JUNE 9th 2012

Review by: Barretticus

There is nothing inherently wrong or bad about this album but I must say that it's not quite my preferred taste. It seems to be a coherent mixture of Power Metal, Thrash and 80's Rock. The album actually starts off pretty well with a punchy Power metal style song that reminded me a bit of Stratovarious which carries over nicely through the second track. There is sort of a steady decline or gradation (depending on how you look at it) in the album regarding style and tenacity and I feel like the momentum is lost. Over the course of each track, the style slowly but noticeably changes into being something completely different than that from which it started, ending on an acoustic guitar and piano ballad. A final bonus track is actually a live recording called" I Want Out".

The music doesn't really grab me, again not that it's bad, I just can't find enough in it to be interested. Michael Kiske's voice is fantastic, as usual, coming from Helloween and bringing Kai Hansen as well. I guess I was hoping that the music would be more of what we know from Helloween, but perhaps the groups wants to try something different. While listening I find myself wondering during a few of the songs if I've heard it before. The answer is I haven't, but there are few elements that seem very derivative. Toward the end of the album, "We Rise" has a line in the chorus that is similar to the chorus of "Forever" by Queen for the Highlander soundtrack. I love that movie and Queen's music for it, so I'm torn; should I be pissed about how similar this one line sounds or enjoy it.

It is something that will probably work very well for a wide audience. It's not to hard, it's not too soft and it has a good energy to get people moving. The songs have catchy melodies, due in large part to Kaske, that compel the listener to sing along. Kaske is definitely the best part of this album.

There are three stand out songs for me from this album which are all in the realm of Power Metal are Unisonic, Star Rider, and Renegade. I think if the album was entirely in keeping with these tracks, I would have felt better about it. I think its kind of a lacklustre first effort from what is basically a supergroup that includes Mandy Meyer and Dennis Ward of Krokus. I don't want to use the term "watered down," but the album is much gentler than previous offerings from these guys and I'm sure this record will get much more play over the airwaves than the members' previous bands, being much more accessible to the masses of Radioland.