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reviews15

Hades | Cut From A Different Cloth | Nice Being Alone | Cassius King

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HADES - Re-United & Re-Ignited DVD

Reviewed by : Mark Gromen
Rating : 7.0
 

This 65 minute concert is subtitled, Live At Dingbatz - April 2010 which basically gives all the particulars one needs to know.  Featuring material from the initial pair of HADES releases (although  Exist To Resist is the title cut off their third disc!), after the  Icelandic volcano canceled their Keep It True gig, this became a warm-up for the Jersey outfit’s appearance at the Bang Your Head festival, in  Germany, three months later. Included as a bonus is a second show, that  being for Non-Fiction, the Alan Tecchio, Dan Lorenzo project that  followed Hades’ demise. A loose, one-take low (no?) budget shoot in a  sweaty Jersey club, with minimal post-production (cuts between camera)  and precious little in way of extras: rehearsal video of ‘The Leaders?’  and ‘Nightstalker’, both with original bassist Jimmy Schulman, who bowed out of the live dates (replaced by NON-FICTION’s Kevin Bolembach), and a sketchy rendition of JUDAS PRIEST’s ’Green Manalishi’ omitted from the  original 15 song Dingbatz segment. No photos, nor interviews.

 Essentially a three camera production (albeit stationary drum cam and  one at the back of the club, capturing full stage width), whoever worked the handheld at the front of the stage/photo pit simply camped in front of Scott LePage (guitar), capable of filming founder/mainman/guitarist  Lorenzo only by zooming in. The flood light washes out some of the  close-up too. Despite the limitations, the sound is clean and Tecchio’s  voice is in great shape. Nine songs in (‘Rebel Without A Brain), Lorenzo dons a baseball cap for the rest of the night. Abby Hoffman (oops,  Tecchio!) is hunched over the mic, lurching in attack mode, back and  forth. Lorenzo kicks off ‘Opinionate’ with e few bars of LED ZEPPELIN.  Buy a copy so LePage can get himself another shirt, as in April, then  July, he’s in the same DRI tee! Hades merch, including this DVD, can be  obtained through DanLorenzo.net.

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CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH REVIEWS
Transcending the Mundane | The Great Nothing | Bergen Record
That’s So Metal | Sleazegrinder | Metal to Infinity | Harder Beat | Detritus
 

Transcending the Mundane

Dan Lorenzo - Cut From a Different Cloth  

Country: USA      Genre: Heavy Metal/NWOBHM
It seems rather pointless to write an introduction for Dan Lorenzo when I've already done so twice this year. Also, you already know how much I love Hades and Non Fiction, and how much I miss vocalist Alan Tecchio. Not only is Dan my favorite rhythm guitarist, but he's one of the most open, honest, and enthusiastic people in metal. With three albums; Cassius King, Nice Being Alone, and Cut from a Different Cloth, all coming out in a little over a year, you can tell Dan's been creative as hell lately. 

Personally, I've enjoyed the first two albums as a whole more, but there are some highlights on Cut from a Different Cloth as well. Among my favorites are the surprising hip hop beats of "Clintonesque," the heavy and sludgy "You're Out," and the old Soundgarden vibe of "Back from Nice." There's another Kiss cover ("Two Timer") and a song that sounds like Kiss ("1974"), which could have been on Kiss' self titled debut from, well, 1974. The seventies are Lorenzo's biggest influence on Cut from a Different Cloth. "You Wanted the Best" is like a seventies tribute. Dan's always had a great sense of humor and you can't help but laugh at the phone joke of "Florentine/ Jamieson Prank." If Dan keeps up this pace, his fourth album should be out before I get this review uploaded. 

Album Score: 8 out of 10
Reviewed by: Brett VanPut

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The Great Nothing

Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King 
Cut From a Different Cloth 
Independent 
www.danlorenzo.net 

Dan Lorenzo is best known for his work as one of the guitarists for under appreciated metal gods, Hades. Lately he’s been churning out solo records left and right and “Cut From a Different Cloth” is his latest. If you are expecting anything anywhere near the Hades sound and will accept nothing less, then please stop reading now. If you are looking for some great hard rock that sounds like the band is actually having a good time, read on brothers and sisters. 
 
“Cut From a Different Cloth” kicks so much ass it’s not even funny. Taking a different approach than most artists (check out Dan’s thoughts on how to approach music at his website), Lorenzo brings a live and raw feeling back to the music world. I can’t tell you how sick I am of hearing million selling bands talk about how they recorded this or that “live” to get an “old school” feel. Then you get the album and it’s as slickly produced and layered as any Radiohead album. Where others fail, Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King excel. 
 
