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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Faithful Breath

Rock Lions/Hard Breath

Review by Gary Hill

This combines classic rock with NWOBHM in a mix that’s good, but seems overly derivative a lot of the time. If you are looking for originality, you probably want to look elsewhere, but if you want a solid hard rocking album, this is a great place to start.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Hurricane

After a cool energized introduction, this powers out to a classic rock sounding tune that has some NWOBHM built into it. It’s almost like Molly Hatchet merged with early Iron Maiden.

Better Times
This rocker is a melodic tune with a lot of classic rock in the mix. It’s not quite a ballad, but it really is a lot slower and mellower than the opener. Both the bass line and the keyboard sounds deserve special mention here.
Rock City
A bit more metallic, this rocker works well. It’s again got plenty of classic rock in its mix, but also some NWOBHM. There’s some particularly tasty guitar soloing on this piece.
Rolling Into Our Lives
Here we get a rocker that leans a bit towards progressive rock in terms of a more involved arrangement. It’s still loaded with both metallic and classic rock sounds, though.
Down, Down
This rocker is more of the NWOBHM type music. It’s good, but a little too much of a “more of the same” kind of thing.
Never Be Like You
There’s a bit more of a raw metal approach here, along with something perhaps close to AC/DC. This is not a huge change, but provides enough variety to break up the slightly monolithic nature. The vocal arrangement makes me think of Sweet quite a bit.
No Time
Not all that special, this is more of the same. It’s good, but kind of fades into obscurity compared to everything around it.
Rock' N Roll Women
There’s more energy here and the arrangement is more classic and accessible. That makes this a step upwards.
Killers On The Loose
With a title like that one might expect this cut to be more pure metal, and there is more metal in the mix in some ways, but we also get some progressive rock. It’s a cool tune that works pretty well and brings some variety to the table.
Give Me What I Need
Mix something like Krokus or AC/DC with some southern rock influence and you’ll be close to the sound of this. A reference to Mountain might even be valid.
Already Too Late
There’s a lot of energy and a killer riff to this (not to mention a great guitar solo) but overall it feels a little weak in terms of songwriting and production.
Dark Angel
Now, this killer tune is really pretty close to heavy metal. It’s a smoking hot tune that’s among the best of the set. It’s got a jam later that takes it more into classic rock ala guitar hero styled music.
Under My Wheels
Here’s another that falls closer to the metal end of the spectrum. It’s got a driving bass line and some tasty guitar soloing.
Kids, We Want The World
I’m not crazy about this one. It’s a bit too generic and just not that good. If there’s a track to skip here, this is it.
Illusions
This just a short, and rather intricate, acoustic guitar solo. It’s a good way to break things up a bit.
Like An Eagle In The Sky
Here’s another that’s definitely in line with that NWOBHM sound. It’s good and has a lot of energy, but (like much of the album) it’s too generic and too samey.
Warriors
Early Iron Maiden is certainly a valid reference point here. While still rather generic and monolithic, this is a step up from the previous cut.
Riding To Mongolia
An instrumental, this cut features some more proggy moments and is one of the cooler pieces on show. It certainly comes at a point where it’s needed because the whole thing was getting boring by this point.
Fly To Another Star
More pretty standard classic rock meets metal sounds are heard here. This cut is good, but the samey nature is really getting pretty oppressive by this point. That said, there’s both a quick laugh and a parental advisory at the end.
Night Comes Again
The hook on this is accessible and it’s very much in a pop metal (old school version) style. The only thing is, by this point on the set, it’s all sounding too similar. Taken by itself this is a great tune, but the listener is just ready for it to be over by the time we get here.
 
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