After last week’s mostly power metal fare, this week we are a tad more diverse with some classy AOR slipping into the mix. Before I begin I need to recommend a single by David “Rock” Feinstein: “Metal Will Never Die”. It features the last vocals Ronnie James Dio every recorded. Feinstein is Dio’s cousin who was in Elf and Rainbow with him.
David Mark Pierce: StrangeAng31s
The band behind this effort includes Goran Edman, who has worked with Yngwie Malmsteen and John Norum to name two bands. John Payne of Asia fame shares the vocals. Keyboards are handled by Lisa LeRue, CS Brown on bass and Mikael Wikman on Drums. DMP was most recently with the Oliver Wakeman Band (son of Rick and current Yes keyboard player replacing his father) and played on the recent release from Stream of Passion (which I shall review soon). The guy is also an engineer and producer.
As with many of this sort of solo album, this is a mix bag of styles. Who plays or rather who sings on which track really affects who the track sounds like. The tracks with Payne sound very much like his efforts in Asia, while Edman’s stuff is similar to some of the bands he has been in.
That is not to say this isn’t quality stuff. Tracks like “Shelter Me from the Rain” and “Save Your Prayers” have that catchy vibe that is needed in this sort of AOR. Not exactly an essential release by any means, but a competent effort from an obviously talented guitarist.
Resse is a bit of journeyman vocalist. Reese has been part of the chronically underrated and short-lived Bangalore Choir, Gypsy Rose, Sircle of Silence and had a brief (2 year) time in the mighty Accept. To suggest that Reese’s vocal style is quite different to that of Udo Dirkschnieder is an understatement. Reese has a far broader range of vocal talent than Udo. He is joined by his Gipsy Rose compadre Martin Kronlund on this effort.
It is probably safe to say this album is closest to Bangalore Choir in its AOR-ness. There are some tracks in the form of “Could This be Madness” that really get under your skin. Fans of another journeyman vocalist Jeff Scott Soto could find much to like on this release. He comes closest on the great power ballad “I Would”. And how can any hard rocker worth his salt not like “Magic Pudding”? Tracks like “Animals and Cannibals” break things up nicely with their heavier rock vibe.