This album rips through song after song that rocks and rolls like Kiss and Aerosmith (both mentioned repeated times) did in their heyday or even bands like Jackyl and Ted Nugent. “Cut From a  Different Cloth” is not afraid to have guitar solos, it’s not afraid to show it’s mistakes, and it’s not afraid to say what it actually means.  I can’t get it out of my CD player. I went North as well…
 
Hell yeah! Go buy this! 
 
 
Key Tracks: Bocca Della Verita, I’ll Go North
 
Reviewed by: Mark Fisher

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The Record

Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King, "Cut From a Different Cloth," (ETR) ***

The prolific North Jersey metal man's third album in little more than a year is a riff-heavy, at times humorous, affair.

Lorenzo, the former Hades and Non-Fiction guitarist, is a master of the down-tuned, heavy yet catchy riff reminiscent of 1970s AC/DC and Black Sabbath. His songwriting skills are best showcased on "1974," "You Wanted the Best" and the jam-like instrumental "PHD in Cleveland."

"Cloth" also benefits from the tight chemistry between Lorenzo, who also sings, bassist Jimmy Schulman and drummer Ron Lipnicki. The trio locks into solid yet loose grooves that give the album a live feel. The fact that most of the songs were done in a couple of takes - there's no time to be a perfectionist when you're recording three albums a year - also lends to the feeling of spontaneity.

Lorenzo's biting sense of humor permeates "I'll Go North," in which the Paramus native goads more talented musicians with fancier equipment who plaster their band stickers on Garden State Parkway tollbooths but never seem to make it from the rehearsal room to the stage.

"Cut From a Different Cloth" is a bit rough around the edges, and it's far from a masterpiece, but Lorenzo doesn't care and neither should you. At least not if you like solid, enjoyable songs that still sound fresh after multiple listens.

- Brian Aberback, Staff Writer

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WOW! This has to be Dan's darkest and heaviest project yet!

 Opening with a "Jerky Boys" type crank call asking for his own release, Dan sets the stage for some metallic fun and bits sarcasm here and there. Guitars and vocals are chunky and thick, reminiscent of KISS circa "Hotter Than Hell", but evident is also some influence from Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society. Bass ranges from straight ahead metal to bluesy beats. There is a blanketing dirty, gritty feel that actually feeds into darker tones, creating grooves that infect your mind. I found myself humming certain hooks even after the cd stopped. Some very quick and technical riffing in the tune "PHD. In Cleveland" shows off Dan's fingering as well as his ability to compose.

Dan's humor comes across in the tune "Betty Last Night", which is catchy, singable and fun. "Ill Go North" is a stab at 'wannabes' everywhere! Musically, I’ve never been disappointed by anything Dan puts out. He isn’t ashamed to be different and cutting edge, and actually revels in it. I say more artists need to have the balls to be themselves in this manner. * Kiss fans MUST check out the version of "Two Timer"... Simmons better watch his ass cause Dan's about to bite it off with this cut!

Don’t be bashful! get your copy today @ www.danlorenzo.net!!

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Sleazegrinder

Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King
Cut from a Different Cloth


Dan Lorenzo’s 17th solo CD in 16 months has a sword/statue cover that practically screams “Forsooth!”, and since I cannot cotton to power metal, I avoided it for weeks, because I know the guy, and nobody wants to tell a buddy that his new record is gay. But, you know, he kept asking me about it. And luckily, the forsoothing ends there, as inside it’s another dose of the brawny/brainy Noo Yawk muscle rock we have come to expect from the dude-who-used-to-be-in-Hades. What earthly delights await you here? Well, opener (after a Jim Florentine prank call) “1974” is a storming slice of Hesher riff-metal, “You’re Out” is snarly, knife fighting biker-chug, “Back from Nice” sounds like a flash metal band circa ’87 beating itself to a bloody pulp*, and “Two Timer” is the obligatory punked-out Kiss cover. 
 
There’s other stuff, too. Some of it’s kinda jokey, but all of it’s loud and resolutely heavy fuckin’ metal, even the bits with flutes. Well, maybe not the flutes, but the rest of it. 
 
*despite actually being about returning from a vacation in Nice, which you’d think would sound a little more sedate. Or at least a little more French. -Sleazegrinder

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 metaltoinfinity

DAN LORENZO & CASSIUS KING - CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH
 
We all know this famous American musician from the great Metal works he delivered since the eighties! Bands he previously played with are Hades (well known from mighty albums as: "Resisting Success", "If At First You Don't Succeed", "Exist To Resist", "The Downside", etc) and Non Fiction, another fantastic outfit we still remember from works like: "Non-Fiction EP", "Preface", "In The Know" and "It's A wonderful Lie". 
 
