On surface this looks like a brand new up- and coming band, but if you look closer you’ll hear and see that this is actually two veterans joining forces under the moniker Dukes of the Orient. Behind the name hides none other than John Payne (ex-Asia) and Erik Norlander (Last in Line, Lana Lane, solo etc.) and the band has its origin in the 2007 version of Asia (touring as Asia featuring John Payne), which also featured Guthrie Govan and Jay Schellen, who are also a part of this recording.
Guthrie Govan left to form The Aristocrats and he was replaced by Bruce Bouillet followed by Jeff Kollman and Moni Scaria, all of whom are a part of this as well. The songs have been created over the years and are now released out of respect for the late John Wetton.
The result is first class, if you happen to like Asia, because all of the songs are written with that band in mind and it sounds and feels like Asia all the way. It’s clear that these musicians know their craft and the roots of Asia to the fullest. And when you know the background for this recording then there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy this as much as any Asia album.
Dukes of the Orient carries the Asia torch on with great pride and the humility needed to deliver an album so close to the original. And the perfect fusion of AOR and progressive rock should appeal to many rock fans across the globe.
Best moments: “Strange Days”, “Time Waits For No One” & “Fourth of July”.
01. Brother In Arms (5:22)
02. Strange Days (5:33)
03. Amor Vincit Omnia (5:44)
04. Time Waits For No One (6:03)
05. A Sorrow's Crown (5:05)
06. Fourth of July (8:27)
07. Seasons Will Change (6:37)
08. Give Another Reason (10:08)
Playing Time: 53:08
John Payne - Vocals, bass, guitars
Erik Norlander - Keyboards