Ronny Munroe - 'Electric Wake'
Ronny Munroe - vocals
Paul Kleff (ex Firewolfe) - guitars
David Donigian - bass
Sean Baker - guitars
Tony Rossi - drums
***please note outside of Ronny and Paul the band member's instruments may be wrong.***
***additional musicians are George Lynch on track 2 and Pamela Moore & Dave Rude on track 10***
1.) "Burning Time" -The intro to this track opens with the special effects of what sounds like an antique metronome clicking back and forth. After you hear the clicking of the metronome five times the rhythm guitar kicks-in. The rhythm guitar riff had a very simple heavy sound to it. After the riff is repeated six times, there are four cymbal crashes to kick-in the band. This cymbal crashes were choked. (Meaning the drummer used his other hand and held the cymbal while he hit it.) At this point there was a rhythm guitar change. Over the top of this there was a vocal accent. It sounded as if Ronny was saying right. There was a second rhythm guitar that kicks-in for the musical verse. Both guitarists are playing the same rhythm arrangement. In the middle of the arrangement leading into the opening lyric lines there was this cool little lead riff that was played both guitarist. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus. To connect the musical pre-chorus with the chorus there was a very simple tom-tom fill. The way the tom-tom fill was played made it easier to go from the hi-hat to the ride cymbal. Every time Ronny sings burning time there was a small echo attached to his vocals. For the pre-choruses and choruses there is a bass drum pattern change. For this bass drum pattern change the drum line switches from single bass to double bass. After the second chorus there is a repeat of the four choked cymbal crashes like the intro section. These choked cymbal crashes lead to a musical arrangement change. This arrangement change was actually the breakdown section of the song. This musical breakdown leads to the lead guitar solo. This song had a blistering lead guitar solo. One could say that halfway through the lead guitar solo that the second guitarist picks up were the first one left off. If this is the case it would be the smoothest transition I have ever heard. However, I am betting that it is only one guitarist that plays the entire solo section. For the chorus after the lead guitar solo section the second time Ronny sings the word burning he added just a little stutter to his vocals. Jim Morrison of The Doors use to do this.
2.) "Ghosts" (featuring George Lynch) - There is a small studio effect that opens this intro arrangement. The intro consisted of a double-bass drum pattern. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The double-bass drum pattern along with the rhythm guitar riffs of the intro and musical verse was reminiscent of slowed down Metallica during their 'Master of Puppets' years. Over the top of the opening musical verse there was a vocal accent. The way Ronny changes notes of the vocal accent really shows not only his vocal ability however also his vocal control. During the musical verse there is a switch from the hi-hat to the ride cymbal on the drum line. There was a drum fill connecting the musical verse with the musical chorus. The chorus had a very simple sweet hook attached to it. After the second chorus there was a George Lynch lead guitar solo. There was a vocal accent over the top of the first few notes of the lead guitar solo. If one did not know they would swear this was not George Lynch on lead guitar. This is due to the fact it does not sound like George at all. At the end of the solo there was a huge vocal scream. After the third chorus there was a minor lead guitar solo section. This solo sounded just a little more like George.
3.) "Electric Wake" - This track opens with the sound of feedback you get from the cord off of an electric guitar as it is being plugged in. As this effect progresses there is a copy of the same effect that begins. The musical intro kicks-in with a tom-tom fill that leads to a double-bass drum line. Over the top of the drum line there was a very simple rhythm guitar arrangement and bass line. Ronny sings a huge vocal accent over the top of the main musical intro. This vocal accent was so reminiscent to the late great Ronny James Dio that it gave me chills! There was a short rhythm guitar riff connecting the rhythm arrangement change from the musical intro to the musical verse. The musical verse consisted of several tom-tom fills. The band used the same rhythm guitar arrangement or the musical chorus as the one for the musical verse. Ronny carries out the vocal notes the lyric "wake" of the third chorus. The lead guitar solo after the third chorus was very short. In fact, instead of a major solo section it was more of a minor one. After the solo there was a breakdown section. Underneath several of the lyrics there were lead guitar solo notes.
