With this, their tenth studio release, the band celebrates their 25th anniversary, although the band was dissolved for some years, and only two members (guitarist Ronni LeTekro and drummer Diesel Dahl) are still remaining from the original line-up.
Since their last album original singer Tony Harnell left the band, and is replaced by Tony Mills (ex-Shy), which adds a VERY British aspect to the sound of the band.
Already with their first international album “Knights of the New Thunder” from ’84 they made a stir, at least in Scandinavia, with a Nordic version of American hard rock or AOR (like Poison, Cinderella, Ratt, Europe and so on) (also called “hair-metal” by a witty guy), thus being one of the top bands of Norway. Remembering that album, and how often I played it back then, made me sign up for doing this review, although my taste developed in a generally harder direction since then.
Generally they are back to the known style of their earlier years, maybe a bit to the softer side, but there are also some experiments on this album, some interesting, but also some of which I don’t understand what are doing on a hard rock album (among others “June”, that sounds something like a 60’s pop number and “Let’s Party Mills”, with some western piano and a spoken presentation of all involved in making the album).
First track “A Constitution” sets the style of the album with a boogieing guitar, a slight touch of oriental influence and straight melodic vocals with choir.
“Substitute” is a straight rocker, “Are You Blind” not that exciting except for a very different verse riff on the guitar. Track 4 “Golden Opportunity” has a verse with a quite different guitar rhythm, but an annoying “nanana”-bridge and a chorus that’s a little too “tralala” for my taste. Next is “Something Special” that isn’t something special, it sounds like something I’ve heard before by Cinderella or some 70’s glam band … “Now We’re Talking” seems like a tribute to The Beatles, using a lot of their lyric lines as the “lyrics” for a song with some groovy, thumping guitar as base, strange and experimental, but ok (and notice the references in the guitar solo). “Wild Life” is pure AOR, even my mother, who’s close to 70, wouldn’t lift an eyebrow if it was played on the radio…”Fountain of Love” reminds me of the style on “Knights…”, a bit corny, but still groovy. Next number is “June”, that in my opinion is a complete mistake on this album, and one of the reasons that I have some difficulties to take the band quite serious! “Can’t Go on without” is another good TNT-rocker with great vocal work. “2 Seconds Away” is to be honest stupid and waste of time, except for some really cool guitar work. The power ballad of the album, “Milestone River”, is the kind of track that girls love, and then says they’re listenin’ to heavy metal (!), but it’s saved by the dark tone and strong vocal work. Last track on the non-Asian version is “Let’s Party Mills” – they could have left it out (see above)…
If you’re into the kind of hard rock or “happy-metal” that’s made with some crunchy guitar riffs (and there really are some interesting guitar parts to be found), straight rock drums (4/4) (sorry, but it doesn’t seem very inspired, to say the least) and nice melodic vocals with “fat” choir, you’re on the right track with this album. Entertainment with no demands for intensive listening.
Recommended tracks: “Now we’re Talking”, “Fountain of Love” and “Milestone River.