APPICE – Sinister (2017)
On stores tomorrow October 27, “Sinister” is the debut from APPICE the first ever studio collaboration between drummer brothers Appice. Carmine is of course best known for his work with Vanilla Fudge, Jeff Beck and King Kobra. Vinny is the younger whipper snapper who has worked most recently with rock heavyweights Last In Line but is perhaps best known for his time with Dio and Heaven and Hell.
Veterans of many a drum clinic, together they represent one helluva legacy in the drum department of rock.
“Sinister” gives them the chance to flex their respective drum muscles and whilst the drums are well up in the mix who cares when they are played (and recorded) this well? And the guys only over-indulge themselves for one track – the instrumental ‘Drum Wars’ – which will no doubt be the set piece of their live act.
Carmine is heard in one audio channel, Vinny in the other.
Opening with the frenetic title track, this is heavy rock par excellence and aided and abetted by erstwhile journeymen guitarist Craig Goldy (Dio, Giuffria) and Tony Franklin (bass, Blue Murder).
‘Monsters And Heroes’ is their tribute to Ronnie James and features Paul Shortino on vocals whilst ‘Killing Floor’ (with Chas West on vocals doing his best Coverdale impression) thunders out of your speakers taking the bass bins with it.
While the cover of Blue Murder’s ‘Riot’ proves what an underrated trio Carmine, Tony Franklin (who apparently doesn’t play on this new version) and John Sykes truly were, ex-MSG / Grand Prix frontman Robin McAuley doing this tremendous song proud behind the mic. There’s even a Tony Martin / Black Sabbath mash up reflecting Vinny’s tenure on that particular drum stool.
Other highlights include ‘In The Nite’ (featuring Bumblefoot) and ‘War Cry’ featuring Whitesnake’s Joel Hoekstra.
The album closer ‘Sabbath Mash’ alludes to Vinny’s time with Ronnie James Dio prior to the singer’s band being formed. The track is a fun filled romp through Dio and Ozzy era Sabbath cuts that the younger Appice will have performed countless times with the band itself. With clever arrangements and a clear affections for the songs being honoured, it’s a great way to close a really good disc.
This is a great debut and you can’t help thinking … bring on a live gig, given the twin legacy that is almost an A-Z of heavy rock. Nicely packaged, too, with digipak poster or double gatefold vinyl/CD.
A belated album, maybe, but well worth the wait.
02. Monsters And Heroes
03. Killing Floor
05. Drum Wars
08. In The Night
09. Future Past
10. You Got Me Running
11. Bros In Drums
12. War Cry
13. Sabbath Mash
Carmine Appice (drums, vocals)
Vinny Appice (drums)
Jim Crean (vocals)
Paul Shortino (vocals) (ROUGH CUTT, ex-QUIET RIOT)
Robin McAuley (vocals) (MSG)
Chas West (vocals) (ex-LYNCH MOB)
Scotty Bruce (vocals)
Craig Goldy (guitar) (ex-DIO, ex-GIUFFRIA)
Bumblefoot (guitar) (ex-GUNS N’ ROSES)
Joel Hoekstra (guitar) (WHITESNAKE)
Mike Sweda (guitar) (BULLETBOYS)
Erik Turner (guitar) (WARRANT)
David Michael Phillips (guitar) (KING KOBRA)
Tony Franklin (bass) (ex-BLUE MURDER, ex-THE FIRM)
Phil Soussan (bass) (ex-OZZY OSBOURNE)
Johnny Rod (bass) (KING KOBRA, ex-W.A.S.P.)
Jorgen Carlson (bass) (GOV’T MULE)