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First Signal - First Signal

First Signal
First Signal
by Maria Kallinikou at 27 July 2010, 8:07 PM

I have lost the count of the number of AOR/melodic Rock releases this year has offered, so far. Some may speak of a desperate and compelling revival of the genre and some hail the “renaissance” of the AOR/hair Metal era. Furthermore, I have lost track of the amount of releases that Dennis Ward has taken part in. Sadly, it seems like one is desperately seeking to find the golden recipe that will give the extremely good release. I cannot overlook the fact the he is a producer and keep going on is a healthy thing to do but, I donot know, so many collaborations vex me.

This specific release though, I have to admit, was more than a pleasant surprise. This time Harry Hess, singer of HAREM SCAREM is behind the microphone, while a bunch of songwriters from the 80’s provided their pens and inspiration for this release, likeTom and James Martin (KHYMERA, SUNSTORM, HOUSE OF LORDS), Mark Baker (SIGNAL, HOUSE OF LORDS), Erik Martensonn (W.E.T, ECLIPSE) and Ronny Milianovicz (SAINT DEAMON).

This City” enters and is a pure rocker, filled to the brim with all the ingredients which define 80s AOR; it kinda revives parts of SIGNAL. “When You Believe” brings a bit of the VAN HALEN aura, with keys so fitting that accent the music. “Part Of Me” escapes to a more “happening now” sound, (Paul Stanley, W.E.T) and disturbs slightly the mainstream waters. “Crazy” with its morose and touching melody restores the balance. A fantastic ballad.

Goodbye To The Good Time” can be characterised as one of the best tracks of the album, acknowledging TALISMAN and THE STORM, with a funky bass line that is really fitting, not to forget to mention the excellent delivering from Harry Hess. The ballad “Feels Like Love This Time” follows with a more overblown touch. “First Signal” could easily be in the latest album of W.E.T. “Yesterdays Rain”, with its BAD ENGLISH influence together with “Naked Desire” constitute a magnificent ending for this release.

This release has three significant pointschecked:tight band, warm and vibrant vocals from Harry Hess and a super production that follows the formula of the genre. If I may put forward a slice of personal thoughts, there is a forced recipe lurking in parts of the album, such as in “Part Of Me” and not only. Just consider the people that were gathered in order to bring this album to existence. On the other hand, “First Signal” certainly is a good release. You simply press play and the 80's box opens.

3 Star Rating

  1. This City
  2. When You Believe
  3. Part Of Me
  4. Crazy
  5. Goodbye To The Good Time
  6. First Signal
  7. Feels Like Love This Time
  8. Into The Night
  9. When November Falls
  10. Yesterdays Rain
  11. Naked Desire
Harry Hess - Lead & Background Vocals
Darren Smith - Background Vocals
Dennis Ward - Bass, Background Vocals, Guitars
Michael Klein - Guitars
Eric Ragno - Keyboards
Chris Schmidt - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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