Red Dragon Cartel, ‘Red Dragon Cartel’ – January 2014 Release of the Month
Jake E. Lee is back!!! The onetime Ozzy Osbourne guitarist has been largely out of the spotlight since the mid-'90s, but he's back and the fans have responded by voting his new band Red Dragon Cartel's self-titled debut as the Noisecreep January 2014 Release of the Month!
Red Dragon Cartel bested the 'Metallica: Through the Never' DVD/Blu-Ray release, Iced Earth's 'Plagues of Babylon,' Neck Deep's 'Wishful Thinking' and a late write-in vote campaign by The Kennedy Veil for 'Trinity of Falsehood.'
Joining Lee on his new journey are frontman Darren James Smith, drummer Jonas Fairley and bassist Ronnie Mancuso, with Mancuso co-producing the disc with Lee under the pseudonym R. Bernard Mann. Further adding to the excellence was the decision to bring in noted metal production guru Kevin Churko to mix and master the effort.
The album also features a number of special guests, with Cheap Trick's Robin Zander turning up on the single 'Feeder,' former Iron Maiden leader Paul Di'Anno lending his vocal chops to 'Wasted,' Sass Jordan delivering a powerhouse vibe to 'Redeem Me' and In This Moment's Maria Brink bringing attitude and lyrical assistance to 'Big Mouth.' Kill Devil Hill's Rex Brown and Slash's "Conspirators" Brent Fitz and Todd Kearns also turn up in instrumental roles. Other album standouts that surfaced during the band's recent mini-tour include 'Deceived, 'War Machine' and 'Shout It Out.'
Lee recently told GuitarInternational.com that the creation of the song 'Feeder' was a turning point in making the album, as he felt that Zander had the perfect voice for the song. Luckily, there were some connections made and the vocalist was interested. The guitarist says, "I sat down, I listened, and heard Robin Zander and it was a surreal moment with a song I’d just written. It made me feel alive. It was the most alive I’ve probably felt in 20 years."
He adds, "I don’t think I had missed doing it until that moment when I was listening to that track. I just said, 'Yes, yes, count me in. Let’s do this s---. I’m ready to go.'"