Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE
checks in with the following:
Nothing like his first solo album 'Undefined' which was essentially jazz, let's hope Joel has been permanently turned by his exposure to Night Ranger and Mr Coverdale towards this kind of take no prisoners rock in future. Hell yeah, this album is right up our alley. At times a balls out metal album, heavier than Nightranger this has Joel drawing on all his songwriting prowess, but exposing his wilder side for all to see and declaring he does not 'give a flying fuck' who hears!
It's a well rounded album too. Joel has not fallen into the vanity trap of minimising other elements of songs to feature his guitar playing. In fact, classically trained and the son of classical musicians, Joel lets us know how versatile he is with this offering. Not that there aren't plenty of ear melting guitar solos on the album it's just he knows how to be part of a team to produce finely polished perfectly formed songs. As a result the album is a product that the finest seasoned metal band would be proud of.
Indeed, Joel has an experienced team behind him with Jeff Scott Soto from Journey on vocals, Vinny Appice of Black Sabbath and Dio on drums and Tony Franklin of the Firm and Blue Murder on bass, amongst others. The fine experience shines through in every corner of the album.
Melodic, but heavy this album has what it takes to appeal to the aor crowd, but also to those with head banging permanently aforethought.There's plenty of changes in pace in the album and it's by no means all as heavy as title track 'Dying to Live' or 'scream' with some zeppelinesque and kotzenite arrangements thrown into the mix and a duet with a female vocalist to finish which is the softest track on the album. However, in general, even in less fast paced tracks the gritty and testosterone packed vocals of Mr Soto mark this out as stuff from the heavier end of the spectrum. Brave and strong throughout, it's an offering to be proud of and a great step forward.
This album got better and better upon further listening. One of those you imagine finding its way into your iPod permanently because it's sterling stuff of which you will never tire. Well done Joel!!!
Photo: Joe Schaeffer Photography