Dan's one of my all time favourite Metal musicians and to be straight, I didn't know he's still very busy making songs with his new band called Dan Lorenzo & Casius King! Dan is still playing guitar the technical way we used to know which means, this guy can handle a six string after all those years with at least as much talent as ever before. Well, his new band is totally different from his older duties. Musically, a bit in the vein of Non-Fiction but far away from the style of Hades. Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King brings a form of music ranges from old school Hard Rock to Stoner Rock and Doom Metal. Sometimes with a sense of humor, sometimes blood serious. An outstanding mix of several genres played in the best possible way by a gang of fantastic musicians!
 
"Cut From A Different Cloth" is the band's third effort and is heavy loaded to the bone. The voice of Dan is dirty, raw and powerful...absolutely fitting in a band like this, guitars are heavy as hell, drums that beats the shit out ya'll...this is really heavy stuff! I wanna throw a few bands to compare like: early Black Sabbath, BLS, Falcon, Monster Magnet, Firebird,...These guys gives a fuck about all trendy, nowadays forms of music. All the songs are real heavy with the spirit of the good and mighty older days...Rock music the way it should be you know! Almost all music, lyrics, guitar duties and vocals are in hands of Dan himself. 
 
Surrounded by Ron Lipnicki on drums, Jimmy Schulman (ex-Hades) who takes the bass lines for his account and a few guest musicians, everything sounds more than great. Thirteen songs, recorded, engineered and mastered by Mike Koenig at Crystal Studios in January 2005. Most of the tracks having a running time between two and a half and three minutes. Don't care about that, each second gives a good feeling inside and is a truly satisfaction for all you Hard Rock 'n' Rolling music lovers. 
 
If you wanna stick to your old school tradition, check out Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King and you definitely won't regret at all. www.danlorenzo.net  MY POINTS: 89 / 100

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Harder Beat

Dan Lorenzo & Cassius King - Cut From A Different Cloth, www.danlorenzo.net

You know Dan Lorenzo from his time in Hades, Non-Fiction and now Cut From A Different Cloth, the third installment from his solo venture. His solo stuff is a far cry from Hades, as this of the more doom-y, sludgy variety. This is Lorenzo's third album in less than two years. Why so much so fast? It's simple - part of Lorenzo's mission is to show that music is not rocket science and that too many people take it way too seriously. If you just play from the heart, it'll have more staying power than if you were to overthink it. Just lighten up and don't sweat the small shit. Also has a cover of Kiss' "Two Timer." Sorta makes sense that Lorenzo would cover Kiss (Keep It Simple, Stupid. Get it?) It's available for $7 at www.danlorenzo.com. KKKK. (Dale Lammers)

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DAN LORENZO AND CASSIUS KING - CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH (C) Self-Released, 2005
15 Tracks, RT: 37:19
[ http://www.danlorenzo.net ]

New Jersey thrash metal heroes Hades went on an indefinite hiatus following 2001's DAMNATION album, but their guitarist Dan Lorenzo has been a busy beaver of late, recording and self-releasing three solo albums in just over a year's time (!!) while juggling a job as a salesman and columnist for the Jersey entertainment magazine "Steppin' Out." (Talk about multi-tasking! Meanwhile, I can barely watch TV and talk on the phone at the same time... sigh...!) CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH is the first of the three I've heard (the other two, just for the record, are CASSIUS KING and NICE BEING ALONE), and I was warned beforehand not to expect much in the way of Hades-style metal excursions when I popped it into the player. As you might expect of an established musician working outside of his band situation, Dan uses his solo vehicle to spread his creative wings a little and get a few things off his chest in the bargain. CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH definitely lives up to its title, as Dan (backed up by his Hades mates Jimmy Schulman, Ron Lipnicki and Scott LePage on most songs) explores several different sounds and styles that you might not expect from a guy known as a "speed metal" guitar player. The classical/ acoustic piece "Bocca Della Verita" starts things off on a mellow note, while the programmed drums that give "Clintonesque" an industrial feel and the hip-hoppish "I'll Go North" will probably raise the eyebrows of a few Hades fans. What holds the collection together is Dan's sarcastic, opinionated sense of humor, the best example being the funny-as-hell "I'll Go North," which bashes on snobby music store clerks, local musicians who think plastering their stickers on toll booths is "publicity," and bands who claim they've written 35 songs for their new CD and then release a 12-song disc (with only three good songs on it). Fans of the heavier end of the spectrum will dig the more straightforward "1974," the boastful "You Wanted The Best" (which is not to be confused with the Kiss song, even though it does name-drop them along with AC/DC, Cheap Trick, and Aerosmith), the lead-footed "You're Out" and the hard-driving instrumental "PhD. In Cleveland."  Musically, CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH has several highlights, but Lorenzo's hoarse vocals definitely take a few spins to get used to...if you can imagine Monster Magnet's Dave Wyndorf with a sore throat, you might get the idea. Let's just say that it's a good thing Dan had Alan Tecchio to do the singing in Hades.  Dan's singing doesn't totally overshadow the proceedings, but there are a few particularly gravelly moments (mainly in "1974" and the cover of Kiss' "Two Timer," where Dan sounds like a drunk biker at an open mike night) that made me wince on the first pass. At the end of the day, CUT FROM A DIFFERENT CLOTH is a mostly-enjoyable collection that'll give Hades fans something to chew on till their next (possible?) reunion phase. - Keith Abt

