Steve Blaze - main song
writer and guitarist in Lillian Axe and the guy, who gave us
such brilliant albums as: 'Love + War', 'Poetic Justice' and 'Psychoschizophrenia'
between 1989 and 1993 is giving it a shot once more. 'Fields of
Dreams' from 1999 was only a compilation of unreleased songs from
1988 - 1992 and it went almost undetected by most metal fans. So
'Waters Rising' is the first album in nearly fifteen years from his
Steve Blaze is one of the
most underrated songwriters in metal, and especially the 'Psychoschizophrenia'
album never received the attention it deserved. And this new
Lillian Axe album has his big signature all over it, it might
not be as obvious and easy accessible as 'Love + War' or 'Poetic
Justice' but if you take the time and let it get under your skin
you'll discover many of the same patterns and signatures that made
their earlier album such unique albums.
If you like I love their
earlier album then you don't need worry because this one will
eventually please you almost as much as those great albums. The
style remains almost the same even though things are a bit heavier
and more aggressive in some songs, just take a listen to remake of
"Become a Monster", which was also on 'Fields of Yesterday' maybe
the hardest song Steve Blaze has ever written and if this song don't
convince you then listen to the album's instrumental closer; "5",
which at times is borderline thrash metal.
On the other side of the
spectre you have the 3 brilliant ballads: "I have to Die, Goodbye",
Until the End of the World" and "Fields of Yesterday", all of them
shows a master at work, this is where Steve Blaze really excels and
shows his true colours. Each of the three songs are very catchy and
with a great melody line, and falls nicely in line with other great
ballads from Lillian Axe.
It's clear who's at work
here, and the new vocalist Derrick LeFevre does a good job, but to
fill Rod Taylor's shoes is a too big a job for him. The production
isn't as powerful and in-your-face as I could have wished; actually
it's a bit thin.
This is by no means a new 'Psychoschizophrenia'
- still the unreachable album from Steve Blaze in my book - but
don't let that scare you away because this is a solid album, which I
am sure will please many fans.