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Ben Jackson Group - All Over You (CD)

Ben Jackson Group
All Over You
by Grigoris Chronis at 03 April 2005, 6:40 PM

All Over You (the track) is a killer! That's the very first thing I'd like to share with you, the innocent reader. It's not the critical tune for the whole album, still it's a memorable cut that will haunt my CD player the next days. Thank you Mr. ex-mask man, thank you for continuing to release/participate in qualitative works, even if it's still everyone's fundamental right to like All Over You (the album) or not.
Crimson Glory's ex-guitarist Ben Jackson offers us his later release through the completely unknown (to me, at least) Screaming Ferret Wrecords (as entitled). Is it his own label, anyway? All Over You was recorded in Tampa, Florida, at Morrisound Studios, owned by brothers Jim and Tom Morris - Crimson Glory and Parish (Jackson's early/mid 90s project with other ex-Crimson Glory Danna Burrell on drums) recorded their albums at Morrisound Studios also. I haven't heard the project's previous release Here I Come (2002) to come to any kind of comparing the two albums, still things are not as complex as they may initially seem:
First: you, the Glory devotee/dreamer, bury ANY hope for resemblance of Ben's project to the majestic quintet's Crimson Glory (1986) and Transcendence (1989) works six feet under, so as to avoid any case of misunderstanding or musical disappointment. Then: accept the fact that bands/artists living in America (the Northern part, specifically) are more apt to changing styles than their co-essential European ones (neither bad nor good, just a fact). Hence, Ben Jackson Group is a band clearly scheduled to service the wider area of heavy Hard Rock meets light Heavy Metal.
A little bit of groovy guitar rhythms, some straightforward mid-tempo cuts, parts of aggressive oriental guitar harmonies… I guess you want bands like: Black Label Society's melodic side conflicts with The Almighty's filthy groove, interfering in a trendy way with after-Savatage composing elements (meaning Circle II Circle or Chris Caffery's solo works). Worthwhile mentioning is Ben's vocal abilities, while the charismatic voice of Midnight contributes backing vocals to the vast majority of the featured tracks. Even if it's not pure Metal, you can't yet judge it as a Hard Rock record. There's a clear heavy production and - in a mysterious way - there were two or three times that the front cover of Strange And Beautiful (1991) crossed my mind. Don't take it as granted; still I have to confess it…
After hearing the album for the fifth time, it's clear that the title track is maybe the only one based on an 80s vibe - that's why I liked it mostly, I guess. Overall, it's a very good record for the Rock/Metal fan who likes this up-to-date American sound. All Over You is honest, fresh and ready to roll. No doubt, give it a chance if you think this review made you think a little bit more!

3 Star Rating

Tracklist:
Turn It On
Mean Machine
All Over You
Falling Down
Ghost In The Mirror
Eyes Of Ice
Far And Away
Heavy On My Mind
Break It
Rock And Roll Heaven (Or Bust)
Lineup:
Ben Jackson - Vocals, Guitars
Mark Borgmeyer - Guitars
Dano Binz - Bass
Rich Tabor - Drums
Rose Sexton, Midnight - Backing Vocals
Record Label: Screaming Ferret Wreckords
     


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