Carmine Appice Project – Ultimate Guitar Zeus

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Reviewed: August 2006
Released: 2006, Escapi Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Carmine Appice is a legendary drummer that needs no further introduction. The last time he was featured on was when he released the TRAVERS/APPICE album. Just as the title says, Mr. Appice has invited a number of well-known guitarists to perform, including Ted Nugent, Brian May, Slash Vivian Campbell, Mick Mars, Neal Schon, Steve Morse, and Yngwie Malmsteen. The most unexpected guests must be John McEnroe and, believe it or not, the movie star (?) Steven Seagal.

This is a compilation album with all three Guitar Zeus albums (which are really hard to get) piled up into one. If you thought that this should be an orgie in guitar playing, you’re wrong. The music is well arranged and the guitarplay is only there to spice up the music. Kelly Keeling sings most of the songs but on the ones he doesn’t sing we find Doug Pinnick (King’s X), Edgar Winter and Mr. Appice himself behind the mic.

Musically, Guitar Zeus is a journey in heavy 70’s hardrock but you can also sense some funky 60’s influences and it seems like Mr. Appice gathered inspiration from a lot of places. All of the 14 songs are written by Mr.Appice and Mr. Keeling except for “Stash” and “Where You Belong”, which are written by the two together along with Tony Franklin.

Even if the album is quite long with its 75 minutes, it doesn’t feel like it because there’s so much activity in the music all the time. The only tracks that don’t make it in my book are “Stash” with John McEnroe and “GZ Blues” with Steven Seagal. And why on earth does Mr. Appice have to do “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy” one more time? The songs that DO make it are the brilliant “Days Are Night” with Ted Nugent, “4 Miles High” with Steve Morse, “This Time Around” with Yngwie Malmsteen and Doug Pinnick on vocals, “Killin Time” with Ty Tabor and “Out Of Mind” with Neal Schon. All of these songs are 70’s hardrock with a heavy groove. Two other great tracks are “Nobody Knew” with Brian May and “Gonna Rain” with Richie Sambora and the latter song has a bit of the 60’s rock in it.

Besides the two boring songs I already mentioned, this album is really great with three incredibly competent musicians and a kick-ass singer.


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Track Listing:
Days Are Night
Nobody Knew
Where You Belong
4 Miles High
Gonna Rain
This Time Around
Killin Time
Doing Fine
Under The Moon And un
Code 19
Out Of Mind
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy
GZ Blues

Carmine Appice – drums, b-vox

Kelly Keeling – rhyhtm guitar, lead vocals, keyboards, b-vox

Tony Franklin – bass