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Jack Starr Feat. Rhett Forrester - Out Of The Darkness Award winner

Jack Starr Feat. Rhett Forrester
Out Of The Darkness
by Daniel Fox at 23 December 2013, 4:05 PM

This is quite a collection we have here; a remastering and expansion of Jack Starr's first solo band album, "Out of the Darkness". The new edition features the 10 original bonus tracks, as well as 6 bonus tracks from other works of his. Now, let me tell you, "This is Heavy Metal". Jack Starr is one of those heavy metal musicians from the 80's that was not nearly as well recognized as he deserved, for this album was, is, a classic work of art. Like that which is typical of an Iron Maiden record, the tracks on this album are diverse from one to the next, with touches of hard rock, heavy metal, progressive rock, and even dashes of Blues and Jazz.

"Concrete Warrior" sounds just like something off IRON MAIDEN's "Killers", differentiated mainly by Rhett Forrester’s (bless his soul) unique voice; powerful and wide-ranging, yet somewhat nasally, not too dissimilar to the vocals of Mark Shelton in later MANILLA ROAD albums. In contrast, "Wild in the Streets" is a short and sweet Hard Rock number with a classic driving riff dominance; the meat and potatoes of 70's and 80's Rock and Metal, if you will. Overlaid onto this heavy jive is Starr's stellar guitar playing; a truly talented man, it is no wonder that this was considered one of his breakout albums. Blistering virtuosic leads and solos are rife throughout this song, and most of the others contained on the album. Contrasting yet again is the mellower "I can't Let You Walk Along", much more reminiscent of the radio-centric Pop-Rock ballads of the time; rock oriented, but overlaid with a piano melody, and toned-down guitar riffage. Forrester’s vocals on this track have also seemed to have found a more mellow tone.

"Eyes of Fire" sees a return to heavy metal; in fact, I may even be noticing some of the first signs of early power metal; double kick bass drums and soaring melodies are brought to the forefront. Of course, the song is still terrifically heavy, and once again Jack blows me away with another solo. The final track, "Amazing Grace", is exactly that; the ever-iconic gospel song, with a twist; played expertly on Forrester’s overdriven electric guitar, complete with wild vibratos and improves; it rather left a smile on my face. What an excellent touch to end an album on. One of the bonus tracks, "Interlude in the Afternoon" is another instrumental, but nonetheless stood out because of its craftsmanship and beauty. Somewhat of a reverse throwback, as it instantly reminded me of the lead guitar work of Gus G; maybe it should now be the other way round?

It is music like this that can surely make people who were not born into such an amazing scene, appreciate the kinds of bands that started it all and gave birth to the modern bands we know and love.

4 Star Rating

1. Concrete Warrior
2. False Messiah
3. Scorcher
4. Wild in the Streets
5. I can't Let You Walk Away
5. Chains of Love
7. Eyes of Fire
8. Odile
9. Let's get Crazy Again
10. Amazing Grace
11. Exodus
12. Interlude in the Afternoon
13. Sundance Strut
14. Love in the Rain
15. Last Date
16. Blue Tears Falling
Jack Starr – Guitars
Gary Bordonaro – Bass
Carl Canedy – Drums
Rhett Forrester (R.I.P.) - Vocals
Record Label: Limb Music


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