There haven't been a lot of bands hailing from the UK that have impressed me
fine and good release. To compensate all the real heavy stuff I listen to, every
now and then I pick a softer style to review, just because I need it. After
listening to the entire record I have to conclude that besides the softer stuff
there are also enough rather heavy songs that have convinced me.
Sure, with songs like "Better Angels", "Rose in Bloom", "Chasing the Night" and
"Falling Star" there is a big AOR influence but with a little progressive
influence. On the other hand there are some heavier and faster tracks that
really impress. For example "Highways to Nowhere", a fast edgy guitar driven
track with an aggressive excellent singing style of Willy Norton. Willy is in my
opinion the star on this album, he has a very variable singing style and is
always in control. Just compare the singing style in "Highways to Nowhere" with
the clean singing in "Rose in Bloom" and you wouldn't have guessed
that it is the same
vocalist. Songwriter Frederick Thunder has written some fine songs in which he gave
Willy room to shine.
Suddenly the band serves us a 2 rather bombastic songs with a lot of orchestral
parts named "Heart of the Sun" and the instrumental track "Aztec Fold". With "Fierce
of Battalions" the fastest and heaviest track on the album follows with an
aggressive singing style again. In "Sons of Liberty" they combine some softer
and faster parts with orchestral influences and the strongest part of the track
is the catchy refrain. If you combine influences of Magnum, Pink Cream 69 with
Sonata Arctica, a little Nightwish and some Dream Theater you get something like
this album I guess.
A very variable and fine journey, but perhaps the use of too much variety will be a
problem for them also. For the power metal fan there are perhaps a little too
much softer parts and for the AOR fan it is perhaps the opposite. But if you
don't think in styles and just enjoy good music this album shouldn't present any problem.