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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Rods: Ronnie James Dio´s Last Recording; "The Code"

The mighty Rods return with their first record in twenty-five years. Over the decades the New York-based trio have become the stuff of legends. Rabid fans have been clamoring for a new opus and "Vengeance" delivers. Not only does it seriously rock, but it includes one of the last tracks recorded with the great Ronnie James Dio. Guitarist / vocalist David Rock Feinstein of ‘70s group Elf (featuring Ronnie Dio) founded the group with drummer Carl Canedy and after a couple rotating players, settled in with bassist/vocalist Garry Bordonaro. Feinstein, cousin to the late

Ronnie James Dio, told us last year that he and The Rods would return to their former glory with a "Vengeance". Indeed they do, as this disc sounds HUGE with the drums, guitars and vocals charging from the speakers’ intent to do serious damage to the ears. The disc attacks with the crushing riff of “Raise Some Hell.” Rock’s guitar tone is thick and dangerous as his menacing growl barks a convincing anthem. Bordonaro bass is subtle, yet effective while Canedy’s drums bounce from left in right in a barrage of pounding rhythms.

Splitting vocal duties between Feinstein and Bordonaro has always giving the band its metal color. “I Just Wanna Rock” sees the first duet between the two as they swap verse lines allowing gruff and melodic to mix into a headbanger’s delight. The guitar solo is mind blowing with a shred facture that’s off the charts. It’s only appropriate The Rods keep to the theme of bikes, babes and rock. Titles like “Livin’ Outside The Law,” “Let It Rip” and “Fight Fire With Fire” all build into the epic presentation of a group that doesn’t compromise when it comes to what works at ear-bleeding volume. Feinstein’s guitar dips into Hendrix territory on “Ride Free or Die” as he belts out the classic tribute, “like Jimi said, ‘Let your freak flag fly.” Drums and bass work together to create the chugging gallop that sends “Rebels Highway” down an asphalt river of three-chord mayhem while “Running Wild” is pure old school Rods.
A lot of attention will be directed to the Canedy penned track, “The Code” featuring vocals by Ronnie James Dio. The Heaven and Hell singer stopped into the Rods’ studio several years back to lend a hand and polish off the ambitious tale in basically two takes. Dio adds just the right amount of mystic story telling to the five-minute legend that combines Canedy’s fascination with the books "The Da Vinci Code", "The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail". Fans will not be disappointed hearing one more treasured gem from the heroic singer. “Madman” may be Canedy’s most adventurous credit as he delves into the minds of serial killers. Treated with Alice Cooper-like zeal it’s a drummer’s delight and, if we’re not mistaken, is Canedy’s first time on a ragged vocal front. As in the past, songwriting is shared between Canedy and Feinstein, bringing out the best of The Rods collaboration. That comes into clear focus on the record’s title track “Vengeance” boasting all the snarl and bite of a caged demon. With old wounds healed, the power trio breathe new life into a genre long over due for another day in the spotlight. Check out an interview with Rods' drummer Carl Canedy by clicking here.

Find samples from the entire album on this location.

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