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NICE BEING ALONE REVIEWS

Metal Maniacs | The Aquarian | That’s So Metal | Harder Beat | Transcending the Mundane | Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles | Unchain the Underground | Sleazegrinder


 

Metal Maniacs

Dan Lorenzo
Nice Being Alone
www.danlorenzo.net

            Freed from his Hades straight jacket, Jersey rocker Dan Lorenzo is all over the damn place on his second solo record in eight months, Nice Being Alone. Whereas his ax proclivities were funneled into a more directional sub-genre within the confines of Hades (one of the great New Jersey metal bands), here his "maturity" has loosened his constrictions and sent his obvious Kiss worship over the top. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, as Lorenzo, to his credit, keeps things heavy and dumbed-down on purpose because, after all, this isn't brain surgery, is it? Dan just likes to have fun and it sounds like he's having plenty of it on Nice Being Alone. That, and his guitar is still razor-sharp, reeking with excess sweat'n'guts, devoid of flab, straight-to-the-point economical and, ultimately driven with the kind of 70s roots-reverence that only high-minded rockers of his generation have the wisdom and chops to even emulate.

            Sure, the "conversation" on "F-Bombs For Everyone," in an effort to distill a "regular-guy" vibe, only makes one push the forward button to "Naked" on repeated listens, but that's a minor beef. Lorenzo has hardcore and metal vocal chops he didn't even know he had (as long as he doesn't really try to sing), that fits right in with the loose and sloppy kick-out-the-jams-type riffs that sound better the louder you play it.

            Lorenzo wrote, sings, plays bass and plays guitar on almost all 13 tracks, with Ron Lipnicki drumming on most. Overkill's Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth sings on "Too Fast For Hate." You got some flute on two tracks too which means Dan's been grooving to Jethro Tull in his old age.—Mike Greenblatt

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The Aquarian did a writeup on Dan the week of December 22, 2004. Click here to view it in PDF format.

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That's So Metal

Dan Lorenzo - Nice Being Alone
2004
CD

RICH

Dan Lorenzo of the Jersey band Hades takes it upon himself to release another album available through his website.  Dan obviously has no interest in what's going on in music, doesn't follow any of the trends, and doesn't even seem to be influenced by the different sounds heard in Metal today. His choice in guitar sound and song arrangements are heavy, not that long in length, even the track that features Blitz from Overkill on vocals is only like 2 minutes long.   All vocals, guitars and bass were performed by Dan. Some songs like "My Level" will remind you of Hades, guitar tone is rather Sabbathy and dark especially on "Nothing".

As far as music that has a cool hook and chorus it's really not present. Dan seems to write more from an artistic and expressive place.  "Keep it Together" has a cool riff that adds a flow to it better than many of the other tunes.  Something like "F Bombs for Everyone" was a fun song obviously and not taken too seriously when recorded, with some spoken dialogue and the given song title as the chorus.

Judging from the cover picture of Dan's boots on the street and the overall direction of the album, the music comes from just that place, the street, with attitude and what he sees going on around him.  Something a little different and more down to earth than your average sounding Heavy Rock record both in sound and content.

TONI

What a cool CD! I love the rawness that Dan has captured on his latest project, "Nice Being Alone".

 This CD, which is available through Dan's website, www.DanLorenzo.net has a very gritty and stripped down feel, as do his lyrics and production.

Dan mixes sounds of thrash, classic metal, and a dash of  straight ahead rock and roll to keep things moving and hold your ear's attention.

This is total Dan, total guitar and totally rockin'!!

Dan's originals are modern, however, they don’t sound like the run of the mill, cookie-cutter 'metal' bands out there. This is uniqueness at its heaviest and finest!

There's a bit of humor, some tongue-in-cheek chatter from the studio, a pinch of the blues and an awesome cover of Kiss's "Goin Blind"( in my mind it rivals the original note for note!).

 Do yourselves a favor, pick up "Nice Being Alone" and thank Dan for keeping rock and roll alive in this time of over-produced and mass-marketed music.

