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Title - The Rods - Metal Will Never Die [4CD Box-Set]
Artist - The Rods

For those not in the know, The Rods formed in 1980, in Cortland, New York by David “Rock” Feinstein (guitar & vocals), Steven Starmer (bass & vocals) and Carl Canedy (drums & vocals).

Indeed, Feinstein had originally come to the musical arena with his more famous cousin Ronnie James Dio in the rock band ELF.

Their first album was originally released independently as Rock Hard in 1980 and the following year the band was signed by Arista Records, who reordered the album tracks and released it simply titled The Rods.

Their second album Wild Dogs followed in 1982 and was re-released in 2004 and their third album, released 1983, was entitled In the Raw.

In 1984 Canedy and Bordonaro played on Jack Starr’s album Out of the Darkness with Rhett Forrester of Riot and Gary Driscoll of Rainbow and then in 1984 the Rods released their fourth studio album Let Them Eat Metal and also recorded the album The Rods Live.

Their album Heavier Than Thou was originally released in 1986 and an album was also released the same year, entitled Hollywood under the name Canedy, Feinstein, Bordonaro & Caudle (all of the band members). Rick Caudle handled lead vocals on that album, with Feinstein only playing guitar, but following poor sales of their final two albums the group split up.

Canedy is also a producer of heavy metal bands, and his credits include Anthrax’s Armed and Dangerous and Spreading the Disease, Exciter’s Violence & Force, Overkill’s Feel the Fire, Possessed’s Beyond the Gates and Roxx Gang’s Love ’Em and Leave ’Em.

In 2008 the Rods announced that they were reuniting with the line-up of Feinstein, Bordonaro and Canedy, and in August 2008 they played at the Metal Rock Fest in Lillehammer, Norway.

The album Vengeance was released in 2011 to positive reviews and subsequently The Brotherhood of Metal was released in 2019.

CD 1 – Live in El Paso, TX, 1981 & 1982
El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, 27th August 1981
1. Angels Never Run
2. Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll
3. Crank It Up
4. Drum Solo
5. Power Lover

El Paso County Coliseum, El Paso, Texas, 3rd September 1982
6. Rockin’ And Rollin’ Again
7. Waiting For Tomorrow
8. Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll
9. Guitar Solo
10. Too Hot To Stop
11. Drum Solo
12. Power Lover

As aforementioned, The Rods’ debut album, Rock Hard, was released in 1980, retitled simply The Rods the following year, it was swiftly followed by the Full Throttle EP, material from these releases making up the bulk of CD One which was recorded across two concerts in 1981 and 1982 in HM stronghold, El Paso, Texas.

Opening on the MC’d rumor that El Paso rocks, first up is the feisty Angels Never Run and the KISS-esque Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll and they are backed seamlessly by the flighty Crank It Up, the generically-mandated Drum Solo and then a rambunctious Power Lover.

The second set opens on the foot-tapping rock of Rockin’ And Rollin’ Again and the AOR of Waiting For Tomorrow and follows those up with another vibrant Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll, and then a boisterous Too Hot To Stop is sandwiched in-between a searing Guitar Solo and another mandated Drum Solo, the first disc closing on another Power Lover.

CD 2 – Live in Portsmouth, 1982
Guildhall, Portsmouth, UK, 8th March 1982
1. Rockin’ And Rollin’ Again
2. Waiting For Tomorrow
3. Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll
4. Nothing Going On In The City
5. Too Hot To Stop
6. Crank It Up
7. Guitar Solo
8. Getting Higher
9. Rabid Thunder (Drum Solo)
10. Power Lover

Finding champions in the rock and metal press, especially UK’s Kerrang! magazine, they released the ‘Wild Dogs’ LP in 1982, their rising popularity making them the perfect opening act for Iron Maiden on their Beast On The Road UK tour, which is captured here on CD Two.

This time - and with the recording itself a lot less scratchy, a little muted perhaps) - they open with the rock fun of Rockin’ And Rollin’ Again and the booming metal of Waiting For Tomorrow and follow those up with another Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll, the guitar jam of Nothing Going On In The City, and then the gritty Too Hot To Stop.

Next up is another feisty Crank It Up and the obligatory Guitar Solo which is itself backed by a totally rocking Getting Higher, the disc rounding out on the Rabid Thunder (Drum Solo), closing on another Power Lover.

CD 3 – Live at Headbangers, 2008
Headbangers 2009 – Schierenhöh 13, Brande-Hörnerkirchen, Germany, 25.7.09
1. Make Me Believer / Raise Some Hell
2. Hurricane
3. Devils Child
4. Let Them Eat Metal
5. Born To Rock
6. Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll
7. Burned By Love
8. Too Hot To Stop
9. Rabid Thunder (Drum Solo)
10. Violation
11. Waiting For Tomorrow
12. Hot City
13. Cold Sweat And Blood
14. Wild Dogs
15. Nothing Going On In The City
16. Crank It Up
17. Power Lover
18. The Night Lives To Rock

Reunited in 2008 with the Feinstein and Canedy joined by Gary Bordonaro on bass, they became a firm festival favorite, especially in Europe as was captured at the Headbangers Festival in Germany in 2009 which features on CD Three.

This third disc - which sounds a lot crispier audio wise - opens on the power blend of both Make Me Believer / Raise Some Hell and backs those up with the vivacious storytelling of Hurricane, the foot-pounder Devils Child (complete with a screeching guitar solo) and then comes the head bounce vibes of Let Them Eat Metal, the flightier, Iron Maiden-esque Born To Rock, a interestingly re-envisioned blues-guitar funk rock version of Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll and then both a vibrant metal pairing of Burned By Love and Too Hot To Stop.

Next up is their obligatory Rabid Thunder (Drum Solo) which is itself backed nicely by the blues guitar work found within Violation, and then comes more head-banging within both Waiting For Tomorrow and Hot City, before the melodic rock of Cold Sweat And Blood in unleashed, and is followed by the fist-clencher Wild Dogs, the free-flowing rock of Nothing Going On In The City, the disc rounding out on more versions of both Crank It Up and Power Lover, this time the show closing on another KISS-imbibed track, The Night Lives To Rock.

CD 4 – Live at Cortland, 2010
Cortland, New York, 2010
1. Raise Some Hell
2. I Just Wanna Rock
3. Hurricane
4. Devils Child
5. Let Them Eat Metal
6. Born To Rock
7. Evil In Me
8. Burned By Love
9. Ride Free Or Die
10. Ace In The Hole
11. Drum Solo
12. Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll
13. Metal Will Never Die

Comeback album Vengeance was released in 2011 to positive reviews, featuring tracks that had been previously previewed at a performance in their hometown of Cortland, New York in 2010, which is featured here on CD Four.

On the best of the bunch audio wise, this 2010 set opens on the AOR pairing of both Raise Some Hell and I Just Wanna Rock and backs those up with another throaty Hurricane and Devils Child, and then we get the foot-thumper Let Them Eat Metal, the mighty Born To Rock and the grinding Evil In Me.

Next up is the free-wheeling rock-metal outing Burned By Love and the guitar frenzy, albeit drum-led rock found within Ride Free Or Die, the melodically mid-tempo Ace In The Hole, another Drum Solo, this fourth disc rounding out on the funky bass lines (and band introductions) of Get Ready To Rock ‘N’ Roll, coming to an overall close on the pulsating, and box-set title track, Metal Will Never Die.

Cherry Red Records Small Print: While every effort has been made to produce the best possible audio, limitations in the material drawn from various, non-standard, and unofficial sources means that the quality may not be up to the standard usually expected. All tracks have been included for their historical importance.

Official 4CD Purchase Link