems like America's heartland still has the metal passion (Iced Earth, Catch 22, Conquest, Skullview, Twelfth Gate, etc.). Now if we can just get the label execs to recognize it.
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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