BADD KHARMA is a Greek hard / heavy band that includes some veterans of the Greek scene and some really talented musicians of the new generation. Guitars are handled by Manolis Tsigkos, one of the main composers of Heavy / Power metallers INNERWISH, and Greg Giarelis, a solo artist with roots in blues rock. The band is fronted by the hottest Greek voice, Nikos Syrakos (STEAMROLLER ASSAULT). George Papazoglou (ex-KINGDRAGON) performs on drums, Tasos Ioannidis (ex-PHASE REVERSE) on bass and Dimitris Marinis (AIRGED L’AMH) on keyboards.
Their sound revolves mostly around classic 80’s hard rock and heavy metal bands like WHITESNAKE, DOKKEN, RIOT and even ACCEPT. Greek fans may also relate to local pioneers SPITEFIRE and Tsigos’ band INNERWISH, a few hints to 90’s melodic Power Metal also appear on songs like “Rise or fall”.
The songs are based on the strong vocal melodies of Syrakos and the fine guitar work of Giarelis and Tsigos. I’ve no idea who plays what, what matters is that there’s plenty of catchy riffing and remarkable melodic solos. Oddly they have added some horns sounds to a couple of songs, a choice that honestly didn’t sit well with me, I think the material is too heavy for such a treatment. Although the band is sometimes referred as Hard Rock, their heavier stuff is equally if not even more enjoyable. The combination of galloping riffs, blistering solos and Syrakos’s powerful, raspy vocals is amazing.
Highlights include opener “Never Surrender”, a metallic hard rocker with riffing that reminds of Sykes’s WHITESNAKE days, the metal anthem “Still our man” (a tribute to the late Mark Reale with references to several RIOT song titles), the fast paced Power Metal track “Rise or Fall” which channels some RAINBOW and 90’s RIOT (Mike DiMeo era) influences and “Break Free” which reminded me of PRAYING MANTIS due to its addictive lead guitars. Then we have the dramatic metal ballad “Fools Parade”, a driving melodic hard rocker in “Burning Heart” and “Lost in her Eyes” which is one of my favorite tracks on the album, melodic Hard / Heavy to die for. Sykes-type riffing kicks in again with “Still Unbroken” and the acoustic ballad “L.E.A.” closes the album with an amazing performance by Syrakos.
There are two bonus tracks on the Japanese version of the album, “Living Inside a Dream” and “I Walk Alone”. The first one is a killer AOR / Hard Rock song that should get included in the album’s standard edition; the second is a decent bluesy hard rock track in the vein of old WHITESNAKE but quite melodic too.
25 to 30 years after RAW SILK, TRADEMARK, DOUGLAS etc, the Greek scene puts out great quality melodic Hard Rock with bands and projects like HIDEAWAY, ODYSSEY DESPERADO, WILD ROSE, DANGER ANGEL etc. BADD KHARMA cements this tradition with “On Fire”; it’s definitely a labour of love and a must buy for fans of 80’s-90’s Hard / Heavy music and I hope that the band will continue making great music together in the future.
Check the discussion about the album on our forum pages.
The band’s first single “Never Surrender” was airplayed on our radio show: