Frontiers Records [Released 20.02.15]
Another project put together by Frontiers, this time featuring Journey’s drummer Deen Castronova, Night Ranger’s Jack Blades and former Whitesnake guitarist Doug Aldrich. Add to this superstar trio Frontiers ‘go to’ man for melodic rock projects Alessandro Del Vecchio, who provides the keys, songwriting and production.
On this album Deen Castronova handles most of the lead vocals, lending it a real Journey feel to the music at times, particularly on the ballads like ‘Don’t Walk Away’. You can see why he does a lot of the live harmonies for Journey as he has a rich, melodic vocal.
Speaking of Journey, vocalist Arnel Pineda duets on the massive slab of melodic rock that is ‘You’re Not Alone’, both vocalists complement each other very well. It could easily have been lifted of the last couple of Journey albums. Not to be outdone fellow Journey band mate Neal Schon guests on ‘Way To The Sun’, which judging by recent interviews maybe the nearest we have Schon playing on a Journey-like song for some time.
‘Turn Back Time’ is the lead song of the album and rightly so as it roars out of the blocks, with Doug Aldrich letting fly with some tasty riffs. If that wasn’t enough, there is a cracking vocal trade off between Castronova and Jack Blades, the nearest to a Night Ranger song on here.
Another classy hard rocker is ‘Back On My Tail’, featuring some monster Aldrich riffs (he never goes too flash on the solos yet gives the songs that extra touch of class) and another chorus that won’t leave your head.
What a stonking album to kick off all things melodic rock in 2015! Revolution Saints have set the bar very high and if you like Journey, Night Ranger et al this is a must have.
Review by Jason Ritchie
Album review: THUNDER – Wonder Days
earMUSIC [Release date 16.02.15] This is studio album number ten from Thunder and it is an album many thought they would never see. With the band going into hiatus for a few years, apart from the odd live show here and there, the hopes of new studio material were fading. With the live shows though came a real Thunder resurgence and it became inevitable that the band would return to the studio. What the band have produced is yet another highly polished collection of blues laden rock songs which will have the Thunder faithful smiling from ear to ear. The album opens with the title track ‘Wonder Days’ which is gaining a lot of airplay on rock radio stations and rightly so. A strong track built on a great riff from Luke Morley and featuring a soaring vocal from Danny Bowes on the chorus. ‘The Thing I Want’ follows in a similarly rocking vein before ‘The Rain’ slows things down and adds touches of mandolin to the mix which works well with Bowes’ soulful vocal delivery. The tracks on the album are well paced and take the listener from fast paced rock to heartfelt, late night, bar-room blues in the space of a track or two. Other tracks of note are ‘The Prophet’ which has a middle-eastern influence to the riff, ‘Chasing Shadows’ which features a heavy, dirty riff and great guitar work from Morley and Ben Matthews and the piano driven ‘Broken’ again with Bowes’ vocal taking centre stage to great effect. The album rounds off with a bit of a boogie in the shape of ‘Serpentine’ and the full on rock ‘n roll of ‘I Love The Weekend’, a live anthem in the making if I’m not mistaken. Thunder haven’t set out to reinvent the wheel with this album, this is Thunder back at their rocking best, no more, no less. After six years though it is great to hear the band producing some excellent music again and I feel that fans both new and old will be more than happy with the results. **** Review by Dave Wilson