VIVA – What The Hell Is Going On! [Axe Killer Remaster] Out Of Print
Few weeks ago we featured here the two remastered albums by Paganini, the band formed by singer Marco Paganini after leaving German hard rockers VIVA around the mid-Eighties. So a new request raised for the 2 most renowned VIVA albums in remastered form.
French label Axe Killer Records was a pioneer of hard rock-related remastered reissues with access to original master tapes, something like Rock Candy Records is doing nowadays. So here it is their remaster of VIVA’s “What The Hell Is Going On!“
Mostly known for being the band founded in the late Seventies by keyboardist Barbara Schenker – the sister of Michael and Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions fame – VIVA, together with Accept and Trance, is considered one of the first ‘real metal’ bands in Germany.
Now listening to “What The Hell Is Going On!” in perpective (it was recorded in 1981), it should be considered as ‘classic rock’ or traditional hard rock.
I still recall that I used to play the (hard to find import LP era!) vinyl version of “What The Hell Is Going On!” many many times – in turn with SAMSON’s “Before The Storm”, DEF LEPPARD’s “Pyromania” and TYGERS OF PAN TANG’s “Spellbound” – back in those days.
VIVA was a five-piece band from Hannover, Germany and mainly got their media attention because the fact of Barbara Schenker relationship with the famous guitarists.
“What The Hell Is Going On!” is classy, pretty straight forward European Hard Rock / Metal with the typical sound from the early ’80s.
You know, effectively used twin guitar rhythm guitar attack with emotional guitar leads in the classsic Schenker fashion, moody keyboards and a rough, yet melodic voice, courtesy of the Swiss Marc Paganini (who replaced original vocalist Frank Algermissen).
“What The Hell Is Going On!” features a nicely balanced mixture of heavier tunes like ‘Little Rock Tonight’ ‘Break Out’ or the title track, as well as a great ballad in ‘Screaming For Your Love’, and to me always was the more ‘rocking’ VIVA album (even though their follow up “Dealers Of The Night” became way more successful).
They got the talent, the right label to push them (CBS) and the looks to make it pretty big, but unfortunately the usual line-up changes killed the band on the long run.
“What The Hell Is Going On!” needed a proper remaster, and this Axe Killer Records does the trick in spades. This is the kind of old fashioned remastering job avoiding brickwall / saturation replicating the original LP warm with a modern day clean up / dynamic range.
So, if you’d like to go on a nostalgic journey, pick up “What The Hell Is Going On!” and experience the magic of timeless Hard ‘n’ Heavy music.
By the way, it was the first time for this album available on CD, now unfortunately out of print.
01 – The Bitch
02 – Little Rock Tonight
03 – What Next
04 – Break Out
05 – What The Hell Is Going On
06 – Give It To Me
07 – Screaming For Your Love
08 – White Snow
Marco Paganini – Vocals
Barbara Schenker – Keyboards, Synthesizer, Spinet
Andy (Waldo) Kawaldt – Bass
Andy Fach – Guitars
Ralph Murthy – Guitars
Martin Pietschak – Drums