Atsushi Yokozeki Project – Raid [1993]

atsushi-yokozeki-project-raid-1993When I’ve bought this disk from the internet I don’t know what to expect, but on the first listening I’m getting totally surprised not only from the quality of the songs and the awesome production but also from the all-star line up featured that literally I dropped to the floor so hard that took me time to come back to reality.

“Raid” is another shining diamond from the past released in April 1993, effort by Japanese virtuoso guitarist Atsushi Yokozeki (Minoru Niihara, Lance Of Thrill, Bronx, Madam Rey Band, Ziggy) and with the participation of so many big names from the Hard Rock scene aimed at some universal commercial recognition.

Yokozeki and his session of star musicians including Carmine Appice (Vanilla Fudge, King Kobra, Blue Murder, Ted Nugent, Thin Lizzy, Mothers Army, etc.), Frankie Banali (Kuni, W.A.S.P., Quiet Riot, Dokken, Masi, Gary Hoey Band, etc.), James Kottak (Scorpions, Dio, Montrose, Warrant, MSG, Kingdome Come,, Sweat, The Cult, etc.), Bobby Blotzer (Ratt, Don Dokken, Contraband, The Angel City

Outlaws, etc.), Ken Mary (Chastain, Kip Winger, House of Lords, Fifth Angel, Accept, Bonfire, Bad Moon Rising, Impellittery, etc.) on drums, Tim Bogert (Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Blue Thunder, etc.), Rudy Sarzo (Blue Oyster Cult, Crash Kelly, Dio, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, M.A.R.S., etc.), Jeff Pilson (Foreigner, Lynch Pilson, Dokken, MSG, Dio, Wild Horses, etc.), Chuck Wright (Kuni, House of

Lords, Quiet Riot, Impellittery, Doro, Giuffria, Eyes, etc.) and Greg chaisson (Badlands, Britton, Legs Diamond, Steeler, Blindside Blues Band, etc.) on bass, Brad Gillis (Night Ranger, Ozzy Osbourne, Rubicon, Stereo, etc.), Jake E. Lee (Badlands, Enuff Z’Nuff, Rough Cutt, Ratt, House Of Lords, Dio, Wicked Alliance, etc.) and Graig Goldy (Budgie, Dio, Hydrogyn, Rough Cutt, Giuffria, etc.) on guitars, deliver us an incredible brilliant hard rock project with an AOR touch sometimes, catchy choruses,

fabulous guitar solos, worthly production and well written commercial hard rock tracks. The tracklist consisted of ten tracks, five of them instrumentals and five with vocals where we can here the voices of Jeff Pilson, Kelly Hansen (Foreigner, Hurricane, Unryly Child, Ramos, etc.), David Glen Eisley (Stream, Giuffria, Dirty White Boy, Angel, etc.), Cherie Currie (The Runaways) and Ray Gillen (Sun Red Sun, Black Sabbath, Badlands, Blue Murder, etc.).

“Tears of Sphinx” opens the record, an insrtumental track with hard riffs, and catchy melody expose us the technical abilities of Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice (for once more) and give you the feeling that at any time will enter the vocal. A song that easily could be a hit. The best moment of the album and personal favorite comes with “More Than Enough”, an emotional crawling tempo ballad with an outstanding

keyboard riff intro, a brilliant guitar work from Atsushi and the absolutely awesome and goldy voice of Kelly Hansen. A fantasting and pure AOR jem with an amazing refrain, shoot straight to the heart of any hard rock/AOR fan. A MUST LISTENER!!!. “Straight To Your Heart” features David Glenn Eisley on lead vocals. A fantastic classic 80’s uptempo song with strong guitars, catchy chorus, amazing front and

backing vocals with nice keyboard passes. A straight forward hard rockin’ song that will stuck in your head for a long time. Next vocal track is “All The Way To Heaven” an incredible melodic rock ballad with Jeff Pilson on lead vocals a notch less catchy track than the two mega-hits that precede it. In the same emotional hard rock vein we hear “A Little Bit More” with great singing by Cherie Currie. An energetic and uptempo melodic sexy-rocker song with great guitar solo and riffs, pompus keys and harmony vocals, reminds me the style of songs of Chrissy Steele or Vixen, but Currie is just a notch more restrained than them. The final vocal track is “Heartbreak” features legend Ray Gillen on lead vocals exhibiting his phenomenal voice to the hard rockers’ delight. A killer song with massive guitar riffs, catchy refrain, crunchy guitar solos and strong lyrics that every melodic rock fan should love. The rest four tracks that close the album are instrumentals where in “Camel” Yokozeki along with bassists Chainsson and drummer Blotzer cause destruction with their abilities while in “Silence, Storm and Sunrise” we have a brilliant mix of keys and guitars with a touchy playing full of emotions. In the last two instrumental tracks “Mama Again” and “Raid” there lots of space for the several other stars show us their talent throughout the work.

Yokozeki and the dozen of guests helping him out to gave us a brilliant hard rock project making you proud for loving hard rock music with great guitarsound, outstanding keys, brilliant vocals and wonderful production from Joey Carbone. A release that certainly you should keep an eye on this album for a now or near future purchase.

Musicians By Tracks
1. Tears of Sphinx
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Carmine Appice – Drums
Tim Bogert – Bass

2. More Than Enough
Kelly Hansen – Vocals
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Frankie Banali – Drums
Rudy Sarzo – Bass

3. Straight From the Heart
David Glenn Eisley – Vocals
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
James Kottak – Drums
Jeff Pilson – Bass

4. Camel
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Brad Gillis – Solo Guitar
Bobby Blotzer – Drums
Gregg Chainsson – Bass

5. All The Way To Heaven
Jeff Pilson – Vocals
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Bobby Blotzer – Drums
Greg Chainsson – Bass

6. Silence, Storm And Sunrise
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Ken Mary – Drums
Chuck Wright – Bass

7. A Little Bit MOre
Cherie Currie – Vocals
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
James Kottak – Drums
Jeff Pilson – Bass

8. Heartbreak
Ray Gillen – Vocals
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Ken Mary – Drums
Chuck Wright – Bass

9. Mama Again
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Jake E. Lee – Solo Guitar
Frankie Banali – Drums
Rudy Sarzo – Bass

10. Raid
Atsushi Yokozeki – Guitar
Graig Goldy – Solo Guitar
Carmine Appice – Drums
Tim Bogert – Bass

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