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Harder Beat

Dan Lorenzo – Nice Being Alone, www.danlorenzo.net

This is the second solo album for former Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo, and you know what? It’s pretty damn cool. The album is full of Lorenzo’s trademark cynical sense of humor and his guitars are surprisingly doom-y as well. Swear to God, at times there are moments on this disc only Trouble and Cathedral can match for sheer heaviness. Like on “Nothing” for instance, Lorenzo’s guitar sound is preposterously heavy. The guy is an enigma. Just when you think you know his motivation, he’ll steamroll you with “Keep It Together” or the hilarious “F Bombs For Everyone.” Nobody can really figure out where the guy is coming from. Come to think of it, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? KKKK

Reviewed by: Dale Lammers

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Transcending the Mundane

Dan Lorenzo - Nice Being Alone  
 
Country: USA
Genre: Heavy Metal/NWOBHM, Stoner/Sludge Metal
Less than a year after his awesome solo debut, Cassius King, Dan Lorenzo (Hades, Non Fiction) quickly returns with another kick ass disc, Nice Being Alone. These two albums represent a very creative time for Dan. A guitarist known for writing killer riffs is proving to be a diverse songwriter and a competent singer as well. On both Cassius King and Nice Being Alone Dan shows his influences; Kiss, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Clutch, etc. 
 
"Bonjour" opens Nice Being Alone with an AC/DC like riff. Next up is the awesome "My Level," perhaps Dan's best solo song yet. The riffs are infectious, creative, and totally Lorenzo style and he gets his personality across vocally. "Too Fast for Hate" features a guest performance from Overkill's Blitz on the repetitive chorus. The doom metal of "Nothing" will especially sound familiar to Non Fiction fans. "Keep it Together" is vintage Dan Lorenzo. This guy writes simplistic riffs but they are fantastic. My co-favorite ("My Level" is the other) is "F Bombs for Everyone." I believe Dan was the one who stated this could be a Kid Rock song and he's absolutely right. It may be a bit modern and groovy but it's a great song. Matt DiFabio from Single Bullet Theory supplies some background aggression on "Naked." Towards the end of Nice Being Alone, Dan shows his old school influences with another Kiss cover ("Going Blind") and the psychedelic "Tall." Plenty of bonuses close the disc, including prank calls and a video mix of Cassius King's "Frozen Planet." 
 
Album Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed by: Brett VanPut

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Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles

DAN LORENZO
Nice Being Alone (www.danlorenzo.net)

Hades axekiller Dan Lorenzo is back with his second solo album, and from the classy graphics right on down, this is a more serious effort than the first one. Serious, and seriously doomy! Which is what Dan has always done best, sludging forth with welts of melting wattage strangely, oddly, when you ironically don't expect it. The guy is Trouble personified, as can be heard on the gloriously brick-weighted 'Nothing', 'Naked' and 'Keep It Together'. Elsewhere, Dan's funky rock 'n' rollsiness comes out, as well as an amusing predilection for spitting his vocals rap-style. The cover of Kiss' 'Goin' Blind’ fits the brooding crunch of this thing perfectly though, Dan heavy-ing and sludging it up like the song deserves. Still, the performances can be a bit loose, the production variable, and the vocals imprecise, so a few marks off for that, even if there's a charm to the guy's oddball collection of all-metal styles.

Review by: Martin Popoff
Rating: 7.5

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Unchain the Underground

Dan Lorenzo - Nice Being Alone (self-released, 2004)

Rating: 9/10

HADES and NON-FICTION founding member, Dan Lorenzo, has stuck a huge finger right up into the face of the music industry with his second solo release, Nice Being Alone.

How is it, you ask?

Great. Heavy. Catchy. At times tongue-in-cheek and funny, at others as dismal as anything Dan has written while heading sludge-gods NF. This is a brave album that touches on many, many genres, from a rocking AC/DC spoof ("Bonjour"), to punk-thrash ("Too Fast For Hate," featuring Bobby Blitz of OVERKILL on vocals), to the down-tuned mayhem of the heavy-as-fuck "Nothing" (which wouldn't sound out of place on CELTIC FROST's To Mega Therion), and it doesn't stop there. "F-Bombs For Everyone" is bickering between Dan and longtime friend and collaborator Johnny Milnes (Mucky Pup) set to a chugging riff that is cut up with one of the most catchy choruses of all time. "Tall" is a steroid-pumped blues. "323ILG" a beautiful melodic interlude dedicated to Dan's father featuring (get this) FLUTE! On a metal album! "Keep It Together" and "My Level" lean towards the NON-FICTION days of yore. There is so much to absorb here, and while with such a diverse collection, you would expect the album to be an unfocused mess, the songs flow from one to the next and the end result is an album that never gets tired or boring, with Dan deftly jumping from genre-to-genre, somehow making everything work despite the myriad of styles. I am sure he will catch hell for some of the stuff on NBA from die-hard HADES and NON-FICTION fans, but that is what's so great about the album... it is adventurous and inspired. Where most bands attempting to put together such an eclectic collection might fall flat on their faces, Dan succeeds with flying colors, which is true testament to his strength as a writer. I am already looking forward to the next release which, considering his track record so far (Dan released his last solo album, Cassius King, less than 8 months ago) might be here before Christmas which, by the way, Dan Zig hates. - Al Kikuras

