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Jim Gillette (US) - (1987) Proud to Be Loud - 7.5/10

Artist: Jim Gillette (US)
Release: Proud to Be Loud (1987)
Rating: 7.5/10

Here we have early Jim Gillette material before he went on to form Nitro with Michael Angelo Batio. Is it good? Yes, Proud to be Loud is good! This is coming from someone who mostly enjoys more extreme forms of heavy metal. Jim Gillette and Michael Angelo Batio are the most talented members on this album. The bassist and drummer on here are good, but there’s really nothing noteworthy about them. The drummer performs some basic 80’s heavy metal beats. He knows how to keep time and he’s good. That’s all I got to say about the drumming. Sadly, you can barely hear the bass on this album. It was poorly mixed with the other tracks.

Gillette has phenomenal vocal range and he can pull off some really high notes. He does his signature long screams, that’s something he would become famous for as time went by. Batio’s performance is totally excellent, since he plays extremely fast and he performs some amazing guitar solos on most of the songs.

The two best songs off this album are When The Clock Strikes 12 and Head On. Gillette’s vocal delivery is splendid on these songs. He hits those high notes that he’s known for, especially on Head On. Michael Angelo Batio’s riffs are executed really well on these and he does some really cool guitar solos on these songs. They are easily the most catchy songs on this album. When The Clock Strikes 12 also features some cheesy synthesized organ, but it’s cool and I like it a lot. It goes well with the song.

Angel in White is the slowest song, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. It has a great synthesizer sound in there and there’s some solid riffs in there. This has So where are those screams that Gillette is known for? Gillette does an amazing 10 second scream on the title track. I’m quite amazed that he’s All he also does another one of this screams in Never Say Never. Basically he does a lot of his screaming and high notes on the other songs as well.

Loads of amazing guitar shredding on this album. Of course, Batio is known for his shredding all over the world and he’s one of the fastest guitar players in the world as well. Batio really goes wild on Flash of Lightning, Red Hot Rocket Ride and Show Down. Batio really showcases his guitar abilities on the song Nitro (Guitar Solo). I like how Nitro (Guitar Solo) starts off with Gillette’s vocals and then Batio shreds for over a minute. Of course, he plays his guitar fast and shreds like no tomorrow. He is one of the most talented guitarists out there.

I happen to have the version that has bonus tracks. The bonus tracks on this album are garbage. There’s nothing noteworthy about them at all. Avoid these altogether. Gillette’s vocals are absolutely horrible and he doesn’t have the vocal range he has on the other songs. I think these were recorded in 2003. They shouldn’t have bothered adding these. I don’t know why Gillette sounds terrible on here. Batio still can play guitar, but his guitar playing sounds surprisingly boring on these bonus tracks. He has nothing great to offer, unfortunately.

The bottom line with this is album is that it’s good. However, it’s not for everyone though. You’ll love it if you appreciate 1980’s heavy metal and glam rock. Some people may be put off by it, because of Gillette’s over the top vocals. I know people are annoyed by his vocals. I love his vocals, it’s one of the reasons why I listen to him and Nitro. If guitar shredding is not your thing, this album is not for you. I’m mostly disappointed by the fact that the bass can’t be heard that well and the horrible bonus tracks. If you’re looking for some more 1980’s heavy metal to listen to, I highly recommend this.

Originally written for The Metal Archives.
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I need to hear this! Looking forward to the new Nitro disc!
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