By Michael Lello
In the 1980s, heavy metal bands etched their names into history, some eventually earning legendary status. Their names are still prominent: Judas Priest. Iron Maiden. Metallica. Right there with all of them was The Rods, a New York state band that was at the forefront of the metal scene, but for whatever reason has been relegated to a less lofty status when compared to, say, the aforementioned Priest and Maiden -- both of whom The Rods toured with, by the way, and you can add a “Blizzard Of Ozz”-era Ozzy Osbourne to the list as well.
Twenty-five years since their last album, “Heavier Than Thou,” The Rods – David “Rock” Feinstein (guitar, lead vocals), Garry Bordonaro (bass, vocals) and Carl Canedy (drums, vocals) – have launched a comeback, and today they release a brand new studio album, aptly titled “Vengeance.”
The album’s historical significance includes a bittersweet component as well, as it features one of the final recorded vocal performances by the late Ronnie James Dio, who sang on the track “The Code.” Dio was a cousin of Feinstein -- and they were bandmates in Dio’s pre-Rainbow band Elf. There are other important connections between Dio and The Rods: “Vengeance” has been released by the Niji Entertainment Group, a new record label formed by Dio and his wife Wendy Dio in his final days, and what’s more, The Rods will tour Europe this summer with Dio Disciples, a group formed by veterans of the Dio band to pay tribute to the late metal master.