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Sleazegrinder

Dan Lorenzo, former axeman for 80’s Jersey thrashers Hades (ask your older brother, he’ll tell ya), returns with another dose of his signature one-man-band snarl n’ roll. Well, one man plus a drummer (Rob Lipnicki, most of the time), and a few heavy friends here and there, including Overkill screecher Bobby Ellsworth, who sings lead on the punky “Too Fast For Hate” (which doesn’t rip off the Crue, but does nab a few lines from Queen, and may or may not just be a CBGB’s hardcore matinee versh of Blitz’s own “Hello From the Gutter”), and like, dudes from Single Bullet Theory and the Amish Outlaws. Mostly, tho, it’s Mr Dan and his denim-thrashing guitar and his demonic belch, and a dozen or so new, witty, flash metal tunes. Best of the bunch, no doubt, is the throbbing “Keep it Together”, which sounds like 27th century Japanese cock rock, and borrows long-lost Floridian cyber-glam punks The Kill’s best riff ever to achieve the effect. I mean, probably not on purpose, but mebbe you’ll recognize it. Either way, it rocks like crazy. Then there’s “Naked”, a doomy power metal track about internet porn that sounds like a panicky Judas Priest, the howling faux-nu-jack metal of “F-Bombs For Everyone”, which is pretty much what happens to anyone who has lived in the shadows of New York City for too long, and a brilliantly sinister versh of early Kiss nugget “Goin’ Blind”, to name a few. Tagged on at the end are the “Not so Hidden” tracks, which include an ‘alternate’ take on “F-Bombs”, where Dan-o pretty much channels his inner Comic Book Guy, and a prank phone call or two. Oh, and the prog-Sabbath riff orgy “Frozen Planet” is the “video mix”, which must mean there’s a video somewhere.

Some of this stuff is strictly for Lorenzo’s own obscure amusement, mind you (unless yr a hardcore Dan Lorenzo-phile), but there’s just as much method as madness here, so if yer up for some smart, funny heavy metal (I know, who knew, right?) then Dan is still the man. - Sleazegrinder

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CASSIUS KING REVIEWS

Live 4 Metal | The Record | Harder Beat | Transcending the Mundane
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles | Sleazegrinder

Live 4 Metal


Dan Lorenzo - Cassius King (Self Released) Review by Sue

The bands Hades and Non-Fiction may not be household names everywhere, but here in the Northeastern U.S. they’re the stuff of legend. At the core of both bands is guitarist Dan Lorenzo and vocalist Alan Tecchio (also known for singing on the great Watchtower album, Control and Resistance). Basically, Hades was a popular speed/power metal band in the late ‘80s, its benchmark albums Resisting Success and If At First You Don’t Succeed selling quite well at the time and allowing the band to do a couple of stints in Europe. The group dissolved in 1989 and the members went their separate ways. Upon Tecchio’s return from his short time in Texas with Watchtower, he and Dan formed Non-Fiction, a heavy grunge-meets-metal band that released two fine albums and were one of the #1 bands in the New York metro club circuit. But that group eventually disbanded as well, leaving a void that was again filled by Hades, who went on to release several more albums including SaviorSelf and DamNation. Hades is currently on indefinite hiatus, but riffmaster general Lorenzo is not one to sit around.
Originally intended to be a project band, the Cassius King album ended up being a solo effort for Lorenzo, as he played all guitar parts, some bass, handled the vocals and wrote all of the songs (except two covers, Aerosmith’s “Round and Round” and the KISS classic “Hotter Than Hell”). Former Mucky Pup drummer Johnny Milnes and Hades pounder Ron Lipnicki handled the drumming, while Hades bassist Jimmy Shulman surfaced to play on several songs as well.
Offering a plate full of musical diversity, the album begins with “Kiss Off,” which features Dan playing a KISS riff and ranting that he deserves to rip off the riff because he was in the KISS Army, bought every album, and “they owe me!” This sets the tone of Dan’s attitude, which is part Sopranos, part Howard Stern and all diehard rock ‘n’ roller. The album gets serious fast though with “Frozen Planet,” a Clutch-inspired stoner dirge that shows Lorenzo entering heavy territory we haven’t really heard him do before. And while the lyrics of “Dan Zig Hates X-Mas” are decidedly sarcastic, again the song has a cool and heavy vibe. The important thing to note here is that this album contains humor but is not a novelty record. “B.S.” offers up the funniest moment, where local AC/DC tribute band singer Tom Mulligan does a Bon Scott impression so convincing, that people actually fell for Dan’s internet hoax (he released a statement saying that he had obtained lost Bon Scott tapes and manipulated them to fit his song). It’s pretty hysterical! Political commentary ensues on “4 More Years/U.S.A.”, and Lorenzo also airs some personal stuff via “Childish.” For me the best song has to be “Target Fixation,” featuring an excellent vocal performance by none other than Dan’s long, long-time compadre, Alan Tecchio. “Cassius King” and “Big Country” enter rap and country realms, respectively – but that’s what a solo album is about, to explore ideas that you could never get away with in your full-time band.
Overall, there is never a dull moment on this record. Lorenzo’s riff-crafting is as fine as ever, his vocals are competent, and his enthusiasm is infectious. The album is great fun and definitely a change of pace. It even closes with bonus tracks by bands that Dan is friends with. Now that’s a DIY vibe! To order this independent release, check out www.danlorenzo.net

