Marc Storace (vocals)

Fernando von Arb (lead guitar)

Dominique Favez (guitar)

Tony Castell (bass)

Patrick Aeby (drums)

KROKUS: "Rock The Block"                  WARNER MUSIC
review by dalia "gryphon_spirit" di giacomo____          


This is a great event for all Rockers: Rock fans , Rock lovers, Rock freaks  of the World United: here is the good news! The Swiss Rock Giants  Krokus are back! Well, even the stones here know that i am not the person who listens to Rock, and, generally spoken, Rock doesn't match my tastes. But when the music is good, when the production is perfect like in this case, and above all when  the technical capacities are indisputably at the top of the situation, what else can i do? :i curtsey to a so  great work, and so much  history inside.  Krokus have contributed to write the story of Rock : from 1976 till 1995 they have rocked hard  like few others in the world. They are not only one of the most successfull rockband, if not the most successful one, in Switzerland, but they ARE one of the most successful rock bands ever. We can only say that they sold more than 10 millions of records, in the beginning of the 90's, they were awarded, in Europe and in the USA,  Gold and Platinum Records, played with van Halen, AC/DC, Nazareth, Metallica, Kiss, Rush. In 2000, the American collection album "The Ultimate Collection" was released, and finally in the end of 2001 singer Marc Storace proposed to mastermind Fernando von Arb a reunion. The two artists with new energies  rejoin the forces and here voilą the "new" Krokus of the new century. Welcome back! It's cool to know that the best projects  too (sometimes) return!
For me personally, this "Rock the Block" is really a very good record, and the thing i notice is that this music makes you good-mooded, much more than certain Power bands can do. The atmosphere is that one of the 80's, powered by all the technical and instrumental progress of the 2000, it's a 80's music you can listen today, without saying , "oh gosh, so it was played at those times!" and this is a good thing, above all for the new generations that too often show a lack of  culture of Rock . The guitars are crunchy and varied, the drums are always agreeable to be heard, every passage is exact, and even if there are no particular revelations, we can find all the techniques , the rhythms , the riffs and the melodies that a Rock heart needs. From rocky heavy mid tempos ( like Night of the Snakes) to more melodic and ballade like tracks (We'll rise) we can find all rock peculiarities which will let you remind the golden era of AC/DC with melodic innesti style Def Leppard, but in Krokus style. The guitar solos are well performed and the vocals , a little bit screaming, are nice and energetic enough. We rock the block is a classic hammer which you MUST dance, hehehehe, extremely enthralling,  rather speed and catchy, it's the perfect conclusion for this album.  Catchy are  Freedom and  the opener Mad World too, which offers a riot of guitar sounds in perfect 80's- american style. Looking to America is not that anthem to the USA like the title could let suggest, it showcases   a pulsing proceeding, though the refrain is, in my opinion, not that original and persuading; on the contrary, Looking to America offers very interesting  lyrics which enter social questions, so i would like to report here just a piece of them 

"everyone is looking to america

where the birds of freedom spread their wings  up high

everyone is looking to america

reachin out to heaven for a sign

you know this whole wide world

is going through a big chance

for better or for worse?

the question still remains

unemployment shooting high


politicians hands are full

it never was too easy to rule...."


Very expressive are the guitars in Raise your Hands which has something of Van Halen and AC/DC, but here too the refrain is not as powerful as , on the contrary, the guitar riffing is in all the rest of this song. Very  heavy for a rock song is Night of the Snakes , with a killing mid-tempo, powered by bass tones and a lot of lead guitar virtuosities: it is always interesting, in spite of the rather repetitive structure. I cannot stand the "easygoing" Throwing her China, but fortunately in We''ll rise i find a beautiful  song: it is  ballade- oriented ,  melodic , with intense heavy guitar moments, which reach the borderline of Metal,  a good screaming , deep feeling and an intense lead . Another track that the Gotthard fans MUST not miss.

But Open Fire is for me the best tracks among all these cool tracks, so it speaks for itself, an heavy highly rhythmed riffing is launching a melodic refrain in more european style: this song can be appreciated, if not adored, by all Gotthard, Def Leppard and Van Halen fans.

The booklet is nice and with all lyrics reported.

"Rock the Block " is a must to have for : 1) the  Rock fans (enjoy!) 2) the  Metallers (better if Power-True  oriented who want to know more about the origins of their beloved music and want to dive for a moment in the unique atmosphere of a fascinating time 3) all those who appreciate the great events of the Rock. 
suggestions - the songs i prefer are OPEN FIRE - I want it all - We' ll rise - Night of the Snakes - we rock the Block 

we'll rise we'll rise 

we'll shine in the night

we'll rise we'll shine

from the ashes of eternity


rating - 9/10

dalia di giacomo  24/01/2003


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