4.) "Turn To Stone" -This intro consisted of eight rhythm guitar riffs and bass line notes that contained a musical rest in between each one. Because of the musical rests the double-bass drum line became the main instrumentation. Over the top of the double-bass drum pattern of the drum line there are several cymbal crashes. This type of double-bass drum pattern is one of the first a drummer learns when they begin to play double-bass drums, or it was for me anyway. There is a rhythm guitar change for the musical verse. There are a couple vocal accents over the top of the musical arrangement of the verse leading into the first lyric line. Much like earlier these vocals accents are reminiscent to the late great Ronny James Dio. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical chorus. The lyric lines of the choruses were double-tracked. After the second chorus there was a twin lead guitar solo. After the twin lead guitar solo there was a very short breakdown section. Not only does the vocal accents however, some of the vocal notes in general have a Ronny James Dio sound to them.
5.) "My Shadow" - This intro opens with the lyric "my shadow" followed by an echo. The musical intro opens with a single rhythm guitar after the single rhythm guitar riff a second rhythm guitar kicks in. Ronny says "all right" to connect the musical intro with the musical verse. For the riff right before the lyrics kick-in the bass line follow the same notes as the rhythm guitar. The guitar arrangement does not change until the lyrics kick-in. Ronny's vocals have a huge Dio sound to them for the musical chorus. After the third chorus there was a lead guitar solo section. Some of the notes for the lead guitar solo had s blistering sound to them.
6.) "Not You Not Me" - The intro to this track consisted of several lead guitar notes over the top of tom-tom fills and cymbal crashes. Underneath the lead guitar notes there is a fill-in riff. The lead guitar notes were either played by both guitarists or double-tracked. There is a very short musical rest connecting the musical intro with the musical verse. The rhythm guitar riffs of the musical verse had a very simple feel to them. Over the top of the opening musical verse there are two vocal accents. There was a rhythm guitar change for the musical pre-chorus. Ronny kept the choruses very simple. The lead guitar solo section was very short. In many it was it was more of a minor lead guitar solo than a major lead guitar solo.
7.) "Pray" - This was the only ballad on the CD. Myself I thought it was an amazing song.
8.) "Ritual Damage" - This track opens with a clean electric guitar riff. The main body of the intro consisted of a heavy double bass drum pattern. In between the clean riff and double bass drum pattern there is a second rhythm guitar arrangement. This guitar arrangement is different than the one that opens the intro. There are two vocal accents connecting the intro with the musical verse. The double bass drum pattern gives the musical pre-verse a very heavy feel. There is a rhythm arrangement change connecting the pre-verse with the musical verse. In many ways the vocals of the verse are very reminiscent to a lot of the songs Queensrÿche has written over the years. At times the drum line's hi-hat pattern switches from a standard hi-hat pattern to an opening and closing hi-hat pattern. After the second chorus there was a short yet blistering lead guitar solo.
9.) "Sleepless Mountain" - This track opens with the effects of the wind blowing. The musical intro consisted of a very catchy rhythm guitar riff. There were two vocal accents connecting the intro with the musical verse. Up until Ronny begins sings the song had a classic eighties heavy metal sound. There was a rhythm arrangement change for the musical verse. The choruses had a classic Ronny James Dio feel to them. After the second chorus there was a lead guitar solo. The lead guitar solo ran underneath the first few lyrics of the third verse.
10.) "The Others" (featuring Pamela Moore & Dave Rude of Tesla) - As much as I loved this song musically. Lyrically it is a little corny.
11.) "United" - This song was just utterly amazing!!!!!
The first time I ever heard the name Ronny Monroe was on the 2007 Lillian Axe release titled, 'Waters Rising'. Ronny replace lead vocalist Ron Taylor after Steve Blaze re-united the band in early 1999. As a longtime Lillian Axe fan I remember reviewing that release and thinking HOLY SH*T what a voice!! Where did Steve find this guy!! After recording 'Waters Rising' Ronny left Lillian Axe and joined the Heavy Metal band Metal Church. Since then he has been pulling double duty between Metal Church and his solo act.
'Electric Wake' is the third full-length solo CD Ronny has released. This CD features one track with George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob) on guitar as well as one track with Dave Rude (Tesla) and Pamela Moore (soloist, also sings the part of Sister Mary on Queensrÿche's - 'Operation Mindcrime I' & 'Operation Mindcrime II'). Believe it or not, for me, the latter of the two titled, "The Others" is probably the worst song on the release. Scratch that, it is not that this was a bad song it is just lyrically too simple. Sometimes in songwriting the old saying of "keep it simple stupid" is too simple. Many of the songs were very reminiscent to early Metal Church. Which, I did not necessarily find a bad thing. I thought 'Electric Wake' was a decent release that is well-worth checking out.