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The Record

Dan Lorenzo, "Cassius King" (ETR) ***

On his solo debut, former Hades and Non-Fiction guitarist Dan Lorenzo combines elements of his past and adds a previously unheard sense of humor. The Paramus native also takes on lead vocal duties for the first time, proving a capable frontman.

Lorenzo's knack for writing chunky, memorable hard rock and metal riffs shines on "Frozen Planet" and the title track, both midtempo sludge fests that could easily pass for Non-Fiction. "Target Fixation" and "4 More Years/USA" are scathing indictments of American social ills seen from Lorenzo's conservative viewpoint, a lyrical approach used often in Hades.

In fact, "Target Fixation" reunites all but one of that five-member outfit, with Alan Tecchio handling vocals, Jimmy Schulman on bass, and Ron Lipnicki on drums.

But "Cassius King" isn't as dark and as cynical as Hades and Non-Fiction. On several tracks Lorenzo's got his tongue planted firmly in cheek.

Album-opener "Kiss Off" is a humorous nod to KISS, Lorenzo's boyhood idols. "Dan Zig Hates X-Mas" parodies the brooding, ever-so-solemn Glen Danzig, and "Big Country" is a cringe-inducing stab at country that we can only hope wasn't intended to be serious.

Lorenzo even shares the love, including a pair of bonus tracks from local bands - "Never Hide" from melodic rockers Years of Static and "What's Done Is Done" by the heavier Lowbuz, both worth checking out.

- Brian Aberback
Staff Writer

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Harder Beat

Dan Lorenzo – Cassius King, www.danlorenzo.net

Dan Lorenzo’s a free thinker.  Sick to death of dealing with labels and what was expected of his previous band, Hades, he surrounded himself with like-minded people and explored his creative freedoms. Cassius King is an album where Lorenzo does what he likes, when he likes, period. Thus, many genres are represented here as well. For instance, we are presented with the doomy, stoner-esque title track, a remake of Kiss’ “Hotter the Hell,” Aerosmith’s “Round and Round,” and the hilarious AC/DC-isms of “BS.” (“Dan Zig Hates X-Mas” deserves honorable mention too.) But you know what? Lorenzo’s got a knack for infectious riffs too. As a whole, the album conveys it’s intended message to the listener Get over yourself, get a friggin’ sense of humour and dig up some cool music. Here’s a good place to start. Get it at www.danlorenzo.net.

Rating: KKKK

Review by Dale Lammers

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Transcending the Mundane

Dan Lorenzo - Cassius King

Genre: Heavy Metal/NWOBHM, Stoner/Sludge Metal

My favorite guitarist is Dan Lorenzo. Dan began his career in the mid eighties with Hades. Two popular technical thrash albums (Resisting Success and If At First You Don't Succeed) followed. Hades split and Dan and vocalist Alan Tecchio formed Non Fiction and they proceeded to release three amazing records (Savior Self, The Downside, and Damnation) on Metal Blade. Unfortunately Hades has again been laid to rest.

