If you'd have made me play
this CD and not told me anything about it, I'd have put money on this being
a remastered version of "one that got away" from the 80's. Ok the
band features a couple of ex members of Babylon AD so that should perhaps come
as no surprise; but this is no nostalgia fest.
This is - or at least should be - the sound of metals resurgence. A return to LOUD guitars where the emphasis is on the overall feel rather than speed, and where vocalists can belt out a song yet you can still hear every word.
Produced to perfection by guitarist Ron Freschi, everyone gets a chance to shine here. When not blasting out some driving riffs, Ron is soloing like a madman and Jeffrey Winslow's soulful vocals demonstrate that he can hold his own with some of rocks greatest. I'm not going to fail to mention drummer Jamey Pacheco (also formerly of Babylon A.D.), and bassist Rich Talley as it's their driving backbeat that keeps this 4 piece really motoring.
Personally, I'd like to see some of the heavier numbers here get plenty of airplay. "Warpath", "Alive in the Real World" or "Torn in Two" would do very nicely with their driving riffs, magnificent guitar licks and instant choruses. However, I suspect it's inevitable that, the classic 80's staple - the killer ballad, a role in this case filled by "What I'm Trying To Say" - will no doubt find itself added to the playlists of anyone hearing it! I've tried hard to hate this track but can't help being drawn in by the moving, heartfelt lyrics. It's guaranteed to get the lighters aloft, couples snuggling just that little bit closer and frankly if the spoken words at the end of "What I'm Trying to Say (Reprise)" don't bring a tear to your eye then I suggest that you check if you've got a heart at all!
Had this been released in
the 80's I'd have given it even odds on success as the market was flooded with
quality material and this could easily have been overlooked. Here in 2009, this
stands out like a fine diamond and sets a benchmark. It's released independently
so its success will depend on word of mouth so if you call yourself a fan of
quality rock music, get out there, buy it, and bug your local rock club and
rock radio station to feature it. I have no hesitation at all in recommending
this. It's truly stunning stuff!
by Phil T.
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