PSYCHO MOTEL Reissues Sanctuary (2006)
During the wilderness of the 90s, former Iron Maiden guitarist and songwriter Adrian Smith recorded these two albums, before hooking up with Bruce Dickinson, with both then rejoining Maiden.
State Of Mind (Sanctuary CMRCD1151), dating from 1996, is a heavy affair that crosses many platforms. Killing Time nods at Maiden, while the title track nods at Zeppelin. Then there's the odd post grunge nuclear blast and ballad too. Bolstered by vocalist Soli, bassist Gary Leideman and drummer Mike Sturgis, it was well received at the time.
Nice packaging, including lyrics, but the set is oddly 2 tracks shorter than the original Japanese release; some dismay there. ***½
The following year's Welcome To The World (Sanctuary CMRCD1150) continues in a similar vein, the kind of masterpiece you'd expect a much younger band to put out. And out of Maiden, playing and writing as the only guitarist, Smith has to work hard. It shows, and it's worth it. Bolstered by 2 bonus tracks too. ***½
Review by Joe Geesin