Carmine and Vinny Appice – Drum Wars Live! (2014)

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You know the Appice brothers, even if you don’t know the Appice brothers — and the fun Drum Wars Live! underscores that via a tracklisting stuffed with familiar songs from their careers in rock.

Carmine Appice made important contributions with Vanilla Fudge and Rod Stewart (receiving a co-writing credit on 1978’s smash “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?,” featured here) before a stint drumming with Ozzy Osbourne. That began a lengthy family association with Black Sabbath. Younger brother Vinny Appice also appeared on three Ronnie James Dio-era Sabbath albums, more than dozen of Dio’s solo albums, as with the Black Sabbath offshoot band Heaven and Hell.

In keeping, Drum Wars Live! (issued via Deadline Music and Rocker Records) includes amped up concert takes on “Crazy Train” from Ozzy Osbourne’s 1980 debut Blizzard of Ozz; the title track from 1981’s Mob Rules by Black Sabbath; the title song from Ozzy’s 1983 album Bark at the Moon; “Stand Up and Shout,” the opening tune from 1983’s Holy Diver by Dio; and “We Rock,” the opening track from Dio’s 1984 record The Last in Line — all recorded live last summer at the Iridium in New York City.

Best of all might be their raucous run through Dio’s ageless “Holy Diver,” with its foundation-crumbling cadence. More familiar tracks like this one are coupled with explosive solo spotlights for Carmine and then Vinny, as well as an impish take on the theme from The Flintstones.

Carmine Appice attacks from the right, while Vinny Appice sets up on the left for Drum Wars Live!, creating a gloriously thunderous racket. They are joined on stage by guitarist Ethan Brosh, bassist James Caputo and vocalist Jim Crean.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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