Luckily, Dan brings us this solo debut and many of his ex-bandmates help out. Dan performs all the guitars, most vocals and bass, but Hades guys Jimmy Schulman (bass), Alan Tecchio (vocals), and Ron Lipnicki (drums) help out, as does drummer John Milnes. Cassius King is raw, energetic and honest. It appears that Dan wanted to write and record, not waste time. The result is refreshing. "Frozen Planet" is hypnotic, "Cassius King" is more in line with stoner rock, "This Thing of Ours" rocks like old Aerosmith and seventies rock. Those familar with Non Fiction and recent Hades should not be surprised by Cassius King's direction. With Alan's soaring vocals only appearing on "Target Fixation", Dan's raw, almost hypnotic style is more in the realm of bands like Clutch and Monster Magnet. By the way, "Target Fixation" is killer - Dan's my favorite guitarist, but Alan is also my favorite singer. It breaks my heart seeing Hades end. Alan does not get the press or the respect he deserves as he is every bit as good as Geoff Tate and Rob Halford. Dan makes his poltical views clear on "4 More Years/ U.S.A." which should dispel some backlash he received for Damnation. Elsewhere, Dan plays tribute to Danzig (or should I say John Christ) on "Dan Zig Hates X-mas," and there are covers of Aerosmith's "Round and Round" and Kiss' "Hotter Than Hell."

Album Score: 9 out of 10
Reviewed by: Brett VanPut

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Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles

DAN LORENZO
Cassius King (www.danlorenzo.net)

Non-Fiction/Hades guitarist Dan Lorenzo is one of metal’s well-known wiseacres (remember the Bon Scott hoax), and now’s he’s got his own album (with help from an army of headbanged friends), which opens with a hilarious track called ‘Kiss Off’ which features Dan telling a buddy that Kiss OWES him after all the money he’s spent on them, and how he’s gonna play their riffs whether they like it or not. Anyway, he does offer a beefy version of ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and an even beefier round of ‘Round And Round’ by Aerosmith. Elsewhere, the originals also go to this same philosophical zone, Dan being a guitarist who likes his guitars (er, I guess most do), Lorenzo turning them up to Trouble-doomed levels, wrapping  nay, smothering - these slow, thick riffs in enough electricity to down The Nuge in hunting season. The album smokes upon a black-broken lope, even if Dan’s singing voice occasionally wanders off-key (excepting the accuracy though, it’s actually a really good voice). If I was to try sum this up, I would say what you’ve got here is a surprisingly Sabbatherian slab with huge grooves and tinges of self-deprecating humour  actually it’s a bit like top flight stoner rock, top flight ‘cos Dan doesn’t come from that discipline and thus doesn’t play by the rules.

Highlight: ‘Frozen Planet (No Cursing)’ that pummels upon a riff made of magma. Post-script look for three hidden bonus tracks, complete with Dan rattling off full credits for ‘em all.

Rating: 7.5

Review by Martin Popoff

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Review of Dan’s new album, Cassius King, from:

Sleazegrinder

Dan Lorenzo, founder of proto-speed metal Jersey devils Hades, eschews the speed-thrills blister of yore for a solo album fulla bag-of-hammers stoner-goth crunch rock. Mr. Dan plays just about everything possible on this ‘un, but it neatly side-steps one-man-banditis ‘cuz, well, ‘cuz it’s so fuckin’ loud. “Cassius King” (Ha! Get it?) is rife with COC/Black Label Society-styled biker punch-outs (I mentioned he’s from Jersey, right?) fueled by riffs that sound like hairy man-beasts riding the backs of giant insects and lotsa tongue-in-cheek lyrics that only sound that way if ya listen real close (you know, just like Dirty Power), spit out like a fireball-eyed headbanger preacherman anointing the faithful at a sweaty metalfest. The kickin’-est of tracks on display have gotta be the awesomely named “Dan Zig Hates Xmas” (“The winter time is killin’ me”), which actually borrows a riff from the first Danzig album and rides it into all sortsa sleazy sides o’ town (and dig that bitchin’ acid rocking solo), the stoner-doom slugfest of “Frozen Planet”, which, naturally, sounds like Sabbath trapped under ice, and the bitchin’ cock n’ roll flash “Hotter Than Hell”, which has gotta be the best KISS cover I’ve heard since White Zombie did “God of Thunder”- and that was a long time ago, daddy-o. Oh yeah, and there’s a kinda-mocking, kinda-not country track on here too (“Big Country”), and a buncha un-named tracks at the end, one of which is a creepy-cool acoustic thang. I tell ya man, the first time I heard Hades was in, like, 1982, and I really thought this was gonna sound like that. Ya know, dated. Silly fuckin’ me. Lorenzo brings the Rock on this one, man. The bullet-belt wearing speedheads in Germany or wherever will probably weep all over their Hades chest tattoos when they hear the flashy mayhem Lorenzo has wrought here, but that’s their problem. Fans of slinky, blood guzzling motormetal, on the other hand, will most likely freak freely with “Cassius King”.

Click here for ordering info.

All contents © 2003 & beyond, Dan Lorenzo.